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Issue 79, 12 March 2004

ISSN 1442-8652

Editor: Jean Hollis Weber

In this issue...

This mailing list is moving to a new host
I'm speaking at the AODC Conference in Sydney
Resources for self-publishers, and typesetting using MSWord
Follow up: Convincing management to allow you to edit substantively
For Australians: Microsoft Word Advanced Editing Skills Workshop
My books: Taming Microsoft Word and others
Subscription information and privacy statement

This mailing list is moving to a new host

As a cost-cutting measure, I'm moving this mailing list to a different service. You should not need to do anything, with one possible exception. The newsletter will no longer appear to come from my own domain (, so you may need to change your filters to allow mail from

Other correspondence from me will continue to come from However, if we are not regular correspondents, or you haven't written to me, be way of mail purporting to come from my domain, especially if it appears to come from any user name other than jean. As I mentioned last time, one or more of the viruses or worms making the rounds of the Internet is picking up domain names (including mine) from people's address books and sending out messages that appear to come from those domains.

I highly recommend getting a copy of Mailwasher (assuming you're allowed to install software on the computer you use). It comes in a free version and a paid ("pro") version and is easy to use and quite effective. It works for AOL, IMAP, POP3, Hotmail and MSN users.

MailWasher Pro

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I'm speaking at the AODC Conference in Sydney

AODC Speaker 2004Last issue I mentioned the seventh annual Australasian Online Documentation and Content Conference (AODC 2004), which will be held in Manly, a suburb of Sydney, Australia, on 28-30 April, with optional workshops on the 27th. Over 100 technical writers, help authors and documentation professionals will be gathering to improve skills, discover new techniques, and learn from expert speakers from three continents.

Full details are here:

I'll be speaking on style guides, replacing Dr Marsha Durham, who is unable to attend. I hope to see lots of my subscribers there!

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Resources for self-publishers, and typesetting using MSWord

Aaron Shepard has put together a great collection of resources for self-publishers. Although I knew about some of them, he's saved me the trouble of searching the others out myself.

Go to the following page and click on "Other Publishing Resources"

On a related matter, Aaron writes, "I've once again updated my book on typesetting with Word, to version 4.0. This is a free download if you've purchased it previously from Amazon or eBookAd.

"New in this version are additional tips for general usage of Word, especially in regard to protecting your files and documents from corruption. (I don't have problems with that myself, but apparently that's because of the way I use Word -- so I added these tips.) Also new is a list of additional resources for help with Word. And the title has now changed to Books, Type, and Microsoft Word."

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Follow up: Convincing management to allow you to edit substantively

Ivan Berger wrote in response to my item last time, "Presumably, the purpose of the budget is not to ensure that authors' words are conveyed to the paper but that the authors' knowledge and intent is conveyed to the reader's mind. The bigger the gap between the author's and reader's technical level, the more editorial work is normally needed to achieve that. There are some scientists, engineers, and technicians whose prose sings, but they are rare...

"If the readers of your department's publications keep phoning Tech Support for clarification of things that are already on the printed page, or to have information supplied that should have been given but was not, then the money you "save" by not editing substantively is being squandered over and over. (The bright side, to some, is that this shifts the cost to a different department's budget.)

"I've spent about 25 years editing tech material for popular audiences (and 44 years writing same); good training, because the feedback is direct. Queries about what the hell an article was trying to say come back to your desk, and the magazine's well-being rests on the readers' appreciation or dislike of what they read.

"One budgetary argument is that substantive editing often (usually!) makes a manuscript shorter. (I've sometimes rewritten passable sentences to add needed informaiton, and found they revise 20% shorter than the original.) That means you can either cut your paper and printing bill or get more content out for the same printing budget. Unfortunately, some bosses will realize that if you have a fixed space to fill and fill it more concisely, you'll have to fill the extra space with more copy, another extra expense. And there are those who feel that shortening the copy makes it less impressive; one problem with tech writing is that this belief is embedded, here and there, in academe."

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For Australians: Microsoft Word Advanced Editing Skills Workshop

Presented by Bruce Howarth
Saturday 3 April 2004, 9 am to 5 pm
Level 4, Company Directors’ House, 71 York Street, Sydney

To help you work more efficiently, Bruce will show you how to use a few of Word’s powerful but complex tools. Topics include:

This hands-on workshop (suitable for PC and Mac users) requires a sound working knowledge of Word. Participants will have use of a computer.

Workshop cost: $145, members, Society of Editors; $175 others.

Enquiries (not bookings) to Pauline Waugh,

Bookings must be sent to Society of Editors (NSW), PO Box 254, Broadway NSW 2007, by Wednesday 24 March 2004. Late bookings cannot be accepted.

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My books: Taming Microsoft Word and others

Taming Writer 1.1,
Taming Microsoft Word (3 editions, for Word 2002, 2000, and 97),
Editing Online Help,
Electronic Editing,

© Copyright 2004, Jean Hollis Weber. All rights reserved.

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