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Derek Read

Reply to: Spell checking a map

One strategy that will reduce (and hopefully eliminate) the need to spell check at the map level (assuming this does not mean spell checking the map file itself, but the topics it references) is to formalize your process for writing topics.

When a formal process for “signing off” on each topic is into place a lot of wasted effort can be eliminated. This process should include spell checking each topic before passing the file along for review (which is something that you would hopefully do as a matter of courtesy anyway as people reviewing content generally should not be spell checking in my opinion). Of course, some people do not have the luxury of having someone else review their writing, but these people can still include spell check in the last part of their own “sign off” procedure, which might also include deciding on the file name and version number to give to a file when checking it into your CMS, or deciding what to¬† name and where to store a file when working on a local file system (ie: C drive), etc.

Imagine a system where topics are reused between different maps (example: many of our clients that create technical manuals for hardware do this a lot as different models of hardware often tend to have some features that are identical). If each topic is spell checked as part of the standard work-flow then that is guaranteed to have been done only once by a single author. If each topic were to be spell checked as part of a larger set of files (ie: at the map level) then a topic might be spell checked over and over by various different people that have decided to reference the topic in their map file, wasting time and effort that could be put to better use. This should also apply to simpler cases where one person is writing all the topics and building all the maps. Even in the case where you never reuse topics it still just makes sense (to me) to do a spell check as a matter of course so that you know the file is “correct” and you don't need to worry about it anymore.

Perhaps someone out there has a different process that requires spell checking at the map level and they really cannot spell check before each topic is saved? I cannot think of a process like this, but if you have one please let me know so I can take that into account in any meetings I'm attending that are arguing about which features to implement.