I'm writing an application that generates a spec sheet for a publication. At the top there will be a list of the various components (ads, articles, etc.) and how many there are for each status type:

Pending (pending content)

These elements are missing the content necessary to begin working on for a few different reasons:

  • It is an ad space that hasn't been sold yet
  • It is an ad space that has been sold, but the advertiser hasn't decided what to do with it yet
  • The content depends on something that hasn't happened yet (eg. an interview that's scheduled for some time in the future)
  • The copy text and/or photographs for the element haven't been provided yet

??? (ready to be worked on)

These elements are ready for placement into the publication, but they involve a bit of touching up.

  • If photographs are provided, only the best can be chosen to appear in the publication as space is limited
  • Some photos require alteration
  • A place must be found for elements without a predefined page number
  • If the element is an ad and the advertiser does not provide an ad design, we design an ad for them

If there's too much content for the number of pages that have been allocated to the publication but not enough to justify adding additional pages, then non-advertising elements need to be trimmed down. If there's too little content or we've decided to add additional pages, then non-advertising elements need to be fluffed up a bit (extra photos chosen, pull-quotes added, etc.).

Published (laid out for publishing)

These elements are locked into the publication and cannot change. Once all elements reach this state, it goes to the printer for publishing.

I'm looking for a word to say "these elements are ready to be worked on". It would be extra awesome if it could be used interchangeably to say "mark this element as ready to publish".

The word their current application uses for this state is Approved. The Approved state is really only relevant to ads where we're doing the ad design (ie. the advertiser has approved our ad design) and not a general label for all elements on the spec sheet.

Words I've considered:

  • Processing (makes sense as a label for a collection, but not much sense for changing the state of a single element)
  • Completed (sounds too similar to "Published")
  • Queued (sounds weird on a design document)

A single word would be best since spaces require extra work to deal with in the application, but if there's an exceptional short phrase I'm willing to make an exception.

  • How about "hottable", as in "ready to be cast into molten metal type"? Mar 8 '13 at 19:37
  • What exactly is the next step? You suggested ready to be worked on. What does being worked on entail? Ready to be published can mean ready to be printed or ready to be distributed. It might mean other things, depending on the media and other contextual facts. Mar 9 '13 at 0:13
  • If the spec sheet is for internal use, I would name the three stages TK ("to come"—that is, not yet arrived at the publishing house), On Hand (that is, arrived at the publishing house and ready for editing and/or placement), and Placed (that is, laid out and ready to publish). Calling something "Published" when it is only at the layout stage strikes me as being extremely inaccurate and misleading.
    – Sven Yargs
    Nov 20 '15 at 2:01

Pending sounds like the right word. Or possibly Pending Publication, or even just Ready to Publish.

You could change your set to:

  • Incomplete or In Progress
  • Pending Publication
  • Published
  • I have considered using this set of labels. Do you think Incomplete still makes sense when that label encompasses elements that depend on things that haven't happened yet (eg. an interview that will take place next week)?
    – cimmanon
    Mar 8 '13 at 20:13
  • I think yes, in the sense that an interview that hasn't taken place is technically not complete. Maybe a fourth value for "Not Started" would be appropriate?
    – Carolyn
    Mar 8 '13 at 20:16
  • 1
    Pending sounds like the action to publish has already been taken and now we're just waiting for the process to complete (like when it takes a day to actually show up on the web page). "Ready (to publish)" sounds like what you want if an action is required to make it happen.
    – Jim
    Mar 8 '13 at 20:19
  • I agree that Pending should be the second stage, but would call the first Building, Started or Initialised. I'd probably go with the first option, so you'd have Building -> Pending -> Published.
    – Carl Smith
    Jul 20 '13 at 14:37

The most suitable phrase would be in the pipeline.


I would use the word primed.

If you wanted something a bit fruiter, you could say ripe.

So you would have:

That's the last of the copy. These elements are now primed for publishing.


That's the last of the copy. These elements are now ripe for publishing.

Personally, I would go with primed.

==== EDIT ====

Perhaps, given that your target is designers, the word proofed would be better than primed then?

  • I do like the word primed, but I think the designers using the application might do a bit of head scratching when they see it.
    – cimmanon
    Mar 9 '13 at 12:41
  • I have amended my answer to include a designer-friendly alternative. Mar 11 '13 at 13:05
  • Proofs in terms of printing is a test of how a document looks when printed, the last thing that might be done before sending into production. desktoppub.about.com/cs/basic/g/proofs.htm
    – cimmanon
    Mar 11 '13 at 14:17
  • How about "to proof" then, being short for "Ready to proof"? Mar 11 '13 at 15:33

Pending -> Almost Published -> Published

Pending -> Typesetting -> Published


I would have used the word Editorial or perhaps Under Edit, since that is the phase that is being described.

  • +1 for under edit; although editorial also refers to an opinion piece for a newspaper or magazine
    – Ben
    Nov 20 '15 at 1:52

For a spreadsheet I use often, there is a label for items that are between pending and complete.
I recommend two options:

Staged - an item is in progress, and is planned to be completed.
"I had the products staged for final testing"

Staged is probably the best fit in my opinion and I use this as a tag in a table

For a less business type word:
Prepared - made ready for use.
"the publications were prepared"

This case could mean that you have the designs done, but are not yet published and are open to final tweaks.

Pending -> Prepared -> Published ; fits together nicely in my opinion.

  • This was asked 6 years ago and has an accepted answer. Generally aim to answer more recent questions which don't have an accepted answer, since this is a Q&A site rather than a forum. Aug 5 '19 at 16:44
  • 1
    Oops didn't even check the date - saw it in my recommended feed. Sorry! Still a good answer hopefully
    – Jacob
    Aug 5 '19 at 17:30

I ended up going with Submitted: all of the assets necessary to work on this element have been submitted.

  • I think you made a bad choice there, but it's your project.
    – Carl Smith
    Jul 20 '13 at 14:42

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