this stage, a project
or production editor
or a copy chief oversees
implementation of the plans laid in the manuscript preparation
and design stages. Once the manuscript is typeset or formatted
according to the specs, a proofreader
reads the proofs against the manuscript and marks text, art,
and format corrections; the typesetter (and the illustrator,
if applicable) or printer makes the corrections; and those corrections
are again proofed. The cycle is repeated until every correction
has been made and checked. The schedule and budget may limit
the number and kinds of corrections that may be made; proofs
are traditionally made using any of various mechanical techniques
(depending on whether the material is in the galley, page, or
film stage). The later the stage, the more expensive the proofs.
It is standard practice to use a different proofreader--a fresh
set of eyes--at each stage. Publishers generally expect a proofreader's
work to result in ninety to ninety-five percent accuracy, although
this expectation varies depending on the condition of the copy
at the previous stage. Where complete accuracy is of paramount
importance, such as on a cover or in the tables in an annual
report, extra proofreaders may be called upon either to proofread
or to read the proofs "cold" or "blind"--that is, to read them
without checking against the previous version.
The production stage may require
the following kinds of editorial expertise:
A photo researcher, acquisitions
editor, author, or others may review the proofs as well.
Other participants at this stage
may include illustrators, a dummier (a designer who produces
a mock-up of the layout for each page), a subject expert or
foreign language reader, and the art director.
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typesetting programs, such as QuarkXPress, make it easier for
publishers to bypass galleys and go straight to page proof.
Current authoring programs for CD-ROMs and online publications
also help compress production, but their text-handling capabilities
generally are not yet as powerful as those of typesetting programs.
Specialized software can help automate
the creation of elements such as tables of contents and bibliographies.
Indexing software--by automating alphabetizing, formatting,
and other functions--frees an indexer
to concentrate on providing readers with efficient subject
access. Embedded indexing (performed on electronic files in
a page layout program such as FrameMaker) embeds index entries
at the point in the text to which they refer, allowing indexing
to begin before page breaks are fixed. Indexers using dedicated
indexing software (such as Cindex or Macrex) work from page
proofs and cannot begin indexing before page breaks are fixed.
However, because dedicated indexing software supports the
methods of intellectual analysis that professional indexers
use, it makes indexing less time consuming; embedded indexing
is ordinarily only used for continually updated computer documentation.
Printing technology now allows publishers
to go straight from disk to film, eliminating a step in which
errors can be introduced.
Alpha and beta testing of software titles
and Web sites may take place at this stage. Software titles
and Web sites are not copyedited
until the production stage.