Friday, June 12, 2015
I just love it when Microsoft tempts its users with the "accept all" option. Corel used to do something similar; in any text based piece, when someone has made tracked changes in your document, you can choose to automatically accept all changes or you can go through them point by point, accepting or denying each one. Should you do that? If you have confidence in your copy editor, if you trust this individual to edit your book, document, or otherwise, doesn't this option make sense?
Short answer: no. As an editor, I often insert comments with corrections - or in places where I haven't corrected anything because I have questions that require an answer prior to a change - and when you hit that "accept all" option, you don't ever look at my comments. I had an author recently - he's an absolutely fabulous writer and I can't wait to read more of his work - get confused when one of his beta readers caught mistakes that he thought I had missed. However, after contacting me, the author realized that he hadn't looked at my comments - and with those comments, discovered that I had in fact caught the things referenced.
So here's my point: you should never automatically accept all changes. You need to know what kind of work I've done and why. When there are stylistic questions on my part, I'd like you to take a look at those to see if you'd like to change the way you've said something. So - don't "accept all." We need, instead, an "analyze all" option! Happy writing!