Proofreading and editing PDFs
Thread poster: amazonlioness

amazonlioness  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 23:20
Member (2013)
English to Greek
+ ...
Nov 19, 2018

Is there any tool for proofreading PDFs and checking consistency? For example, there is a question without a question mark in the end, and we need a tool to find this problem.

 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 22:20
Member (2003)
Danish to English
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You need an intelligent human Nov 20, 2018

In the languages I work with, I cannot imagine a tool that would work. A human with a good knowledge of the rules and principles of style is probably the only effective way to check question marks. In some languages there is no structural or grammatical marker for a question that a mechanical tool can recognise. In French, for instance, there are many occasions when only the tone of voice in speech indicates the question, and, of course, the written question mark.

In English, the wo
... See more
In the languages I work with, I cannot imagine a tool that would work. A human with a good knowledge of the rules and principles of style is probably the only effective way to check question marks. In some languages there is no structural or grammatical marker for a question that a mechanical tool can recognise. In French, for instance, there are many occasions when only the tone of voice in speech indicates the question, and, of course, the written question mark.

In English, the word order is often an indicator: Can I...? Is there… ? However, a headline such as 'What is on the market' could simply indicate that a list or a discussion followed, or it could be a question.

In Danish, question marks are occasionally left out - I am not sure why, but it is accepted as a matter of style, rather than a fixed rule. When translating into English, they have to be inserted, and Trados catches it as a false error.

The grammar function in Word can sometimes mark whether punctuation is standard, but again, it is definitely not reliable. I never use it. It cannot take all the rules into account, and marks false errors.

I do not know of anything that works with a PDF, but I suspect that for most languages, a human is the only reliable option.
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amazonlioness
 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:20
Member (2007)
English
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PerfectIt is perfect for a lot of consistency checks in longer texts Nov 21, 2018

I can't think of anything that would check for missing question marks either, but PerfectIt is a great tool for checking consistency of very many things. It does do limited punctuation checking. For example, if you have a bullet list then it will ensure that each point ends with the same punctuation. It will check formatting of headlines and titles for consistency, and the use of underlining, bold, etc. It will also highlight if, for example, "website", "web-site" and "web site" have all been us... See more
I can't think of anything that would check for missing question marks either, but PerfectIt is a great tool for checking consistency of very many things. It does do limited punctuation checking. For example, if you have a bullet list then it will ensure that each point ends with the same punctuation. It will check formatting of headlines and titles for consistency, and the use of underlining, bold, etc. It will also highlight if, for example, "website", "web-site" and "web site" have all been used in the same text. It's amazing how often inconsistencies of that type creep in. You can check the text against various established style guides (CMOS, APA, EU, UN...) as well.

But it's only for English-language texts. And it doesn't replace a good, human proofreader - it just helps us get through some of the "grind" work very quickly. I particularly love the "eliminate double spaces" check. Even if you don't allow it to just go ahead (often a regrettable decision), you can still step through all the occurrences in seconds and just stop it changing the odd ones that aren't errors.
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amazonlioness
Catherine Howard
 

amazonlioness  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 23:20
Member (2013)
English to Greek
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Proofreading and editing PDFs Nov 21, 2018

@ Ms Andersen.
Thank you for your answer. I, too, believe that nothing can replace a human proofreader. I work as a proofreader and I am used to checking my work 5-6 times before sending it. However, there are tools that can help you detect proofreading issues (ex. same words that are capitalised in a section of the text and elsewhere, they are not; In such cases, you decide if you change the word or not; The same applies to double spaces. I know, however, that it is easy for a tool to fi
... See more
@ Ms Andersen.
Thank you for your answer. I, too, believe that nothing can replace a human proofreader. I work as a proofreader and I am used to checking my work 5-6 times before sending it. However, there are tools that can help you detect proofreading issues (ex. same words that are capitalised in a section of the text and elsewhere, they are not; In such cases, you decide if you change the word or not; The same applies to double spaces. I know, however, that it is easy for a tool to find double spaces). Keeping that in mind, I thought that there could be a similar tool for Pdfs, able to check consistency issues, although I do understand that the use of a question word, for example, does not necessarily introduce a question.
@ Ms Wilson
I use PerfectIt, but I use it only in Word documents. I don't think it can be used for pdfs. You will have to convert a pdf to word and this is not always easy, especially if you have a scanned PDF.
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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:20
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Latest version of PerfectIt Nov 21, 2018

amazonlioness wrote:
I use PerfectIt, but I use it only in Word documents. I don't think it can be used for pdfs. You will have to convert a pdf to word and this is not always easy, especially if you have a scanned PDF.

I believe the latest version includes an online application that can check PDFs. But I haven't upgraded to it yet so I can't be 100% sure. Worth checking out though.


 


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