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Effective Onscreen Editing: new tools for an old profession (3rd ed.)

The 3rd edition is now available! If you're still using an older version of Microsoft Word, the eBook (PDF) version is still available, on request. Please contact me to request a copy. If you purchased the eBook version of the 2nd edition in April 2016 or later: Please contact me directly (with the date of purchase) and I'll send you a copy of the 3rd edition. If you purchased the printed version, I can't offer a free upgrade, but I can send you a copy of the eBook of the 3rd edition at no cost or offer a large discount on the new printed edition. Contact me (include your receipt) to request details.

Cover of the 3rd edition of Effective Onscreen Editing

This page contains the following information:

What's new in the 3rd edition?

The 3rd edition is substantially revised, and includes the following updates and improvements:

Bibliographic information: Hart, G. 2016. Effective onscreen editing: new tools for an old profession. 3rd ed. Diaskeuasis Publishing, Pointe-Claire, Quebec.

Why do I need this book?

Most editors now edit manuscripts on the computer screen ("onscreen editing") using a word processor. The editing skills remain the same, but transferring them into a word processor can be challenging. Effective Onscreen Editing eases the transition from on-paper editing by teaching you how to apply general editing strategies suitable for all word processors, supplemented by proven tips and tricks that will maximize your productivity and effectiveness. This book is based on my nearly 30 years of experience as an editor and as a mentor for other editors, improved by incorporating feedback from students who have taken my courses on onscreen editing.

To make the editing strategies concrete, I use Microsoft Word (2010 for Windows and 2011 for the Macintosh) to show how to implement these principles in the real world. (Because these examples illustrate the principles, you'll benefit from the book even if you don't use Word. However, you'll have to learn how your word processor implements the techniques.) The information is provided in small chunks, designed for easy reading and browsing. Dip into the book to solve a specific problem, or read a few pages every week to increase your mastery of the art of onscreen editing.

How to use this book

Given the book’s length, you won’t want to read it cover to cover unless you have a serious insomnia problem. The most practical (and least intimidating) option is to use the book as a problem-solving resource. First, identify a specific onscreen editing task that is causing you trouble. Next, dip into the book and learn how to solve that problem.

As you solve each new problem, you’ll find that this frees up time you can use to learn more efficient ways to perform other editorial tasks. Use the time you save to solve another problem. Over time, you’ll be amazed at how much time you’re saving. Use that time to increase your effective hourly rate if you charage a fixed price per page, or to give yourself more time to work on difficult edits under tight deadlines if you charge by the hour or work for a salary.

To use the book most effectively: tips on how to use the PDF version of the book.

Read the reviews

Reviews of the 3rd edition are beginning to arrive:

Here's what readers have been saying about the 2nd edition of Effective Onscreen Editing:

Here's what readers said about the 1st edition of Effective Onscreen Editing:

Buy the PDF and print versions of the book!

The 2nd edition of the book is still available for purchase; contact me for details. All sales via this page are only for the 3rd edition.

Teachers Want to add the book to your course reading list? Please contact me to obtain a free evaluation copy of the eBook, or a reduced price on the printed edition.

I offer student discounts of US$5 for both versions. Contact me from your university .edu e-mail address to obtain a link to the reduced price. (If you don't have a university e-mail address, please ask your teacher to contact me on your behalf.)

Everyone else:

PDF and EPUB versions (eBook)

Purchase and download a copy using your PayPal account or most major credit cards.

Both PDF and EPUB versions are included in the price, with no DRM; install both versions on all of your computers and tablets with no hassle.


Printed version

Visit to purchase the printed version. Shipping is pricey, so consider placing a group order with friends or colleagues to reduce the per-book cost.

Buy in bulk

Want to buy many copies for your group or your professional association? Please contact me so we can discuss a bulk discount.

Detailed table of contents (and a sample chapter)

To avoid cluttering this page, I've provided a link to a detailed version of the book's table of contents.

You can also download a free copy of Chapter 3 to confirm whether you like the style and content. I've provided a PDF file containing tips on how to use this eBook to help you get the most out of this book. The tips will also work for many other eBooks and PDF files.

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