P NG <png42@...>
I would like to share with everyone information about a tool which I have
developed to help me with proofreading. I usually use it in conjunction with
getting feedback >from people who have direct knowledge of the material.
Since I started the Przemysl YB translation project, I have been using a
surname database which I have developed over time. I add names there as they
become available, together with information as to where they appeared. That
also allows me to assess which spelling variation is likely to be correct
based on the source where it appeared. I check every single name in our
translation against that database to ensure that the names have been
Recently, I've also developed a second name database, which contains solely
the names as they have been transliterated in our translation. To do that, I
used WORD's indexing feature. For this to work, I needed to index each
chapter separately and then put the names together in one EXCEL file, with a
reference to the chapter where any given name appeared.
It really is pretty easy to do. Here is how. You mark each name in the text,
then compile the index. The index will include page numbers, which are not
necessarily helpful for our purposes. What we need to know is in which file
a given name appeared and then it can be found easily through the FIND
So after you compile the Index, you copy it (you may need to paste it into a
NOTEPAD first, or any other simple word processing program to get rid of any
special formatting), copy it >from NOTEPAD, paste it into a new WORD file.
Then you convert the comma delimited text (it's comma delimited since it has
page numbers, which are separated >from the names by commas) into a table. To
do this, you click Select All to highlight the whole text, then go to
Table>Convert then Text to Table. In the dialog box, select Separate Text at
Commas and click OK. This will automatically make a table with as many
columns as there are entries separated with a comma in a row and as many
rows as there are names. Save the file for future reference.
What you need to do now is put your cursor on top of the table, in the names
column and click. This will highlight the whole name column. Copy it and
paste it into an EXCEL file. Once all the names >from your table are pasted,
type in the name of the Chapter or file where they appreared in cell to the
right of the first name. It can be something like Part II, chapter 1, or
anything else that will make it easy for you to recognize the file where the
names appeared. You will want this reference to appear by each name from
that chapter. So you need to put your cursor at the bottom right corner of
the cell which includes the reference information, wait for the cursor to
become a tiny little cross, and then drag that cross handle down to the end
of your list SIMULTANEOUSLY holding the CONTROL button. You need to hold
the CONTROL button till you are done, otherwise the chapter number will
increment by one with each consecutive row you go through. This will copy
the information >from the first cell into all the cells directly below it.
Repeat this procedure with each chapter. Once all the names are in the Excel
file, save it for future reference (you will be adding names >from subsequent
chapters to it). Then sort it and save it under a different name to indicate
that these are the sorted names >from this and this chapter.
Print the file and you will be surprised how helpful this file can be. Why?
For one, it allows you to see how you've handled name spellings throughout
your translation. You will easily see any inconsistencies and will be able
to fix them in the future. Also, you may want to send this file to your
translator so that they could use it as a reference. That will help with
consistent name spelling throghout the translation. If, despite your
diligent efforts to make the transliteration accurate, any of the names turn
out misspelled in the future, you will be able to fix that easily also since
they will be spelled consistently throughout your material.
Any thoughts about this idea?
Barbara U. Yeager
Przemysl YB Coordinator