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Category: Editing Tools

Curse of the Proofreader’s Brain

May 16, 2022 by ProofreadingPal in Editing Tools

he curse of professional language persons, you see, is that they are always language persons, 24/7, even when not on the job. It’s just how our brains are wired. Some of us have always been this way; for others, our years in the business have reshaped our thought patterns.

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How Macros Improve Writing

March 3, 2022 by ProofreadingPal in Editing Tools

Macros are little programs you can add to Word to make it do pretty much anything you’d like done to a document such as highlight two spaces after a period, automatically identify inconsistent font sizes, swap certain words, and highlight specific words or phrases, such as homophones and commonly confused words.

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When and How to Use a Proofreading Service

February 28, 2022 by ProofreadingPal in Editing Tools

A professional edit is not a shortcut to quality writing; that comes only from rewriting, and that job is yours alone. The more you revise a piece before proofreading, the less you’ll need to revise it afterward.

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More Tips for Word’s Spell and Grammar Check

January 31, 2022 by ProofreadingPal in Editing Tools

Spell check is a great tool to let writers know when they’ve made spelling errors, but it misses many commonly confused words (appraise and apprise) and homophones (hair and hare). It also can’t simultaneously check intermingled English and foreign language terms, and there are many technical terms it won’t know and will count as spelling errors (though you can add words to the dictionary. In today’s post, I offer some tips to help you take better advantage of Word’s spelling and grammar checks.

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Pronunciation Diacritical Marks

November 5, 2021 by ProofreadingPal in Editing Tools

A frequent complaint of language learners of English is that the pronunciation of a word is often quite unpredictable. For example, we have the words “might,” “right,” and “freight” with Gs and Hs with no apparent sound; “score,” “school,” and “skip,” but also “scissors”; and, of course, “bow” (and arrow) and “bow” (and show respect), and “row” (a boat) and “row” (with an enemy).

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Adding Diacritics with MS Word’s Insert Tab

September 23, 2021 by ProofreadingPal in Editing Tools

Let’s say you’re writing a paper about the history of the United Nations during the Cold War; there’s a single reference to the late secretary general Dag Hammarskjöld, and you need that diaresis over the o. It doesn’t make sense to add the name to AutoCorrect, because you anticipate never typing his name again after you finish this paper; heck, you’re never going to type it again after you finish this one sentence. What to do?

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How to Make a Table of Contents in MS Word: Basics

February 6, 2021 by ProofreadingPal in Editing Tools

MS Word’s Table of Contents (ToC) feature works quite well and is more than worth the effort, especially for long documents, as it not only updates the numbers as you edit and revise but also gives you a way to quickly navigate to different sections.

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Microsoft Word: Inserting Symbols

December 9, 2020 by ProofreadingPal in Editing Tools

Ever wonder how documents manage to have text that isn’t on your keyboard? Ever wonder what some of those things mean?

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3 Warnings for Using a Thesaurus

November 21, 2020 by ProofreadingPal in Editing Tools

In my teaching and editing experience, there are three basic thesaurus user types: EFLs, native speakers who feel their vocabulary is limited and want to “sound smart,” and people who actually know what they’re doing with this literary version of a loaded gun.

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The Writer’s Bookshelf

March 28, 2020 by ProofreadingPal in Editing Tools

However and wherever you find them, the right books can help improve your writing and make your home office a happier, more productive place.

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Top 10 Changes in APA’s 7th Edition

February 24, 2020 by ProofreadingPal in Editing Tools

Here are the top ten changes to the APA manual, selected because these are the issues professional editors are probably going to encounter most often.

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Style Guides and House Rules

July 31, 2019 by ProofreadingPal in Editing Tools

Periodicals often have their own in-house style guides laying out exceptions. Such house rules can be a source of confusion and anxiety for clients and proofreaders alike.

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AMA Referencing Style

February 27, 2019 by ProofreadingPal in Editing Tools

The next style we’re looking at is another of these specialist fields: medicine. The American Medical Association (AMA) has a particular style it prefers authors to follow when writing, and pre-med and medical students, doctors in residency, and researchers may all be asked to use this.

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Easy Cross-References in MS Word

December 24, 2018 by ProofreadingPal in Editing Tools

With long electronic documents, it can be useful to make links that take readers to different sections of the paper, such as to a definition, a reference, or a table. For this, MS Word has the function Insert—Cross-reference.

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Customizing the Spellchecker Dictionary

November 3, 2018 by ProofreadingPal in Editing Tools

There’s a dictionary that lives in your copy of Microsoft Word. In fact, there are several. In this blog, we’ll look at some ways to optimize and customize these tools to best suit your particular job.

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How to Use Microsoft Word AutoCorrect

September 26, 2018 by ProofreadingPal in Editing Tools

Microsoft Word’s autocorrect can it fix common spelling errors and automate routine formatting and capitalization functions. It’s also highly customizable and easy to use.

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When Grammar Check Is Wrong

April 4, 2018 by ProofreadingPal in Editing Tools

I’ve already talked about the limitations of spell check, but grammar check is actually a trickier beast, sometimes offering what look like perfectly reasonable “improvements” to your work that actually are the opposite.

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3 Tips for Using a Thesaurus

March 16, 2018 by ProofreadingPal in Editing Tools

When used correctly, a thesaurus can help you punch up your writing by using just the right word when you want it. Here's three times a thesaurus can come to the rescue.

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Using MS Word Lists: Bullets & Numbers

February 20, 2018 by ProofreadingPal in Editing Tools

All writing tools or techniques should help you express yourself more clearly. Lists can be particularly useful for this, especially in dense academic writing. Presenting important information in discrete items, rather than a block of text, can alleviate visual clutter and even provide a key to structuring your piece.

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Hanging Indents with MS Word Ruler

January 13, 2018 by ProofreadingPal in Editing Tools

the first-line indent, by virtue of being so ubiquitous, seems quite intuitive and natural. But there’s another kind of indent, found almost exclusively in academic writing: the hanging indent.

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