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PROOFREADERS' MARKS AND PROOFREADING SYMBOLS

Proofreaders' marks or, as they are often called "proofreading symbols", are still used, but with much less frequency than in the past. The advent of the Internet and word processing programs such as Microsoft Word and WordPerfect with their editing functions have made these proofreaders' marks almost obsolete. However, for those who do not like on screen editing and for those who must edit the hardcopy, these marks are still indispensable. The following is a complete list as taken from the Merriam-Webster dictionary. Local, in-house style guides may vary from company to company with additional marks specific to that industry but the proofreading symbols below are common to all. If you wish to be an all-encompassing editor or proofreader, ready for any situation, you should know these proofreaders' marks and be able to use them with ease.

Symbol Definition Sample
proofreaders' marks: delete delete proofreaders' marks: delete
proofreaders' marks: close up close up proofreaders' marks: close up
proofreaders' marks: delete and close up delete and close up proofreaders' marks: delete and close up
proofreaders' marks: caret caret proofreaders' marks: caret
proofreaders' marks: insert a space insert a space proofreaders' marks: insert a space
proofreaders' marks: space evenly space evenly proofreaders' marks: space evenly
proofreaders' marks: let stand let stand proofreaders' marks: let stand
proofreaders' marks: transpose transpose proofreaders' marks: transpose
proofreaders' marks: separates proofreader marks. Is also used as a final stroke after and insertion separates proofreader marks. Is also used as a final stroke after and insertion  
proofreaders' marks: move to the left move to the left proofreaders' marks: move to the left
proofreaders' marks: move to the right move to the right proofreaders' marks: move to the right
proofreaders' marks: set as ligature (such as æ) set as ligature (such as ć) proofreaders' marks: set as ligature (such as æ)
proofreaders' marks: align horizontally align horizontally proofreaders' marks: align horizontally
proofreaders' marks: align vertically align vertically proofreaders' marks: align vertically
proofreaders' marks: broken character broken character proofreaders' marks: broken character
indent or insert em quad space  
proofreaders' marks: begin a new paragraph begin a new paragraph  
proofreaders' marks: spell out spell out proofreaders' marks: spell out
proofreaders' marks: set in CAPITALS set in CAPITALS proofreaders' marks: set in CAPITALS
proofreaders' marks: set in  SMALL CAPITALS set in  SMALL CAPITALS proofreaders' marks: set in  SMALL CAPITALS
proofreaders' marks: set in lowercase set in lowercase proofreaders' marks: set in lowercase
proofreaders' marks: set in italic set in italic proofreaders' marks: set in italic
proofreaders' marks: set in roman set in roman proofreaders' marks: set in roman
proofreaders' marks: set in boldface set in boldface proofreaders' marks: set in boldface
proofreaders' marks: hyphen hyphen multi-colored
proofreaders' marks: en dash en dash 1965–72
proofreaders' marks: em (or long) dash em (or long) dash Now—at last!—we know.
proofreaders' marks: superscript or superior superscript or superior proofreaders' marks: superscript or superior
proofreaders' marks: subscript or inferior subscript or inferior proofreaders' marks: subscript or inferior
proofreaders' marks: centered centered proofreaders' marks: centered
proofreaders' marks: comma comma  
proofreaders' marks: apostrophe apostrophe  
proofreaders' marks: period period  
proofreaders' marks: semicolon semicolon  
proofreaders' marks: colon colon  
proofreaders' marks: quotation marks quotation marks  
proofreaders' marks: parentheses parentheses  
proofreaders' marks: brackets brackets  
proofreaders' marks: query to author: is this as it is supposed to be? query to author: Is this as it is supposed to be?  
proofreaders' marks: inverted letter inverted letter proofreaders' marks: inverted letter
proofreaders' marks: wrong font wrong font proofreaders' marks: wrong font

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