Microediting and Macroediting

by F.

I was browsing on the UC Santa Cruz website and came across this distinction:

In fall and winter, the workshop focuses on “macroediting” — content, structure, tone, technical level and the like. In spring, the workshop focuses more on “microediting” — refining style.

Useful terminology. I quick Google search suggests these terms are used pretty often, but that was the first time I’d heard them. The American Medical Writers Association website has this to say:

macroediting “is defined as the correction or verification of overall structure and content, at the level of the paragraph or above….”

Microediting is

“defined as the correction or verification of details, at the sentence level or below….”

And looking through a few course catalogues and universities reveals more instances of this dichotomy. From the University of Iowa:

019:136 Editing 4 s.h.
Principles and process of editing content for publication; micro- and macroediting, headline writing, other aspects of editing. Prerequisites: 019:098 and journalism major, or consent of undergraduate director.