Issue 80, 13 April 2004
Editor: Jean Hollis Weber
In this issue...
Involve your editor right at the start
10 damaging e-learning myths
Book: Presenting numbers, tables & charts
Microsoft Word's Style Separator
Separating layout from content development
For Australians: Wired Words workshop
I'm speaking at the AODC conference in Sydney
My books: Taming Microsoft Word and others
Subscription information and privacy statement
I've enthused about Amy Gahran's blog Contentious before. On February 18, she published an article titled "Involve your editor right at the start" that speaks as much to technical writers as to the journalists she's primarily addressing. Wave it under the noses of people who need some convincing!
I'm interested in e-learning (education delivered online) even though I have no time to get involved. So I was delighted to see the February 12 entry in Amy Gahran's blog Contentious, which led me to this fine article, "10 damaging e-learning myths":
by Sally Bigwood and Melissa Spore, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-860722-9.
Sally Bigwood wrote to me about their book: "Our sources are Chapman, Ehrenberg, Tufte, etc. and our objective was to write a short, simple book on how to present numbers in user-friendly ways."
I'm looking forward to reading the book and reviewing it for you. Meanwhile, you might find their website interesting:
I wasn't aware that this handy command existed until I read about it in the October 15, 2003 issue of The Editorium, a newsletter I recommend highly to all users of Microsoft Word.
So what's the Style Separator? According to Jack M. Lyon, the editor of The Editorium, it's "a special, hidden (and undocumented) paragraph mark. Rather than creating a paragraph *break,* however, it marks the spot where one paragraph style ends and another paragraph style begins--*all in the same paragraph.*" And it's only found in Word 2002 (XP) and 2003.
Read all about the Style Separator, and how to use it, here:
And be sure to check The Editorium for other useful information and great editing tools. http://www.editorium.com/
(First published in the 21 January 2001 issue of this newsletter.)
In the last ten years, technical writers and editors have often been responsible for designing the layout and presentation of pages, both for print and for online display, in addition to developing the content. Most content is developed in a WYSIWYG program, and even early drafts show the intended layout. This practice has both good and bad points.
In my opinion, the main bad point is a tendency to focus on presentation in situations where this is counter-productive...
Read the full article here: http://www.jeanweber.com/news/tenews45.htm
The Society of Editors (NSW) presents another in its series of Professional Development Workshops
Presented by Pamela Hewitt
Saturday, 8 May, 10 am - 4 pm
City Tattersalls Club, 198 Pitt Street, Sydney
Workshop Cost: $145, members, Society of Editors; $175 others (lunch included)
The audience requirements for the web are different from print- based text. Readers are much more active. Usually, they are interested in finding information and in moving on. The points of arrival and departure are much more volatile than in printed material. These differences present some fascinating new challenges and possibilities for editors.
When people began to write for websites, most made no concessions to the new medium. Print-style text posted into cyberspace is known as 'shovelware'. Many websites are still like that. Yet there are many effective ways to edit for the web.
This workshop looks at techniques that are often put forward for effective web writing (and therefore the basis for web editing) and casts a critical eye over them.
Enquiries (not bookings) to Pauline Waugh, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bookings must be sent to Society of Editors (NSW), PO Box 254, Broadway NSW 2007, by Friday 30 April 2004. If you’re using a credit card to book, you may phone (02) 9660 0335 or fax (02) 9660 9375 your booking to the society’s treasurer, Janice Beavan. Late bookings cannot be accepted.
A reminder to Australasians about 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.
Full details are here: http://www.aodc.com.au/
I'll be speaking on style guides, replacing Dr Marsha Durham, who is unable to attend.
Taming OpenOffice.org Writer 1.1,
Taming Microsoft Word (3 editions, for Word 2002, 2000, and 97), http://www.jeanweber.com/books/tmw
Editing Online Help, http://www.jeanweber.com/books/olhbk.htm
Electronic Editing, http://www.jeanweber.com/books/e-edit.htm
© Copyright 2004, Jean Hollis Weber. All rights reserved.
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