We offer proofreading and copyediting services – we can check your text for spelling, grammar & consistency issues in your documents and designs. We can simply check the text (proofread) or edit your text (proof-edit or copyedit).
Our proofreading service will highlight and suggest corrections for errors in spelling, punctuation and grammar.
We can suggest improvements in wording, style and layout to produce a document that is clear, consistent and easy to read.
We can proofread or edit all types of documents:
- Advertising literature.
- Product brochures.
- Manuals and user guides.
- Web sites.
- Magazines and newspapers.
- Reports and proposals.
- Fiction and non-fiction books.
Why use the services of a proofreader?
“Won’t the automatic spell-checker in my word-processor or DTP software find and correct all the errors?”
Spell-checking software can certainly help, but even with such tools to hand many documents still reach publication with obvious errors in spelling, punctuation, grammar or internal consistency.
A word-processor’s spell-checker will often miss words that are spelled correctly, but which are incorrect in context, for example there or their (or even they’re!). Or sometimes a section of text can be imported from another document that was generated using a different language setting. Depending on the settings used, this may result in that section retaining its original language choice, and country-specific errors such as “color” will not be flagged by the software in this section.
Our proofreading and copyediting services will highlight these errors.
Causes of common errors
- Basic “typos” (your word-processor should automatically change or flag these).
- Words that are spelled correctly, but which are incorrect in the context of the text.
- The wrong country setting on the spell-checker (most commonly for UK authors: US English vs. British English).
- Poor translation from another language.
- Late edits that introduce new errors in text that had already been checked and passed.
- Changes in document layout causing sections of text to be lost or re-arranged.
- Inconsistencies in style or terminology, due to multiple authors or sources.
Levels of service
Proofreading is the process of checking text for errors in spelling, punctuation and grammar. Originally, a proofreader would mark up a printed copy (“proof”) of the document using particular symbols to indicate what needs to be changed by the author or editor. These days – with most documents being prepared electronically – proofreading is often done using tools such as Microsoft Word’s Tracking option. This allows the text to be corrected directly by the proofreader, with the changes marked so that the author can review them. The author can then accept or reject changes, as required.
A proofreader can also check for issues with the document’s layout, such as problems with fonts, page numbering, headers and footers, Table of Contents – anything that might detract from the quality of the finished document.
Copyediting goes much further than proofreading. It is the process of checking and editing a document to improve readability and consistency, as well as ensuring that the text is free of grammatical and (where possible) factual errors. A copyeditor may have to make more extensive changes to the text than would be done by a proofreader – often to correct lapses in style or to harmonise contributions from several different authors to give a consistency in terminology and the author’s “voice”. A copyeditor would also be looking out for inconsistencies in the plot or descriptions (in the case of fiction), unclear or incomplete explanations (in non-fiction) – and a host of other things.
Proof-editing is a combination of proofreading and copyediting that is often done in the same pass.
In real life all three roles exist – and overlap – on the same sliding scale, and a basic proofreading job can often expand to involve other work that might be considered part of a copyeditor’s role. We can provide any level of service, and can advise on what your document may need based on a sample.
We also offer technical writing, document editing, document layout management, creation of simple technical illustrations and diagrams, desktop publishing and photo editing. Many clients require a combination of all these services on their documents.
We have experience in editing documents by authors whose first language is not English, changing awkward (sometimes translated) sentence constructions to improve clarity and flow.
If you would like to discuss a job or obtain a quote, please contact us.