A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.


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Technical documents provide information that readers need to make decisions or complete tasks. Technical editing ensures that this information is presented in a way that facilitates the reader's understanding. Technical editors offer suggestions for improvement in design of both content and layout and therefore work with the document in both early and late stages.



2007 Writing / Editing Average Salaries

This is a list of the average salaries for a number of writing and editing professions. The figures represent typical scales for a mid-sized metropolitan area in the United States. Larger markets tend to pay more and smaller markets tend to pay less. Remember that these are typical salaries for people who are employed by other companies. There is a much greater income variation among people who freelance or own their own businesses.

Hewitt, J.C. PoeWar (2007). Careers>Salaries>Editing>Writing


The ABCs of Writing a Technical Glossary   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

This article identifies and explains format rules, style rules, and lexicographic conventions that have been shown to improve clarity and precision in a technical glossary. Rationale for the rules of language, presentation, and style are examined. The need to allow flexibility in following the rules is discussed in terms of strengthening the technical merit and vitality of the glossary. This article also describes the computer-display techniques and file-management system used in committee to develop U.S. Federal Standard 1037C, Glossary of telecommunication terms, and to display the results both in the meeting room and on the Internet between meetings.

Gray, Evie, William Ingram and Dennis Bodson. Technical Communication Online (1998). Articles>Editing>Technical Editing>Glossary


The Absence of Light   (PDF)

If you ever create shadows in your designs or illustrations, check out these tips for making them richer and more realistic.

Campbell, J. Scott. Adobe Magazine (1997). Design>Graphic Design>Image Editing


Access to Current and Next-Generation Information Systems by People with Disabilities

The purpose of this document is to provide information and resources for those interested in learning more about accessibility issues and current and next-generation information systems. The current focus of this document is on the National Information Infrastructure (NII), sometimes known as the 'information superhighway.' This document contains both information presented at a very introductory level and information which is more technical in nature. Wherever possible, all of the technical discussions are broken out and presented separately, so that readers may course through the material at a level which is comfortable to them, and which meets their information needs. This is a living document which will be continually revised and added to as more information is collected and as the efforts in the area of research, development, and public policy continue to evolve. The most recent form of this document can be found on the Internet via our ftp, gopher, or WWW servers. All of these are located at: trace.wisc.edu The document can be viewed on-line or downloaded in one of several forms to facilitate accessibility.

University of Wisconsin. Articles>Editing>Accessibility>Usability


Review: ACES Book Reviews  (link broken)

A collection of reviews of recent books in editing (particularly for journalism).

ACES. Articles>Reviews>Editing



This is the American Copy Editors Society site for job postings of interest to copy editors or others in journalism and other editing careers.

Yahoo. Careers>Job Listings>Editing


Achieving Consistency among Editors

I manage a group of editors at a software company. This topic describes how we strive to achieve consistency in editing software documentation among a group of editors both within a department and across divisions in a large company. We have a staff of 14 editors that serve five large writing departments. Our editors are excellent grammarians before they come to SAS, but they also get considerable training and mentoring in SAS specific guidelines when they join our staff. I acknowledge that it’s impossible to achieve 100% consistency across all editors, but consistency is worth striving for for several reasons.

Moell, Patricia G. STC Technical Editing SIG (2010). Articles>Editing>Collaboration>Technical Editing


Adapting Traditional Editing Practices for Online Documentation  (link broken)   (PDF)

Technical editors are possibly best known for their abilities to transform information with format, content, grammatical, and mechanical problems into coherent, concise, understandable, and usable documents. Editors must not only provide such services for the information authors, but they must also understand and support users' needs and expectations. This presentation gives editors an approach to editing online documentation that is rooted in traditional editing practices.

Fink, Bonnie L., Carol Gasser, Jennifer Giordano and Beth A. Williams. STC Proceedings (1998). Articles>Editing>Documentation>Online


Adapting Traditional Editing Practices for Online Documentation  (link broken)

Developing a process and using guidelines for editing online documents, both rooted in traditional editing practices.

Fink, Bonnie L., Carol E. Gasser, Jennifer L. Giordano and Beth A. Williams. STC Orange County (1998). Presentations>Documentation>Editing


Adding High-Impact Filters to Your Titles

Words go so well with video. They can give an emotional punch to a scene or simply announce what is going to happen next. I love using romantic quotes, Bible passages, and other forms of text in my work. The best part is that you can be just as creative with how those words are presented as you are in picking out the text in the first place.

McManus, Joe. Event DV (2008). Articles>Multimedia>Image Editing>Video


Adding Reflections to Water in Photoshop

Denny Tang shows how to add sparkle to your images of water in this Photoshop tutorial.

Tang, Denny. Graphics.com (2005). Design>Graphic Design>Image Editing>Adobe Photoshop


Advice for Editors and Authors  (link broken)

A page of online resources for editors and indexers.

ASI. Resources>Indexing>Editing


Allegro Time!

Allegro Time! provides practical ideas for professional technical communicators. It will help you to assist your customers find answers in the documentation you've put so much effort into writing. Indexing topics covered include print manuals, online help keywords, single-source publishing, multimedia and the Internet.

Allegro Time!. Journals>Editing>Indexing


Alphabetizing an Index

It is important to alphabetize your index in a consistent manner. Otherwise, your readers may become confused or miss an important entry. There are two basic ways to alphabetize, or sort, an index: word by word; letter by letter.

Brown, Fred. Allegro Time! (2001). Articles>Indexing>Editing


Alternatives to the Paragraph

'It's all in the manual.' How many times have you heard that - or said it in frustration? After all, when you are the person who wrote the manual, you know that all the answers are there. But time and again readers can't find what they need to know, or don't understand the material. Before you blame the reader, look again at how you've presented the material.

Hollis Weber, Jean. Technical Editors Eyrie (1989). Articles>Editing>Technical Writing


American Copy Editors Society

The American Copy Editors Society, a professional organization of copy editors, is dedicated to improving the quality of journalism and the working lives of journalists. Our main purpose is to educate our members--and others in the news business--in ways of improving the standards of copy editing and increasing the value the news industry places on our craft. While our primary focus is on newspaper copy editing, we welcome editors from other publications, as well as academic representatives and students.

ACES. Organizations>Editing>Journalism


American Society for Indexing

ASI is the only professional organization in the United States devoted solely to the advancement of indexing, abstracting, and database building.

ASI. Organizations>Editing>Indexing


Angels and Copy Editors Defend Us!  (link broken)

Tinkering with the author's words simply because 'I would not write them that way' is not discretion, but interference. Preserving the author's authentic voice is as important as enhancing its presentation so as to maintain the authority of the words. Of what, then, does the enhancing consist? And how does editorial discretion fit in?

Fothergill-Brown, Ann. Writer's Block (1999). Articles>Writing>Editing


Another Career for Editors?  (link broken)   (PDF)

Talented people with the editorial skills of condensing and organizing copy can often position themselves for jobs that don’t bear the title 'Editor.'

Bush, Donald W. Intercom (2001). Careers>Editing


Appropriate Use of Alternative Text

Adding alternative text for images is the first principle of web accessibility. It is also one of the most difficult to properly implement. The web is replete with images that have missing, incorrect, or poor alternative text. Like many things in web accessibility, determining appropriate, equivalent, alternative text is often a matter of personal interpretation. Through the use of examples, this article will present our experienced interpretation of appropriate use of alternative text.

WebAIM (2005). Articles>Accessibility>Image Editing>Web Design


Ask the Indexer: Get Answers to your Indexing Questions from Experienced Technical Indexers  (link broken)   (PDF)

After brief introductions by 4 panelists who are all members of the Indexing SIG (and experienced indexers and technical writers), we plan to discuss Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about indexing, and allow plenty of time for questions.

Bonura, Larry S., Dick Evans, Joan K. Griffitts and Peg Mauer. STC Proceedings (1999). Articles>Indexing>Technical Editing>FAQ


Assessing the Overall Quality of a Document Based on Editorial Comments   (members only)

Technical writers are often responsible for creating and maintaining multiple documents. In organizations where a formal editorial review is integral to the documentation process, technical writers who own multiple documents might need to address a huge volume of editorial input, often received late in the documentation cycle. What do all of those editorial comments, when taken as a whole, really mean in terms of the overall quality of the document? Lots of red ink might mean either that the document is in bad shape or that the editor loves to explain every comment, however minor, in great detail. On the other hand, a short comment buried on page 63 might turn out to be the single most important editorial value-add for the entire document!

Dhanagopal, Kumar. Intercom (2010). Articles>Editing>Technical Translation>Documentation


Attaining Review Nirvana with Acrobat 8 Professional  (link broken)

Getting documents reviewed has always been a tricky proposition for writers. From pleading to coercion to bribery just stopping short of third-degree torture, writers have documented many methods for getting reviews done effectively and in time. For those writers who gave up altogether and for those who just did not care too much for reviews, there is bad news coming – companies are asking for user feedback on the content that you wrote. Users, as we know them, can shame the most cynical movie critic when it comes to commenting. In my quest many a tool tried to lure me, but when Acrobat 8 strut its shared review stuff in front of me, I finally succumbed.

Kurnool, Preran. Indus (2008). Articles>Editing>Collaboration>Adobe Acrobat


Australian and New Zealand Society of Indexers  (link broken)

The Australian and New Zealand Society of Indexers (ANZI) aims to represent the interests of indexers and to provide training and other resources to all Australians and New Zealanders involved in indexing, whether they are freelancers or employees, full-time, part-time or casual.

ANZSI. Organizations>Editing>Indexing>Australia


Automating Your Edits  (link broken)   (PDF)

Suggests several uses of Microsoft Word's macro capabilities to help editors improve their speed and consistency. Macros, for example, are customized keystroke commands.

Hart, Geoffrey J.S. Intercom (2001). Articles>Editing>Software>Microsoft Word



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