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Old 07-05-2016, 07:14 AM   #1
AlexBell
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Proof reading help please - General, How to

I recently had a contributor send me a list of typos in two of the ebooks I have done for the MobileRead library recently. Though I was very grateful to be told of the typos (and to be given the corrections) I was horrified at how many typos I had missed. Can anyone give me references or ideas on how to improve my proofreading? I've searched the MobileRead site, but haven't found much.
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Old 07-05-2016, 09:14 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexBell View Post
I recently had a contributor send me a list of typos in two of the ebooks I have done for the MobileRead library recently. Though I was very grateful to be told of the typos (and to be given the corrections) I was horrified at how many typos I had missed. Can anyone give me references or ideas on how to improve my proofreading? I've searched the MobileRead site, but haven't found much.
Use a bigger font size when proof-reading. Use a font that clearly distinguishes between full stops and commas, between 1 and l and I, and between other commonly confused letters/letter combinations (e.g. rn and m)

But you'll never catch everything.
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Old 07-05-2016, 10:18 AM   #3
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Try reading it in a different document format and program, or on a different device. So if you are reading in Word, try reading in notepad or an RTF reader. If you are proof-reading on an LCD, convert it to epub and read it on an e-reader.
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Old 07-05-2016, 10:39 AM   #4
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Read the document backwards.

Read out loud.

If you're reading on screen, try printing it out and reading that way.

Use a blank sheet of paper to cover up the lines below what you're reading and go line by line.
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Old 07-05-2016, 11:07 AM   #5
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Use text-to-speech software and listen to it being read out by computer. Computers are wonderfully literal, and mistakes are often easier to hear than to read.
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Old 07-06-2016, 04:46 AM   #6
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Thanks for all your responses. I have tried using a bigger font size today, and it does make a difference. I'll experiment with the other suggestions also.

At the moment I only proofread ePub2 on my Sony T3. Is there text to speech software which will read ePub files? My computer uses Windows 10, and I have an iPad also. Is there android text to speech software? I have a Lenovo tablet.
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Old 07-06-2016, 07:29 AM   #7
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I have tried Balabolka, after seeing it highly recommended on a couple of websites that I use and trust. It uses voices installed on your computer, and of course, all sound a little "computer-generated", but the application is quite easy to use. I believe you can download additional free voices from various sources on the web.

From the publisher's website:
Quote:
Balabolka is a Text-To-Speech (TTS) program. All computer voices installed on your system are available to Balabolka. The on-screen text can be saved as a WAV, MP3, MP4, OGG or WMA file. The program can read the clipboard content, view the text from AZW, AZW3, CHM, DjVu, DOC, EPUB, FB2, HTML, LIT, MOBI, ODT, PRC, PDF and RTF files, customize font and background colour, control reading from the system tray or by the global hotkeys.
You can get a portable version here:
http://www.portablefreeware.com/inde...q=Balabolka&m=

HowToGeek has a list of windows programs where you might see another you like better:
http://www.howtogeek.com/125305/the-...-online-tools/

------
For coding and proofing, I like monospace fonts the best -- But Courier is too thin and lightweight, I need something with some weight to it.
I sometimes use Monaco http://www.fonts101.com/fonts/view/U...d/51239/Monaco, which I like for its distinctive digit 1, lower-case L, Upper-case i, its slashed zero, and other nice distinctions. (I tweaked it to have a "2-story" lower-case "a", as the original looked too much like an "o") Unfortunately, the hyphen, endash, and emdash have little differentiation, but that is true of most monospace fonts.
PT Mono is another one I like: https://www.fontsquirrel.com/fonts/p...rch_check%5D=Y
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Old 07-07-2016, 10:15 AM   #8
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Not very nice-looking, but you could try DPCustomMono2.
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Old 07-07-2016, 11:20 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexBell View Post
Thanks for all your responses. I have tried using a bigger font size today, and it does make a difference. I'll experiment with the other suggestions also.

At the moment I only proofread ePub2 on my Sony T3. Is there text to speech software which will read ePub files? My computer uses Windows 10, and I have an iPad also. Is there android text to speech software? I have a Lenovo tablet.
For reading ePubs, I use Book Bazaar Reader on Win 8.1 and 10. It has a decent text-to-speech option.

I agree that increasing the text display size can help a lot. Also consider increasing the leading (line spacing). This can make a big difference with many fonts. Be sure the font you use has easy to distinguish numerals (no confusion between O and 0, I and 1, ...) and that all punctuation is easy to distinguish.

When proofing OCRed text, you need a font with adequate white space between letters (kerning or letter spacing) so that you can catch when "ri" is replaced with "n", or vice versa, and similar errors. Running a good spell check first will find most, but not all such errors.

Last edited by dwig; 07-07-2016 at 11:24 AM.
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Old 07-07-2016, 06:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwig View Post
Running a good spell check first will find most, but not all such errors.
and Doitsu has just posted a Grammar Check plugin for Sigil, it may help find a different class of error. I'm yet to try it.

BR
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Old 07-08-2016, 04:40 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexBell View Post
I recently had a contributor send me a list of typos in two of the ebooks I have done for the MobileRead library recently. Though I was very grateful to be told of the typos (and to be given the corrections) I was horrified at how many typos I had missed.
What sort of typos are we talking about?

Can you point us to the Before/After EPUB? Or a list of the typos?

Were these:
  • OCR Errors
    • "modem" -> "modern"
    • "l913" -> "1913"
  • Hard/Soft Hyphen Errors
  • Punctuation Errors
    • ',' instead of '.'
    • "1918-1920" -> "1918–1920"
  • Accidental accents + quotation marks
    • (Maybe dust/mark was in the PDF scan).
  • Missing Spaces
    • "p.215" -> "p. 215"
  • Mistakes in the actual book
  • [...]

I tend to spot certain "classes" of errors in given books, and then apply certain methods (regex to try to catch the pattern, etc. etc.). Over the years, I guess you just learn what your "weakness" might be, and then you can be sure to pay special attention to that class of errors in the future.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexBell View Post
Can anyone give me references or ideas on how to improve my proofreading? I've searched the MobileRead site, but haven't found much.
Over the past few years, I have added a few extra "final" passes in my proofreading stages.
  • Sigil + Calibre Spellcheck Lists
    • I use this to catch a huge range of typos. Being able to visualize/see the words in a different light sometimes helps you catch completely mistakes you missed doing normal passes.
      • There are 10 "modern" and 1 "modem".
    • Slight differences in Calibre/Sigil helps you see different errors
      • For example, Calibre counts numbers as "words" and Sigil doesn't. Calibre's helps you easily spot the "l913" OCR error above.
    • I still think this is one of the best ways to catch Hyphenation errors.
  • Toxaris's Dialogue Check (part of his EPUB Tools)
    • This is absolutely the best/only way I check proper quotation marks now.
  • LibreOffice/Word Spell Check
    • Sometimes just running the book through a different set of dictionaries helps.
    • I also like to do this phase because as others mentioned, it also helps when you visualize the text in a different font/page size/view.
  • LibreOffice/Word Grammar Check
    • I must admit this is very helpful. Way back when these books were first made, they may not have had access to a tool like this, and it is VERY easy for a basic typo to slip through.
      • Example: Last week I caught this typo:

        "First of all, acceptance of a general MOE implied that while, on the one hand, all other commodities retained their usefulness “just being themselves,” so to speak, the monetary commodity, on the other hand, not only retained it original usefulness but was now also being demanded for its monetary use as a medium of exchange."

        This is the type of typo I would have never been able to catch by just glancing/skimming through the book.

Last edited by Tex2002ans; 07-08-2016 at 04:53 AM.
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Old 07-08-2016, 06:42 AM   #12
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@Jellby --- I've taken a quick test drive with DP Custom Mono 2.
Is it supposed to look so rough?

On my monitor (Win7, with ClearType on OR off), vertical stem thicknesses are variable, horizontals are much heavier than verticals, and it just seems "splotchy" --- like my eyes are watering.

I will grant that bumping up to a very large font size improves things, and I DO like the punctuation marks very much. Also the extra-wide horizontal kerning is very useful.

But the overall appearance gives me tired eyes. I think for now I will have to stick with my modded PT Mono (I increased the line height some).
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Old 07-08-2016, 07:16 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Tex2002ans View Post
  • LibreOffice/Word Grammar Check
Shameless plug: In my quest to corner the Sigil wrapper plugin market, I released a LanguageTool (grammar check) validation plugin. (Validation plugin means that it'll display warnings like FlightCrew and not like LibreOffice or the standalone LanguageTool version.)

Unfortunately, neither the default LibreOffice grammar checker nor LanguageTool caught the error in the paragraph that you posted. Do you use custom settings or did you get the warning from the MS Word grammar checker?
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Old 07-08-2016, 07:19 AM   #14
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@Alex --- I am probably a walking bad example of proof-reading skill (I get caught up in the story, and let the errors go), but one thing I always do: Every single time I find an error, I run a search for similar patterns. Example, if a hyphen got dropped, and the word "re-mark" displays as "re mark", I search the entire book for further instances of {space}re{space}. Because spell-check won't flag that, ya know.

On my computer at home, I have a list of frequent suspects such as {space}1{space} (digit one masquerading as upper-case I); 11 (eleven masquerading as double-ell), etc. I will try to send that to you sometime this weekend.

@Doitsu --- I am looking forward to trying the plugin this weekend. Glad I will no longer have to schlepp my files to work and paste into MS Word for their grammar check. (I am a user of Softmaker Office, a very nice freeware, and nice small footprint, compatible with Word and LibreOffice files, but no grammar check.)

And if I find it too esoteric for my use, I will take Tex2002ans tip for LIBRE-OFFICE. I have not used it in so long, I did not know they had added grammar check.

Last edited by GrannyGrump; 07-08-2016 at 08:09 AM.
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Old 07-08-2016, 12:01 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by GrannyGrump View Post
@Doitsu --- I am looking forward to trying the plugin this weekend. Glad I will no longer have to schlepp my files to work and paste into MS Word for their grammar check. (I am a user of Softmaker Office, a very nice freeware, and nice small footprint, compatible with Word and LibreOffice files, but no grammar check.)
Before you dump the MS Office grammar checker, you might want to test the LanguageTool grammar checker to make sure it's good enough for your purposes. (You can test it online.)

What I like about it, is that adding new rules doesn't require programming skills or a linguistics degree, because the developers have created a very user-friendly online rule editor.
For example, the following rule will check for words with numbers in them:
Spoiler:

Code:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<?xml-stylesheet type="text/xsl" href="../../../../../../../../../languagetool-core/src/main/resources/org/languagetool/rules/print.xsl" ?>
<?xml-stylesheet type="text/css" href="../../../../../../../../../languagetool-core/src/main/resources/org/languagetool/rules/rules.css"
        title="Easy editing stylesheet" ?>

<!-- English user rules -->

<rules lang="en" xsi:noNamespaceSchemaLocation="../../../../../../../../../languagetool-core/src/main/resources/org/languagetool/rules/rules.xsd" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
  <category id="GRAMMAR" name="Grammar" type="grammar">
<!-- list of EN POS tags: https://github.com/languagetool-org/languagetool/blob/master/languagetool-language-modules/de/src/main/resources/org/languagetool/resource/en/tagset.txt -->
    
    <!-- start of custom rule #1 -->
  <category id="GRAMMAR" name="Grammar" type="grammar">
    <!-- start of custom rule -->
    <rule id="GG_RULE_1" name="word contains numbers">
     <pattern>
      <token regexp="yes">\w*\d\w*</token>
     </pattern>
     <message>This word contains numbers and letters.</message>
     <short>Possible OCR error</short>
    </rule>
    <!-- end of custom rule -->
  </category>
    <!-- end of custom rule -->
      
  </category>
</rules>

(For your convenience I've attached the rule file. Once you've installed the LanguageTool plugin, unzip the .xml file and copy it to the LanguageTool plugin folder to activate it.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by GrannyGrump View Post
And if I find it too esoteric for my use, I will take Tex2002ans tip for LIBRE-OFFICE. I have not used it in so long, I did not know they had added grammar check.
LibreOffice only comes with a very limited grammar checker. You'll need to download the LanguageTool OXT file and install it via Tools > Extension Manager. (If you encounter problems read the LanguageTool troubleshooting guide.)
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Last edited by Doitsu; 07-09-2016 at 05:30 AM.
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