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Types of Editing

A document could undergo more than one editorial review, each for a different purpose. The type of edit that a document receives usually depends on where the document is in the product cycle. For example, a developmental edit of a document occurs early in the cycle, around the pre-alpha test or alpha period when there might be more time to address issues such as organization and structure. A copy edit is best during the beta review, when the manual is more complete and stable. And finally, proofreading is the last review a document receives.

Developmental Editing

Developmental editing is hard to define because its functions depend on the documentation set or book under consideration. Think of developmental editing as a document production phase that assesses the document’s overall focus and direction. This edit is the phase when a documentation set or a book is restructured, chapters or sections are reorganized, and major rewriting is done. The issues that the editor raises during a developmental edit can affect the character of subsequent sections or chapters of a document. This effectiveness is increased if the edit is done on a sample chapter or an early draft of a manual. Some global copy editing issues can be raised at this time as well, especially when these issues provide the writer with examples of style or word usage.


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