Monday, January 29, 2007


I also had a question about format. The book says that copyeditors aren't responsible for rewriting or reformat issues. So if the piece needs extensive reformatting - maybe one big paragraph that would be served better in the form of a list or with bullets - would you just make a note and send it back to the writer to do? I just read through an article for a friend and planned to copyedit, but I ended up changing the format and it was so extensive that I don't know if I could have added all the marks needed in the space. Would you just squeeze them in however you could?

1 comment:

Pat said...

Reformatting text is a judgement call that the copyeditor is allowed to make, though your office may have restrictions on the amount of reformatting you can do. In your case, you were doing the editing for a friend, so you were acting as copyeditor-as-friend. There is, of course, more freedom in the personal relationship.

Would it have been possible to insert symbols, e.g., asterisks, in front of the sentences that you thought should appear as items in a bulleted list? That is, would it have been possible to use shortcuts to cut down on the marking you had to do?

If not, perhaps you could have given instructions and an example of what you wanted your friend to do and allowed him to do the rest?

In many cases, it's not a good idea to put every possible editing mark on a single version of the manuscript. It's better if the piece comes back to you after one set of marks has been entered. This accomplishes two things: it allows you to look at the piece with a fresh eye; and it cuts down on the marks you need to make.