I have used Adobe Reader (now called Adobe Acrobat) since the early 2000s for both my writing and for editing suggestions for my students’ essays in New York City where I taught English Language Arts over 13 years.
The little cloud icon in editing mode makes it easy to offer suggestions while the pen highlighter makes it simple to suggest changes to misspelled words, missing letters, words that need hyphens – lots of little revisions that are common in student writings and in not-a-few authors’ books.
In high schools, I would use Adobe Reader in conjunction with Google Documents to directly share students’ work and to ensure that the students kept each draft in a certain organization such as “Gonzalez’ Kite Runner Essay Draft 1”, and “Gonzalez’ Kite Runner Essay Draft 2”, etc. Usually, there would be a major difference in quality from Draft 1 to Draft 5 although a flurry of student complaints among certain students was inevitable. “I already wrote it! Why do I have to keep writing the same thing?” (Unfortunately, several drafts by certain students were exactly the same thing but I’d always catch them in the act – word counters are good for that). This system is excellent for parent-teachers’ meetings too. When ‘Johnny Excuse-maker’ says at the meeting that he submitted many drafts and that I must have lost them, I would simply go online and show the parents their son’s work and – if such were the case – I’d show them Johnny’s drafts that were all exactly the same. End of argument.
Anyway, I’ve experimented a lot more over the past year as I am nearing the completion of The Jack Trilogy (to be released November 8, 2017, along with Jack Book 3) and I’ve found that for editing and revision purposes Adobe Acrobat (the Adobe free reader application) is the best for me. I’ve run Jack Book 3 through the Grammarly application – a nice program but it doesn’t catch all errors and I use Microsoft Word’s proofreading system to catch mistakes. I start my writing in MS Word, then save it multiple times as a Word file and as an updated PDF (Portable Document File that Acrobat makes).
What I like as an author about Acrobat:
- I can visually spot grammar mistakes much easier than in using other programs like MS Word
- I can update in the Adobe cloud to share all updates with my daughter and co-editor, Mikaila, who is very sharp in identifying problems with grammar but also inconsistencies and problems in the content including the plot, character names which might have been misidentified with other characters, etc.
- There is (for lack of a better term) a brilliance about the visibility of documents in Adobe that greatly enhances readability. Every time I convert from MS Word to Adobe PDF I easily see mistakes that I couldn’t in Word even after ten or more readings.
- It is comforting to know that my latest PDF is stored safely in the Adobe cloud and that it is accessible from any device.
- And I am very familiar with both Adobe PDF and MS Word so that transitioning is easy for me – I don’t reconvert back to Word from a PDF because I do not have the paid version that has that functionality but I’ve used third party conversion programs and the results were horrible – the text and photo arrangements were barely recognizable. So, what I do works for me. I take the updated or finished PDF and most updated MS Word document into MS Word using Word’s side-by-side (split-screen function) along with its parallel scrolling function (I love MS Word) and compare the two documents, easily editing the final draft in MS Word.
So, I strongly recommend to teachers and authors that they use both MS Word in conjunction with Adobe Acrobat in analyzing and making suggested changes in student work in the former case and in making ones’ book as good as it can be in the latter case.
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Jack the full trilogy – YA historical fiction, now in Kindle Preorder: Get Jack Book 1 free PDF http://dorion9.wixsite.com/gl-dorion-author
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Categories: Writing the Novel