John Firth Proofreader & Copy Editor


Proofreading is normally a narrowly technical search for misprints, spelling mistakes and layout errors, although if time is tight what effectively amounts to copy editing might be done at this stage.

I search for misprints, mistakes in spelling and grammar, layout errors (e.g. bad page or line breaks) or consistency/house style issues in text. I check illustrations for technical failures such as chopping off part of the image, design failures such as illegible print or clutter, simple errors such as mismatching captions. I mark the proofs so that the typesetter or printer knows exactly what changes to make. In doing this, I prefer to use BS 5261 symbols, as these are more accurate and use less space, but I am happy to simply mark clearly what changes to make.

I can work on paper, but it is usually most efficient if I edit word-processor documents, HTML/XML files, PDFs, PowerPoint slides or Excel spreadsheets. When working on-screen I can supply both marked-up files and 'clean' ones (i.e. with all changes accepted—these are much easier to read). When proofreading websites I can work on a dummy version of your site, on the files that make it up or directly in a content management system.


Professional standards

I am an Advanced Professional Member of the Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP). As such, I am bound by the Society's Code of Practice.

To see my credentials as a proofreader, download my CV in PDF format.

© 2018 John Firth