What is the difference between proofreading and editing?

Even a text that has been proofread can still contain errors, for instance skewed imagery or missing content. The level of work put into a document can be adjusted depending on the requirements of a given text.

An edit always also contains a proofread, which entails finding spelling errors, typos and punctuation errors, as well as obvious grammar mistakes, and correcting them. The result is a text that is formally correct.

proofreading woman

How does a correct text look? Really good!

But often it is not enough to have a text that is ‘just’ correct. It also needs to be appealing for the reader and communicate with its target group using the type of language they expect. This can be achieved with editing services.

Eloquently communicating with your target group

A message contains not only pure information – it also contains emotion. And this is generated using the right forms of expression, the right style and, above all, lively language with imagery and turns of phrase that give your text a little something extra.

Editing services can do all that. The information just has to be right. There is no alternative for that in corporate communications.

The Premier League: editing

Editing services always also involve a proofread, but then focus on the content of a text including a stylistic review. During editing, the text is considered as a whole. 

The decisive question and the chief task is whether the text, in its current form, achieves its objective and gets through to the target group. 

The objective is always to convey a message – a call to action or product information – to the readers effectively and appropriately, and without losing anything along the way. 

Editing is the ideal approach for nearly all texts. Why? It comes down to the complex requirements. The text has to be coherent and consistent – in terms of form, orthography and content. And it has to be appropriate for the target group in order to reach them.

Consistency is king

Content is non-negotiable and ‘one euro’ in a text on page 10, for instance, is worth just as much as ‘€1’ on page 25. Even though each option is correct in itself, this type of difference indicates imprecision in the text. During editing, however, this deviation is uncovered and corrected to ensure consistency.  

The same thing goes for proper nouns, places and other designations that come up multiple times in a document, regardless of how comprehensive it is.

In summary: 

A proofread is a search for errors. A text is reviewed for formal errors and spelling, punctuation and grammar are corrected where necessary. The result is a text in which everything is written correctly.

An edit goes a step further and also takes the style and consistency of a text into account. Does it fit the target group and is it consistent in terms of language use, terminology and style? The result is a comprehensively optimised text that meets all of the requirements placed upon it.

What is a professional edit?

The editor intensively reviews your texts for correct spelling and grammar as well as punctuation and consistency. The objective being that the message reaches your target group clearly and without errors.

The first step: proofread

For the underlying proofread, the editor primarily checks the following aspects:

  • Spelling
  • Typography (quotation marks, apostrophes, en dashes and hyphens, etc.)
  • Punctuation
  • Proper word splits

The second step: edit

During the edit, qualified proofreaders then review the text with regard to additional important aspects, including correct grammar. But this also involves terminology (with a glossary), the formal consistency (e.g. capitalisation of headlines, punctuation of bullet lists) and the imagery and expressions used. 

In addition, attention is also paid to the consistent use of terms and factual plausibility. We make stylistic changes with your approval because, generally, we are cautious when making changes to the style and focus more on deviations that are not suitable in the larger context.

Proper gender use: a particular challenge

A current and increasingly important aspect of proofreads in German is the proper use of genders. To this end, we offer an editing service with an emphasis on gender use. We first provide you with consultation on the subject of gender use where we discuss the linguistic options available and how they fit with the specific requirements. 

This ranges from generic masculine terms and the specification of feminine and masculine forms, to the use of gender-neutral expressions such as ‘Mitarbeitende’ (‘employed persons’), through to the graphic adaptation of terms with asterisks, underscore or colons, if and when non-binary genders are to be addressed. 

After the consultation, the ideal approach is determined and realised within the text.

Would you like to know more? Ask us!

Do you have any questions? Would you like to work with us?

I would be delighted to introduce you to Apostroph Germany and its services in person.
Ute Schneider
Head of Sales
Ute Scheider Apostrophgroup

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