GrammarPhile Blog

What Proofreaders Can’t Do

Posted by Sara Richmond   Jan 11, 2024 7:30:00 AM

Proofreading Doesn’t Fix All the Boo-Boos

If you hire a person to paint your kitchen cabinets, you wouldn’t expect them to renovate your entire kitchen for free. If you go to the dentist for a semiannual cleaning, you wouldn’t blame them for your cavities and expect them to drill them at no cost. If you take a driver’s ed course, you wouldn’t be ticked your instructor didn’t offer to become your complimentary chauffeur.

If we’re wrong, we suggest you read this or this instead.

In the same way, proofreading can do a lot to improve your writing, but some tasks are simply beyond its scope. This isn’t due to a lack of motivation—most proofreaders are overeager to provide great value and exceed your expectations. This limitation is simply a matter of definition—what proofreading is and what it isn’t.

What Proofreading Doesn’t Address

Formatting and Layout

Proofreaders work with the text, not the packaging—that’s a job better suited to a graphic designer. Your software or platform or final file type may have different formatting anyway. And trust us when we say you don’t want people with bubkes in graphic design experience fiddling with your darlings.

Web or Copy Design

We aren’t programmers or web designers, so we won’t make changes directly to your website. This is for your protection and sanity. In addition to being outside the scope of a proofreader’s duties, that sort of arrangement can create security concerns and bring ruin to your day. Your IT department will second that emotion (loudly and angrily).

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Topics: proofreader, professional proofreading

Tips and Tricks for Proofreaders

Posted by Kelly Creighton   Nov 16, 2017 7:29:00 AM

Proofreading professionals take pride in their occupation and work diligently to ensure readers don’t encounter typos or any other inaccuracies in a piece of writing. Being responsible for a published typo has the potential to keep a proofreader up at night, cringing with anguish and regret. But every now and then, even proofreaders (the holders of the red pen, the original grammar nerds, and the deciders of the fate of the written world!) deserve a break too.

Whether you proofread marketing material, academic material, legal research, or something else for a living, the tips and tricks listed below are designed to make your proofreading life easier. Once implemented, they’ll help you become even more efficient than you already are.

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Topics: proofreading tricks, proofreading tips, proofreaders, proofreader

Editor or Proofreader:  Who Does What?

Posted by Kelly Creighton   Jul 27, 2017 7:30:00 AM

Experts generally agree that the difference between an editor and a proofreader is as follows:  an editor reviews a piece of writing to fix any errors in its structure or content, followed by a review by a proofreader who looks for any glaring grammar or spelling mistakes.

While there is some truth to this general claim, there is a little bit more behind what makes editors’ and proofreaders’ roles different and why they’re often jumbled. Otherwise, so many people wouldn’t be confused about who does what in the first place.   

Here are the differences between the responsibilities of editors and proofreaders, explained a little more in depth.

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Topics: what to expect from an editor, copyeditor, proofreader, what to expect from a copyeditor

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