Impress Your Customers with Professional Proofreading

Proofreading Builds Customer LoyaltyNow that the content is approved—it’s time to enter the final phase. This means careful proofreading of the content by a professional proofreader, making sure the content makes sense (by reading line for line), and checking to see what the printed copy will look like. To increase sales and brand awareness, you need to present your brand in the best light possible. The brand image must be professional. Any mistakes take away from your brand perception in your customers’ eyes.

Guidelines for error-free proofreading are included in the Proofreading Checklist. All content must be proofread several times. Never publish any content without proofreading it. Are the dates current? Is the phone number correct? Is the information up to date? Is the brand messaging consistent? Does the copywriting get to the point and deliver a call to action? The list can go on and on, which is why proofreading is such a critical step—but still more times than not, squashed for time. It’s up to the proofreader to be eagle-eyed and quick.

Catch More Errors with Both On-Screen and Hard-Copy Proofreading

The Proofreading Checklist is comprehensive. If editing electronically in a Word document, use the Track Changes function to redline (add edits) to the document. If working in a digital PDF, select the Comments tab and then select Sticky Notes. Another option is to provide a list of the edits in an email. Decide on the method for sharing the edits before the proofreading phase begins. If working with a hard copy, mark up the document using professional  proofreaders’ marks.

Proofreading Checklist for On-Screen or Hard-Copy ContentProofreading Checklist

•    Read content thoroughly to check:
–    Content maps to the objectives or selling points
–    Copy is organized logically to tell a story
–    Message makes sense and is clear, concise and consistent
–    If copy is not clear, rewrite as necessary (proofreading includes editing)
–    Content flows from topic to topic, is easy to understand and read
–    Any references to elements for review (i.e., table above, below,
page numbers) are correct
–    Typos
–    Spelling
–    Readability
–    No extra line or character spaces (use only one space after periods and colons)
–    Brand messaging, terms, titles, corporate identity, style manual
–    Accuracy of facts/data (content, names/titles, phone numbers, addresses, URLs)
–    Voice and Tone
–    Punctuation
–    Grammar
–    Clarity
–    Format of text (for readability, e.g., are subheads needed)
–    Typesetting (ensure fonts are consistent)
–    References for footnotes
–    Permissions for reprinted materials
–    Table consistency
–    Photo captions
–    Heading and subhead consistency
–    Copyrights, register, and trademarks (reference on first occurrence only)
–     “Continued on” page numbers and section references
–    Acronyms (spelled out fully on first occurrence with acronym immediately following in parentheses)
–    En dashes (space on either side used instead of “to” with numbers/hours or to set off titles and text blocks)           and em dashes (no space on either side used to separate phrases and add emphasis)

 Helpful Proofreading TipsOn-Screen Review Proofreading Tips

•    Check in Normal View for visual effectiveness of content delivery and graphic balance
•    Check in Zoom View to ensure copy and graphics meet seamlessly and graphics are clean and consistent
•    Ensure graphics support the content regarding placement
•    Check all links
•    Run Spell Check
•    Before making edits electronically, review a printed copy

Hard-Copy Review Proofreading Tips

•    Mark up (or redline) the document with edits using professional proofreaders’ marks
•    Use red ink
•    Write legibly
•    If need to share the hard-copy edits off site in real time, scan into a PDF and email