What Is The Distinction Between Copy Editing Vs Proofreading?

What Is The Distinction Between Copy Editing Vs Proofreading?

As I’ve said in previous articles, in professional publishing, copy editing is the art of improving what an author writes. On the other hand, proofreading is a safety net which ensures that the author and copy editor didn’t miss anything at all. Copy editing and proofreading are two different jobs with the same goal: making a piece of writing as readable and error-free as possible.

Both proofreading and copyediting services encompass the close and careful reading of a document. Proofreading and copyediting are often believed to be the same. However, they are not.

Contrary to popular belief, a copy editor is definitely not a glorified spell checker. A copy editor is your partner in publication. If you copy edit a document you proofread it with the additional anticipation of making sure that the style is consistent with other content from the company or publication. Copy editing is also known as sub-editing.

Copy Editing

The tasks which are involved in copy editing encompass checking written material for grammar, spelling, style as well as punctuation issues before the document is prepared for proofreading. In addition, a copy editor may do a rewrite, if necessary, in order to fix any problems with transitions, wordiness and jargon. Ensuring the style of the piece fits with the publication is known as revision.


When the material is almost a completed product – in other words that it has been edited, laid out, as well as designed – the proof-reader looks for typographical errors. The proof-reader works with a copy of a finished product, or a proof (thus the term proofreading). Proof-readers don’t recommend major changes to the text. Rather, they look for minor text and formatting errors and confirm the material is ready for publication.

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