What is Proofreading?
Proofreading originally referred to the late-stage correcting of material that had already been professionally set in lead type. These days, proofreading usually means the final checking process for any text-based information.
Proofreading serves the role of ‘gate-keeper’ in the publishing process. Although the Spellcheck function in word processing programs such as Microsoft Word can be useful for identifying many spelling and syntax errors (often referred to as a ‘soft’ edit), it does not read for context. This means that you can inadvertently introduce errors into your writing. In this way, if you only rely on Spellcheck for the final review of your text, you can either miss or ‘miscorrect’ spelling in certain situations. In contrast, a professional proofreader will be able to verify that all textual features of a document, including body copy, headings, captions, titles, pull quotes and folios (page numbers) are correct.
The Role of a Proofreader
The purpose of proofreading is to identify any mistakes that may have slipped through the editing process.
A professional proofreader will check for:
- spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors (such as hyphenation, capitalisation, shortened forms and abbreviations)
- mistakes in word usage (for example, the use of ‘to’ instead of ‘too’)
- typos, including incorrect font size or styling (italics or bold typeface)
- formatting errors such as word or line spacing (kerning and leading), pagination and chapter numbering.
- standard typographic conventions, including accurate placement of smart quotes, apostrophes, hyphens, en and em dashes.
In addition, proofreading involves checking that a written document conforms to standard or house style guidelines if required.
How We Can Help You
At Epiphany Editing & Publishing we take great care to eliminate distracting typos and mistakes in spelling, punctuation and grammar. By ensuring your written work is as polished and word perfect as possible, we help to ensure that you make a favourable first impression.
For a proofreading service of the highest standard, contact us today.