Editing text for engineering careers website

Understanding the structure of websites is vital when editing web content

Understanding the structure of websites is vital when editing web content

Editing text that will go up on a website is different to editing for print publications, especially if the work involves transforming text written for print so that it will work online.

It involves a substantive edit which changes the structure of the text so that it works for website navigation. Identifying linking pages within the content that makes sense to web visitors and helps them to navigate logically through the content is a must.

I recently edited 50 pages of text about engineering careers for Engineering Australia, the national support organisation for the engineering profession. It was an interesting editing job because the original text was structured as a booklet with front cover, contents page, and a page layout suitable for a handbook. Part of my job was to reorganise the content in such a way that it could be easily uploaded to the web.

Substantive editing is more involved than copy editing which involves finding misspellings, poor punctuation and grammatical errors. Substantive editing means looking at the text as a whole. It involves mapping the flow of the document to identify structural inconsistencies and may require the editor to suggest significant changes such as re-ordering content, deleting repetitive text and paragraphs that don’t fit, and re-writing sentences and even whole paragraphs.

Contact Sue Stevens for a free editing quote.