The Proofreader’s Parlour
A BLOG FOR EDITORS, PROOFREADERS AND WRITERS
My colleague Erin Brenner (Right Touch Editing) has compiled a fabulous list of online style guides for copy-editors including Harvard Referencing, APA, ASA and Chicago. If you want to see the full batch, visit her Delicious Style Guides stack.
To complement Erin’s stack, here are a few more online style guides that copy-editors may find useful:
If you know of any other free online style guides that you think may be of use to your editorial colleagues, let me know in the comments. I'll add them to this list and perhaps Erin will had them to her Delicious stack, too!
If you're a regular user of Microsoft Word, but you've not had a chance to delve into any tips and tricks, you might very well like Resources for Word Users on the blog of my colleague Liz Broomfield, founder of LibroEditing.
Liz's series provides detailed but easy-to-understand instructions on how to get the best out of Word using functions such as auto-correct, styles, case toggling, tabs and much more. Highly recommended.
Oxford Dictionaries Pro is one of my all-time favourite sites and proofreading tools. Not only does it provide online access to OUP's renowned dictionaries and thesauri; it also has a section for writers and editors that enables full searchable access to the excellent New Hart's Rules and Pocket Fowler's Modern English Usage, two of my well-thumbed bookshelf staples.
If you’re a member of a public library in England and Northern Ireland, you have FREE access to this resource. All you need to log in is your library card number (and the three-letter prefix identifying your county). Otherwise you'll need to pay. An individual subscription costs £42 per year.
I really hope you'll never need this! In the event that you do the Late Payment Interest Calculator is a handy online tool that calculates the amount of interest you can claim for late payment according to the UK Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998 and amended by European Directive 2000/35/EC.
If you are based outside the UK and know of similar online tools relevant to your own country, please do let me know and I'll add them to this blog so that everyone can share them.
There are many reasons to use Dropbox, but my favourite is as a backup tool. Anything in your secure online Dropbox account is available to you wherever you are and on whichever terminal you're using.
I've blogged in the past about the importance of getting into the habit of saving and backing up your onscreen work frequently. When marking up onscreen I save every change I make. If I leave my desk I back up the file onto a memory stick. And I make a further full system backup once a month onto a separate hard drive. Overly cautious? Me? Perhaps, but I learned the hard way.
These days I keep any file I'm actively working on in Dropbox, so that the recently saved version is always safe and available to me, even if my computer turns to dust. You get 2GB free which is more than enough for most, and it works for Windows and Mac users.
To sign up for Dropbox, click here.
Macros for Writers and Editors, by technical author, publisher, proofreader and editor Paul Beverley, is a free online book with over 400 macros for the writer, editor and proofreader.
One of my personal favourites is CiteCheck, which is excellent if you want to check text citations against a bibliography, particularly when the short-title system is being used. Other popular macros developed by Paul include the well-loved FRedit, a customizable scripted find-and-replace macro, and IStoIZ and IZtoIS (both of which highlight all the words in a file that may need amending to fit client style).
However, this blog post doesn't even begin to scratch the surface. Instead, take a look at the book yourself and decide what will work best for you. There really is something for everyone.
If you don't have the full paid-for versions of, say, Adobe Acrobat or PDF-XChange, you can still use my proofreading stamps. At a recent local SfEP chapter workshop, my colleague Sara Peacock demonstrated the stamps. She says:
"The stamps work with [the free] Adobe Reader, but the proofreader will need to ensure that whoever creates the PDF 'enables comments' before sending it, otherwise the comment tools that are needed (as well as the stamps, the pencil tool, the strikeout tool, and so on) won't be accessible.
"However, all of these tools (or their equivalents) are available in the free PDF-XChange viewer, in which the stamps can also be used. (Personally, I find it a more stable piece of software than the Adobe
version so I use it all the time anyway. It's a bonus that I don't need to insist on enabled PDFs.)"
I normally work in the full version of Acrobat Standard, but following Sara's comments I decided to give XChange Viewer a try. I must say, it was a doddle and the functionality is exceptional given that this won't cost you anything. The stamps palette is much clearer, for one thing, and uploading the stamps is quicker, too. I'd recommend giving Viewer a try, even if you're a die-hard Acrobat user! Even better, XChange Viewer allows you to upload them all in one go!
To access the stamps files, see the article Free Downloadable Proofreading Stamps. For a more detailed look at using stamps for onscreen work, go to PDF Editing: Making the Most of the Stamps Tool. For installation instructions, click here.
Louise Harnby is a professional proofreader and copyeditor. She curates The Proofreader's Parlour and is the author of several books on business planning and marketing for editors and proofreaders.
Visit her business website at Louise Harnby | Proofreader, say hello on Twitter at @LouiseHarnby, or connect via Facebook and LinkedIn.
How to annotate a PDF with digital proofreading marks
Below are my free proofreading stamps files in red, blue and black. They conform to British Standard BS 5261-2 (2005).
You will not have to resize these stamps – I've designed them to work with the font size that most book files use. Simply upload them into your PDF editor and you’re ready to go!
Tip: In Acrobat you will have to download each stamp individually. In PDF-XChange (even the free Viewer), the process is semi-automatic - just make sure you download the XChange stamps files below and follow the installation instructions.
What users are saying ...
Louise Harnby is a fiction copyeditor and proofreader. She curates The Proofreader's Parlour and is the author of several books on business planning and marketing for editors and proofreaders.
Visit her business website at Louise Harnby | Proofreader & Copyeditor, say hello on Twitter at @LouiseHarnby, or connect via Facebook and LinkedIn.
If you're an author, you might like to visit Louise’s Writing Library to access her latest self-publishing resources, all of which are free and available instantly.
The Editorium provides Microsoft Word add-ins for writers, editors and typesetters, including the popular Editor's Toolkit. There's also a newsletter that you can sign up for, as well as a great selection of free, smaller add-in programs to try. Visit The Editorium website.
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