Constant text revisions – how to stop the madness?

I’ve looked thru the archives and haven’t seen this specific issue, so here goes:

I’ve worked as in-house and freelance graphic designer, and my #1 head-to-the-desk cause is when the client gives me text, I make it pretty, then they constantly change little things in the text. Add a comma here. Change this to that. Bill thinks this sentence needs to end in an exclamation point. They expect me to make these edits on my InDesign file and I worry because I might make a typo or accidentally touch something else.

Additionally, little words added impact the flow of the paragraphs and can dramatically change the layout. Suddenly I have to re-design the page because the word count has now expanded beyond what good design allows.
This addition/revision of text is frequently due to many eyes seeing the drafts DESPITE that they have had their own rounds of review of the copy.

My goal is to get them to hand me UNTOUCHABLE text BEFORE the design gets underway. If something must be changed, I’ve asked that they change it themselves in the original Word doc, but I’ve had quite a lot of resistance with that – my feeling is they know this is a crap way of working but they want to be able to blame me, not themselves, for any errors. BTW they completely ignore word count.

So how to handle this? Any way to stop the madness?


Consider composing a short document “Guidelines for submitting documents.” In this, specify the desirable and reasonable practices you want/need to perform your part of the project.

Offer limited (two) “Authors’ Alterations” (AAs), because stuff happens, if it has been dated and submitted in reasonable form. Who is responsible for proofreading, copy preparations, etc.? If it’s you, you should have proper resources to use which includes time to do it properly.

Things take time and it’s reasonable to have a cut-off after which you cannot accept changes without some compromise. (You should have a say in the terms of the compromise.)

You might have to charge some cases more for the insult If you can’t refuse them outright.

Source : Link , Question Author : TCDesigner , Answer Author : Stan

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