Checklist for Self-Editors: Beyond the Basics

Countless articles and checklists for editors and proofreaders exist on the internet. However, other parts of a document can be easily overlooked but are equally important. If you do not know how to move beyond the basics, continue reading for some suggestions on what to look for while editing.

Read Out Loud

Reading out loud is the most efficient way to catch your mistakes. You can easily confuse what you actually write with what you THINK you wrote when silently reading your document. Reading out loud ensures that you read the actual words on the page. Try printing out your work. Like reading out loud, printing your work prevents your eyes from skimming mindlessly over the page. Since you most likely read documents on your computer, reading out loud or reading a printed document helps disrupt your old habits and allows your brain to pay more attention to the task at hand.

Tiny Details

Obviously, thoroughly editing your text tends to be what we focus on first. Remember to include small text like captions or notes, which often go unnoticed. Ensure the font style and size remain consistent, as well as formatting (for example, align all your notes in the same manner).

Tips for Editing Presentations

Presenting your work in PowerPoint or similar media? Select “presenter mode.” This option allows you to view your work as your audience does. You may notice small formatting or grammatical errors that didn’t stand out when you were editing before.

Last Steps That Make Your Hard Work Count

Make sure your file is uploaded on One Drive, SharePoint, or somewhere similar before you meet with your team members or send your work to the intended recipient. Saving changes is crucial in case you need to revisit the document or send it to several people. If you need a backup, send a copy to your email or download a copy on your browser.


All of these tips cover elements of a document that are often disregarded but make a big difference. Editing is more than correcting simple grammar – it encapsulates all parts of the writing process, from initial readthroughs to the last steps. Following these guidelines will ensure that your editing is thorough and goes beyond the basics.

Contact us today to learn how our technical writers and editors can help you reach your documentation goals faster and for less money than you thought possible!


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