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.
The purpose of proofreading is to identify any mistakes that may have slipped through the editing process. These include:
- 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 face)
- formatting errors such as word or line spacing (kerning and leading), pagination and chapter numbering.
Proofreading involves checking that a written document conforms to standard or house style guidelines if required. In addition, it involves checking for standard typographic usage and conventions like accurate placement of smart quotes, apostrophes, hyphens, en and em dashes.
Proofreading serves the role of ‘gate-keeper’ in the publishing process. Although the Spellcheck function in word processing programs such as Microsoft Word is able to pick up many spelling and syntax errors (often referred to as a ‘soft’ edit), they do not read for context. Therefore, if you only rely on this feature for the final review of your written document, 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.
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 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.