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Working with TypeWright


Let's discuss TypeWright. The cutting-edge editing tool is a unique way to handle 18th century manuscripts in a digital database. By scrolling through the lines of classic texts and editing pages, you as a scholar and/or student of literature are able to deal specifically with history of your choosing. 

TypeWright is a tool for correcting the text-version of a document made up of page images. These text-versions are crucially necessary: they are what enables full-text searching, datamining, preserving, and curating texts of historical importance. Right now, the transcriptions running behind the page images of these texts has been mechanically generated, leaving behind errors that need to be corrected by human eyes and hands.
To begin, click "Start Editing"
To get started, click on the TypeWright tab in the top right hand corner. You can choose a featured text or search for a particular document. If the document is editable, there will be a button on the right hand side that says "Edit." Clicking this will start the editing process, and a green bar will show your progress.
If, by chance, you find several texts you would like to edit - collect them and store them in your My18th for a later date. Collecting documents ensures easy access for future projects.
Notes before you begin:

1. Take your time! Remember, the 18th century is not the 21st century (duh!). Authors and scholars used different spelling and grammatical practices. Carefully read through the lines and pay attention to small detail. We want to keep the documents true to their original content - even if that means a word appears misspelled to you.

2. Before you begin, decide how you are going to handle punctuation. Will you respect the distance between an exclamation point and the last letter of a word, or will you keep them together? As the copy editor, the decision is up to you. Know before you begin so that the document is consistent.

3. Decide on how you are going to handle page numbers. If you want them included in the document, make sure the numbers and parentheses are correct. If you don't want the page numbers, delete the line consistently across the entire document.
Front page of TypeWright
Explore the program and attempt to find a document that seems to hold interest to you. It is much easier to edit material if it is a subject matter you are interested in.
Bottom line must be saved once edits are done
Key notes to remember:

  • It is imperative that the green check* is clicked or the line changes will not be saved, especially if there is nothing to edit on the line. It must still be checked as correct. 

        *Pressing enter will only skip over the line; it will not make any changes.

  • Once you reach the end of the page, use your arrow cursor to move back up a few lines so that the computer will document changes to the lines, especially the bottom lines. This is just a precautionary step to ensure that the document is completely saved.
Keyboard shortcuts:

Down Arrow.........Go down one line (does not save work).
End......................Move cursor to end of line
Enter....................Go down one line (does not save work).
Home...................Move cursor to beginning of line
Page Down...........Go down three lines
Page Up...............Go up three lines
Up Arrow.............Go up one line

Ctrl+Delete..........Delete the line
    Will delete the generated text and box region for the chosen line. 

Ctrl+Enter............Assert the line is correct
    Will save a correction and move to the next line.

    Will undo the previous action.

Ctrl+Shift+I..........Insert line above
    Will auto-insert a line above the current chosen line.

Ctrl+Shift+H ........Find and replace
    Will open up a dialogue box for finding/replacing transcribed text.

Ctrl+I...................Insert line below
    Will auto-insert a line below the current chosen line.
These instructions and shortcuts can be found at the bottom of the TypeWright page
Oftentimes, "s" is thought to be "f"
You may find yourself asking this question quite often: What IS that word? This can be solved in several ways, but keep in mind the following advice.

  • First - check and make sure that the letters are not mixed around. Oftentimes, the letter "s" looks like "f." Words such as "case" and "cafe" are difficult to decipher because they are both correct. Use context clues to determine which is right for the sentence.
  • Second - if a word is completely indescribable, don't guess! Use the @ sign in place of the word and continue to edit around it. It's better to leave the space with a filler, rather than guess and get the entire line wrong.
Stay cautious for words that are typically spelled a different way because of the time period or regional spelling conventions. For example, the word "humor" can often be found in these texts as "humour." The computer will register the word even though it looks wrong. We want to keep the document true to it's original form and content.
Check punctuation in every line; oftentimes the computer confuses a period for a comma, or an exclamation point for a colon. 

Also, keep an eye out for punctuation that sneaks into lines when it's not actually there.

Sometimes letters will be left out because the machine couldn't recognize them, so make sure to check every word on the line for missing letters. 
In this scenario, the computer read the dash at the end of the sentence as a period. Always double-check!
If a line has been skipped over, use the "Insert Below" and "Insert Above" buttons in the top left corner of the TypeWright interface to correct this issue. If the line is missing above, keep your cursor on the line below and choose "Insert Above." Type in the line that is supposed to be there. The same can be said for a line missing below. Keep the cursor on the line above and choose "Insert Below." Any and all lines with text should be included.
Most importantly, find a pattern you are comfortable with. If it is easier for you to erase the entire line and type from scratch, then do so. If it's better to make minute changes within the pre-existing line, that also works. Find a rhythm that best fits your style. 

Now, go forth and edit! We wish you the best of luck.
Coming soon: Using TypeWright to begin a Digital Edition