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STC Technical Editing SIG

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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


Benchmarks for Estimating Editing Speed

But editing must surely take longer than reading. Maybe it takes, say, five times longer. That would mean editing about 12 pages per hour. Sounds good. Just read the page five times, and out pop the edits. Actually, that heuristic may hold true for a simple edit, but substantive editing takes more time - 15 to 60 minutes per page, some experts say. So, how long can editing take?

McClintock, David W. STC Technical Editing SIG (2003). Articles>Editing>Technical Editing>Estimating


Creating a Style Guide Advisory Group

Technical editors often must create and maintain a company or department style guide. Good editors know it is crucial to draw on colleagues to help determine effective style guidelines. For example, if an editor doesn't know what to call an unnamed button in the user interface, it may be best to ask the customer service team how they and the customers refer to the button and add this name to the style guide—a method far preferable to simply making up a name.

Werth, Andy. STC Technical Editing SIG (2010). Articles>Style Guides


The Technical Editing SIG Scholarship

The STC Technical Editing SIG offers two scholarships. The first scholarship assists students who are pursuing an undergraduate degree in Technical Communication (or a related area, such as professional writing or human computer interaction) and the second assists students who are pursuing a graduate degree in Technical Communication (or a related area, such as professional writing or human computer interaction).

STC Technical Editing SIG (2010). Academic>Scholarships>Technical Editing>Technical Writing


The Technical Stylist Meets the Definite Article

Take the definite article. Please. The editors at SAS continue to struggle with the question of which SAS product names require the definite article and which require the zero article (linguist-speak for no article at all).

Underwood, Kathy. STC Technical Editing SIG (2009). Articles>Writing>Grammar

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