Words matter. If a writer wants their words to be read and clearly understood by another reader (i.e., not a private journal), then quality and care must be used before the document is submitted.
Indeed, the overall quality and organization of the document, website, or report doesn’t matter, if there are a substantial number of typos, grammatical errors, or—heaven forbid—spelling errors, the perceived quality of the document decreases. In a worst-case scenario, these errors can be perceived by clients as being representative of your entire company.
If a service provider knows this is the case, why would they submit a document that could damage the credibility of their business?
Unfortunately, once the technical documentation has been compiled, many administrators see editing as an option that is either not needed, or that it is just simply too expensive. But if poor writing can affect client perceptions of your work, or even worse create a scenario in which potential clients may turn to another provider, then why would anyone knowingly want to skip this step?
Those that want to skip this final step may feel:
- automated spelling and grammar checkers are sufficient
- technical writers should be able to edit their own final copy
- it’s too expensive to hire additional staff
- it’s simply an unnecessary and expensive step
The truth is that if a document contains grammatical and/or spelling errors, the reader will probably not trust the document.
Technical editing is the process of revising a document to present material related to business or technology in a way that it clearly and effectively communicates the concepts in the document. The main purpose of the edit is to make sure that the reader receives an error-free document. The process includes, but is not limited to, improving language in terms of content, accuracy, coherence, and consistency.
Editing is a very subjective term, with different people possibly giving different answers. The truth is, good editing may often go unnoticed, but even a single spelling mistake in a document can bring about a diminished reputation for your organization.
For this reason, technical editing should be regarded as a quality control job.
Responsibilities of the Technical Editor:
There are three main levels of editing:
Comprehensive editing: reviews both content (for completeness, accuracy, and appropriate language) and form (for organization, visual design, and usability).
Copyediting: ensures that the document is mechanically correct (spelling, punctuation, and grammar) and stylistically consistent.
Proofreading: compares the final version of the document with the marked-up version to make sure that all corrections have been made.
Overall, technical editors work with writers to improve the quality of the information being presented to the reader.
If you belong to an organization that you feel would benefit from one of our services, contact us today for a free, no-obligation quote at [email protected].