A lot of effort goes into the process of editing and it can sometimes get overwhelming for the editors, as they have to be meticulous, attuned to details and errors, and have vast general knowledge, especially if they don’t know what they’re going to be editing next. Thus, keeping all that knowledge in mind while editing can be difficult and that’s why editors, bloggers, or anyone who has to do a large amount of editing, will employ multiple tools to maintain the quality of their work. So, next time you start editing, consider using the following tools.
- Proofreading Books
When it comes to the last step of the editing process, you need your skills to be as sharp as possible. This could be achieved if you have enough attention to detail, the ability to use different software programs, and a good command of the English language. So, going back to reliable sources like proofreading books can be of major help to you. A lot of people consider these books the ultimate resource for proofreaders, as they’re accessible, easy to use, and will give you practical tips on how to freelance proofreading. If you’re a beginner, some books will provide a step-by-step guide for the editing process and ways to enhance your grammar as well.
- Style Guide
If you’re a copy editor, then you’re probably following the style guide dictated by the person you’re working for. According to what type of editing you do, you’ll use Harvard, APA, MLA, or Chicago. Research papers follow APA or MLA styles, but eBook publishers adopt Chicago style. In any case, you’ll have to keep your style guidelines up to date for consistency. This can be important, especially for freelancers, who need to use multiple styles for their projects.
- Grammar Software
It is unlikely that you will find a writer, editor, or proofreader not doing their work on a computer. This is why it’s a great chance to employ editing software programs to help you speed up the editing process like After the Deadline, Grammarly, and Ginger. While some of these programs will just correct grammatical mistakes, some of them (like Grammarly) can check for plagiarism. They can also be integrated into your browser, emails, etc. to do a quick grammar and spelling checks and save you a lot of time as you go through them one more time.
Because every editor should always use some sort of a time management method to improve their productivity, we recommend using Toggl. Unlike other time management apps, Toggl helps track and record your activity on different apps and websites, and then it will recommend how you can optimize your productivity according to that data, but instead of designing a new workday for you, Toggl will improve your existing schedule and manage your workflow. That’s why a lot of people prefer it over other time-management apps.
- Document Grader
This tool can be of great use, especially for beginners. It can be a quick expert guide, as you can simply upload your file into the text box, and it will give instant feedback on how to correct the mistakes in the file. It can either be simple fixes that can be corrected immediately, or it can be a full guide on how to correct complex errors. What’s great about this tool is that it can increase your knowledge with constant feedback.
Let’s face it, every writer is prone to make repetition mistakes and editors are the ones who have to fix them. For example, if a writer repeats a word throughout the document over and over again, the editor is the one who’ll have to replace it each time with a synonym or restructure the sentence to make it sound more natural. Thus, a thesaurus, whether you download an e-version or have a hard copy of it, will be an integral part of the editing process.
While using a dictionary might seem like a natural thing to do while working, there are still a lot of people who don’t feel the need to use a dictionary while editing. If the topic of your project is complex, you will need a specialized dictionary to look for the meaning of new words. You’ll also have to look through the different nuances of the word to avoid making mistakes.
Now that you know about these powerful tools, once you utilize them as you edit your projects, your editing and proofreading skills will improve significantly, and editing won’t take as much time as it used to before. Using all of these tools, however, is not a requirement if you already have the necessary skills, but you can pick the ones that will enhance your skill and work your way up from there.