Proofreading symbols

Back to the style guide menu

Most of the marks the editors cover your work with are pretty self-explanatory. But in case you can’t understand the scribbles, here are the basic marks and what they mean.

Delete – the bit you need to delete will have a line through it.

Insert something. The ‘something’ will be written in the margin next to the mark.

Put in a space.

Mind the gap – and close it up.

Make it lower case.

Make it upper case.

Change to italics.

Change to not-italics (or Roman as it’s called in the trade).

Change to bold.

Get rid of bold (Roman again).

Stick in a line space.

Put in a full stop. (We sometimes call them full points. Because that’s what they’re called in book publishing. And we like to confuse people.) All punctuation (apart from commas – see the next box down) will be circled so you can’t mistake it for a blob on the paper.

Put in a comma (it has a little hat on it so it’s clear that it’s definitely a comma).

There are lots more we might throw in occasionally so if you’re not sure please ask.

And here they are in action...