So you need a technical editor?

I'm a technical editor based in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. I edit and rewrite technical copy when you don't have the time, specialist technical editing skills or the inclination to do it yourself. I help you get that vital technical editing off your to-do list. Let's talk.

CALL 01242 520573 or email for advice or a quote

 


 

More about what a technical editor does

According to technical editor Judith A. Tarutz, technical editing, the job performed by a technical editor, can be defined as editing any specialized subject that addresses a specific audience, has its own jargon, and whose approach is objective.’ She sums up the role by saying: ‘I tell writers when they didn’t say what they meant to say and didn’t tell me what I needed to know.’

 

Montage of technical editing books.

 

 

My take on the technical editor role

 

My take on technical editing is a little different. Whereas I once edited aircraft documentation writing procedures in the more conventional sense of technical editing, most of the ‘technical editing’ I do now is more like technical copy-editing. Someone has drafted promotional copy for a brochure or website on a technical subject. It could be speciality antennae or gas filtration, but the common denominator is that the text needs a good edit and maybe even some judicious rewriting to give it a final polish.

What exactly do I do?

I generally work on the following aspects of copy, either on hard copy documents or by doing the technical editing online (on-screen):

  • Style
  • Grammar
  • Spelling
  • Punctuation
  • Usage
  • Poorly structured sentences
  • Meaning
  • Consistency
  • Formatting

Expertise that helps you

When I do your technical editing, you get a consistent, well-written document with formatting that helps your reader. And because I’ll often do a bit of judicious rewriting (I’ll never alter your meaning), I can draw out the customer benefits and transform the text into something altogether more customer-centric. For instance, I’ll write ‘you’ a lot more than ‘we’, and I’ll make the text read much more conversationally. As if you're speaking with a human being, not an automaton. I sometimes refer to what I do as 'technical copyediting PLUS'.

Secondly, you’re likely to save some money by preparing the draft copy. This makes sense: you are, after all, the technical expert on the subject matter. I don’t need to charge you so much for research.

Experience as a technical writer, editor and copywriter

I’m not an engineer or a ‘techie’, but I’ve always worked in and around industry. From construction and minerals processing to aerospace and water treatment, I can confidently get my head around technology. As a trained technical author, I've worked in closely with engineers and other tech writers. I understand what makes them tick and how their work often needs to be tweaked to make it usable outside the tight constraints of technical documentation.

And of course, I can write clearly and confidently. From my work with Piper Group plc from 1998 to 2003, I learned that a typical engineering writer, while very knowledgeable on their subject area, often write in a very dry, factual, scientific way. It may be good for their internal memos, but it’s not so easy for customers to read. Fortunately, I can dramatically transform the content. Among others, I’ve done so as a technical writer-editor for Rolls-Royce plc and Airbus UK. In fact, after I went freelance, Airbus, through their subcontractor Lionbridge, asked me to do more of the same…

You could benefit from my input as a technical editor?

As a result of my technical editing services, you and your customers enjoy well-written, clear, customer =-friendly technical copy. You communicate more effectively, differentiate yourself from competitors who don’t make the effort and boost your reputation.

Imagine what a skilled technical editor could do for your technical documents. For your free initial consultation, please contact me now.


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