Category: Editing Tools

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Top 10 Changes in Chicago’s 17th Edition

November 16, 2017 by ProofreadingPal in Editing Tools

Clocking in at 1,145 pages, this is not a book meant to be read cover to cover (thank God), so Chicago has a handy guide to the edition’s updates. The problem is, the handy guide is itself somewhat daunting. So I’m going to cover the top ten changes,


Recovering Lost Documents

October 28, 2017 by ProofreadingPal in Editing Tools

However it happens, we all learn to fear the aftermath, the moment when we click open the folder where we save our work and see that the file we were editing only moments ago is just . . . gone. Here's a quick-and-dirty guide to getting it back.


Compare Versions in Microsoft Word

October 5, 2017 by ProofreadingPal in Editing Tools

MS Word's Compare function looks at any two documents and lists all the differences paragraph by paragraph.


How to Use Word References Tool

September 22, 2017 by ProofreadingPal in Editing Tools

In this post, I’ll give specific instructions on how to use Word to add reference citations to a document. One word of caution about this function: you need to know your style guide extremely well to use this function effectively.


Guide to Word’s Table of Contents

July 25, 2017 by ProofreadingPal in Editing Tools

Word’s Table of Contents function updates numbers and names with just a few clicks as you write and edit. But you have to do the work to set it up.


Harvard Citation Style Explained

April 28, 2017 by ProofreadingPal in Editing Tools

Harvard is just another parenthetical author-date citation style. If you can learn a few key points, you can successfully cope with Harvard referencing.


How to Edit PDFs

November 9, 2016 by admin in Editing Tools

PDFs can be scary for an editor. After all, you can’t just turn on Track Changes as in Word and go to town. The entire point of a PDF is that it always looks the same. So how do you make changes or suggestions?


Lie vs. Lay vs. Lied vs. Laid vs. Lain

October 27, 2016 by ProofreadingPal in Editing Tools

One of the hardest irregular verbs in English to use properly is “to lie,” and another is “to lay.” The verbs have a multitude of overlapping meanings, and then they’re conjugated differently while being spelled the same. However, you can become an expert if we take it one step at a time. And we’ll start with the hardest one.


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