Type first. Edit last.

The First Draft

photo credit: mpclemens

Most of us 40+ learned how to type letters and documents using a typewriter.

Word processing reigns as then new king of document creation, and most typewriters are relegated to attics, back rooms and antique shops.

However, the majority of computer users use their word processors (MS Word, Word Perfect, etc) like a typewriter.

The first rule to remember when using a word processor is to forget your typewriting rules.

When we sat down to our typewriters to create a document (whether a simple letter to Mom or a 100 page novelette), we had to have a clear picture in our head of what the document should look like. Otherwise, crumpled typing paper dominated our floors!

With word processing, the most efficient way to create a document is to enter all of your information first. Then go back and edit/change the look of your document. I coined the phrase:

Type first. Edit last.

Editing means changing text (such as font size, bold, underline, spelling, etc). After you have entered all of your text, you can go back and doctor up your document to make it look the way you want.

If you try to use these tools as you are typing in the text, you will become increasingly frustrated, slow down the flow of your ideas, and double the time it takes to create the final product.

Type first, edit last…learn it and live it when creating documents and you and your computer will be much happier companions.

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