If you have ever had a piece of writing proofread and then handed back to you, you may have seen a variety of different proofreading symbols throughout the text.  If you didn’t see anything, then congratulations!

Proofreading symbols were designed to help keep your pages neat and readable, while still marking the errors that require changes.  Of course, if you aren’t up on all the different symbols, you might end up more confused in the end than if the page had been messed up with notes.

Today, most proofreading is done using software.  It’s easier and faster and usually more efficient than doing it the old-fashioned way.  Still, there are some instances when proofreading symbols are needed, and with that in mind here are some examples.

Some Common Symbols & Their Meanings

The following is a brief list of some of the more common proofreading symbols and their meanings.  These might not seem too challenging to learn, but keep in mind there are many, many more where these came from.

transposetranspose elements
close upclose up this space
insert periodinsert a period
begin paragraphbegin a new paragraph
insertinsert something
insert double quotesuse double quotation marks
insert apostropheinsert apostrophe or single quotation mark

Proofreading Abbreviations

Along with the proofreading symbols, there are also proofreading abbreviations that you could find in and around your text to let you know all is not well.  Here are several of the most common ones you might come across.

Pron – problem with a pronoun

Ab – a faulty abbreviation

Cap – faulty capitalization

CS – comma splice

Frag – fragment

R-O – run-on sentence

Sp – Spelling error

S/V – subject / verb agreement

Let Re:word Do the Heavy Lifting

Here at Re:word, we provide several different editing services that can make your writing life a whole lot easier, and you won’t have to sift through the meanings of different proofreading symbols and abbreviations.  We are able to offer expert writing, editing, copyediting, translation and proofreading services to clients with a wide range of needs.  It doesn’t matter if you are a Fortune 500 company or a college student working on a big term paper, our goal is to make your writing stand out, make sense and fulfill its objective.