A Convenient Way to Self-Edit

ATLANTA – Written by Mel

Re-reading your work after you write it is one of the most important activities that you can perform in the writing process.

However, the problem with re-reading your own work is that your mind doesn’t always discover the mistakes that you have made.

This is why the next most important activity is to have someone else re-read your work.

Well, as any writer knows, it’s hard to get someone else to re-read your work and if you can find someone who is willing to re-read it, they usually charge you a hefty fee.

This is not a bad choice for writers who are working on an enormous writing project; in fact, I recommend paying someone to proofread your larger writing projects.

However, when you don’t have a lot of time to secure another reader or you can’t pay a hefty fee for every piece of work that you write, there is a convenient way that you can proof your own work using Adobe Reader.

I used to think that Adobe Reader was primarily a way for you to view documents that you download from the Internet.

That is, until I was brushing up on my computer application skills a few months ago.

While doing an online training course for Adobe Reader, I discovered an amazing thing that a writer or an editor can use.

It is called the Read Out Loud function.

First, let me say that it is no substitute for good writing or common-sense editing.

It also won’t catch grammatical mistakes or incorrect use of words.

But one thing that it does do is allow you to hear exactly what is on the page, not what your mind assumes is there.

If you have Adobe Reader on your computer, go to the start button and find it under All Programs.

Adobe View 1

Open up the file that you want to review; or if it has been downloaded from the Internet, simply mouse over or tab over to the view tab on the menu bar and click it.

Find “Read Out Loud” on the view drop down menu and choose from one of the options displayed.

 

 

Adobe View 2

I usually highlight what I want read and then pick Activate Read Out Loud but there are other options available.

A word of caution:  you will have to endure a computerized voice which can sound a little monotonous; but, this tool can still get the job done if you are patient enough to sit through these listening sessions.

After all, proofreading is a necessary evil in the writing process so you have to get it done whether it is done by you, a computer, or another person.

 

P.S.  I used Read Out Loud for this blog post.

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