proof reader, design checker ???

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by Dave Shoop, Mar 26, 2019.

  1. Dave Shoop

    Dave Shoop Member

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    This is a skill I am realizing is much more difficult than I expected. Designing a brochure for my wife's business using Pages (Mac program). It's actually fun but being self taught it is amazing how much time it takes to figure out how to use the tools provided. I'm sure I'm just touching the surface on all the program can do.

    What is surprisingly difficult is when you think you are close to being finished and start reviewing documents for typos or layout mistakes. It takes hours for me and then I go back the next day thinking I'm ready to send to print and find something else. Not to mention you realize you left out something and then need to insert it in a document you thought was done which then affects the whole layout spacing.

    Anyone do this and find info as to how to best approach proof reading documents ? Is there a trick or better approach or is it just repetition and trial and error ? Anybody here do this for a living ? Does it drive you crazy ? Are there tips/tricks for doing this ?
     
  2. Totally Bored

    Totally Bored Member

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    I’d be fired before lunch :aok
     
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  3. Dave Shoop

    Dave Shoop Member

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    It reminds me of trying to do home studio recording. You can hardly ever get to the point where you feel you are actually satisfied with it. You wear out and say this is going have to do.
     
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  4. lp_bruce

    lp_bruce Member

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    I have done a lot of proofreading over the years (I manage a team that writes business proposals). I have a team of proofreaders who work for me, though stuff still ends up on my desk sometimes.

    I think a lot of it is experience and repetition. With something you've created yourself, you will likely find that you make the same mistakes--or the same kind of mistakes. And that makes them easier to find as you recognize that.

    When I proofread, I read for meaning and prose first. Are we saying what we mean and is the text easy to read and understand. Once I've done that, I do another edit for typos, spacing/pagination issues, etc. Last I look at the overall design. If I make tweaks to the design, I revisit spacing/pagination.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2019
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  5. iGouger

    iGouger Supporting Member

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    Yeah, I do it for a living. The process you describe is actually similar to what we all face. I've always worked at ad agencies and they have proofreaders on staff. I was really nice having a second set of eyes go through my work after each round of revisions. I've been working for myself for the last eight years and I quickly found out that doing your own proofreading blows. It's amazing just how much crap you miss. I often have my wife look over my work before I send a round to the client. One helpful trick I learned from a proofreader I worked with: read it backwards. seriously, it works. Read it backwards and you won't get into the flow of reading and your mind won't skip over mistakes (which it often does).
     
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  6. Baxtercat

    Baxtercat Member

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    :-D
     
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  7. ffoont

    ffoont Member

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    I do this for a living. Not familiar with Pages though. A few tips that may help:

    Re-evaluating design and content is just part of the process, especially as a beginner. Writing clear, concise copy doesn't come naturally to most. Check for grammar as well as spelling.

    Be creative with fonts. There are many free font sources like dafont.com where you can find decorative fonts. You can also download google web fonts for use in print projects. This is a good idea because many come in a wide range of font weights which makes tham more versatile. Mix a few fonts that work well together to give your design visual interest. Don't go overboard. Avoid overused fonts like comic sans, times, papyrus.

    If you are placing text over images use a font that has enough weight to be easily readable. If necessary put a color block behind it and play with its opacity to find a nice look. Use only appropriate fonts for uppercase text, never script fonts. Be careful with light weight fonts when reversing type (like white type on a black background or type knocked out of an image).

    If you are doing a tri fold brochure, check that content aligns with folds. The inner panel will be a bit narrower than the others. Allow visually pleasing margins between columns of text and folds.

    Make sure images are adequate resolution for print. Web resolution is lower than print. If you use images pulled from the web, use large images and reduce their size in the document.

    Proofread everything. Mistakes often slip through in headlines, phone numbers addresses, email addresses and web urls because the person proofing is focused on the text content.

    And don't forget to check your bleeds!
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2019
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  8. rodger

    rodger Member

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    I have taken several communications and technical writing classes both in pursuing my BA and as workshops. I was also a Technical Publications manager for diagnostic imaging equipment (CT Scanners, MRIs, etc.).

    Here is the best piece of advice I ever got from one of my college professors. When proofreading a document - start at the end and read every sentence, working your way toward the beginning of the document/article. Does each sentence make sense? Any typos? The problem of reading it from start to finish? If you wrote the article, you know what you meant when you wrote it. Your mind also fills in gaps that may be missing. Reading from the end makes no topical sense, but the sentence should be grammatically correct.

    Also, writing "actively" instead of "passively" makes a document more readable.

    In the end, you could always post it here - We have plenty of folks that would happily correct anything you wrote. :)
     
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  9. Dave Shoop

    Dave Shoop Member

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    The "mind fills in the gaps" is dangerous. We've seen the tests where a sentence is typed backwards or missing letters and our mind can read it easily....... that happens to me when proofing. We see what we expect to see whether it's there or not

    Thanks for the replies guys. Appreciated.
     
  10. lp_bruce

    lp_bruce Member

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    Ha. I generally don't bother proofing posts on a discussion board. I just type and post.

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. Baxtercat

    Baxtercat Member

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    who would...
     
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  12. Baxtercat

    Baxtercat Member

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    I used to be a plodding, hunt-and-peck typist,
    but lately I*ve sped up by emp1oying th tutch-typig systex.
     
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  13. lp_bruce

    lp_bruce Member

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    Nice. :)

    I actually type very fast without too many errors. But they definitely happen (obviously). For business correspondence, I proof everything. For casual correspondence, it's hit or miss because my level of care is much lower.
     
  14. jvin248

    jvin248 Member

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    .

    When close to being done editing on the computer screen, print out a draft copy and go through that.
    Often you find another group of fixes because the format is different, the word placement on lines is different, and the font may appear altered or reveal differences and errors.
    Then off for final printing.

    .
     
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  15. Vintage_

    Vintage_ Member

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    No doubt. I find typos etc. in just about every book I read and imagine those have passed thru several sets of eyes before getting to print.

    Even when you know all the rules inside out it's still so easy to mess up stuff like your/you're when typing. It just happens.
     
  16. lefort_1

    lefort_1 Nuzzled Firmly Betwixt Gold Supporting Member

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    bitd I worked with a guy who looked like a miniature version of Bowser from Sha Na Na.
    He was hired as a mechanical draftsman, but his real skill was that of a Design Checker.
    The guy knew the metal/mechanical fab world inside and out, and found a number of things that weren't 'design errors', per se, but by rolling in his changes it made things so much easier in the sheet-metal end of things.
    Incredible talent, and the ME who hired him knew it from working with the guy before.
    I'm sure he's retired by now, and I doubt he had much fun as the Computer Revolution took over his world of tilting drafting tables, mylar and parchment, and those erasing templates you use with drafting pencils.

    Mike, wherever you are, you rule!
     
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  17. MattamusX

    MattamusX Member

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    I do it probably weekly for package designs for our products. I made a checklist to ensure all relevant data such as SKU, UPC, country of manufacture, address, USTPO info etc are all included and correct.

    Then if the artwork has text that is in text form and not some vector image I copy and paste into word or google drive so their spell check can catch anything obvious.

    Then depending on what it is I read it through looking for specific things each time. Like first time I’ll make sure it’s all in the same tense, and then same voice, all numbers are same format, either spelled out or in number form, etc. Then I go through it again looking for homonyms and likely once more for general flow and grammar specifics etc.

    Most of our stuff is paragraph or less text and going to be printed on 500-50000 boxes so I take a little extra time to make sure it’s correct.

    The trick I found is to figure out the common mistakes and always always always search for those with a super fine tooth comb.
     
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  18. Calebz

    Calebz Member

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    I was going to jump in with all sorts of useful advice, but the OP is already instinctively aware of the answer and everyone else here has filled in the gaps.

    I also do this stuff for a living, with the added complications brought on by the fact that the people creating the content are not native English speakers.

    All the high points appear to have been covered. Practice, patience, reading from the bottom.

    I'll add one more that can be helpful. Read it out loud. I realized years ago while giving technical training classes, that there are a surprising amount of intelligent adults that move their mouth when they read. They're effectively reading the content out loud. Even if whatever you're writing wasn't intended to be a presentation, hearing it in your ears instead of just seeing it with your eyes can highlight clumsy phrasings and things like that.
     
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  19. A-Bone

    A-Bone Montonero, MOY, Multitudes Gold Supporting Member

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    I started doing this as an undergrad, without anyone else suggesting it (I just settled on it with a longer paper I wrote), and it really is a remarkably useful technique to find missing words that the mind would otherwise fill in in particular.

    Another proofing technique I use is to look at the first word of each paragraph in a longer piece of writing to make sure I'm not consistently starting paragraphs with either the same word or the same part of speech. Obviously, there could be rhetorical reasons to make each paragraph begin identically -- for emphasis, etc. I just want to make sure I don't do so accidentally.
     
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  20. Sidney Vicious

    Sidney Vicious Member

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    For me the best way to catch errors is to print, bind, and file the completed product - as you walk away from the file clerk and glance at the stamped copy the errors will jump out and say "Hi!"
     
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