Proofreaders’ Marks (Proofreading Marks) and Symbols

Although most editing and proofreading are performed today using the ‘Track Changes’ feature of Microsoft Word or other commenting tools, you may encounter traditional proofreading marks and symbols on a hardcopy document. In desktop publishing, it is important to understand the meaning of proofreaders’ marks. Both editors/proofreaders and clients, regardless of their backgrounds, should have the same standard marks for easy communication.

24.11.2020

Proofreaders’ Marks (Proofreading Marks) and Symbols

Traditional Proofreaders’ Marks (Proofreading Marks) and Symbols

Although most editing and proofreading are performed today using the ''Track-Changes'' feature of Microsoft Word or other commenting tools, you may encounter traditional proofreading marks and symbols on a hardcopy document. In desktop publishing, it is important to understand the meaning of proofreaders’ marks. Both editors, proofreaders, and clients, regardless of their backgrounds, should have the same standard marks for easy communication. That is why a consistent style and common proofreading marks and symbols should be used. These marks and symbols are considered the language that editors and proofreaders speak when they edit or proofread a hardcopy document.

An Overview of Common Proofreaders’ Marks

As we discussed in the ‘‘The Difference Between Proofreading and Editing article, the purpose of proofreading is to correct all errors in grammar, punctuation, syntax, and spelling in a manuscript. To confirm whether the final version of one’s manuscript contains any minor errors, you need proofreading. However, editing requires extra effort from an editor than does proofreading, because editing aims to improve the academic quality of your paper. Thus, editing involves improvement of the content, overall structure, quality of findings and analysis, simplicity, and referencing of the paper. Editing also aims to correct all errors in grammar, typography, punctuation, syntax, and spelling in a manuscript. In this sense, editing encompasses proofreading; however, strictly speaking, proofreading is the last stage before printing or delivery to the client. In hardcopy proofreading, editors and proofreaders use specific proofreaders’ marks to communicate their revisions.

If you have ever had a hardcopy paper proofread, you are probably familiar with the unexpected typology of your proofreader. The revised version of your document is returned with symbols that seem to be from a different language.

In a revised hardcopy version of a paper, all edits are visibly marked, including corrections, suggestions, and comments. These strange symbols and marks, left by proofreaders to highlight where changes need to be made in the text, allow you to notice all corrections and suggestions.

Proofreading Marks at a Glance

Proofreaders’ marks (also known as proofreading marks) are symbols and abbreviations for correcting typeset pages. The editors and proofreaders place these marks in the margins and in corresponding lines of text. These symbols and marks referring to comments about and suggestions for revisions appear in the margins and text of your manuscript.

In hardcopy proofreading, corrections and suggestions typically appear in the left or right margins, beside the line containing the error. A mark or symbol is also placed in the text to indicate where corrections and changes need to be made. A caret (^), for instance, indicates an addition, whereas a line through the text indicates a deletion or replacement. Proofreading marks are generally written in red ink for the best visibility.

Here is a list of the most common proofreaders’ marks for your reference (the list is taken from The Chicago Manual of Style Online):

Proofreaders’ Marks (Proofreading Marks) and Symbols

(Source: The Chicago Manual of Style Online)

Proofreaders’ Marks versus Track Changes in Microsoft Word

As discussed above, a revised version of a document, full of strange symbols and abbreviations, may seem to have been translated into another language. Understanding this strange language or decrypting the suggested changes might take hours and maybe time-consuming and challenging. It does not have to be anymore, thanks to the ''Track Changes'' function of Microsoft Word. The ''Track Changes'' function in Microsoft Word is a very handy tool for tracking all changes, corrections, edits, and even suggestions and comments by your editor or proofreader.

With this function, your document is returned with all edits visibly marked. All of the edits, including corrections, suggestions, and comments, via the ‘Track Changes’ function, appear in the margins of a revised paper. It is very easy to notice, follow, accept, or reject all the changes and suggestions in the paper. With a tracked paper, you also see some essential comments by the editor or proofreader on the right-hand side of the page. To read more about the ‘Track Changes’ function in Microsoft Word, click here.

If you need help, contact us!

Best Edit & Proof expert editors aim to provide your manuscripts with proper scholarly and academic tone and style. They will significantly improve the chances of having your research manuscript accepted for publishing. They provide subject-area proofreading and editing services in several fields categorized under various disciplines. With our extensive knowledge and expertise, we will help you find the right tone and style for your manuscript.

If you need our subject-area editors to format your manuscripts, giving you the fundamental rules for formatting your manuscripts as described in your guidelines, such as APA, MLA, or Chicago/Turabian styles, then contact us. At Best Edit & Proof, our proofreaders and editors edit every type of academic paper. We have a user-friendly website and a simplified ordering process. 

If you would like our subject-area editors and language experts to work on your project for the improvement of its academic tone and style, then please visit the order page. It is easy! It takes only a few minutes to submit your paper and complete the process. Click here to see how it works.

Proofreaders’ Marks (Proofreading Marks) and Symbols

We have flat-rate pricing based on our type of service (editing or proofreading), word count, and turnaround time. Enter your word count or copy and paste your document into our pricing calculator to get an instant quote.

If you need support for editing and proofreading services, contact us. You can also e-mail us or use the 24/7 live chat module to get direct support. We have a 24/7 active live chat mode to offer you direct support along with qualified editors to refine and furbish your manuscript. Alternatively, you can text us through our WhatsApp business line.

Stay tuned for updated information about editing and proofreading services!

Follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn,  Facebook, Instagram, and Medium.

For more posts, click here.

This article discusses proofreaders’ marks (proofreading marks) and symbols. To give you an opportunity to practice proofreading, we have left a few spelling, punctuation, or grammatical errors in the text. See if you can spot them! If you spot the errors correctly, you will be entitled to a 10% discount.

They Also Read

Editing Proofreading
Editing and Proofreading — Know the Crucial Differences
24.11.2020

When you start with academic writing, it is easy to confuse editing and proofreading. Each service requires close and careful reading but uses different methods and focuses on different aspects of the manuscript. Both services produce different outcomes for writers, and therefore, our potential clients must be aware of what they do. As a beginner, you may make the same common mistake as the rest, but we are here to help things set straight. In this article, we will learn the exact meaning behind these two concepts, what they are, and how they are different from each other.

Continue Reading
Editing & Proofreading Editing Proofreading
8 Things to Consider Before Hiring Online Editing or Proofreading Services
24.11.2020

Although editing and proofreading terms can be used interchangeably, they are two different stages of the revision process. Before you avail of these services, there are certain things that you should consider. Knowing these things allows you to hire skilled editors and proofreaders. It also protects you from overpaying. To help you out, we have listed some important points below.

Continue Reading
Editing & Proofreading Editing Proofreading
What is Proofreading? Difference Between Proofreading and Editing
24.11.2020

There is always a misconception regarding editing and proofreading services. Although both services are somehow connected to each other, they still have many differences. Proofreading and editing are two major aspects which are to be focused on in order to successfully complete an academic content file. In this guide, the concepts of proofreading and editing will be cleared accordingly, focusing on the basic differences as well as techniques to accomplish both tasks.

Continue Reading
Editing & Proofreading Editing Proofreading
How Editing and Proofreading Services Improve Your Academic Work
24.11.2020

No matter what type of article or content you're working on, editing and proofreading can do wonders to improve your work and give the perfect finishing touch to it. While many think that editing and proofreading are just formalities, these contribute to the quality of your work. Precisely why editing and proofreading are essential steps in the writing process and which have professionals dedicated to this field. If you, too, are wondering how these two activities can help you improve your work, this article is all that you will need.

Continue Reading
Editing & Proofreading
How to Perfect Your Editing and Proofreading Skills
24.11.2020

The editing and proofreading industry is expanding more than ever, thanks to a constant demand for editors and proofreaders. If you are any good and have aspirations to be a part of this industry, simply being good is not enough. To be better, you need to perfect your editing and proofreading skills. However, such things are easier said than done. After all, this field is all about techniques and experience accumulated over years of practice. This article discusses some tips and tricks that will help you perfect your editing and proofreading skills.

Continue Reading
Editing & Proofreading Editing Proofreading
How to Communicate Better with Your Editor and Proofreader
24.11.2020

The biggest reason why writers opt-out of relying on an editor or proofreader is the myth that they will change your content, material, or style. That they will replace all your hard work and effort with something entirely different, we cannot begin to explain how incorrect that is. Sure, sometimes editors and proofreaders can be overwhelming and may impact your content, but most of the time, their job is to enhance your work so that your content or style reaches its true potential. In this article, you will find a simple guide on how you can communicate better with your editor and proofreader.

Continue Reading
Editing & Proofreading Editing Proofreading
The Guide to Proofreading for a Flawless Text
24.11.2020

Proofreading is an essential aspect of writing. You do not have excellent content if it is filled with mistakes or typos. When writing is complete, you do not push it out without reading through it. You may mess up your reputation if you submit poorly written work. Whether you want to edit, publish, submit, or proofread an article, you can use professional support to make it excellent. However, some students or writers often get confused about proofreading their works. We have made it easier for you to learn how to get an excellent article after proofreading.

Continue Reading