What are the standard proofreading icons

Proofreading - Proofreading

The process of detecting and removing defects in a written or printed material

Proofreading is reading a galley proof or electronic copy of a publication to find and correct manufacturing errors of text or type. Proofreading is the final step in the editing cycle before publication.


Traditional method

A proof is a set version of a copy or a manuscript page. They often contain typing errors due to human errors. Traditionally, a proofreader looks at an increment of text on the copy and then compares it to the corresponding sentence increment and then marks any errors (sometimes referred to as "line manipulation") with standard proofreader marks. In contrast, the defining process of a proofreading service is to work directly with two sets of information at the same time. Proofs are then sent back to the -setter for correction. Correction cycle proofs usually have a descriptive term, e.g. B. "Bounce", "Bump" or "Revision", which is unique to the department or organization and is used strictly excluding others for the sake of clarity. It is common for "all" corrections, no matter how minor, to be resent to a proofreader for review and initialing, establishing the principle of greater responsibility for proofreaders compared to their typesetters or artists.

Alternative methods

Hold Copy or Read Copy uses two readers per proof. The first one literally reads the text as it appears, usually at a comparatively fast but steady pace. The second reader follows and marks all relevant differences between what has been read and what has been set. This method is suitable for large amounts of boilerplate text where it is assumed that comparatively few errors will occur.

Experienced copy owners use various codes and verbal abbreviations to guide them as they read. For example, the spoken word "digits" means that the numbers to be read are not spelled words. and 'in a hole' can mean that the upcoming text segment is in brackets. 'Bang' means an exclamation mark. A 'slap' or 'screamer' made with a finger on the table represents the initial cap, comma, period, or some similar obvious attribute that is read at the same time. So the line of text (he said the address was 1234 Central Blvd., and to hurry!) Would be read out as "in a hole [punch] he said the address was digits 1 2 3 4 [punch] Central [punch ] buluhvuhd [blow] comma and hurry bang ". Mutual understanding is the only guiding principle, so codes evolve when opportunity allows. In the example above, two strokes after 'buluhvuhd' may be acceptable to proofreaders who are familiar with the text.

'Double reading' is when a single reviewer reviews a proof in the traditional manner and then another reader repeats the process. Both initialize the proof. Note that when holding copies as well as double-reading, the responsibility for a particular piece of evidence is necessarily shared between the two proofreaders.

'Scan' is used to check a proof without reading it word for word. This has become a common practice with the computerization of typesetting and the popularization of word processing. Many publishers have their own proprietary typesetting systems, while their customers use commercial programs such as Word. Before the data can be published in a Word file, it must be converted to a format used by the publisher. The end product is commonly referred to as a conversion. If a customer has proofread the contents of a file before submitting it to a publisher, there is no need for another proofreader to reread it from the copy (although this additional service may be requested and paid for). Instead, the publisher is only responsible for formatting errors such as font type, page width, and alignment of columns in tables. and manufacturing errors such as accidentally deleted text. To further simplify matters, a specific conversion is usually assigned a specific template. Skilled proofreaders, familiar with the work of their typesetters, can scan their pages accurately without reading the text for errors for which neither they nor their typesetters are responsible.

Style guides and checklists

Proofreaders are expected to be consistently accurate by default, as they are the final stage of typographic production before publication.

take in. Before they are set, copies are often marked by an editor or customer with various instructions on fonts, graphics and layouts. Often these people consult a style guide with varying degrees of complexity and completeness. Such instructions are usually created in-house or provided by the customer and should be supported by professional references such as The Chicago Manual of Style, AP Stylebook,

Checklists are common in proofing rooms where the product is uniform enough to group some or all of its components into one list. They can also serve as a training tool for new hires. However, checklists are never exhaustive: proofreaders still have to find any errors that are not mentioned or described, which limits their usefulness.


The level of education of the proofreaders generally corresponds to that of their staff. Typesetters, graphic designers, and word processors seldom require a college degree, and a review of online proofreading vacancies reveals that the lists may include proofreading degrees, but many do not. The same listings also show a tendency for positions only with degrees in companies in commercial sectors such as retail, medical, or insurance where the data to be read is internal documents that are not intended for public consumption per se. Such listings, in which a single reviewer is specified to fill a single position, require a degree rather than a method of reducing the candidate pool, but also because the degree is a requirement for potentially eligible employees

In contrast, printers, publishers, advertising agencies, and law firms typically do not require a specific degree. In these professionally demanding, single-tasking environments, the educational differences encompass the manufacturing department rather than the company itself. Promotion is rare for these reviewers because they are valued for their current skills rather than any potential leadership ability. They are often supervised by an unqualified typesetter or by an administrative manager with little or no production experience who delegates the day-to-day tasks to a typesetter. As a result, listing these positions usually highlights experience, offers correspondingly higher pay rates, and requires a proofreading test.

Proofreading test

applicant . Although many commercial and college proofreading courses of varying quality are available online, practical professional training for proofreaders has declined along with their status as a craft. Many books also teach readers the basics of proofreading. Such self-preparation tools have largely replaced formal classroom teaching.

Proofreader applicants are tested for spelling, speed, and ability to find errors in a sample text. To do this, they may be given a list of ten or twenty classically difficult words and a proofreading test, both of which are closely timed. The proofreading test often has a maximum number of errors per amount of text and a minimum time to find. The aim of this approach is to identify those with the best skills.

A contrasting approach is to identify and reward persistence more than an arbitrarily high level of expertise. For the spelling portion of the test, this can be accomplished by providing a dictionary, noticeably lengthening the word list, and making it clear that the test is not timed. A suitable language reference (e.g. the Chicago Manual of Style) can be provided for the proofreading section. (Note that knowing where to find the necessary information in such textbooks is itself an effective part of the test.) Removing the pressure of an essentially ASAP deadline will identify those applicants with slightly larger reservoirs of persistence. Perseverance and commitment. At the same time, applicants learn that their success depends on a quality by questioning the need for applicants to use a saved list of difficult words and an in-depth knowledge of the most common grammatical pitfalls (affect, effect, layperson, lie) at least in theory available to everyone at any time without preparation.

Formal employee tests are usually planned and announced well in advance and may contain titles such as Levels Testing, Skills Evaluation, etc. You are in a corporate or government setting with enough staff to prepare and administer an exam.

Informal employee tests take place whenever a manager feels the need to randomly sample the work of a proofreader by double reading selected pages. Usually this happens without warning and sometimes it is done clandestinely. It can be very effective, and there will certainly be times when such rereading is warranted, but caution is advised.

There are two basic approaches. The first is to reread a piece of evidence within its time limit and in the department itself. In this way, the manager reads from the same copy that the first reader saw and is aware of the volume and deadline pressure the first reader was under and can observe the person directly in real time. This approach can also be followed routinely. The aim then is not to confirm a specific suspicion of poor work performance by a particular reader, but to confirm a general assumption that proofreading requires continuous monitoring.

The second approach to informal testing is to wait a few days or weeks and then, when time permits, select random proofs to be reread outside the department. Such proofs may or may not be accompanied by the copy pages seen by the proofreader. Here the new reader examines the evidence from the point of view of typographical accuracy and formatting accuracy alone, ignoring how many other pages the first reader had read that day and had not yet read, how many pages were successfully read and how many deadlines were met below met the specific conditions of a particular day.


Proofreading cannot be completely cost-effective if the volume or unpredictable workflow prevents proofreaders from managing their own time. Examples include newspapers, commercial thermographic business card printing, and network hubs. The problem with any of these environments is that jobs cannot be set aside for rereading when needed. In the first two cases, volumes and deadlines dictate that all orders must be completed as soon as possible. In the third case, jobs that are currently on-site at the hub, regardless of their formal deadline, are accelerated in favor of possible future work that may arrive unpredictably. If evidence can only be read once programmatically, the quality will be random but persistently below expectations. Even the best and most seasoned readers won't be able to consistently be accurate enough to warrant paying the bonus.

Production technology can also call into question the need for a premium for proofreading. In the thermographic business card printing example, preparing each print run, separated by color, creates a significant waste of paper and ink, even if there are no reprints. If (as is so often the case) unused space is available on the disk, the production costs for reprints that use this space do not increase. Only if the reprints are so numerous that they drive production staff into significant overtime would they add to costs. However, significant overtime is usually the result of a high volume of orders when using the eight-hour day. In such industries, proofreading must and can only make a minor difference to be cost effective. As for customers, many will never return even if their job is perfect, and enough of those who need a reprint will find that the retailer's cost-saving price is satisfactory enough to tolerate late delivery.

Only if the workload volume does not compress all deadlines as quickly as possible and the workflow is relatively stable can proofreading be worth premium wages. Strict deadlines dictate a delivery time, but do not necessarily have to be delivered before this time. When deadlines are met consistently rather than haphazardly postponed, reviewers can manage their own time by setting evidence aside at their discretion to reread later. Regardless of whether the interval is a few seconds or overnight, proofs can be viewed as both familiar and new. When this procedure is followed, managers can expect consistently superior performance. Rereading, however, focuses responsibility rather than dividing it (as is the case with double-reading and holding copies as described above), and requires more effort from proofreaders and some degree of administrative freedom. Instead of managers checking deadlines, deadlines control managers and leeway is passed on to the reviewers, as is adequate pay.

Proofreading and copying

The term proofreading is sometimes used incorrectly to refer to it, and vice versa. While there is necessarily some overlap, proofreaders usually lack any real editorial or managerial authority. You can mark queries for typesetters, editors, or authors. In order to clarify the matter at the beginning, it is pointed out for some advertised positions that the advertised position is not a writing or editing position and will not become one. Creativity and critical thinking naturally run counter to the rigorous discipline that requires commercial and government proofreading. Proofreading and editing are therefore fundamentally separate tasks. In contrast, the editors concentrate on a sentence-by-sentence analysis of the text in order to "clean up" it by improving grammar, spelling, punctuation, syntax and structure. The copy editor is usually the last editor an author works with. Editing of texts focuses intensely on style, content, punctuation, grammar and consistency of usage.


The most important examples include jobseekers' own résumés and> theses. Proofreading such materials poses a particular challenge, partly because the proofreader / editor is usually the author; second, because such writers are usually unaware of the inevitability of errors and the effort required to find them; and third, since final errors are often found when the stress is greatest and time is shortest, readers cannot identify them as errors. In these conditions, reviewers tend to see only what they want to see.


Spell checkers have been widely used since the advent of digital documents.

Grammar Checker has been available in Microsoft Word since 1992.

Proofreading software will no longer be common as of 2020, but it can be helpful in finding and correcting mistakes.

Document comparison in Libreoffice, branching in Git, and merging 4 windows can be helpful when merging multiple asynchronous versions.

Simultaneous editing like Google Docs avoids version conflicts and enables live remote review.

In fiction

Examples of proofreaders in fiction are The History of the Siege of Lisbon (Historia do Cerco de Lisboa), a 1989 novel by Nobel Prize winner Jose Saramago, the short story "Proofs" in George Steiner's Proofs and Three Parables (1992) and the short story " Evermore "in Cross Channel (1996) by Julian Barnes, in the protagonist Miss Moss is a dictionary editor. Under the heading "Orthographic" in James Joyce's novel Ulysses, Leopold Bloom, he watched the typesetter's foreman, Mr. Nannetti, read a "limp galley page". thinks of "Proof Fever".

Request for correction processing

For documents that do not require a formal typesetting process, such as reports, magazine articles and e-publications, the costs for changes in the correction phase are no longer as relevant. This, combined with the time and cost pressures from companies, self-publishers and academics, has created a demand for one-step proofreading and editing services, where a professional proofreader / editor - often a freelancer, sometimes called an - is hired to provide an agreed level of service at an agreed time and at an agreed cost.

Proof editing is typically done outside of the traditional publishing space and typically involves a single stage of editing. It is considered preferable to use separate phases for editing and proofreading texts. Therefore, editing corrections is, by definition, a compromise that modern professional on-screen proofreaders and editors are increasingly offering to meet the demand for flexible proofreading and editing services.

An example table with distinctions between different services: editing, copying, proofreading and proofreading

Since this is such a new term (covered in a guest blog on the site) and freelancers are typically offered to individuals and businesses and are not a formal, industry-defined service. Exactly what is included can vary. The following is an example of the distinction between nonfiction work services.

service Machining Correction processing Proofreading
Rewriting extensive content Y N N N
Rewrite for style and clarity and tone Y Y N N
Implement a style sheet / house style Y Y N N
Implement formatting Y Y N N
Querying facts Y Y N N
Cross-checking of in-text references to figures, graphics, equations, etc. Y Y Y N
Cross-checking of in-text references with bibliography Y Y Y N
Check whether the style sheet / house style is adhered to Y Y Y Y
Make sure the formatting is consistent Y Y Y Y
spelling, orthography Y Y Y Y
punctuation Y Y Y Y
grammar Y Y Y Y

See also


External links

Look up Proofreading in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.