Issue 8, 13 May 1999
In this issue...
Feature article: How long does editing take?
Resource of the week: The value of technical communication
Tip of the week: Editing hyphens in Microsoft Word
Question Time: Legal limit to size of small print?
Follow up: Macros for indicating acceptance or rejection of editorial changes
For those of you who are not members of the Society for Technical Communication, you might find two articles in volume 45, number 1 (Third Quarter 1998) of their journal Technical Communication of interest or assistance when negotiating with clients and managers:
"Measuring the value added by technical communication," by Jay Mead, pages 353-379. This article is very useful in itself, and also includes a long list of references.
"Business objectives: a key tool for demonstrating the value of technical communication products," by Saul Carliner, pages 380-384.
A general comment on STC publications: I like both the journal and the newsletter (Intercom). Intercom has shorter articles, written in a more chatty style, but for heavier ammunition, TC is good too. It's become more practice-oriented under George Hayhoe's editorship, though back issues also contain a wealth of useful information.
To find out more about the STC, visit http://www.stc.org/
These questions are ones that I had answered on the copyeditors' list. They refer to Word 7.
Q: "This particular chapter is driving me mad, because so many words are hyphenated. Hyphenation is OFF in paragraph- formatting and Tools, but it makes no difference. Any suggestions?
My answer: Check to see whether any or all of the hyphens are manually inserted optional hyphens. Go to Tools > Options > View and select the Optional hyphens checkbox to make them visible. I forget what odd character marks an optional hyphen in the text.
(The questioner reported that was indeed the problem. She deleted them.)
Q: "Sentence includes the words government-provided, -regulated and -managed housing. Word puts the second hyphen at the very end of a line, and would doubtless do the same for 'managed' if it had the chance. I'm not typesetting, so I need to try to find a foolproof solution. Hard hyphenation doesn't seem to work. Any ideas for what to do, or how to work round it?
My answer: Replace the problem hyphens with non-breaking hyphens (Ctrl-Shift-Hyphen).
Elizabeth M Murphy email@example.com asks: "Isn't there a legal limit to how small the small print can be? I think I read somewhere that the "small print" or "fine print" that forms part of the conditions of a contract or something similar has to be at least 6 point. But 6 point in what font? Size varies enormously. I would be interested to know whether you have any firm information on that, and whether it applies only in Australia or elsewhere too."
This solution is now on the website, http://www.jeanweber.com/elecapps.htm
© Copyright 1999, Jean Hollis Weber. All rights reserved.
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