Difference editing/proofreading


For the layperson the difference editing/proofreading is not easy to identify.


Editing, in comparison with proofreading, is a stylistic and linguistic assessment and revision of the text. It is not simply correcting errors but also consists of improving the content of a text. The key issue is the general comprehension for the reader. Intricate sentences that are difficult to understand and passages which are too colloquial will be reformulated and word repetitions removed. Missing links will be established. If necessary additions will be made or text passages will be set out in another sequence.


In comparison with editing, in proofreading, a text is generally only checked for spelling, grammatical and typographical errors. This step is undertaken on the final version of a text, for example immediately before printing. If the end version of a text is revised again before printing, we produce, in technical terms, a press proof. To ensure that nothing is overlooked, every proofreading job is performed according to the two-man principle. This means that two people review the same text, one after the other.


The following points are checked and corrected in proofreading:

  • Spelling

  • Grammar
  • Punctuation
  • Consistent notation
  • Legitimate hyphenation
  • Typography (quotation marks, apostrophes, dashes/hyphens, indentations, etc.)

So that the difference editing/proofreading can be taking into account, both steps should be performed one after the other by different professionals. These people are both language professionals, but do not necessarily have the same language skills. An editor is predominantly skilled in putting ideas to paper with impeccable style, of maintaining a complete overview of a text and being able to communicate content to the reader so that it is clearly understood. A proofreader, on the other hand, knows the grammatical, orthographical and typographical rules of a language and has a trained eye for all errors in these areas.


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