In the next part of the Article, we examine the part of the proofreader. As mentioned in the first article, there are many people who consider that proofreading and copyediting are one and the same thing, so the aim of these articles is to clarify the differences between the two jobs, and as with the first post, the emphasis is on hard copy books rather than online content. Proofreading is the last phase of the editorial process and although not quite as involved as that of a copyeditor, a proofreader’s job is no less demanding. The first and possibly the most important point to mention is something which a proofreader will not do, which is they will not edit the copy all of the essential changes will have been made from the copyeditor alone. A proofreader will see what essentially the final draft of a manuscript is and will that the copyeditor and typesetters have each done their jobs correctly.
Much like the copyright my book, the proofreader will check spelling, punctuation, grammar and syntax in addition to consistency. And ambiguities whilst liaising with the copyeditor over anything they believe may require clarification. Perhaps not well known by these not in the profession is the way proofreaders mark up the necessary changes to a manuscript. They do so by using standard industry proofreading marks that too many will seem like hieroglyphics but are actually how proofreaders communicate their findings to the copyeditor and publisher. Each mark refers to an action such as deleting a letter or word shutting up a distance or highlighting a misused font for example. The truth is there is a mark for pretty much every question a proofreader might encounter.
Proofreaders generally work in one of two ways based on their brief. One is contrast proofreading, or studying against copy another is blind proofreading, and the distinction is extremely straightforward. Comparison proofreading, as its name implies, will entail comparing the copyeditor’s version with the typesetter’s copy. This entails reading the copy word for word on both files and marking the necessary changes. Although not too detailed, these posts should give readers a clearer comprehension of how the functions of a copyeditor and proofreader differ but also how they interlink to form a Critical part of the publication procedure.