Trick from the Editor’s Hat: Use Paper or an Ebook Reader

You spend hours/days/weeks editing and you’re struggling to get through it. Here is just one of the many tricks that I employ when editing both my own and clients’ writing.

Use Paper or an eBook Reader

I never do all my editing directly on the computer. The back-lit screen is too much on my eyes. The smooth reflective surface will catch the overhead lighting, adding to the eye strain. This is why I don’t use a tablet for editing either. They too are back-lit and reflective. No, when I can, when the size of a document permits me, I will print out the manuscript and pull out my trusty red pen, writing all over that printed document. In those instances where the manuscript is too large, say 100k words, then out comes my Kindle and I’ll read the document on that, adding comments and notes to the file as I go. (Yes, you can do that on a Kindle.)

Here’s the deal. When editing on good old-fashioned paper, our tactile sensations kick in and we see things differently. Don’t ask my why, I’m not a psychologist. All I know is that’s the way our minds work. Not only that, the illumination of a computer screen does add to eye strain; this is not good when you need to spend hours reading and editing.

eInk technology, the technology employed in the screens of traditional eBook readers, such as Kindle and Kobo, was developed with eye strain in mind, reducing glare and lighting, emulating the paper effect on eyes as closely as possible. While reading from an eBook, you won’t engage the tactile sensations as you would with editing on paper, but you can still read/edit for longer hours then if you did all your editing on the computer.

See other Tips and Tricks from the Editor.

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© Copyright, Judy L Mohr 2016

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