Need an Editor? You Have One - Part 1

There have been lots of Twitter tweets in the past two days about editing writings. While some of the comments have been about correct word usage, other comments have been wishes for someone to be an instant editor--always available to do a quick check of what has been written.

As the mother of five children I had built-in readers for many years. Now, they are all off on their own and I can’t for them to come home to read my writings. My husband is usually available in the evening, but that is seldom convenient. I need an in-home editor – and I have one!
There have been lots of Twitter tweets in the past two days about editing writings. While some of the comments have been about correct word usage, other comments have been wishes for someone to be an instant editor--always available to do a quick check of what has been written.

As the mother of five children I had built-in readers for many years. Now, they are all off on their own and I can’t for them to come home to read my writings. My husband is usually available in the evening, but that is seldom convenient. I need an in-home editor – and I have one!

Did you know that your computer can be a real aid in the editing process? Just how much help it can be is determined by the code that your application is written in. For example, AppleWorks is an older program. It is written in code written for computers before the adoption of Mac OSX. Even though it will work on even the latest Intel-based computers running Mac OSX 10.5, it will never be able to take advantage of parts of Mac OS X such as Services.

So what are Services and how do you use them?

Services are a technology that all allow applications to share and communicate data with each other. For example, preferences turned on in one application can pass their abilities to other applications.

A particular example is Preferences that you can turn on in TextEdit will become useable in other applications. Because I have checked the box for TextEdit to check spelling as I type and to check grammar along with spelling, those same capabilities show up in RapidWeaver, the application I use to write this blog.



Because of these two checks, possible grammatical errors are underlined with green dots and spelling errors are underlined in red dots.



And, if you pause with the cursor placed over the word (but not holding down any keys), you will see a pop-up with the explanation of the error after a few seconds







This technology is not perfect. In fact, it makes mistakes. For example, If I replace “There” with “their” in the sentence above, the green dot will disappear. However, clearly, “There” is the correct word. Look a little further. You will see that when I have typed the same word (of) twice in a row, the second occurrence will be underlined.

While the spell checking is much more accurate, it is possible to introduce incorrect spellings by choosing Learn Spelling when a word is incorrectly spelled.



To fix an error such as this, highlight the whole word, then press and hold the Control key until a pop-up appears:



While these editing tools may not work in all applications, you can take advantage of them by using TextEdit to do basic composition and then finish your final formatting by copying and pasting the text into a different application.

Be sure to read the next blog post for another, even more exciting, use for services.

Pat

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