Document Design and Production for Editors

Writers and editors constantly face the challenge of creating documents that are easy to understand. Editors often work as part of a design team when the purpose of a document is to report or persuade. In this course, we’ll examine the elements of design and how they affect usability, production, and cost.

You will need intermediate skills in a word processing or document design program such as Microsoft Word or InDesign.

The final examination for this course is due two weeks after the course ends (20 days after the last date listed in the schedule).


You should know how to set margins and tab stops; create and format lists and tables; add headers, footers and hyperlinks; add and perform basic changes to images; and create tables of contents.

This course is available at the following time(s) and location(s):

Campus Session(s) Instructor(s) Cost Seats available  
Online - Flora Gordon $435.00 27 Register

Instructional hours: 12

Schedule clarification: Online courses begin on the first date listed and end six days after the last date listed. The interim dates/times are not your actual online class times.

What will I learn?

By the end of the course, you will be able to do the following:

  • Describe good design and how it applies to technical documents
  • Apply the five guiding principles of effective graphic design
  • Demonstrate your knowledge of the terminology, types, and reasons for using grids for page layout
  • Explain the history, terminology, classifications, and components of typefaces
  • Use tables, charts, graphs, and other graphic elements
  • Demonstrate your knowledge of image file formats, their terminology, and their use
  • Identify document structures, organization methods, and binding
  • Analyze different output processes (printing, electronic) and select the best one based on the project usage, budget, schedule, distribution and accessibility needs

How will I learn?

  • Readings
  • Discussions
  • Exercises
  • Assignments

How will I be evaluated?

  • Participation in discussions
  • Assignments

The final assignment is due 14 days after the end of the course.

Textbooks and learning materials

We will provide course materials online.

Hardware and software requirements

  • Access to word processor or desktop publishing software such as Microsoft Word or Adobe InDesign to complete the assignments.

We deliver this course using SFU's online course management system, Canvas. You will receive course details and Canvas access instructions on the first day of the course. You can check if your browser is compatible with Canvas here.

New to online learning? See Online Programs and Courses for helpful videos and additional information.

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