Editing

Fewer and fewer tech comm departments employ full-time technical editors to review content, so many groups rely upon peer reviews among technical authors to:

  • Improve the organization, tone, and consistency of technical content
  • Correct spelling and grammatical errors

Some companies use software to check for grammatical errors and inconsistent terminology.

Editing can ensure that content clearly communicates the necessary information at the appropriate audience level; this sort of feedback is invaluable while developing content. Also, every error caught during the editing process is a mistake end users will not see—which translates into fewer dings to your company’s reputation.

Note: When a company takes a modular approach to documentation, the order in which a reviewer or editor reads topics may not follow the order of topics in a particular deliverable (book, help system, and so on). Different deliverables (and even different versions of one deliverable) can be created by including or excluding particular topics. Because of all the possible topic combinations, it’s tough—if not impossible—for a reviewer to get a handle on how content flows when topics are combined for various deliverables. Therefore, in topic-based writing environments, it may make more sense for the editing process to focus more on the consistency of how information is presented.

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