TEC Blog

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3 Formatting Basics in Word: Spaces and Tab Indents, Setting Headings, and Adding Reference Notes

Editing / Usage / Editing New Media / Editing & Technologies

Chances are, if you produce written documents on a daily basis—whether professional reports, personal projects, school-related work (such as dissertations/theses)—you work in Microsoft Word. We know that Word can be tricky when it comes to the ins and outs of formatting, and that there are many options to get to know. We know how helpful formatting tips can be and want to share our expertise in a new...

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Formatting A Stage Play in Microsoft Word

Editing / Style / Publishing / Editing New Media

Writing a good play is hard work but by learning a few tricks in Microsoft Word, playwrights can make the process of formatting scripts easier. Like book publishers, publishers of plays don’t all agree on formatting specifics, but by following the guidelines below you’ll be able to submit a polished script that will show your prospective publisher that, if nothing else, you’re serious about the quality of your submission....

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A Little Bit of Editing, A Little Bit of Proofreading, A Little Bit of Formatting: The Final Steps in Polishing Your Dissertation

Editing / Usage / Style

TEC has had a number of dissertations cross our desks over the past few months, and working on these important documents is always a process that requires a lot of attention and an eye for detail. We take editing dissertations (and theses as well) very seriously: when we work on such a document, we know the work we do can have huge impact on our client's life. We...

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7 Helpful Tips for Self-Editing Your Work

Editing / Editor/writer / Publishing

The process of editing your work can be trying, difficult, and frustrating. but it can also be rewarding, enlightening, and satisfying. This month, we’re looking at ways authors can make the most of the self-editing process.     Change the Formatting   Most computers will default to a few standard settings – Times New Roman or Calibri as a font selection, 12-point font size, and 100% zoom. These are great to work...

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TEC Editing Tips of the Year: 6 Dos and Don’ts for Authors

Editing / Editor/writer / Publishing / Writing / Writers Support Group

It’s 2022, and the start of a new year may be enough for you to feel inspired to tick off some of the items on your to-do list. If one of the items on your list is to write or publish something, whether it’s a book, a journal article, or something else entirely, then it’s a good idea to go into the process armed with as much information as...

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6 Joyful Cocktail Recipes To Get Your Holiday Started!


It’s the holiday season, and nothing gets party guests feeling as festive as a delicious cocktail! In this quick blog, we’ll share some great recipes for you to try.     First up, TEC blogger Michael shares two of his picks for seasonal cocktails, both using ingredients you might not have tried before: advocaat (an eggy Dutch liqueur) and Lillet (a wine-based aperitif).   “Despite Jack Torrance's appreciation of bourbon and advocaat in The Shining, I recommend...

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Festivals of Lights: How the Candles and Lights of Winter Holidays Illuminate the Dark

Event / Language & Editing

As the world grows dark and cold in the Northern Hemisphere, cultures across the globe would normally gather together to drive away the gloom. However, this year, things are a little different. Just because we cannot gather together as we normally would though, doesn't mean the holidays have to be dark and gloomy. Lights can shine even in the darkest of spaces.   There are dozens of holidays celebrated around...

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The Radical History of Book Clubs: Connecting Us through Literature

Book Clubs / Books And Reading

I must admit, before I wrote this blog, I didn’t know much about book clubs. I’ve never been part of one, or had any interest in joining (though I do have friends and family who participate in book clubs).   I also never really thought about how they came to be, or why. But as it turns out, one of the most interesting things about book clubs is...

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TEC Treats & Sweets! 5 of Our Editors’ Most-Loved Holiday Recipes


The holidays are here again and, of course, with this special time of year comes memories of holidays past, spent with friends and family. I’m willing to bet that a lot of those memories involve food in some way, shape, or form – baking Christmas cookies with your grandmother, making potato latkes with your mom or dad, sharing a holiday beverage with friends, or preparing a special dish that...

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Avoiding the Supply Chain Naughty List: 5 Ways to Beat the Bottleneck

Publishing / Business / Books And Reading

With the global pandemic beating what we all hope is a hasty retreat from the news coverage spotlight, global supply-chain problems are now taking up residence as the issue du jour. With the holiday season quickly approaching, terms like “supply-chain bottleneck” and “semi-conductor shortage” are gaining significant cultural currency. And, although buying a PS5 or a brand-new car this year may not be on the table, supply-chain issues...

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TEC Roundup: Our 6 Most-Visited Blogs in 2021

Editing / Grammar / Usage / Publishing / Language & Editing

Well, 2021 is coming to an end (where did the year go, exactly?), and as 2022 approaches, it’s hard not to look back on the past year and think about how it went for you—the things that happened, the experiences you had, the things you learned. In that vein, we wanted to know how the content we’ve been creating helped our readers out over the past year. So,...

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5 Tips for Editors on Managing Authors’ Expectations

Editing / Editor/writer

Writing fiction and non-fiction presents trade-specific challenges to authors, and editors provide valuable advice that can help turn a manuscript into a book, whether it’s a novel or a home improvement guide. That said, although someone may have a great idea for a book, the onus is on the book’s author to turn that great idea into a piece of writing worth reading.   Editors can only do so much...

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Providing Feedback for Authors: How Editors Can Do It Right

Editing / Editor/writer

As humans, we know that receiving critiques and feedback isn’t always easy to do. No one likes to be told that something you did (or are doing) is wrong, especially when the “thing” you’ve been working on is a manuscript that you’ve poured your heart into for months or years.   As editors, though, we know that constructive criticism is absolutely necessary in the editing process! However, that doesn’t mean...

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TEC or Treat: Our Editors' Favourite Canadian Horror Movies

Event / Office Happenings / Social Media & Community

The air is getting colder, the nights are getting darker, and the spookiest season of the year is upon us! For many people, that means watching their favourite Halloween movies. Whether you’re more of a family-friendly Hocus Pocus gal or a gore-loving Halloween guy, there truly is something for everyone. However, if you’re looking for something fresh to watch this Halloween, why not try some classic Canadian content?...

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Editing as a Conversation with Authors


In this blog from the archives, we discuss how the exchanges between author and editor become a conversation between the two as a manuscript goes through the editing process, a conversation that benefits both author and editor!    *****   In the world of editing, the exchange between authors and editors is a conversation, not in spoken words but in written words. It takes place through the editing process when a manuscript exchanges...

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Everyday Proofreading and Punctuation Marks: What Do They Mean and How Are They Used?

Editing / Grammar / Usage / Proofreading / Usage

Pretty much everyone uses punctuation marks in their day-to-day life, whether it’s in texts, emails, professional communications, business writing, letters, birthday cards, notes…the list goes on and on! Periods, commas, question marks, exclamation points—these marks are familiar, and their usage is likely firmly cemented in your mind.   However, for some less-common punctuation marks/word treatments that perhaps don’t get used quite as often, it can become easy to mix them up...

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A Brief History of the Pilcrow: A Worldly Mark on Proofreading

Editing / Usage / Proofreading / Usage / Language & Editing

The ways that linguistic conventions change over time are sometimes obvious. New dialects and turns of phrase crop up, and many of them gradually change their meaning. Contextual changes throughout history often drive this kind of linguistic shift, but linguistic conventions also change in a subtler way. For instance, changes to the ways words are spelled tend to favour shortening rather than lengthening, presumably because people prefer...

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Book Review: Elements of Indigenous Style: A Guide for Writing By and About Indigenous Peoples

Event / Book Reviews

Tomorrow, September 30, 2021, marks the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada. At TEC, one way we can pay tribute to the day is to talk about ways we in the publishing and editing spheres can promote and honour Indigenous voices. So, we are pleased to  repost former TEC Editor Jonathan’s book review on Elements of Indigenous Style. Our ways of thinking and knowing...

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Learning to Honour the Writer’s Voice

Editing / Editor/writer

Not too long ago, I was asked about the best piece of editing advice I ever received. I had actually only recently had an epiphany about this, so I replied without hesitation: “Remember, it’s not your book. ” The same might be said about any writing format, but it was this phrase in particular that rang in my head when the penny finally dropped. This week, I thought I...

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Spotting Typos: Sometimes We See Them, Sometimes We Don’t


  In August 2017, Beth wrote this blog when our TEC offices were located on 27 Carlton to express her frustration at spotting  obvious – or perhaps not so obvious – typos that are missed in storefront signs, newspapers, and final pages of a book manuscript. Sometimes we spot them when others don’t, and vice versa!   *****     We editors can't help that our eye will fall on misspelled words or faulty punctuation....

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Reflecting on the Number 14: An Auspicious Age for The Editing Company

Business / Event / Language & Editing

The Editing Company is celebrating its 14th year of editorial excellence, and, to mark this milestone, I’m investigating the cultural, numerological, linguistic, and mathematical significance of the number 14.   “Mathematics is the art of giving the same name to different things. ” -Henri Poincaré   Mathematics was never my best subject, so I’ll keep this section brief and, I hope, relatively simple. Unlike the numbers two, three, five, and seven, 14 is...

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What You Think You Know Is Probably Wrong

Language & Editing

We are pleased to repost this blog by former TEC editor Laura Cok. Laura is currently working as a communications specialist with Indigo Books and is a published poet. Her poem "Cosmic Egg Hypothesis" was the winner of the 2020 League of Canadian Poets Broadsheet Contest.   *** Bookish types, such as we are, can run into problems with pronunciation. As a child, the language I was reading was more advanced than...

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Changing Footnotes into Endnotes in Microsoft Word

Technology / Editing Numbers / Editing & Technologies

At TEC, we recently helped a client who had a request we hadn’t encountered before—he had written a paper that included many footnotes; however, he needed to change those footnotes over to endnotes. We thought that creating a practical blog with instructions for how to make this switch would be helpful for others who are looking to do the same thing!   Make Sure Your Prep the Document   It’s very important to...

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Fact-Checking: The “Behind the Scenes” Editing Work

Editing / Usage / Editor/writer / Proofreading

Why Do We Fact-Check?   As The Chicago Manual of Style points out, in publishing, the author is ultimately responsible for the accuracy of a work. And while most publishers do not perform fact-checking in any sort of systematic way or expect it of their editors, obvious errors should always be pointed out to the author, as well as any questionable proper names or other dubious details that might take away...

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