Editorial revision (copyediting) - the finishing touch for your texts
Whether it’s a manual or an application, anyone who puts a text on one or more sheets of paper also wants them to reach the reader exactly as they should. One is meant to inform, another to inspire purchase, and yet another to shed light on the darkness.
While this balancing act comes easily to some, others find it more difficult to find the right words. This is the cue for professional editors who take care of the fine-tuning of any type of text as part of the editorial revision (also called copyediting) process.
What does copyediting mean?
Copyediting is the process of adapting existing texts or draft texts to the target audience and market to ensure that the desired message is received and the industry-typical tone is struck. A manual on how to properly apply artificial fingernails, for example, is different from another on how to properly use a new piece of software.
With their know-how, extensive knowledge of the industry and an eye for detail, experienced editors get to work: sentences are rearranged, reworded, simplified or completely deleted. Everything is allowed as long as the desired goal is achieved. Okay, almost everything … but more on that later.
What is the focus of manuscript editing (or copyediting)?
For example, before editors apply the red pen, they look at the main and secondary messages of the text. Are they already structured correctly or do they need to be rearranged? And is the core message clear to the reader? If this is not the case, editors fill in illogical gaps with the right words and make the message clearer.
In doing so, they also pay attention to the respective corporate identity. From gender asterisks to technical terminology – every company has its own language, which must not be lost under any circumstances. Uniformity is the magic word.
Since editing can involve quite a lot of steps, let’s take a close look at what editors are allowed to do and what they are not:
Copyeditors may …
… rearrange, delete, reformulate, simplify sentences
… delete filler words
… restructure graphics, images and tables
… adjust line spacing
… generally design the layout coherently
… adapt the style to corporate language and the corresponding medium
Copyeditors are not allowed to …
… insert content that is not included in the source text, unless it serves the purpose of comprehension
… delete content that is important for the core message of the text
… completely rewrite the text, unless the preconceived text is so opaque that this is indispensable, but in this case, discuss it with the client beforehand, as the extra effort also results in extra costs
And to be on the safe side, the editorial revision or copyediting usually also includes editing and proofreading, because: four or six eyes see more than two.
Proofreading and editing part of the package
It goes without saying that an editorial service also includes proofreading and editing (at least we perform these tasks in any copyediting process). Proofreading involves checking grammar, syntax, spelling and punctuation. Editing, on the other hand, is about looking at style, consistency, layout, comprehensibility and text structure, among other things.
When a text has gone through all these steps and passed each test with flying colours, its final, perfectly adapted form is in place and it is ready for print.
But which texts are actually copyedited?
These text types can be copyedited
The good news is that there is no text that cannot be copyedited and, better still, there is no bad news.
From applications to technical articles, from business to private, copyeditors not only have linguistic knowledge, they also know their subject areas extremely well. An editor who specialises in the field of technology will therefore not copyedit a text from the beauty industry. After all, the tone, target group and purpose are most likely to be extremely different.
This does not mean, however, that copyeditors are only versed in a single field. Even if they are not familiar with a particular niche, they will find out through meticulous research and a skilled intuition how to shape the text so that it has the desired impact.
Since overviews bring everything to the point, we have once again listed possible text types here:
But what if a draft text has not yet been written?
Writing service, copywriting, copyediting
While copyediting is the ideal way to round off already preconceived texts, the writing service takes care of writing coherent texts before copywriting adds the creative touch. Let’s take a closer look at these two services.
The white sheet of paper is on the screen in front of us, the cursor is flashing and for the life of us we can’t think of how to begin the text that is on our to-do list. I’m sure we’ve all been in this dilemma at one time or another.
Instead of spending hours trying to find the right words, you can also “simply” work with a writing service that takes care of the whole thing professionally. Based on notes and specifications and after a conversation with the client, the language experts write the appropriate texts. In copyediting, there is no type of text here that cannot be packed into the right words.
Just as with a writing service, copywriters start creating the text from scratch or with the client’s notes and ideas. The difference: while writing services mainly produce texts for administrative documents, copywriting involves researching new texts and writing them creatively – from newsletters to landing pages or social media posts. Nowadays, SEO optimisation is also part of the service, so that you can be found in the world wide web.
Both the writing service and the copywriting take into account the company’s own specialist terminology, linguistic preferences and corporate identity in order to finally create a coherent image.
Conclusion: Why copyediting is important?
In this sea of various editorial services, copyediting (or editorial revision) certainly has its raison d’être. After all, it goes beyond proofreading and editing and makes every text ready for print – the desired effect and adaptation to the target group included.
To support you with your texts, we also work together with professional editors and revisers who handle them with tact and expertise. Contact us and together we will put the finishing touches to your text.