This week, I’m editing the manuscript for the second Arlo Finch. I do most of my edits on paper because I find I catch a lot of mistakes I’d otherwise miss just scrolling on the screen.
One of the frustrations with this process can be trying to match up the errors you’ve found on paper with what’s in the file. You’re constantly scrolling, looking for the trouble spot. Highland 2 has a sidebar navigator and inline page numbers, both of which can help. But I’ve found the fastest solution is to stop scrolling altogether and use the built-in search function.
Let’s say you’re fixing a typo, like a missing ‘d’ on the door had been force open. It’s halfway down on page 183, but that doesn’t matter.
Hit Command-F and type had been force then return.
Boom. You’re right there. Fix the mistake and keep going.
Note that you want to search for a string of words, not just the one with the typo. You may have used force a dozen times, but you’re almost certain to have typed had been force just once.
In Highland 2 — and most Mac writing apps — the Find command starts searching from wherever your cursor is, so if you’re working through edits in order, you rarely have to be particularly narrow in your search query. Even if you use its claws scraped more than once in your book, it will always give you the next one first. That’s likely to be the one you want.
This technique probably saved me half an hour today, and a lot of eye fatigue. So try it out next time.