• 3-minute read
  • 15th February 2016

The Difference Between Proofreading and Formatting

At Proofed, we’re often asked about the difference between proofreading and formatting. Briefly, you could say proofreading is about how your essay reads, while formatting is about how it’s presented. This doesn’t do justice to our hard-working proofreaders though. So in this post, we say a bit more about the particulars of proofreading and formatting.

What Is Proofreading?

Proofreading is the process of carefully reading a written text, correcting any errors or inconsistencies that occur within. The term comes from the name for preliminary versions of published works, called ‘galley proofs’. A proofreader is someone who checks these proofs for errors.

Outside of publishing, proofreading can also include an element of copy editing: making minor amendments to improve sentence structure and word choice or enhance the flow of prose.

This is the kind of proofreading we do at Proofed, offering assistance and feedback on everything from university essays and resumes to marketing copy and novels! This is usually done via the Track Changes function on Microsoft Word, which bypasses the need for a printed proof.

Having your essays proofread can even boost your marks, as correct use of grammar, punctuation, referencing and academic vocabulary will help you express your ideas more clearly.

And What Is Formatting?

So where does that leave formatting? Basically, formatting is everything else about your document, including the font you use, the size of the margins, page numbering, and any headers or footers you need in your document. In addition, our formatting service includes:

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  • A Title Page

A title/cover page makes your work look attractive and tells your reader what your essay is about. Many universities specify using a cover page, so let us know if you need anything in particular.

  • Titles and Subtitles

Microsoft Word features a range of options for formatting headings and subheadings so they stand out. We’ll apply these to maximise the clarity and visual impact of your work.

  • Charts and Figures

We will ensure all charts and figures are neatly presented, using Microsoft Word’s captions to ensure they are clearly labelled. We will also make sure this is consistent and accurate throughout your document.

  • Dynamic Tables

One of the cleverest things about Microsoft Word is its use of ‘dynamic’ lists. Using the headings or captions in a document, we can generate a table of contents or a list of charts/figures that updates at the touch of a button.

In summary, we apply your preferred formatting options to make sure your work is clear, consistent and professionally presented.

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