Best Microsoft Word Shortcuts for Writers and Editors on a Mac

If you’ve ever used CMD + S to save a file or CMD + B to boldface something, you already know how to use Microsoft Word shortcuts. These keystroke combos save you time—and save your wrist from having to mouse up to the ribbon and make multiple clicks. Here’s a list of our favorite shortcuts, including lesser-known ones that can …

Giving Melissa Brown Levine the third degree

Sometimes Melissa Brown Levine has to use every one of her four degrees to get through an editing job. There’s her master’s in professional writing to smooth out the rough edges, a master’s in library science if there’s some research involved, and a bachelor’s in psychology in the event she has to figure out what in the world the writer …

“I am a shit” vs. “I am the shit”: Why indefinite articles matter.

I am a shit. I am the shit. Indefinite articles matter. As editors, we know that what we say and how we say it makes all the difference in how our words are understood. We are aware that a small thing can be a big game-changer. A pair of tiny commas can mean the difference between a panda having a …

Dragonflies and Catapults: A tale of two agencies

When companies come to Dragonfly, we help them deal with a variety of issues ranging from in-depth copyediting to quality content creation. But there are times when those companies end up needing something Dragonfly isn’t equipped to provide. Things like digital design, brand cultivation, or nurturing of their web presence. That’s when we turn to an organization that has been …

7 Steps to Editing for Readability

Whether you’re writing web copy, white papers, or proposals, readability is important. Why? Because today’s readers are distracted and impatient. They want to find the answers they need as quickly as possible. As an editor, you can help readers by creating clear copy that’s easily scanned and understood. Here’s how. You can download the PDF version here.   STEP 1: …

Editor Sophie Michals is just what the doctor ordered

If there’s knowledge to be gained from every job, the one lesson Sophie Michals has learned from her years as an editor is that she’s happiest when she’s her own boss. The St. Louis native, who now lives in Chicago, became a contractor for Dragonfly in May 2017 after years working in advertising and consulting firms. Undaunted by layers of …

Editing Rules vs. Pet Peeves

As a baby editor, excited to be starting my career and filled with just enough knowledge to be dangerous, I latched onto a few grammar “rules” that I applied across the board. It didn’t matter if the text was formal, like a peer-reviewed paper, or more conversational, like a blog post, letter, or even a YA novel: rules are rules. …

What’s it like writing for the construction industry?

Like everyone else, builders, contractors, and project managers have stories to tell. All they need is someone to tell them. If you’re a niche copywriter looking to expand your areas of expertise, consider giving construction writing a try. Entering the construction world fresh is daunting at first; the industry has a unique vocabulary that’s unfamiliar to most laypeople. And its …

Critical tools for medical editing

To be a great medical editor, you need great copyediting skills: a sharp eye, attention to detail, and a drive to get things right. You also need to master the special conventions that govern medical publishing. Here are the resources you need to do that. You can download the PDF version here.       Style guides AMA Manual of …

Meet Dragonfly’s Kathryn Flynn

After a certain number of years in the newsroom, every journalist has an oddball collection of facts and a few good stories. Kathryn Flynn has those – plus a patent and a killer sense of humor. She was trained as a journalist at Indiana University, which was far enough from her hometown in Pennsylvania that she couldn’t duck home for …