Proofreading is the art of spotting and removing as many errors as possible from copy before it goes to print.
Everyone has their own notation style for how to delete, insert and format words, letters and paragraphs.
There is, however, a universal proofing style, dictated by the British Standards. Here are a few examples:
The symbol to show you want to turn a capital letter to lowercase.
This symbol means to insert text at the marker.
Occasionally the formatting drops out on InDesign, normally if you paste something with the formatting embedded. A cross with a circle around in the margin means restore to document formatting.
Typos happen and you occasionally need transposing letters.
Depending on your house style, you can end up with odd looking indents, or in this case no indent at all. If your house style doesn’t define a default indent size, write it in the margin.
Left a full stop out? Use the insertion marker and then it’s a full stop with a circle around it in the margin. You encircle it so it’s not mistaken for a spot or smudge on the proof.
If you’re copying directly from Word to InDesign, you might get some issues with subscript and superscript text. This is an example of superscript text, or text that is smaller and to the top of the regular line heigh.
Replacing a word is easy. Just strike it through with a line and then cap the lines off to show the boundaries.
Deleting words on their own is done with what looks like a unlocked backward padlock.
Align to the right.
JournoTraining.com this morning have launched a free online course all about proofreading and the British Standards notation system.
A handy downloadable guide suitable for your newsroom wall is available here >> too.
The course will take your around 30 minutes to an hour and is available at JournoTraining.com here >>.