Proofreading versus editing

What is the difference between proofreading and editing?

Proofreading ensures that:

  • typos and spelling errors are identified and corrected
  • punctuation and grammar are correct
  • references and content listings are accurate
  • word use and layout are consistent

Editing includes proofreading, and beyond that:

  • ensures an overall consistency of both the style and readability of the document
  • ensures that the language and tone are appropriate to the target audience
  • raises content queries and offers practical advice

Proofediting is a newish term being used to describe editing done onscreen, usually in a Word document or pdf, where the editor uses commenting tools to make comments and suggestions for changes. The author can then choose which changes to act on.