“Proofreading” doesn’t mean the same thing to everyone. Publishing companies, for example, use proofreaders very late in the production process, after the copy-editing. These proofreaders conduct final checks at the end.
At publishing companies, the copy-editor’s job begins sooner and is much wider in scope than that of the proofreader. Take a look:
Above all, a proofreader’s job is to ensure material is clear, concise and accurate.
|Professional copy-editors do all the tasks in the list on the left, AND:
The copy-editor looks at the big picture, including style rules and legal issues, project length and technical matters.
For most businesses, however, “proofreading” involves everything in BOTH lists above. In reality this in-depth operation is “editing”. It can include suggesting structural changes and scrutinising format, facts and graphics.
For in-depth details about how these roles usually work, check out the SfEP’s descriptions of proofreading and copy-editing.