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Traditional Marketing

The Difference Between Editing, Copyediting and Proofreading

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between editing, copyediting and proofreading? The terms can be confusing because they are often incorrectly used interchangeably.

You’ve heard of film editors who cut, paste and change the film for the best viewing experience. Well, editors do the same thing with words. We correct mistakes, change sentence structure and add or remove words to present the content to the reader in the best possible way to ensure that the intended message is received by the reader. We can edit text to get the message across in the simplest way, the most creative way or the most attention grabbing way. We can make sure the writing has the right tone, is written in the correct tense and that the words flow in a way that is easy to absorb. It’s usually what people mean when they refer to ‘editing.’

Copyeditors and proofreaders traditionally have different functions. A copyeditor edits the text on a surface level, correcting mistakes in grammar, spelling and punctuation but generally doesn’t look at tone, flow, tense or sentence structure. Traditionally, a copyeditor will mark up a document using proofreading marks (sort of a language system), then a typesetter, designer or printer will make the changes and produce a new copy of the document, called a proof. A proofreader compares the proof to the marked-up copy (dead copy) and ensures that all the changes have been made correctly. During this process, he or she may spot and correct some other errors that were missed by the copyeditor.

Over time these roles have widened and overlapped, adapting to the changes in technology, the publishing industry and the business world. Working on a computer, we can simply make required changes on the screen, encompassing the job of editor, copyeditor, typesetter and proofreader.

These are some of the services we offer at Marketing À La Carte, making the whole process easier, quicker, less expensive and even more environmentally friendly. Proper grammar and spelling help reinforce your message; readers are not distracted by errors or illogical copy. Clarity, consistency and creativity in your copy get your message through and affirm your status as an expert in your field. We want to help you look like a star! Give us a call.

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