The Open Desk

Margie Beilharz

Freelance editor and writer in science, environment, education, health

Category: How-to

  • Transcribing interviews

    The time-consuming task of transcribing can be speeded up with technology or by outsourcing – as long as, in both cases, the quality is good. Rachel Smith (of jobs list service Rachel’s List), shared her interviewing and transcribing process in a blog post in 2017. She explains the services she uses for recording interviews and…

  • Making a PDF more readable with bookmarks

    Making a PDF more readable with bookmarks

    Let’s say you’ve created or edited a report – it’s all nicely laid out and you will be saving it as a PDF file. Before you do, take some time to think about PDF bookmarks. With a bit of forethought, you can make the document much more user-friendly than a long, unstructured PDF. For one…

  • Search all your open browser tabs or bookmarked pages

    You’ll thank me for this one! As we know, writing and editing can involve checking a lot of facts, and the number of open tabs on my browser window can quickly spiral out of control. Then it can be hard to remember which of the open pages had a particular piece of information or topic.…

  • Google My Business

    Have you noticed that when you google a search term you’ll often get a box with a summary of relevant information on the right of the screen? This is the knowledge graph (like this one here for editor and author Sophie Cunningham), which contains information grabbed from various sources on the internet.

  • Post to your blog directly from Word

    I’m insanely pleased to have discovered this, even though I don’t actually blog very often. But I could have used it in jobs I’ve had in the past, and may even be tempted to blog more now! Did you know you can post to a blog directly from Microsoft Word? This is exciting for a…

  • Showing off your mark-up in PDFs

    This tip was written for the May 2018 Editors Victoria newsletter. One of the funny things about working as a freelance editor is that often you are not sure how familiar your author or client is with some of the software and techniques we tend to take for granted. Even editors vary in how familiar…

  • Editing Indigenous content and other tips

    I include a regular ‘Tips and tricks’ column in the Editors Victoria newsletter, linking to many online resources and tools. This month I wrote about editing Indigenous content [IPEd archive, members only] – highlighting a discussion and resources presented at the national editors’ conference in Brisbane last year.

  • Eliminate the negative

    As a bit of professional development, I’m taking a Stanford Uni MOOC, ‘Writing in the Sciences’. Week 1 done: It’s reassuring to see that most of the editing tips are pretty familiar (clear out ‘dead words and phrases’, cut repetition, avoid lots of verbs turned into nouns etc.). It’s still great to have them spelled…