February 25, 2020
Your pages are finished and ready to submit for printing…but wait! There is one more step before you press the approve button. PROOFREADING! Proofing is a vital step in making sure your yearbook is the best it can be. While it is so essential to the quality of a great book, it is one of the more tedious tasks. Proofing your yearbook can fall into two categories, the design and copy.
When you are proofing the design and layout, look for the following:
- Does everything fit nicely on the page?
- Is anything being cut off or getting lost in the gutter?
- Are the pages in order? Check the page numbers.
- Is your style sheet being followed? Correct fonts used and are they the proper size and colour?
- Is the spacing between elements on the page consistent? Are columns being followed?
- Check the quality of the images? Blurry, too dark, too light, cropped properly?
When you are proofing the copy, look for the following:
- Articles can be edited before they are inserted into the layout.
- Are names spelled correctly?
- Are the days, dates, and times of events correct?
- Proofread all the copy on the page. Headlines, quotes, articles, names, etc.
Here are some tips to make the process a little easier.
- Print out the pages. You have been creating the pages on a screen, a printed proof gives you a new perspective to find errors.
- Concentrate on the task at hand. Get rid of distractions and potential interruptions.
- Read the copy out loud. When you read the copy out loud you are more likely to hear errors in the style and grammar. Try reading it backwards, sometimes we become blind to our own mistakes since our brain automatically “corrects” wrong words inside sentences.
- Watch out for elementary school grammar mistakes that spell check won’t catch. Homonyms, words that share the same spelling or pronunciation but have different meanings, accept and except or complement and compliment. Contractions and apostrophes, their and they’re, its and it’s, or your and you’re. Punctuation, capitalized words, missing or extra commas, and periods.
- Don’t leave it to the last minute. Give yourself time to proof, revise and proof again.
- Get someone else to proofread. What one person misses the other is likely to catch. It’s a good idea to ask someone outside the yearbook group to help. They are removed from the project and in a better position to evaluate the copy. You will be amazed at the mistakes you have missed.
Make it a game with your crew, if anyone can spot an error they get a prize!