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Frequently Asked Questions

Click a category name to jump to questions on that topic, then click a question to read more.

Submitting Files

What file types are supported?
Elevation Editing highly recommends that you use either Microsoft Word files (.doc or .docx) or Google Docs, as these programs offer the most robust features for tracking changes. Libre Office (.odt) files are also accepted but are not preferred. Microsoft PowerPoint (.ppt or .pptx) and Excel (.xls and .xlsx) files are accepted, as are Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) files; however, due to these file types' limitations, they typically take 10% to 20% longer to edit (which will be reflected in the quoted price). Finally, rich text (.rtf) files are accepted for short documents (under 1000 words).
Only Microsoft Word, Google Docs, and Libre Office files have decent built-in track-changes features. Thus, for any document of another file type, I will contact you to discuss the best method of tracking changes for that document. For .rtf, .ppt(x), and .xls(x) files, this will typically involve changing the formatting of the text that I have edited (e.g., by adding underlining or changing the font color). For .pdf files, the usual process is to use markup tools (e.g., placing a strike-through to indicate a deletion). I will do my best to match your preferences.
At this time, other file types (e.g., LaTeX files) are not accepted. However, other file types can usually be converted into a supported file type. Please contact me if you have any questions about how to do this.
Is there a limit on the length of a document?
The short answer is no; I will edit documents of any length. However, there are some practical limits in certain cases:
  • My web hosting service limits uploads to 25 MB. If your document is larger, then you can try reducing the file size (perhaps by temporarily removing images or other elements that do not need to be edited). If that is not sufficient, try emailing me the file (be sure to include the quote number in your email); I will accommodate the larger file if possible.  
  • I may not have time to edit a particularly large file within a given time frame. Always ask me about my availability before submitting a document of more than 5,000 words to ensure that I will have sufficient editing time. If I do not have enough time, I may still be able to edit part of the document; I will also always be able to edit the full document if you are willing to push the return time back.
I have multiple files that I'd like to submit at once. Is there a simple way to do this?
Yes. When submitting your quote request, simply explain that the quote is for a series of documents. I will allow you to email me the documents all at once (either as separate attachments or as a single .zip or .rar compressed file folder). The documents will be treated as a single document for your invoice. Once they are all completed and you have paid the invoice, I will return all the edited files to you over email.
Can you edit my document to a specific template or to a nonstandard style?
Elevation Editing will gladly edit your document to any template or style guide. There are just two simple requirements. First, you will need to provide a link to your style guide (preferably a website or an easily readable file such as a .pdf or .doc file). There is a space to do this when you submit your request for a quote; just choose "Other" for the style guide. Second, I will add an extra half-hour of service to your quote and invoice to account for the time that it will take me to familiarize myself with the style guide. That's it!
My document has citations and/or references, but I do not need Styled Editing. How should I handle this?
Because the citations are in the text, it is not worth trying to remove them. Just leave them in the document, and I will ignore them. They will be included in the document's word count, but don't worry—they won't have a large impact. You can remove the references from the file that you submit if that is convenient; you can also simply leave them in. Either way, they will not be included in the document's word count, and I will ignore them when editing. If references are included in the word count of a document but that document has no style guide, I will contact you to determine whether to omit the references (and reduce the document's word count) or to apply a style guide of your choosing. 
Do you offer services other than editing, such as writing, transcription, fact-checking, and translation?
Elevation Editing does not offer translation services. However, various other services are available upon request:
  • Fact-checking is covered under the Content Editing Service (at a base rate of 750 words per hour). Please keep in mind that I do not guarantee the correctness of your information; I can only determine whether the information is supported by a reputable source.
  • Writing is covered under the Content Creation Service (at a base rate of 250 words per hour). Please note that Elevation's ethical guidelines apply; I will not write or create any content that will be graded or judged by a third party in any way. All created content must be for personal or business use (e.g., a personal email or copy for your business's website). To ensure quality, I may also limit content creation to topics that I am familiar with.
  • Transcription is available as a custom service. The base rate will depend on the characteristics of the audio file. Please send an email to to inquire about the cost of transcription services.
  • Various other services may be available on a custom basis. If you are unsure, simply email me to inquire.
Submittng Files

Editing Files

How do you handle stylistic inconsistencies in documents that do not use a style guide?
First, if I see any potential inconsistencies, I will ask if you have a preference on that issue. If you have expressed a preference, then I will default to that. For instance, if a document contains both "preexisting" and "pre-existing," I will use your preference regarding the hyphenation of prefixes to determine which version to use throughout.
If you have not expressed a preference, then I will try to ensure consistency as much as possible. For example, if you mostly use an en dash () to indicate a negative number but occasionally use a hyphen (-), then I will convert the hyphens to en dashes to ensure consistency. (I will also leave a comment in case you prefer the opposite.)
There are two exceptions to these rules: formatting and citations/references. I will generally ignore formatting inconsistencies when there is no style guide, though I may leave a comment to draw your attention to them if I think that they are unintentional (e.g., if one sentence is in a different typeface than the rest of the document). I will always ignore citations and references when there is no style guide.
What varieties of English can you edit?
My default is to edit in U.S. English, but I also edit documents in U.K. (British) English. If you are using U.K. English, simply let me know in the comments when you are submitting a document or set your language preferences on the My Account page. In addition, if a document clearly and consistently uses U.K. or U.S. English, I will apply that English type without needing to consult with you. I do not explicitly edit to other English types (such as Canadian and Australian English), but if you are using one of those varieties, just let me know; I will leave the spelling and punctuation as they are in the document.
If a document of unknown English type has a few inconsistencies (such as using both "gray" and "grey"), I will leave a comment and try to ensure consistency with the dominant style in the document. If there are many inconsistencies or there is no clear overall style, I will contact you to determine which English variety you prefer. 
Do you use the serial (Oxford) comma?
Generally, yes, I use the serial comma, as lists with it tend to be clearer and easier to parse than those without it. I particularly recommend the serial comma for academic and technical writing. Note that academic style guides generally require the serial comma; in fact, 4 of this site's 5 standard styles (APA, AMA, MLA, and Chicago) require it. Thus, if a document's audience is academic, I will default to using serial commas.
The serial comma is more often omitted in informal and journalistic contexts, however; in those cases, I will default to the dominant style in the document. AP Style does not use the serial comma, so I will omit it (whenever possible) in documents that use that style.
If desired, you can express a serial comma preference to me via email; I will then honor that preference unless a style guide contradicts it.
What dictionaries do you use?
I use Merriam-Webster's Dictionary for U.S. English documents and Lexico by Oxford Dictionaries for U.K. English documents. These are well-respected and very commonly used dictionaries in their respective territories, so they make for good defaults. However, if you would like me to use another dictionary, just provide a link to it in the comments when submitting a quote request (it must be available online). 
What do you do when a style guide's rules conflict with an English type's conventions?
This problem can arise when a style guide is used outside of its intended territory. Because all of this site's standard styles are meant for use in the United States, if you are using one of them with U.K. English, discrepancies can occur. For instance, APA style requires the closed form of most words with prefixes (e.g., "preexisting"), but U.K. English often hyphenates these words (e.g., "pre-existing"). If a discrepancy occurs, I will contact you to determine the best course of action. If I do not hear back from you, I will defer to the English type's conventions.
How do you handle abbreviations and acronyms?
This depends entirely on the type of writing. If you are writing informally, I will assume that all abbreviations and acronyms will be clear to your audience without being defined first; I may leave a comment, though, if I think a definition would be helpful anyway. On the other hand, for formal or academic writing, I will recommend that you define most abbreviations and acronyms on their first uses in your document; clarity is paramount in these contexts, so it is better to err on the side of too much explanation rather than not enough.
Note that you only need to define an abbreviation or acronym once in most cases; I thus will remove repeated definitions to make the document less repetitive. In addition, some abbreviations and acronyms do not need to be defined. For example, common units of measure such as "m" for "meter" can be abbreviated without explanation. Similarly, acronyms that are listed as main entries (i.e., as nouns or adjectives, not as abbreviations) in the dictionary can be used without being defined (e.g., "IQ" is listed as a noun, so it doesn't need a definition).
If an acronym needs to be defined but has no definition, I will not fill in the definition unless it is very clear from context; otherwise, I will just leave a comment to direct you to define the term. Regarding the styling of acronyms, I will default to the all-caps style with no periods (e.g., "ANOVA") except for individuals' initials (e.g., "J.R.R. Tolkien"). If you prefer the title-case style sometimes used in U.K. English (e.g., "Anova"), just say so in the comments when submitting a quote request. 
How do you handle the capitalization of common nouns?
Generally, I will default to lowercase for all common nouns, as this style maximizes readability. This includes job titles that are not used before a person's name (e.g., "The doctor is in."). However, I recognize that some contexts require more capitalization, so if a document exists in a legal, advertising, or religious context, I will be more lenient in allowing such vanity capitalization (e.g., "The Defendant pleads not guilty."). If you have specific preferences, you can let me know in the comments when submitting a quote request, or you can change your settings for all documents on the My Account page.
Editing Files


I loved your edits for my document! What is the best way to let you know?
First off, I am so glad that you are happy with my edits! I welcome all feedback, but I aim for every client to be happy.
You can leave feedback on any document via email or by using this feedback form.
I am not satisfied with the quality of the edits for my document. What is the best way to let you know?
I am sorry that my edits did not meet your expectations, and I am happy to try to fix any problems. If you would just like to provide feedback and do not need any additional edits, please let me know via email or this feedback form. However, if you need me to fix problems with the document, or if there are many errors, I recommend that you submit a formal request for a document review (you can also do this via email). I will then examine your complaints about the document in detail; if the complaints are valid, I will fix them. I may also offer a coupon as compensation for any errors. My goal is always 100% satisfaction, so I will do whatever I can to help. 
What payment methods do you accept? What if I cannot pay with a credit or debit card?
I accept all major credit and debit cards through my web host's secure online payment system. I also accept PayPal. If you do not have a credit card, then PayPal is a great option (as it offers a variety of ways to fund your account). At this time, I do not accept bank transfers or personal checks.
I'm worried about the confidentiality of my document. What is your privacy policy?
You can read the Elevation Editing Privacy Policy here. In short, I will not share your information, or any information contained in your documents, with any third party. Because I am the company's only editor, I am the only one who will read your documents or have access to your personal information. You can rest assured that your information will be safe. In addition, I delete all files from my server and local computer after 1 year has elapsed from their completion (or within 90 days of a user canceling their membership—whichever comes first).  
I'd like to refer a friend to your site. Is there any reward for doing this?
I do not have an official referral system set up yet, but I would greatly appreciate any referrals! Please do send this site to your friends. Once you do, please email me at and tell me your friend's email address. If your friend signs up using that email address and then pays for documents worth at least $100 total, I will send you a coupon for $20 off a future document.   
I have downloaded my edited file and opened it in Word, but I do not see the tracked changes. What do I need to do?
In the Review tab in Word, there should be a dropdown menu that shows the amount of markup you see. (You may have to click on the "Tracking" icon to see this menu.) If the menu shows "Simple Markup," "No Markup," or "Original," then you will need to change it to "All Markup" to see all of my changes. 
If a comment is not fully visible because there are many changes on a page (as is common), then you can read the comment by either mousing over or double-clicking on the comment (depending on the version of Word you are using). You can also see all the changes in a list form in the Review Pane, which can be expanded by clicking the button labeled "Review Pane" or "Reviewing" in the Review tab. If you have any questions about how to work with Word—including tips and tricks for how to format documents properly—just email me. I am happy to help!
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