Posted by: Nancy | November 9, 2010

Invisible errors

My husband has a great eye for typos.

He can scan any kind of page and the error jumps out at him, as though it were in giant type and flashing colors. It’s a great talent, although even for him, reading material he’s already read (or material that he wrote), it sometimes fails.

Happens to the best of us. To prevent errors from sneaking into my clients’ copy, I’ve compiled a checklist of items I review in copy editing and proofreading.

I also try to have a night’s sleep before completing the project. That’s when my subconscious editor kicks in — that’s when I get a nagging feeling that something’s not right yet.

I have two other tricks that help me.

  • Read it backwards. That is, start from the end.
  • Read it out loud.

Sounds silly, I know, but both have helped me spot and fix the errors that were otherwise invisible to me.

So with that, here’s a list that I use and enjoy. I update it periodically, and will update it here as well. Hope you find it useful.

Nancy’s Copy Editing, Proofreading and Quality Control Checklist


  1. Nancy, I’ve enjoyed reading the posts on your blog. I also follow the TED Talks and posted one of their presentations on my blog. Great minds think alike! Thanks so much for making me feel welcome at the KCIABC tech special interest group meeting. I will definitely return!

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