Proofreading FAQs

I answer some hypothetical questions in this proofreading FAQs section. If you have any of you own proofreading FAQs, please do not hesitate to email me with the details.

Q. What services do you provide?

I have long experience in proofreading a variety of media in a wide range of subjects and in collating authors’ queries and corrections. I offer:

  • proofreading (to ensure consistency of style and layout, amending spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors)
  • proof-editing (proofreading with light editing involved).

Q. So what is proofreading exactly?

It is usually the final clean-up stage after the document has been laid out and typeset. I will look out for typos, capitalization, punctuation and spelling errors, grammar problems, and inconsistencies in such things as layout and design. At this stage any major changes can have knock-on effects to layout and pagination so I usually take an approach that is minimally invasive to avoid unnecessary costs.

Q. What is the difference between proofreading and copyediting?

Please see the page Proofreader or copyeditor? for the distinction between the two disciplines. I do not handle copyediting.

Q. Why are your proofreading rates not shown on your website?

No two jobs are the same so rates will vary between clients and jobs depending on their nature and complexity. To give precise rates on my website without knowing the context and type of work that I would be doing could be misleading and inaccurate.

Please email me with details of your project so I can give you a no-obligation estimate tailored to your requirements.

Q. What if I have lots of small items that need proofreading over an extended period? How do I pay?

Depending on your requirements and circumstances we can arrange that I invoice for a batch of documents that I proofread over, say, a weekly, fortnightly, or monthly basis.

Q. Can you proofread my essay / dissertation / thesis?

Yes, I regularly proofread for students, including international students studying at UK universities. Please visit the Student proofreading page for more details. A discount of 25% is offered to students.

group of people studying together
Photo by Ivan Samkov on

Q. Which other clients will you work with?

I have many years’ experience in working with book and journal publishers, especially in academic titles, and professional and vocational education. I also work with company marketing and publication departments, educational institutions, charities, clubs, societies, and non-governmental organizations. I will also work with private individuals such as authors and bloggers.

Q. Which file formats will you accept for proofreading?

I regularly work with Word and PDF files. I can also work with PowerPoint presentations but I will often convert these to PDFs to make it easier to record comments, queries, and corrections. I do not handle proofreading of paper copy, only digital files delivered electronically.

Q. How will proofreading corrections and queries be marked up?

On MS Word documents I use the Track Changes tool and on PDFs I will use the Adobe Acrobat tools of delete, insert, and comment. With MS PowerPoint I will convert the slides to a PDF and use the Adobe Acrobat mark-up tools.

Q. Can I be assured that my work will be handled confidentially?

Absolutely. You can be certain of total confidentiality with your documents; no one else has access to my computer or files, and your document content will not be disclosed to anyone. My files are protected by regularly updated antivirus and malware software.

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Photo by Bob Clark on

Q. How quickly can my proofreading be turned around?

That very much depends on the size of the file, the quality of writing, the number of corrections I have to make, and how much work I have booked in from other clients. Many regular clients with sizeable projects usually book me in advance to ensure a prompt turnaround of their work, so the more notice that you can give me the easier it is for me to meet your schedules for large jobs.

Q. How can I prepare my document to ensure it receives a speedy and trouble-free proofread?

There are steps you can take to make my job easier, quicker, and cheaper for you. Several of these are set out in my blog Preparing for proofreading.

Q. I need help with writing my book, can you assist?

No, I am afraid not. You will probably need a copyeditor or even a development editor. You will be able to obtain some advice from the website of the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading.

If you need help in providing an index you should be able to find a suitable candidate through the Society of Indexers.

If you have any proofreading FAQs please do not hesitate to contact me by email.