Levels of Edit
Structured editing.

Services

Levels of Edit

We offer modular services

 

We offer modular editing, indexing, and standardization services that can be customized to fit your specific project, timetable, and budget. To get help with your project, just drop us a line.

 

Editing services

Our cumulative editing services are based on the nine edit types described in The Levels of Edit. These types can be reconfigured to meet your project requirements.

 
The types of edits listed ... may be used independently ... for example, an author may require an Integrity Edit and a Language Edit and nothing more.
— The Levels of Edit
 

For an overview, see Edit types and levels.

Proof

Description
Make sure the document meets the minimum standards for publication (e.g. spelling, grammar, internal consistency, and publisher policy). This level is the bare minimum edit that we perform.

Levels
Coordination, Policy, Integrity, Screening, Copy Clarification

Language edit

Description
Make sure the document uses language effectively (e.g. parallel construction and conciseness). This edit level goes deeper and can involve rewriting of phrases or sentences. It includes a Proof.

Edit types
Coordination, Policy, Integrity, Screening, Copy Clarification, Language

Style edit

Description
Make sure the document follows the style guidelines of the publisher (e.g. abbreviations, capitalization, citations, bibliography). This level also ensures that the document uses the prescribed flavor of English (e.g British or American). It includes a Proof and a Language Edit.

Edit types
Coordination, Policy, Integrity, Screening, Copy Clarification, Language, Mechanical Style

Usability edit

Description
Make sure the document uses language (e.g. stand-alone heading syntax) and formatting (e.g. templates) effectively. This level is especially helpful for single-source documents. It includes a Proof, a Language Edit, and a Style Edit.

Edit types
Coordination, Policy, Integrity, Screening, Copy Clarification, Language, Mechanical Style, Format

Substantive edit

Description
Make sure the document is coherent (e.g. abstract and introductions accurately reflect the more detailed content). This level provides the full range of editorial capabilities to ensure a first-class publication. It includes a Proof, a Language Edit, a Style Edit, and a Usability Edit.

Edit types
Coordination, Policy, Integrity, Screening, Copy Clarification, Language, Mechanical Style, Format, Substantive


Indexing services

Our indexing services are based on Indexing: A Nuts-and-Bolts Guide for Technical Writers.

Document Index

Build an index for an individual document. Our indexes have up to three levels. Before we begin, we clarify what should be indexed (e.g. chapters, procedures, topics, products, and components). We use "see" and "see also" references to avoid repetition and increase usability.

Master Index

Build an index for a set of related documents (e.g. reference set). Before we begin, we set guidelines for individual document indexes (e.g. entry syntax and page number prefixes) so their respective entries merge seamlessly in the master index. After we create the individual document indexes, we compile them into the master index, which we then test.

Single-Source Index

Build modular index entries for stand-alone topics (e.g. stored in a content management system). These topics and index entries are then assembled into different types of documents (e.g. user guides and reference guides) in different formats (e.g. manuals and online help). Before we begin, we set guidelines for individual topic entries (e.g. entry syntax and hierarchy) so they merge seamlessly in any document index in any format. After we create the topic entries, we assemble them into the indexes of the target documents, which we then test.


Standardization services

Our standardization services are based on Single Sourcing: Building Modular Documentation.

Style Guide

Build a project or company style guide from the ground up, based on actual edits that have been explicitly accepted by authors. Each guideline contains negative and positive examples from these edits. We submit each guideline for in-house review (e.g. by team leaders) to ensure acceptance, compliance, and enforcement.

Master Glossary

Build a project or company glossary. Before we begin, we set guidelines for glossary entries (e.g. term and definition syntax) so they merge seamlessly in different types of documents in different formats. We then edit existing glossaries to match the guidelines and test the results.


 
... technical editing involves a wide-ranging, deeply probing, thorough review of a technical manuscript and is performed for the purpose of improving the communication of scientific and engineering concepts.
— The Levels of Edit
 
 
... professional indexers routinely use the process of indexing to diagnose and correct structural problems within product documentation.
— Indexing: A Nuts-and-Bolts Guide for Technical Writers
 
 
The best writing guidelines are flexible structures based on actual success. Such guidelines are updated regularly, to keep pace with project realities.
— Single Sourcing: Building Modular Documentation