Yesterday, we talked about making your content bulletproof. But once you have your writing in shape, it’s important to make sure you don’t screw it up when it goes into layout. When you’re going from a text document to an InDesign or Illustrator file, you have a whole new list of things to look for — and a whole slew of things that can go wrong.
Think I’m being paranoid? Here are just a few things to check before your final product goes live:
- Missing content. On its journey from point A to point B, it’s easy for content to get missed and left behind. Have someone check your final product against the original text document to make sure every word, footnote, callout box, and heading made it safely into layout.
- Headers and footers. Check to make sure there are no missing page numbers, headers, or footers — or any incorrect headers or footers. It’s easy for old content to get left in a template. It’s also easy to forget to check — until it’s too late.
- Screwy formatting. Sometimes weird stuff just happens. Text comes in with the wrong font applied, weird line breaks appear, extra returns get added, or someone just does a sloppy job with the layout. Have someone with a trained eye look over your layout to make sure your final product looks as sharp as possible.
- Typos. Even though your content should be flawless at this point, mistakes can still occur. Someone may decide it’s easier to retype a heading instead of copying and pasting it from your original document. Or the title could get manually typed on the cover page. Or maybe a typo simply got missed the first time around — we’re all only human, after all. Give the copy one last read, and if it’s possible, paste it into a program where you can run spell check.
Geez, content is scary, am I right? There are so many opportunities to screw up big-time, from typos to missing content to jacked-up formatting. So do yourself a favor and have an expert look over your content at every stage of the process.