Resources for Web Editors – What’s YOUR Favorite?

By Alison Lueders

While working, I rarely pause to think about all the different resources I call on in the course of a day. But one of the things I like most about web editing is the variety of questions that pop up – how DO you spell that? is that the right word to use? what IS a blitzheimer? – and all the different places to go to find answers. These include the basics like a dictionary and a thesaurus, but also Google and Wikipedia when I need to know more about a subject.

For some of the finer points of editing, I may go to a book like Copyediting & Proofreading for Dummies. I find the title embarrassing, but the book itself useful. More often, I check out Copyeditor.com (which costs $79 to for a basic membership) or Grammar Girl, which is free. Two recent tips from Copyeditor.com covered “Setting Editing Expectations” and “Defining an Editing Project“. I tip my hat to Erin Brenner, the Editor of Copyediting at Copyeditor.com., for these helpful summaries. And no, I am not a marketing affiliate for either of these organizations.

Other web editors are a terrific resource. Aside from the other members of the Web Editors Blog community, I have contacted all kinds of people through LinkedIn. More often than not they DO respond and I learn something new. For all the wonderful tools at our fingertips, it’s often people who often have the most up-to-date knowledge or expertise on a particular issue.

The most precious resource for web editing is time – time in which to think, to refine, to catch errors. Alan Eggleston wrote in a blog earlier this month about the “rush to publish“, which I suspect is a challenge for all of us. But just as there are movements out there around “slow food” and “slow money“, I try to practice “slow editing”. I tell clients – diplomatically – that their writing errors are often the result of rushing, and therefore I read their words slowly and attentively. It is a part of the value I bring. Not everyone wants that, and that’s OK.

What “tools of the trade” do you turn to on a regular (or even infrequent) basis? I suspect there are hidden gems out there that could benefit us all.

Next month, along with some of my fellow bloggers, I’ll offer thoughts geared to a “graduation” theme. Stay tuned!

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4 thoughts on “Resources for Web Editors – What’s YOUR Favorite?

  1. Panlexicon.com is one of my favorites. I prefer it over a thesaurus, and because I’m so focused on which words appear in the page title or in headings and in what order, I find it really useful for web editing.

  2. This is a great resource for web editors, Alison. I consistently use onelook.com, which is a word reference site. Enter a word and it will draw from dozens of online dictionaries, thesaurus sites, etymology sites, synonym sites, and special interest resources like medical, business, and technical dictionaries, plus reverse look-up sites and more. Using an online resource like this makes me miss the old days of looking up a word in my Webster’s print edition and getting lost in other words I would find, but then, I really don’t have the time to do that anymore. This is definitely much quicker and more productive!

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