WRITING : Proofreading

Proofreaders are an invaluable part of the project.

During the Annual Report process a proofreader may be used to check that corrections have been taken in correctly and they are often used at the end of the production process as a skilled ‘fresh eye’. Their role is not to re-edit, restructure or rewrite.

Proofreaders are involved in the detail of the document. They will:
  • check page numbers are consecutive and running headings and footers are correct
  • ensure consistency – particularly of alternative spellings and hyphenation – by following a supplied style guide or by compiling their own
  • identify necessary changes and mark them in the copy. This is generally done on hard copy. If proofs come in electronic format as PDFs, they can be printed out and marked up in the usual way. Page proofs, draft web pages and PDFs can also be read on-screen, but this is usually less successful than proofreading from hard copy and more difficult to mark-up changes
  • check for typographical and design inconsistencies as well as textual ones
  • cross-check chapter titles with the table of contents and that references to the appendices, index, etc. within the text correspond accurately
  • check or insert numbers in cross-references
  • eliminate bad word, line, column and page breaks
  • ensure that illustrations and their captions and labels correspond with each other and with the text
  • liaise with the copy-editor and/or the author to resolve queries or bring them to the client’s attention
  • mark-up changes in a clear manner that makes them easy for the designer to take in, and therefore be less costly.

Proofreaders marks

A proofreader will mark up page proofs with suggested corrections.

Because proofreaders marks can be confusing we've prepared a fact sheet that explains the most common mark-ups.

Download the fact sheet.

Mastering writing styles

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