Issue 3, 8 April 1999
In this issue...
Feature article: Working electronically, Part 3 - Working
with the client
Tip of the week: One-click formatting (paragraph styles) from the toolbar
Resource of the week: Microsoft Word information sources
Question time: Tracking changes
Irene Wong firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
"The template I designed for our policy document has a toolbar with the essential 5-6 styles on it (also an icon to accept revisions, or reject revisions). Most people in that branch (lawyers) have really got the hang of simple styles with this and will actually apply them. Because I put the para number into a macro on the toolbar I was also able to make that para "body text". Therefore their documents look pretty good (to them at least) for internal reviews.
"I had to design a template for something else recently. I didn't do a full blown template with toolbar. The people who are used to the one with the toolbar are apparently getting very frustrated with the new template that has no toolbar to assist. I had an SOS late today from one of our most senior directors wondering how he would cope. It's great feedback. Next time I will insist on more time to develop a template and give them something that really helps them."
Irene uses Microsoft Word, but I believe that other programs have similar capabilities. I find style tools extremely helpful when editing, if part of my job is to make the use of styles consistent in a document (a necessity if the document is going to be converted to HTML, WinHelp, or other formats). You can also assign styles to keystrokes (Word assigns some by default), but I can never remember them.
Last week, Chris Graillat ChrisG@bsa.ca.gov
"We are switching to on-line editing for later edits of our reports... we must still document any changes the editors made to draft reports. This means our auditors must print out a draft showing the editor's on-line changes and mark--by hand--the changes they have accepted, which adds a cumbersome element to an otherwise efficient process. I would love to know what others in similar situations do." (Chris is working in Microsoft Word.)
Jean responds: I have not dealt with this problem in a work situation, but as an exercise I recorded two macros to enable the markup process to be done electronically. The auditor reviews each editorial change and clicks a toolbar button marked "Yes" or "No;" the macros insert a checkmark (tick) or a cross after the editorial change and jump to the next change.
This technique results in a file that shows editorial insertions and deletions, each one followed immediately by an indicator showing acceptance or rejection of the change.
Whether such a solution would be acceptable to the bureaucracy is, of course, an entirely different matter.
Although I haven't tried it, I expect that you could write other macros to automate the cleanup of a copy of the file to get rid of the checks and crosses, incorporate the approved changes and revert the rejected changes to the original text.
I'll put the detailed description of this technique, and the macros, on the website.
If you have a product or service of interest to editors, I'll be happy to consider including a short advertisement, for a modest fee. Contact me for details.
Advertisement - Jean Hollis Weber
I am a technical editing consultant, working with print and online documents. Contact me at email@example.com for all your editing requirements, including:
- Style guide development and customization for print and online projects
- Analysis, planning and estimating of your editorial needs
- Editing (U.S. or international English)
- Training in technical editing (conducted by email or in person)
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