Making your writing easy for your editor, publisher, or webmaster

Please follow these suggested guidelines for making your article easy for an editor or publisher to work with. Instructions for correcting these mistakes are provided.

Avoid all capitals
Do not use all capitals.
If you need to change text case, for example, from lower case to capitals, or from ALL CAPS to sentence case, or to “Headline” style, you can use a program such as NoteTab Light, available free from Fookes.com. Use MODIFY… TEXT CASE. Unfortunately, NoteTab’s “Capitalization” function actually capitalizes all words in the sentence, including words not usually capitalized in headlines, such as “a”, “the”, “of”, etc.

Avoid extra spaces
Do not add extra spaces, for example, double spacing between sentences.

Attach documents to emails, do not send in the email body
Send your editor the original document files as attachments; do not send them in the body of an email. Documents sent thru email often have extraneous characters, such as line breaks, that have to be removed.

Send images in their original format

Send your editor image files in their original “native” format. Do not send images in the body of a word document, or in a .pdf. Ask you editor or webmaster what format they need.

For the web, send compressed images

If you are sending images for the web, learn how to use a program such as photoshop to compress the images to 72 dots per inch (dpi). Don’t send uncompressed photos of several megabytes each unless they’re needed, they just waste storage space and download time. Photoshop has a SAVE… FOR WEB function.

Give your images (& other files) good names
You editor or webmaster will have a much easier job if you have named your images with human-friendly names. Name your images consistently; ask your editor or webmaster if they have a preference. Do not use spaces in your image names, use a dash “-“ or underscore “_” instead. Use all lower case.

Formatting paragraphs; using the REPLACE command
Format your paragraphs with the indent ruler at the top of MSWord, if at all. (You can also use FORMAT… PARAGRAPH… INDENTATION. Do not create paragraph indents using tabs, or using multiple spaces. Your editor may need to compile and make consistent materials from multiple sources. Indenting paragraphs using anything other than an indent will create additional work for your editor. If you need to replace extraneous spaces, use EDIT… REPLACE. You can use an actual “space” in the replace dialog box; it is useful to know the special characters: “^s” for space, and “^p” for paragraph (without the quote marks). If you need to see all the non-printing characters in a document, use TOOLS… OPTIONS… FORMATTING MARKS and put a check in the box for VIEW ALL. If you need to remove unneeded paragraph breaks at the ends of lines, save your document first, and work on a working version. If paragraphs are separated by two paragraph breaks, you may need to preserve these. Begin by using replace to replace “^p^p” with “###” or any other markers. Then, you can replace the single occurrences of “^p”. Finally, you’ll need to replace your markers “###” with the original “^p^p”.

Good email titles
Make sure your emails have good titles. Your editor needs to track hundreds of bits of documents. Make their job easier by titling your emails effectively. Do not send an email with a RE: some other, non-relevant subject! Title your email last, before you send it, copying and pasting the most relevant, identifying text into the title.

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