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4 Essential Editing Tools When Copywriting For the Web

When copywriting for the web, I divide my time between writing and editing. I like having a mix of both, but sometimes I feel like I have a dual personality. My writing style is non-linear and spontaneous. All I need is a laptop or even just pen and paper to get started.

My editing style is much more grounded. There are rules. Serious rules! When editing, I can’t get by with just a laptop. I need stacks of reference material and a bottle of Tylenol, thank you very much.

Pill bottleWhether you’re an editor by professional or by accident, there are some essential editing tools to help you edit consistently, efficiently and correctly.

  1. Company Style Guide. Not all companies have them. But having a company style guide in hand makes editing so much easier. “E-mail or email?” Check the style guide. Headline or sentence-style titles? Check the style guide. Have to look up the spelling of the same technical word twenty times? Put it in the style guide for easy reference next time.
  2. Dictionary. Well this one should be obvious, shouldn’t it? Of course you need a dictionary. But make sure you’re using the right one. Find out what preferred dictionary the company has (if they have one) or, if not, pick one. If you’re writing web copy for U.S. companies, use a U.S. dictionary. Canadian? Use a Canadian. I rely on my Canadian Oxford.
  3. Style Manual. A style manual helps cover things not included in the company style guide. Find out what preferred style manual your company has (again, if they have given it any thought). I prefer the Chicago Manual of Style.
  4. Track Changes. Track changes is a feature of most word processing applications and allows you to show where you have made changes in a document. It’s useful when passing a document back and forth for review because it pinpoints exactly where you need to look. Be warned, though. It’s awesome in small doses, but it can quickly get out of hand and cause your word application to crash.

If editing for the web isn’t your thing, it might be time to hire a professional writer and editor. Contact Copperplate Communications to learn more.

Do you have any favourite editing tools?

Posted: April 27, 2012 in: Content Marketing

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