20 Great Proofreading Tips

Dear Blog Subscribers, Followers, and Visitors – Over the course of my twenty-year tenure in Technical Writing, I have had to edit and proofread many documents, above and beyond writing them. Step One is writing, while Step Two is proofreading. With that said, here are twenty tips you can apply to your writing experience to ensure that your document truly reads well. Best Regards, Keith Johnson, Sr. Tech Writer

  1. If you create a PDF, make sure you generate legible bookmarks
  2. Verify the Front Cover page
  3. Verify the legal product name/ID if applicable
  4. Verify the document’s contact/author info if applicable
  5. Verify document punctuation and grammar
  6. Verify the Table of Contents (TOC)
  7. Verify overall document margins – top and side
  8. Verify info/images in headers and footers
  9. Verify accuracy and resolution of body images and screenshots
  10. Verify accuracy and resolution of body diagrams and call-outs
  11. Verify consistency in presentation, similar lead-ins/lists, etc.
  12. Verify acronym spelled out at first use, then acronym used only
  13. Use appropriate font for specific types of text: regular, code, etc.
  14. Verify that important info has not been omitted
  15. Verify that important info has not been entered inaccurately
  16. Save your document, back it up, and access it to ensure it is OK
  17. Test the document in MS-Word, Adobe Acrobat Reader, etc.
  18. Test the document in Cloud apps for web-readers.
  19. Verify strange words, include a Glossary of Terms if needed
  20. Ask for peer review and then submit for manager sign-off
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