If you’ve spent endless hours writing an important document, there’s no doubt you want it to be word perfect (and why wouldn’t you?). But the reality is that when you’re reading back over your words, especially if you read the draft on your screen, you won’t see your own mistakes. It’s Murphy’s Law.
It’s simply because it’s hard for anyone to see their own typos. When you’re reading content that you’ve written yourself, you know what’s coming next. Your brain jumps ahead, potentially missing mistakes. That’s tricky if your or your company’s reputation depends on the document being exactly right.
Getting the content right calls for the expertise of professional proofreaders. They’ll give your document an exacting read through, identifying typos, inconsistencies and other errors that will avoid red faces at your end.
Why do companies use external proofreading services?
Proofreading services are extra insurance for businesses and government. When a company or a government department has prepared an important public-facing document, they seek professional proofreading services because they know that even though their document has been reviewed many times internally, they’ll have missed something. And it could be something big.
As their stakeholder documents are going to be pored over by their colleagues, board, shareholders or investors, proofreading services are an investment in making sure that the documents are the best they can be – free of typos, inconsistencies and other errors. Organisations want to be confident that their work is word perfect. In other words, proofreading services help to eliminate the risk of mistakes and embarrassing typos getting through.
What do professional proofreading services involve?
Proofreading involves checking every word, punctuation mark and sentence for accuracy and legibility.
Professional proofreaders will mark up missing and doubled words; inconsistencies in headings and titles, terms and phrases; they’ll identify typos and grammatical errors; and they’ll question content that doesn’t seem to make sense. They’ll also make sure that the table of contents matches the content, that the bullet points are consistent and that captions on tables, charts and photos are correct, as are the column and row headings on tables.
Their role is to:
- Proofread for punctuation, grammatical and typographical errors.
- Identify inconsistencies, for example, inconsistent use of capitals, hyphens and bullet points.
- Inconsistent formatting, such as line spacing, paragraph breaks, widows and orphans.
As you can see, there’s a lot to check! Which is why professional proofreaders are so skilled and a vital component in the document production process for so many companies and government agencies.
Really good proofreaders are hard to come by, though. So if having assurance that your document is word perfect is important, you’ll need to be confident that you’re working with a truly professional proofreader.
What do professional proofreaders find when proofreading?
It might surprise you to know that when we’re proofreading an important stakeholder document, such as a sustainability report or annual report, we typically make 10 mark-ups on every page. That adds up to a lot of mark-ups!
But very few of these are typos. The professional proofreaders at Proof Communications don’t find too many typos in the documents that we proofread. Companies that seek our proofreading services have been through their drafts many times. By the time their documents get to us, they’re pretty much typo-free.
The vast majority of our mark-ups are to flag inconsistencies. Inconsistencies are when the same term, phrase, program or job title is presented differently in different parts of the document.
For example, a program or initiative could be presented as the ‘Cost Reducing Program’ in one part of the document, and as the ‘Cost Reduction Initiative’ in another. Are these the same thing? The reader will wonder and the uncertainty will cause doubt in their mind about the accuracy of the rest of the content.
It might not sound very important, but to the reader, especially eagle-eyed readers, it can make your document look sloppy and unclear. And that can be harming to your reputation.
How can Proof Communications help you with proofreading services?
After all your time and effort writing and designing a document, you’ll want to make sure that everything is just right before it’s released. Hence, you’ll expect proofreading of the highest standards.
Our professional proofreaders work towards perfection every time, producing a finalised document that is as error-free and grammatically correct as is humanly possible.
Contact us about proofreading services
If you are interested in protecting and enhancing your brand’s reputation through high quality professional proofreading services, contact us today or ring us on 02 8036 5532 or 0448 566 377.
Proof Communications proofreads for Australia’s largest listed companies and government. We’re also ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management certified, so your documents will be in the safest of hands.