Converting text from print to web publishing
Converting text from a traditional print format to a web-style format requires more than a traditional structural (substantive) edit and copy edit. The flow of a print document is linear. The same content on-screen requires a completely different navigational system.
Recently, I was given the job to edit an Engineering Careers Manual which had been written in the traditional print format and to rearrange the content for publishing online.
The project was undertaken in two phases: firstly, the development of a web-based template that included all the headings and content as it will be presented for on-screen reading, secondly, transferring content from the manuscript to the appropriate webpage of the newly-created web template. For example, website references in the printed manuscript were often repeated on several pages (very appropriate for printed documents). In the web template, these appear on one page called ‘Links’ and hyperlinks were created from different content pages to this one page. The creation of navigation bars, menus and hyperlinks to ensure easy navigation by visitors was also a significant part of this project.
Phase two included a complete structural edit followed by a copy edit. Whether print or online content, the editor’s role is much the same including:
- checking consistency of the heading/text organisation and suggesting any restructuring to improve readability and navigation
- eliminating any duplicated or repetitive text and modification of style: for example, table to prose, prose to bullet list, converting text to pull quotes (break out boxes
making sure that the language is consistent and applicable to the target audience and checking for gender, ethnicity, age biases
- making changes to sentence construction, grammar, syntax, and ensuring the consistent usage of punctuation, numbers, abbreviations, use of bold, italics and other publishing devices.
And finally, as part of the Bold Type service, a project style sheet and an editorial checklist of significant issues was submitted with the newly-transformed web-ready content.
Contact Sue Stevens at Bold Type for a quote editing print manuscripts, online content or converting text from print to the web.