Editing & QA

Overview

Editing is an essential activity in creating high-quality content. It is at the heart of an iterative process that results in documents that are fit for their purpose and achieve the desired result, whether business, technical or scientific.

We provide discerning companies and institutions with a complete range of professional editing services of exceptional quality, adding value at each stage, and have vast experience in working with non-native English-language authors.

Benefits

Working with an external editor enables you to concentrate on the basic content of your document. Your focus should be on ensuring that your text is coherent and complete, while keeping the intended audience in mind. We can then help you to create a clear, concise and effective document.

The support of a professional editor ensures that your documents are not only of an excellent linguistic quality, but also structured in an optimal way.

Why is editing so important?

Anything that distracts from the assimilation of the text disrupts the reading process and prevents the efficient transmission of information to the reader. We call this “noise”, and an important goal of editing is to eliminate this factor.

Badly written content and/or errors in the text also give a negative impression of your company and its services, resulting in potential damage to your reputation and loss of revenue.

When using Microsoft Word, change-tracking and comments are switched on, enabling the client to accept or reject the changes and to review the comments. Alphadoc can edit and/or annotate your documents in the following formats: Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, Adobe InDesign/InCopy and Adobe Acrobat.

During the editing process, the author can also benefit from our Task-based-Coaching service. As a result, he or she becomes more competent and productive in writing documents, and also more confident and independent.

Style Guides

Reference documents are essential tools for editing and writing. Our award-winning Corporate Publishing Style Guide was commissioned by the corporate communications department of a major Swiss pharmaceutical company.

We can also improve the typography and layout of your document.

Developmental Editing

This approach to creating business and technical documentation is a highly efficient and cost-effective alternative to the traditional technical authoring process.

The subject-matter expert (SME) provides source material in various forms – including interviews where appropriate. He or she is responsible for ensuring that the information is accurate and complete. We then turn this basic input into a professional document.

Developmental Editing focuses initially on the selection and structure  of the content. We ensure that the sequence and flow of information is logical, and that the final document is fit for its purpose.

The advantage for the customer is that the SME can concentrate on his/her core tasks while being sure of an excellent result. However, a minimum of liaison and dialogue with the SME is essential for this approach to be successful.

Substantive Editing

This step involves medium-to-heavy editing, and often requires significant re-writing. Changes in structure or sequence may also be required at this stage.

There are likely to be heavy tracked changes (where Microsoft Word is used) and many comments indicating where the meaning needs to be clarified. Discussion by phone or e-mail between the author and the editor is sometimes required to resolve these kinds of problems.

Substantive Editing provides an opportunity for coaching and mentoring of the employee.

Send your draft document to us, and we will provide a free sample evaluation and an estimate.

Copy Editing

This is an essential step in ensuring the quality of any document. Grammatical, usage or spelling errors in documents – whether printed or online – irritate and distract the reader and can give a negative impression of your company and its products or services. This can result in damage to your reputation and loss of revenue.

Copy editing usually involves light-to-medium editing, as the text is stable and the basic content has already been approved by the client. Changes in structure or sequence, or re-writing, are rarely justified at this stage. Again, change-tracking and comments are switched on to indicate any remaining issues.

Where the original text has required substantive editing – that is, with heavy editing and some re-writing – it should always be copy-edited before publishing.

Style Guides

Copy editing provides an opportunity to apply the agreed style to the document. When working with a new client, we recommend that they compile a style sheet, or style guide, depending on the complexity of the subject-matter. This avoids wasting time remembering what the style for a given element should be, and enforces consistency within the document.

Our award-winning Corporate Publishing Style Guide was commissioned by the corporate communications department of a major Swiss pharmaceutical company.

Quality Assurance

Countless hours, even days, of work – and a lot of effort – have been spent in creating your document, so it’s essential to perform a quality assurance step before publishing, whether it’s to be printed or published online. The more important or prestigious the document, the more important it is to include this step.

This service can involve proof-reading a PDF generated from the source file. In this case, we use Adobe Acrobat Professional to annotate the file and indicate corrections. However, in this case the graphic designer or desktop publisher must transfer the changes to the source file – a long and costly process, with the inherent risk of misinterpretation.

Alphadoc can now edit Adobe InDesign/InCopy source files. This streamlines the process by avoiding the transfer of corrections from the annotated PDF by the graphic designer or desktop publisher.

Important

Even with the most professional and conscientious graphic designer (or desktop publisher) performing the task, text can mysteriously disappear, so it’s strongly recommended to compare the approved source file with the PDF or press-proof.

We have all experienced that “Oh, no!” moment when you receive the printed document and only then notice the errors that remain in the text. Spare yourself this agony!