What is copy-editing?

The copy-editor's role is to help the reader grasp the author's ideas, to prevent embarrassing errors and to ensure that the typesetter can do a good job.


A professional copy-editor will:


  • correct errors in spelling, grammar, punctuation, style and usage
  • eliminate inconsistencies and repetition and apply house style (where applicable)
  • clarify ambiguities and inaccuracies with the author
  • ensure that the text is structured logically and coherently
  • mark up hard copy with conventional symbols or edit files on screen
  • organise illustrations and ensure that labels and legends are consistent with the text
  • identify legal issues relating to copyright, libel, obscenity or blasphemy.


What is proofreading?

The proofreader's role is to:


  • compare proofs with edited copy or previous proofs
  • or, if requested, proofread 'blind' i.e. without reference to copy or previous proofs
  • check consistency and accuracy of text, typography and design
  • on hard copy, mark amendments using British Standard proof-correcting symbols and apply colour coding to differentiate editor and typesetter mistakes
  • follow the style guide supplied by the client or the copy-editor, or compile one to ensure consistency
  • consider the implications of any changes for costs and timing.


Email me