Proofreading is the reading of a galley proof or an electronic copy of a publication to find and correct production errors of text or art. A 'galley proof' familiarly, 'a proof' is a typeset version of copy or a manuscript document. They may contain typographical errors "printer's errors" , as a result of human error during typesetting. Traditionally, a proofreader looks at an increment of text on the copy and then compares it to the corresponding typeset increment, and then marks any errors sometimes called 'line edits' using standard proofreaders' marks. Proofs are then returned to the typesetter for correction. Correction-cycle proofs will typically have one descriptive term, such as 'bounce', 'bump', or 'revise' unique to the department or organization and used for clarity to the strict exclusion of any other.
What Are the Meaning of Proofreading Marks?
A Quick Guide on Proofreading Marks: How to Use and What They Mean
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An Ultimate Proofreading Marks User Guide
For many proofreaders, they are still valuable tools of the trade. The marks fall into three broad categories. The most common marks are those used to insert, substitute or delete letters or punctuation marks that are missing or incorrect. Proofreading includes dealing with problems of page layout — this is one of the areas where proofreading differs from copy-editing, in that proofreading, strictly speaking, is done on the final proofs of a text when the page layout has been finalised. For example, text or numbers might be incorrectly aligned in a table; the page numbers could be in the wrong place; or a paragraph might be indented when it should be full out.
Proofreading marks were, and still are, the marks that a proofreader would use to show where there were mistakes in the text that needed checking or correcting. For each change in the text two marks were added to the page; one in the body of the text to show where the mistake was and another in the margin. The mark in the margin was specific to the error while the mark in the text was more general, often just being a caret to indicate the position of the mistake. Symbols were used to make sure that the document remained readable, even after several people had corrected and proofread it.