Language management for the publishing industry
How do you promote correct spelling in every phase of your content workflow? How do you enforce consistency when there are several "correct" wordings to choose from? How can you alert your staff to avoid certain expressions in your stories? How do you make it easy for your staff to contribute spelling suggestions, and take advantage of validated spellings and expressions to be avoided? And how do you ensure that your pages are beautifully hyphenated and justified?
Lingsoft's gold standard proofing tools play an important role for many newspaper, magazine and book publishers. We provide our tools to several editorial system vendors particularly in the Nordic countries. Some of these vendors, including the Swedish market-leader Infomaker and the Finnish market-leader Anygraaf have our tools well-integrated in their own proprietary applications for story editing and language management. Here we exemplify a language management solution for publishers who use an editorial system with Adobe InCopy as the main story editor, among them Saxotech and DTI.
Lingsoft's solution takes advantage of the following products, components and services, combined to produce a seamless language management workflow:
- Lingsoft Proofreader plugins for Adobe InDesign and InCopy.
- Lingsoft Proofreader Server as the hub for dynamic corporate language management.
- Lingsoft's language management services and continuous development of its gold-standard spelling, hyphenation and grammar tools.
We can identify the following five key benefits, which our publishing industry customers can achieve using Lingsoft's language management concept:
- Lingsoft Proofreader plugins for Adobe InDesign and InCopy deliver gold-standard core spelling, grammar and hyphenation based on Lingsoft's comprehensive models of the inflectional, derivational and compositional features of each according language, covering the core vocabulary including abbreviations, acronyms, proper names and numerals. Thousands of editors and millions of Microsoft Office users in Nordic countries have come to appreciate this robust technology.
- The plugins for Adobe InDesign and InCopy are well-integrated in the actual user interface and application logic, offering check as you type functionality. You are instantly reminded of spelling errors and language code violations, and don't have to apply additional time consuming and out-of-context batch proofing.
- The plugins offer an extremely convenient way for your editorial staff to suggest user dictionary candidates whenever suspecting a red underline to be a false alarm. Proofreader Server deploys a simple, yet extremely efficient mechanism to expose validated spellings and writing rules to each and every staff member's workspace.
- Validated user dictionary entries as well as writing rules become a good source for refining Lingsoft's core speller and grammar components. Frequent words can be lexicalized to the core model of that particular language, not only removing false speller alarms, but also improving grammar checker coverage and precision.
- When you need deeper coverage of domain-specific or corporate-specific vocabulary, Lingsoft can produce on-demand versions of its core tools. Our Lingsoft Customization Clinic is an excellent starting point.
Browser-based user interfaces are increasingly common in various business applications e,g, banking, insurance and health. These applications need good proofing tools. Lingsoft Proofreader Server was designed to meet that need. It can handle the proofreading requests from applications that do not have client-side spelling and grammar.
Lingsoft Proofreader Server for publishers
Soon it became evident that Proofreader Server was an excellent language management platform for corporate dictionaries and writing rules. Organizations that care about their corporate image and consistent communication can use Proofreader Server to design and distribute corporate-wide writing rules to be used in applications equipped with a Lingsoft plug-in. Proofreader Server empowers the language manager with the following features:
- Candidates list for scanning dictionary entries suggested by users who encounter what they believe are false speller alarms or false hyphenations. You can decide to view all candidates, only hyphenation suggestions, or only rejected entries. You can accept or reject a candidate, or you can quickly turn a problematic candidate to a writing rule.
- Accepted list for maintaining the corporate spelling and hyphenation dictionary. You can remove previously accepted words, and update your modified word list to the corporate dictionaries. You can also send Lingsoft a proposal to include a frequent word in the core language model, as well as clean the corporate dictionaries by removing unnecessary duplicates when a new version of a core speller arrives.
- Writing Rules list for creating and maintaining writing rules. Additionally you can submit to Lingsoft rules that capture e.g. words that no longer should be recognized as correctly spelled.
The next four use cases illustrate everyday language management actions in a publishing industry environment.
The first case illustrates the corporate dictionary workflow when you add a word to your (in this example Swedish) user dictionary.
- While writing a news story in InCopy, you notice that Lingsoft flags "apletten", the Swedish definite word form for applet. You think your spelling is correct, so you open the contextual spelling menu, and add "apletten" to the InCopy dictionary. Lingsoft stores "apletten" in the corporate dictionary.
- Your Language Manager opens the list of suggestions in Proofreader Server, and decides to accept "apletten" as a valid spelling, also adding the Swedish genitive word form "aplettens" along with the base form "aplett".
- Proofreader Server automatically exposes the new validated entries to client applications. Each time your users start their InDesign or InCopy session, the Lingsoft plug-in includes the corporate dictionary entries in the spell-checking. When your colleague opens your story, "apletten" is no longer error-flagged. However the compound word "spelapletten" still gets underlined.
Good hyphenation is extremely important for all print, be it newspapers, magazines, books or brochures. Not only for putting the hyphens in right places, but also for beautifully justified columns. Lingsoft's core hyphenation components include the very same linguistic core technology as the spellers, and therefore they produce accurate hyphenation particularly for compound words, where conventional hyphenation dictionaries or algorithms often fails.
- While copyfitting a story in InCopy you notice that "apletten" gets hyphenated in an offensive manner "ap-letten" ("the ape lithuanian"). You add a hyphenation rule "~apletten" to the InCopy dictionary. Lingsoft stores "~apletten" in the corporate hyphenation exceptions file in Lingsoft's own format as "=apletten".
- Proofreader Server automatically includes "=apletten" in the Candidates list. As Language Manager you view the candidates with "Show hyphens" option. You decide to modify the rule to "aplet=ten", as "=apletten" could cause bad justification. You also add the genitive word form "aplet=tens". In order not to allow offensive hyphenation of the base form, you also add "=aplett", which prohibits hyphenation of that word form.
- Proofreader Server automatically updates the corporate hyphen exceptions to be exposed to the client applications. Each time you or any other member of your staff start an InDesign or InCopy session, Lingsoft includes the entries from the hyphenation exceptions dictionary. "Aplet-tens" is now unoffensively hyphenated and "aplett" is not hyphenated at all.
Let's modify the above example just slightly to see what happens when you attempt to suggest a spelling that actually isn't accurate.
- According to your understanding "appleten" is a correct spelling, so you decide to add it to your InCopy dictionary in order to get rid of the red underline. Lingsoft stores "appleten" in the corporate dictionary.
- Proofreader Server automatically includes "appletens" on the candidate list. Your Language Manager decides to reject the candidate as misguided, and creates a writing rule, which detects strings starting with "applet" and "applett", and suggests "aplet" instead.
- Proofreader Server exposes the updated writing rule file for Lingsoft Proofreader plugins. When you start an InDesign or InCopy session and type "appletens", it becomes underlined with blue. You can read Language Manager's explanation, replace the detected string with a suggested one, or correct manually. This is a powerful way to help your journalists avoid terms and expressions, which do not suit your style guide.
Language reflects the changing world. Who would be better suited to offer proposals of contemporary nature than language managers in the publishing industry. Lingsoft fine-tunes each core component by lexicalizing unrecognized entries, and commenting out entries that no longer should be recognized as correctly spelled. Adding new frequent entries to the model may also improve the precision of the grammar rules, as part of speech and other grammatical tags of these words help the grammar rules to work better.
Modifying the core spelling and grammar components is Lingsoft's task, since a fair amount of expertise and discipline is needed to make consistent and regression-free modifications when adding or removing vocabulary to or from the model. A speller does not necessarily become better just by adding a lot of words. A well-known side effect is masking, which means that a rare dictionary entry is identical with a frequent misspelling of a common word. Therefore the work on core components require extra care.
- As Language Manager you select a validated list entry, in this case "aplett", and hit Send. A form pre-filled with basic data, such as proposed word, date and time, etc. appears, and you can add eventual additional details before submitting the proposal to Lingsoft.
- Lingsoft processes the proposals in a coordinated manner – actually using Proofreader Server as the workflow tool – and compiles according to its publishing schedule new versions of its core components. This is normally done annually. In this case Lingsoft, based on language authority recommendations, lexicalize not "aplett" but "applett".
- Lingsoft makes the new versions available for download. You can install them according to your service level agreement. The same versions are updated to Lingsoft's plugins for client applications, so your language management stays perfectly synchronized, whether you use a pure Adobe workflow or a mix of editing environments. As a result the compound word "spelapplett" is recognized as correctly spelled, while "aplettnyhet" is not recognized and thus error-flagged.
- You can remove eventual duplicates from your corporate dictionary with the Clean feature in order to keep your dictionary tidy and maintainable.
Note that send and clean features require that the core spelling and grammar components are installed and configured on Proofreader Server, and/or that you have an according Service Level Agreement with Lingsoft.
Conclusions: Adding consistency and removing complexity
By extending the proofing tools functionality to a corporate-level story workflow, we have created a language management platform that is extremely easy to use and simultaneously extremely powerful, without creating just any additional workload.
As we can see from the use cases, the end-users do not have to learn any new tricks or apps. And yet we have created a proofreading solution that is engaging and that establishes the corporate language code to real-life content editing workspaces.
Also the Language Manager has a reason to feel comfortable, knowing that all editing is proofread with Lingsoft's excellent core components, and that the corporate spelling and hyphen dictionaries and the writing rules are constantly and consistently exposed to the whole staff. All the complexity is handled under the hood by a well-designed robust architecture, and you language manager can concentrate on the essence with well designed maintenance tools for dictionaries and rules, as well as for communicating findings of the behavior of the core components to Lingsoft.
Contact Lingsoft sales for more information.