Every copyeditor needs a system for marking changes to the author's text, a process for querying the author and the editorial coordinator, a method for keeping track of editorial decisions, and procedures for incorporating the author's review of the copyediting into the final manuscript or electronic files. The traditional procedures for marking, querying, recordkeeping, and cleanup were developed in the pre-computer era. More recently, these procedures have been adapted for editing on-screen. In this chapter, we'll look at both methods.
A word of advice to computer-literate newcomers: Even if you intend to do all your copyediting on-screen, there are several compelling reasons for learning the traditional hand-marking routines. First, most screening tests for employment and for freelance work are administered in paper-and-pencil form. Second, some authors will use traditional copyediting marks when reviewing the printout of your on-screen copyediting. Third, you will need manual skills to handle
materials for which there are no electronic files or for which the author's disks prove unusable. documents that are exchanged by fax. projects for authors who request hand-marked manuscript. copy that has been poured into a sophisticated page-design program. (At advertising firms, for example, copyeditors work on printouts; only the graphic designers work on-screen.) computer how-to books that entail testing the author's procedural