AP Style’s Proofing Process Leapfrogs Ahead

AP Stylebook websiteThe AP Stylebook is a must-have reference for writers, editors and communications professionals.

Conforming news announcements to the industry-standard style adds credibility for PR representatives and others who send information to media representatives.

Communicators agree that staying on top of modifications to the guide, which first appeared in 1953, is part of professional development.

Some of the guide’s latest, and appreciated, revisions include dropping the hyphen in “email” and changing “Web site” from two words to one, with the first letter lowercase — thus, today’s “website.”

On guard
As if these updates weren’t reward enough for style buffs, The Associated Press has taken its tool to a new level.

In December, the news network announced a software that automates the proofing process for AP style. Now in a beta phase, AP StyleGuard is built as an enhancement to Microsoft Office.

“AP StyleGuard speeds up checking AP style on potential problems, since the user does not need to find the relevant listing in the Stylebook,” said Colleen Newvine, product manager.

Proofing for AP style will be similar to using Microsoft Word’s spelling and grammar checks. And the tool will enhance its functionality further by suggesting possible corrections the writer didn’t think to check for, like an on-call copy editor.

Lean operations
With newspaper job cuts surging by 30 percent in 2011 alone, the tool should be a  welcome development, as well, for journalists who are facing the challenges of leaner newsrooms.

But those journalists and writers must be using Microsoft Office on a Windows XP and higher system. Those of us who’ve migrated to Apple products have a longer wait. StyleGuard is not yet compatible with Macs.

Dates for the release can be found in the AP’s press release.

Many thanks to Mike Licht and Notions Capital for the timely photo via Flickr.

Now it’s your turn. Do you use the AP Stylebook in your work? What do you think about automating the proofing process?

You might also enjoy Can This Tool Save Your Business from a Crisis?

About creativeconsiderations

Christine Sullivan is a communications strategist with expertise in communications planning, writing and content development, and executive communications. She can be reached at mycreativeconsiderations@gmail.com.
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