Proofreading by Proofed Beyond Doubt
Proofreading by Proofed Beyond Doubt

for all your proofreading needs


Q: What is the difference between proofreading and copy-editing?

A: Although the terms are sometimes mistakenly used interchangeably, proofreading and editing are two different stages of the revision process.

Both stages involve close and careful reading of a document, but they focus on different aspects of the writing and therefore employ different techniques.

 

Proofreading is the examining of text to check for spelling errors, grammatical errors, punctuation errors, lack of consistency (fonts, spacing, usage of bold, italics, underscore etc.).

According to the Society for Editors and Proofreaders:

'The proofreader reads the copy for consistency in usage and layout, for accuracy in the text and references and for typesetting errors. The proofreader, however, is only acting as a quality check, making sure that the copy-editor or typesetter has not missed something. He or she is not responsible for overall consistency and accuracy.'

Proofreading does not include re-writing or changing the way you have written your document, and is carried out after the copy-editing stage.

 

Copy-editing is a more in-depth process, which involves all the proofreading checks as well as revisions to improve the flow and structure of your document if and when necessary, checking for glaring factual omissions, and improving general readability.

According to the Society for Editors and Proofreaders:

'A copy-editor makes sure that an author's raw text, or copy, is correct in terms of spelling and grammar and is easy to read so that readers can grasp his or her ideas. A copy-editor also tries to prevent embarrassing errors of fact, alert the publisher to any possible legal problems and ensure that the typesetter can do a good job.'