Inputting Text

Inputting text covers the input of text to computer from the page (by sight or optical character recognition software) or from audio tape. Then the prepared text must be integrated into the final multimedia product.

Inputting text is not trivial. Rather, it is a subtle and complex process. Sufficient thought must be given to it in the planning process and in devising procedures which enable all steps involved in the task to be accomplished effectively and efficiently. Steps frequently include converting from paper to word-processable files. The text then has to be edited, cut and pasted into the final program, and reedited to suit each screen layout. This is a skillful, judgemental, labour-intensive process which can not be automated for the most part.

It is good to agree in advance with any content writer for a project the format in which text is to be communicated. At worst, it will be a handwritten script. At best, it will be in word-processable form. It might seem obvious but I think it worth emphasizing that the format for text communications in a project, even within the design team, should be discussed and agreed by all, repeat all, those involved and then it should be documented. Inputting, converting and editing text can be quite burdensome. It can be difficult for people to keep concentrating on the task in hand, and the risk of introducing or missing an error is high. Many team members may have an imperfect grasp of their word-processing tools and this can be a problem. Word-processing is often assumed to be a basic team skill and people are either not inclined to acknowledge a weakness in this area, do not recognize their weakness here, or are satisfied to live with their bad word-processing habits. A document laying out a design house style which also underlines the sorts of problems to be avoided is strongly recommended.