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Basics of Technical Editing
10 weeks | Online

The technical editor’s first priority is the reader; and in this course, you will learn the basics of how to be the reader’s advocate. To properly serve your readers, a technical editor must make an effort to see technical documentation from the reader’s perspective. You will work to understand a document’s purpose—why do readers need the document, and how are they going to use it—to help you with your craft. This skill also involves writing author queries and creating style sheets to communicate with authors and other editors during the editing process. In this Basics of Technical Editing course you will gain a perspective on the field of Technical Communication, and use tools and techniques of technical editing on both the written and visual aspects of documents. You will practice identifying indisputable errors in technical documentation, including using standard editing marks to edit a hard copy manuscript, and using Microsoft Word and Adobe Acrobat to edit an electronic manuscript. You will apply basic copyediting to a document by correcting errors in spelling, grammar, punctuation, and syntax. In addition, you also will learn how to comprehensively edit a document, identifying contextual errors, reorganizing content, and editing tables and illustrations. Course assignments will help you understand how to apply technical editing skills and tools in a variety of ways. Whether new or seasoned, after completing this introductory course, you will be equipped to implement technical editing skills and tools in a myriad of work situations. 

What you will learn:

  • Understand technical editing, including the role of the technical editor, the editorial process, levels of editing, and the use of common reference resources.
  • Know how to comprehensively edit a document, which includes identifying errors, reorganizing content, and editing tables and illustrations.
  • Explore what encompasses technical editing.
  • Explore the editor’s primary tools and how to use them.
  • Discern how proofreading is different from copyediting.
  • Determine how editing quantitative and visual materials is different from editing words.
  • Learn the principles of content organization and project management.
  • Identify what challenges editors face beyond editing the document.

Quarters Offered: Winter, Summer | Online
Prerequisite: None
Software: MS Word and Adobe Acrobat (Reader or Professional)
Note: Fulfills 3 units toward requirements for the Technical Communication Certificate. Non-certificate students may take this class.
Contact: For more information about this course, please email


Course Number: WCWP-40307
Credit: 3.00 unit(s)
Related Certificate Programs: Technical Communication

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