This is a guest post by Randall Davidson. Thank you for this informative post!
Understanding the tools of the trade can make a significant difference in the quality of proofreading and the results produced. Proofreading tools can make finding errors and inconsistencies much easier and more convenient; however, overreliance on automated software processes can be counterproductive and may allow errors to go undetected and uncorrected. These proofreading tools are intended to provide supplemental assistance when checking documents and should not be substitutes for the assistance of a trained proofreading professional.
Five of the most useful proofreading tools are discussed below.
- Spell check. The first line of defense in finding spelling errors, spell check software is usually limited to the vocabulary included in its initial programming along with any words added by the end user. At best, these programs can detect typographical errors and common misspellings; however, if words are added to the custom dictionary in error, then even these functions may be compromised, rendering the automated spell check useless for most practical purposes. While spell check functions are useful as a first line of defense, they should not be relied upon as an authoritative source of information on proper spelling.
- Grammar check. The limitations of spell checking software programs are echoed in the grammar check tool that is also included in most word processing programs. The most commonly available grammar check programs tend to present a large number of false positives. These can create confusion for less
experienced proofreaders and may even cause errors that otherwise could have been avoided. Proofreading professionals often ignore the grammar check function
altogether in favor of manually checking the document to avoid these exact situations.
- Thesaurus. One of the most useful proofreading tools, a thesaurus can provide alternate word choices when a word in a document conveys the author’s message unclearly. Proofreaders can find the exact meaning of an unfamiliar word using a dictionary and then can clarify the passage using a thesaurus.
- Google. Google’s search engine is a valuable resource for proofreaders. Unfamiliar words can be checked and the suggested spellings can be evaluated in order to determine the proper spelling and capitalization of unusual words and proper nouns, allowing authors and proofreaders to proceed with confidence.
- Professional proofreading. The role of a professional proofreading company in producing high quality results should not be overlooked. Even the most talented writers can benefit from allowing a professional firm to examine their work and suggest spelling and grammatical corrections. In many cases, a professional proofreader can be one of the most time and cost effective proofreading tools for small businesses and independent authors alike.
About Randall Davidson
As a co-founder of ProofreadingServices.Us, an innovative proofreading services company based in San Francisco, CA, Randall Davidson is committed to helping business people, academics and individuals present themselves as effectively as possible. As an entrepreneur, Randall knows the importance of precision when
producing documents for public consumption. Randall works to provide others with the tools and information they need to produce flawless documents. He does this through the informative articles he writes for the ProofreadingServices.Us blog and other popular websites as well as through the affordable professional
proofreading services that his company provides.