The power of checklists

This is a tweet from an ACES chat on using checklists when editing.

I’ve been speaking a lot these past few years about the power of checklists. In 2015, I did a Twitter chat about checklists for ACES, the American Copy Editors Society. I and my fellow tweeters talked about how checklists help us cope with an overwhelming world by getting “all those things we’ve got to remember” out of our heads and onto paper. How …

When Editors Need Editors

It’s been 10 years since I wrote the original version of this post, and the fact that “editors need editors” is truer than ever. For example, earlier this year, I wrote this on Twitter: “Looking to add the perfect punch to your prose? Use a one-sentence paragraph … judiciously.” But instead of “prose,” I wrote “pros.” Oops. A friend quickly pointed …

Get your document edited lickety-split

3 simple steps to submit an editing request It’s a quiet morning at the office until you realize the deadline for the 50-page proposal is in 2 short days. You need your document edited quickly and precisely. There aren’t enough editors on staff to meet the deadline, but you don’t want to submit it without an edit first. Your head …

Herding dogs, cats, and editors: Dragonfly’s Magi Walker

Magi Walker’s title at Dragonfly is “Editorial Manager.” But that title only tells part of the story of who Magi is. Here’s the rest. A deeply rooted Southerner, Magi grew up traveling the world, living in Taiwan as a home base, and touching down in exotic locales every summer to visit grandparents Stateside. She discovered a love of different cultures …

What the heck is 16-point line spacing?

Recently, a client sent in an editing request for a 55-page document with 11-point Garamond font and 16-point line spacing. My first reaction: what the heck is 16-point line spacing? For this particular client, we provide an estimate for every project. It’s based on several factors: page count, font size, line spacing, etc. If I didn’t know what 16-point line spacing was, …

Myths of editing: since vs. because

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Being an editor is a satisfying job. It feels good to catch a typo, spot an inconsistency, or unpack garbled prose. But sometimes, we make certain fixes because … well, because that’s what we’ve always done. And we don’t stop to notice that language trends might have changed, Or that what we always thought was a rule was really a superstition. Here’s …

Not afraid of the dark: Dragonfly’s Jason Bovberg

Cloud storage solutions. Home entertainment gadgets. Strange, blood-thirsty, zombie-like aliens? For Dragonfly editor Jason Bovberg, these topics are all in a day’s work. Jason worked for tech magazine Windows IT Pro for 17 years, starting out as a copyeditor and moving up the ranks to become senior editor. Now, he’s a freelancer who writes e-books and blog posts on everything …

Why you should care about readability.

We live in the digital age. More and more companies are going paperless, and our readers’ attention spans are getting smaller. It’s apparent that creating readable content is important for attracting customers. What is readability? According to Merriam-Webster, readability is the ability to read a text easily. The Center for Plain Language published an article on readability and explained why …

Four Fake Rules of Proposal Writing

Writing a proposal is hard work. And getting all the details of spelling, grammar, and punctuation right can be even harder. So why burden yourself with following rules of grammar … that aren’t even rules? Here are five “fake rules of writing” that you hereby have permission to disregard. You may have heard these from your fifth-grade English teacher or …

Does Buffer support alt text? Not yet, but there is a workaround.

Lately, I’ve seen a lot of talk about alternative text (alt text) in the Twitterverse. What is alt text, you ask? It’s an HTML description added to an image or GIF that’s uploaded to the internet. Why add alt tags to images? Well, those who are blind browse the web too. They use a screen reader that reads text to …