When you’ve invested valuable time and effort into writing fantastic copy, the last thing you want is to undermine it by forgetting to check for mistakes and typos. Spell checkers do a lot of the work, but they’re not perfect and won’t catch everything (but DO use them!). Reading something over and over again to check for errors can seem like a mammoth task, especially when you are proof reading a large, 100 page brochure. Having said that, it is also incredibly satisfying when you do spot, and correct, a potential blooper!
Proof reading is an essential part of our business and is something we do on a daily basis, so… here are our top tips to make it a little easier for you (some seem a little strange but do actually work).
1. Print out the copy and arm yourself with a coloured pen to mark any errors you find or
changes you want to make,
2. Easy one; read the content aloud as well as in your head – to make sure sentences really
do make sense,
3. Sounds strange but read it backwards too. This will help you focus on the spelling of words.
While you’re at it, why not read it upside down too?
4. It’s rude to point at others but ensure you point your finger to read one word at a time,
5. Little words can trip you up so don’t forget to check words like: "or", "of", "it", “at” and "is",
6. Remember the numbers – double check those telephone numbers, page numbers, reference
numbers and statistics,
7. Proof in stages, concentrate on sentence structure first, then spelling, missing/additional spaces,
typography, and consistency of tone of voice,
8. Use a hi-lighter to check off each amendment as you make it,
9. Once you believe all changes have been made, print it out and read it again,
10. Finally, ask a fresh pair of eyes to take a look too!