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How has modern publishing changed proofreading?

Where does the word ‘proofreading’ come from?

Back in the good old days, when printers used letter tiles, plates, and printing presses, before anything went to print, a copy went through a final check, called a ‘proof’.

This step was vital to ensure they corrected any errors before the printers began producing hundreds of copies.

Fast forward to the digital age of computers and digital publishing, and the face of proofreading changed entirely.

Now, while the process remains the same, the tools have transformed!

Proofreaders now use computers and digital tools, removing the need to print, check, print again, check again, etc.

What a relief!

But proofreading is still a crucial process for any written project, be it print or digital.

Think about a blog article. Imagine being immersed in what you’re reading and then, suddenly, you’re distracted by an oblivious error.

See what we did there?

When you’re writing for business, typos and obvious mistakes can make your writing seem unprofessional, which can damage the level of trust you’ve built with your readers.

It can be even worse if you’re writing for fiction, where the key is to help your reader lose themselves in the world you’ve created. If your manuscript is littered with mistakes and typos, a reader will focus on those instead of the story; breaking their connection and jolting them out of the narrative.

In an educational text, an error can make the subject you’re trying to teach confusing, as the reader has to correct your mistakes.

On top of all of this, if mistakes and typos go to print, it can cost a lot to correct and re-print.

Thankfully, with digital publishing, it’s often a very low-cost, simple process to update a digital publication and deliver it seamlessly to everyone who’s already purchased a copy.

To summarise, proofreading your manuscript or copy will add a level of professionalism to your work that shows readers you cared about the final product.

Wondering about the difference between editing and proofreading, and which you need for your project? Click here to read our blog, What’s the Difference Between a Development edit, Copy-edit, and Proofreading.

Not sure where to start with proofreading your current project?

At Tech-Set, we can help with proofreading, fact-checking, indexing, glossary creation and much more.

To discuss this or any of our other services, you can contact us on (0191) 482 5042 or you can email us on

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