What is meant by “document preparation”?
It means different things to different people.
- It can mean simply correcting grammar and spelling mistakes
- Making sure the correct punctuation is used
- Formatting the document without any corrections, but adhering to margins and pre-set formatting styles
- It can also mean that you, as the document preparer, have to take a series of sentences and place them in logical order, incorporating good grammar and punctuation, and creating a visually-pleasing document
Document preparation is all of the above and more.
Along with a firm command of the language and its parts, the visual is also important. There must be enough “white space” to make the document appeal to the average person. Small fonts, fancy fonts, and long paragraphs make the document difficult to read and/or comprehend.
Speaking of understanding and comprehension, technical, foreign, or archaic words add to the confusion and not many readers will take the time to look up their meanings. Words highlighted in a light color may be difficult for some people to read. On the other hand, you don’t want to BOLD AND CAPITALIZE too many words. It implies you’re shouting at the reader.
What’s the best method to prepare a document?
Ask who the target audience is. Is it the elderly, who need larger fonts? Is it the younger generation, who are already familiar with the information in the document? Is it a company document meant for internal use only or is it meant for the general public? Knowing this, will make document preparation much easier.
Does your client have a pre-set format or do they “wing it” depending on the document? Do they use a color scheme or color-coding to enhance their marketing materials? Most companies use a few select fonts, so customers will recognize their brand.
Virtual Colleague, LLC
As owner of Virtual Colleague, LLC, I offer document preparation as part of my list of services. Before I sign with a client, I ask all of the above questions and more. I need to know up front, if I’m working from a draft or a finished copy. If it is a final copy, has the entire copy been approved or is there room for change?
This information is important for two reasons. 1) It gives me an idea of how much time I have to spend on this project and 2) it determines the fee I charge for this service.
Artist and Canvas
As a document preparer, I am like an artist. The paint (words) were made by someone else, but the finished picture (the document) is a reflection on me. I can’t afford to do shoddy work or use the same format for every document. Each document is different and is meant to convey a different message by way of visual and presentation. It is my job as document preparer to capture the essence and tone of the document. This service is no different from the other services I offer.
Quality should always come before quantity.
Do you need document preparation? Check out my website www.VirtualColleagueLLC.com for more information about me and my work.
Like me on Facebook
Follow me on Twitter.