As I continue my series on automated copyediting on the Mac, specifically via the ever-useful Keyboard Maestro, in this post I'll describe how to add a term to a style sheet with a simple hot key combination.
Let's pretend we're editing along when the trademarked name Cheez Whiz appears in the text, and we need to add it to our style sheet. We highlight the term and invoke the Keyboard Maestro macro (detailed below) with our preferred hot key combination. In my case, this is Caps+W. (How I manage that is detailed here.)
When I press Caps+W, the macro performs the following steps:
And the Keyboard Maestro macro looks like this (WORD is in all caps so I can more quickly find the macro in the Keyboard Macro list since all the macro names are otherwise identical):
Since this approach adds terms to the style sheet in their encountered order—which eventually leads to desperate, frantic chaos—one of the steps I take from time to time as I work is to alphabetize the list.
I have nearly identical macros and documents for clients who require separate lists (or separate sections of the style sheet, which are incorporated later in the workflow) for titles (Caps+T and window name containing Titles), proper names (Caps+P and window name containing Proper Names), diacritics (Caps+D and window name containing Diacritics), and so forth. The only differences are the hot keys and the file names.
Automated Copyediting on the Mac: Searching Google (or the Service of Your Choice) with Keyboard Maestro
Building on my previous post, Automated Copyediting on the Mac: Verifying URLs with Keyboard Maestro, in this post I'll describe how to search the web for specific text with a single keystroke. In this example, I'll use a place-name, but the workflow applies to whatever text is selected in the document at hand.
Let's say that we're editing along, and the author mentions Torrey, Utah. We want to do a preliminary check on the spelling of the place-name, so we highlight the text (whenever possible, I prefer to use the keyboard rather than the mouse in order to reduce repetitive stress) and invoke the Keyboard Maestro macro (detailed later) with our preferred hot key combination. In my case, this is Caps+G. (This hot key combination is bound to Control+Option+Command+Shift+G. How I manage that is detailed here.)
When I press Caps+G, the macro performs the following steps:
(Full disclosure: I'm definitively not a shell script expert. The below is a lifesaver that I borrowed from some generous soul somewhere online, which is how I develop most of my macros—i.e., laboriously and piecemeal. This method may not be perfect, or even syntactically correct, and there are no doubt myriad other ways to achieve the same result, but I know this works.)
Here is the shell script, which we paste into the "Execute Shell Script" action in Keyboard Maestro, exactly as presented:
open -a Safari "http://www.google.com/search?q=`pbpaste`"
This one-line script is easily modified to direct the search to whatever service we desire, as long as we know the structure of the given service's URL search parameters.
In Keyboard Maestro, the macro looks like this:
This incredibly simple macro saves me hours of time, if not per project then at least per month.
No matter what, verifying URLs in a document is tedious work, but it's far worse with a mouse, so I use Keyboard Maestro to speed up the process, and my hands never have to leave my keyboard.
My hot key combination for launching the Keyboard Maestro macro is the ungainly Control+Option+Command+Shift+U. Thankfully I'm able to invoke this wretched combination with my Caps Lock key by pressing Caps+U, which is achieved by remapping Caps Lock via Karabiner-Elements as described here.
When I press Caps+U, the macro performs the following steps:
And in Keyboard Maestro, the macro looks like this:
I do still have to select the entire URL manually since the addressing structure can vary so much (e.g., everything from usda.gov to fs.usda.gov/activity/alabama/recreation/camping-cabins/?recid=30079&actid=29 and, of course, worse), but this approach still speeds things up tremendously and greatly reduces repetitive stress.
If you have a method for selecting an entire URL at once—regardless of complexity—with a keyboard shortcut, I'd love to know about it.
What my clients say
Kerry has done a great job copyediting for us. In addition to editing the manuscripts, he has also tagged one manuscript for our typesetter and done some minor fact-checking for another. His estimates have been accurate, and his work has been on time and thorough. He knows Chicago style well, and I would definitely recommend him for editing. I am always hesitant to try new people, as I have been disappointed in the past, but Kerry has proved himself, and he has now been added to our list of freelancers, which is a very short list.
- Amber Henderson, Managing Editor, AdventureKEEN