Information and Communication Technology

Editing and Organising Information

Applying editing techniques to meet needs

This page deals with practical aspects of using ICT. In particular, the use of a word processor or desktop publisher to edit and organise information.

Most examinations at IGCSE / GCSE level involve either a practical examination or a project. In both cases it is important to use your ICT skills to set your work out in an appropriate manner.

What is meant by appropriate will depend on the subject matter of your project or the scenario set out in the examination. A business scenario will demand a different approach to a social networking based scenario, which will in turn be different to what is needed when writing up a Science report.

The graphic shows Trademarks and Logos to illustrate the concept of word processing. These are not Public Domain images.

Entering information

If you want to organise information you have to get it into the computer

This topic is only examined in the practical examination. This means that the main, possibly only, means of entering information will be the keyboard and mouse.

Given the large number of word processors and desk top publishers available, the best advice for improving information entry is to practice.

It is important to find out well in advance what software, and what versions, will be available on the examination computer. This is particularly important if the examination centre is not the same place as your teaching centre.

You also need to read instructions very carefully. If a questions says to write a title centred, in 24 point bold, there will be at least one mark for doing exactly that. Spelling mistakes will be penalised, especially if you misspell a word that is given in the question.

Organising information

Structuring a document

Document structure deals with the layout of a document, headers, footers, columns, etc.

A simple and convenient way to structure a document is to use a template.

All word processors and desktop publishers have at least one template built in, the blank A4 page template.

Most have several others available as well, but for examination purposes the blank page is a good place to start.

The rules for the practical examination state that. "Each printout must bear the candidate's name and number and the centre number."

They also state that. "Candidates must not have access to pre-prepared templates or other files during the examination. However, they may use software-specific wizards."

This means that you cannot pre-prepare a template that already has these details filled in, but there is no problem with making such a template as your first task in the examination. Simply open a blank page, add a header or footer, put the information in and save the page as a template.

Use File ... Save As ... Select file type ... template.

It would be a good idea to practice the task so that it only takes a few seconds to produce a template during the examination.

Document layout

Using standard features of documents to organise information and make it easier to understand

Templates. For most documents which you need to produce in the practical examination, there is no real need for a template, other than having the required details in a header / footer.

In fact, it will usually take longer to produce a template than it will to simply lay out the document starting with a blank page.

The real purpose of templates is to allow you to make a page layout for a particular type of task and then save time by using the template whenever that task needs to be performed. Since each examination question is different, and you will only answer each question once, templates are unlikely to be very useful.

The main techniques that you are likely to need for page layouts are:

  1. headings
  2. sub-headings
  3. tables
  4. lists.

The list makes it easier for the marker to see, at a glance, that you have given the four items asked for.


Altering the document so that it is fit for purpose

After you have created a document, you will be expected to be able to make changes to it. This called editing.

Some common editing methods are:

Some applications will allow a choice of moving or copying the selection.

The find part of the function will usually allow some simple conditions. e.g. case            sensitive, whole words only.

The Undo function, available from the Edit menu or an icon on the toolbar, allows you to reverse the most recent change. The next click or Edit ... Undo will reverse the next most recent change and so on.

The Undo changes are also recorded, in a separate list. The Redo function allows Undos to be reversed, the most recent Undo being the first Redo.

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