Whenever there are human beings involved, errors are bound to follow. Editing is basically the quality control process for documentation, and so editors are the “QA Engineers for words”. Editors play the role of correcting, condensing, and rearranging content to produce a more correct, consistent, and comprehensive work.
General editing and technical editing are somewhat different. Jonathan Arnett, an Assistant Professor of Technical Communication at Kennesaw State University, says technical editing is “a highly rhetorical, detail-oriented process of ensuring that specialized information appears so that it is appropriate for end users, and technical editors make informed, thoughtful suggestions for improvement toward that purpose.”
Let’s describe the main roles of the technical editor. In this, the first of two blog posts, we’ll look at the stylistic and presentation edits. We’ll talk about copy editing, but you should be aware that larger technical publications teams may separate the duties of technical editing and copy editing into separate roles.