Macro- and micro-editing

2 min read
First Published: 
Oct 2006

Key Learnings contained in this article:

Editing a manuscript through the draft stages to produce a final product is time consuming, but the process ensures clarity, sense, accuracy and consistency.


Macro-editing involves rewriting and reorganising the document by asking:

  • is there sense and clarity?
  • are the title and abstract concise, accurate, informative, of the correct style and length?
  • are the paragraphs in the right order?
  • is the emphasis correct?
  • are the data accurate?
  • is the referencing adequate?
  • are the tables and figures consistent with the text and presented effectively?
  • is the document relevant to – and at an appropriate level for – the reader?
  • is the document concise?


Micro-editing ensures that the language and style are correct and consistent. Look for:

  • completeness;
  • correct grammar, syntax, spelling, and punctuation;
  • abbreviations, acronyms and symbols (are they correctly defined and consistent?);
  • capitalisation;
  • numbers (i.e. words or numerals?) and units (correct and consistent?);
  • heading hierarchy, fonts, consistency of bulleted listed and justified/unjustified text;
  • references (are they in the correct style, are all cited references listed and are all listed references cited?);
  • tables and figures that are complete with title, legend and axis labelling, are consistent, and are correctly numbered, cited in the text and in the correct position in the text; and
  • drug names and medical terminology that are correct and consistent.

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