Monthly Archives: September 2014

When is the right time for editing

The right time for editing depends on what type of editing you need. If you are paying for editing, you probably want to minimise the number of rounds of editing, while ensuring a high quality final product.

A document may need some or all of these major types of editing.

  • Structural editing, advising on structure, content and style to clearly communicate the right message to the right audience, can be done on early drafts of a document.
  • Copy editing, checking for consistency in format and style and correct spelling and grammar, can be done closer to the due date. If there are many changes suggested, several rounds of checking may be needed.
  • Proofreading, checking a manuscript against the “proof” or version to be printed, is done after the copy edited text and other items have been passed to a designer or printer for layout.

Here are some tips to consider:

  • Do as much as you can before passing your document to an editor.
  • Be clear about the type of editing you need.
  • Be realistic about the editing timeframe and allow time to make and check changes.
  • Remember, as noted in a previous post, changes made at the last minute can be more likely to have mistakes for several reasons. Best to avoid a major restructure or rewrite the night before the due date.

Creating a table of contents – the easy way

After finishing a long document, no-one wants to type a table of contents and get all the headings and page numbers right manually. Create a table of contents the easy way by applying styles to each heading in your Word document and auto-generating the table of contents. Follow these steps.

  • To apply styles to headings in your Word file, go to the Format menu, then Style. Apply heading 1 style to the chapter or section heading, heading 2 to the first subheading, then heading 3 to the next level of heading. You can modify the styles to change the look.
  • To generate your table of contents, go to the Insert menu, then Index and Tables, then Table of Contents.
  • To change the look of your table of contents, modify TOC1 style for heading 1 and TOC2 for heading 2. For instance, you could make the headings bold or adjust the spacing.

Check the table of contents to see if the headings are consistent and complete. If you change the headings in the document or make other changes, simply regenerate and replace the table of contents.

Use the same method to generate a list of tables and a list of figures by applying heading styles to table headings and figure headings.

Knowing how to auto-generate a table of contents makes working on long documents easier.