Copy editing technical documentation comprises the careful examination of texts regarding linguistic correctness, stylistic devices and structure. With a range of potential improvements, copy editing is able to vastly increase user friendliness of texts, even if they are tedious and hard to understand. Furthermore, copy editing enhances the way companies present themselves through their technical documentation. Customers will always perceive faulty and badly phrased texts as a nuisance.
First, copy editing directs its attention to linguistic correctness: Are spelling, punctuation and grammar used correctly? An accumulation of errors may distract the users from the contents of the text and thus make it harder to absorb knowledge. On top of that, linguistic incorrectness in documents contributes negatively to the image of a company, creating an impression of carelessness and unprofessionalism. Therefore, copy editing ensures that technical documentation meets one of its basic requirements.
Who corrects your technical documentation?
Copy editing checks, if terms are used consistently. Consistency is a basic requirement for a high quality of technical documentation. User friendliness decreases significantly, if, for example, the same thing in a software documentation is alternately called “screen” or “display”. Inconsistent spelling, such as “scroll bar” and “scrollbar” may also confuse readers. Copy editing should intervene and correct and standardize the spelling.
Reviewing the stylistic devices of a text, copy editing checks the technical documentation for optimum intelligibility.
Texts in technical documentation should have a perfect didactic structure. That way, they achieve their aim to inform users quickly and easily.
Altogether, there is a variety of measures with which copy editing can be used effeciently as a method of quality assurance – the increase of the quality of language helps both users and providers.
Who copy-edits your technical documentation?