A technical editor is a specialist who decides whether a certain material is ready for publication in terms of formatting and other technical aspects, and is responsible for providing high quality of polygraphic design of the materials being published. Unlike many people tend to think, a technical editor is not a person who edits scientific texts; his/her duties rather comprise technical support and editing of the manuscripts a publishing house receives, working on their design, preparing them for print, and so on.
A person who wants to become a technical editor must:
- graduate from a journalism faculty (usually) and/or have higher technical education, connected to polygraphy and publishing business
- be knowledgeable in desktop publishing systems and multimedia production
- be acquainted with the process of preparing text for print (including text and illustration formatting, artistic design, creating technical publishing specifications, and so on)
- know the technology of printing production
- know how to work with online documentation software
- be literate, possess advanced writing and editing skills.
Knowing how to work with HTML and XML web-coding and authoring systems is a valuable asset for any technical editor.
Technical Editor’s Duties
Technical editor usually performs the following duties:
- defines the technical readiness of a material for print, and adjusts manuscripts in accordance to the existing technical requirements
- designs a publishing house’s technical specifications, and controls their observation
- participates in the development of artistic design for manuscripts being prepared for print, and creates the layouts of such design
- ensures the correctness of a manuscript’s structure before it is sent to print (for example, checks the correctness of the text’s division by chapters, sections, and so on)
- ensures the quality of typesetting, controls the correctness of each strip’s and spread’s composition
- takes part in the creation of manuscript’s cover (in co-operation with art editor), verifies whether the table of contents matches the text, eliminates technical mistakes that could appear during the text being processed by other editors
- checks the overall quality of print, binding, and decoration
- ensures the correct allocation of illustrations within the text.