Proofreading. Copyediting. Line editing. Explained.
When clients come to us for editing, they’re coming for one of three services:
Proofreading lets you sleep at night knowing the copy was exactly what it needed to be, with no errors. Proofreaders keep the trolls from embarrassing you online, and you from embarrassing yourself at the worst times.
You need proofreading when:
- you want or need a final set of eyes on the copy before it’s published or printed
- your budget doesn’t allow for reprints due to careless error
- your presentation is too important to have a typo in it
Copyediting is all about improvement, and a piece of writing can always be bettered, even slightly. Every bit of better matters to a reader and could be the difference between them reading more or leaving for good.
You need copyediting when:
- your copy would be better if it was tighter or punchier
- you’re happy with the copy but want an objective second set of eyes to confirm quality
- you have a style guide you need to ensure is being followed
Line editing is at the creative end of editing, like a cross between an edit and a rewrite. Re:word copywriters do the line editing in case the copy needs a bit of that right-brain magic.
You need line editing when:
- you know what you want to say but what you wrote isn’t expressing it
- your document’s voice is all over the place because it was written by multiple people
- you’re having trouble explaining complex ideas simply or in fewer characters
The First Big Benefit of Working with an Editor: Objectivity
Your line editor, copyeditor or proofreader will look at your copy with completely fresh eyes. They won’t have the biases you’d find from someone internal who has a stake in the results. And unlike a friend or family member who may not feel comfortable giving you the tough feedback you need, an editor will give it to you straight.
The Second Big Benefit of Working with an Editor: Perspective
Your editor will review your work from your audience’s point of view. If something in the copy is confusing or loquacious or problematic or incorrect, your editor will catch it before your reader does, and you won’t lose your credibility before you have the chance to earn it.
The Third Big Benefit of Working with an Editor: Confidence
How much better do you look and feel when you leave the salon? How much more of a hop in your step do you have? How many more people notice you? An edit works the same way. An editor will make your copy the best version of itself so you can feel good about hitting print or publish and sleep well later that night.
And the Biggest Benefit of Working with a Re:word Editor…?
It’s our culture of elevating and celebrating great copy.
Our people are surrounded by elite copy every day. We do the original writing for some of the biggest brands in the country. We study techniques for improving writing and the writing process. And we’ve even created a few techniques of our own that have been adopted by many of our clients. And we’re committed to creating more because we actually use them. This home page cheat sheet is a good example.
Even now, we keep it open beside us when we’re writing or editing. For more resources, you can visit the nuggets section of our website. And do check out our latest white paper while you’re there. If you’re responsible for writing content at your company, it’ll help you do it faster.