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October 28, 2014

How To Edit Books On An iPad

It’s Easy to Proofread On An iPad

If you’ve ever wondered how to edit books on an iPad, you should read this post. If you use Scrivener, this will definitely make your life easier. (This might also work with some of the other ebook reading software. I don’t own a Kindle or Nook, so I couldn’t test it. It didn’t work on the Kindle for iPad app, but the device might offer other options.)

I love Scrivener, but I have always despised incorporating edits or proofreads back into my documents. There is no easy way using Word, or Pages, or any of the standard word processing apps. Don’t get me wrong. This isn’t a quick fix for editing on Scrivener; we’ll have to wait for the folks at Literature and Latte to bring that to us. But this does offer a great alternative to proofreading in Word, and it might also improve your proofreading skills/effectiveness. How does it help?

  • Easier to spot mistakes when reading on iPad as opposed to on the computer in Word/Pages.
  • Easy to color code mistakes and see where you are going wrong (for future purposes).
  • Easy to incorporate corrections back into Scrivener.

Some of you might not agree with the statement about this being easier to spot mistakes, but for me it’s much easier. And my eyes don’t get as tired as they do using the computer either.

How To Use The iPad For Editing

The options are almost endless, but I’ll tell you how I use it.

The first thing to determine is if you are going to use a color-coded system. Apple offers 5 colors for highlighting: Yellow, green, blue, pink, and orchid. I use the colors as a quick indicator of what type of error I’m facing. It also gives me a great overview of where I’m making the most mistakes. (Not all of the examples here show the color coding.)

Yellow = missing or extra word
Green = misspelling
Blue = punctuation issue
Pink = wrong word (like lead instead of led)
Orchid = other questions (notes required)

This is for proofreading. When I do beta reading, the colors mean other things.

In addition to highlighting words or passages, you can press on the screen and bring up a “note” option. A small “sticky” type image appears (like below) and you can either type a note, or use the microphone built into the keyboard to speak a note, which is transcribed into text. I find this perfect for editing my books in bed.

Each time you highlight or make a note, you have the option of sharing/emailing that correction by itself, but I like to wait until the editing is finished and do it all at once. The following section shows how to do it.

Note: Make sure you highlight enough of the words surrounding a mistake so that you can use the search tool in Scrivener to easily locate the error. In other words, if you found a sentence with an extra word in it, like this:

Bob walked walked to the store instead of driving. Highlight the whole sentence so it’s easy to plug it into the search tool and find it.

Managing Notes

When you’re ready to export your notes, follow these instructions.

  • From anywhere in the book, tap the top left of the screen. You’ll see “library” and next to it a small icon similar to a bulleted list.

Tap the bulleted list.

  • A new screen appears, and on the top right you’ll see “contents, bookmarks, and notes.”

Tap “Notes.”
– You will see the highlights and notes you made, along with the dates you made them and the page number or position in the book.

Notice the Different Colors on the Highlights on the Side. I Used This as an Example Only; This Wasn’t a Real Edit.

  • On the top right, press the share icon. You will be presented with two options: share book or edit notes.

Press “Edit notes.”

  • At the top left of the screen, press “Select All.” This will place a checkmark next to all of your highlights. (The screenshot doesn’t show the checked boxes because I had haven’t hit the select all option at this point.)

  • At the top left of the screen again, press, “Share.” This will bring up an option to export the notes via email, or using Evernote, or other options. I find email the easiest.

The Next Step

Now that you have exported your notes, it’s time to put them to work. Open your project in Scrivener and set the windows to “split vertically.” I display my manuscript on the left side and the exported notes on the right, but do what’s easiest for you. Here’s a screenshot of what mine looks like.

The rest is easy. Fix all of your mistakes, make any other changes you want, and then compile the manuscript in Scrivener and export it in epub or mobi, Word, or whatever you do.

If you enjoyed this post, please share.

Giacomo Giammatteo is the author of gritty crime dramas about murder, mystery, and family. And he also writes non-fiction books including the No Mistakes Careers series.

He lives in Texas where he and his wife have an animal sanctuary with 45 loving “friends.”

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  • This blog will be a little different from many you see. Contrary to the characters in my books, I don’t really kill people, or catch those who do, so the blogs might be about reading, or writing, or animals. These are the things I have great passion for. It might also contain posts about food, or ancestry, or substance abuse. My oldest son is a great cook. My daughter is a genealogist (rootsintheboot.com) and my youngest son is a recovering drug addict. He has been clean for three years, and runs a rehab center (intoactionrecovery.com).

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    Giacomo

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