Difference Between a Proofreader & an Editor

The Editing House – Difference Between a Proofreader and an Editor:

The Editing House
Proofreading & Editing Service

At The Editing House, we realise that proofreading and editing isn’t everyone’s area of expertise, which is why we have listed the differences below:

Copy Editors

A copy editor usually sees the book before a proofreader. Their job is much more involved and their work responsibilities include not only checking for errors, but also rearranging words, cutting things out, etc., to ensure that it reads well, conforms to house style and makes sense. Their job will involve:

  • checking spelling, punctuation, hyphenation and capitalisation
  • correcting grammatical errors
  • checking it conforms to house style
  • researching and writing additional material
  • identifying possible factual errors
  • checking weighting of headings
  • rewriting where required
  • dividing up overlong sentences and paragraphs
  • checking for libel, slander, bias, etc.

A copy editor’s job is to revise and polish the text, without substantially changing the author’s style. They make far more and bigger changes than proofreaders, making it a more demanding, varied and creative task.


A proofreader looks out for errors and mistakes. Specific things they will be checking for include:

  • spelling mistakes, incorrect capitalisation and faulty punctuation
  • inconsistencies: headings, page numbering, characters, plot, etc.
  • layout and formatting issues
  • factual errors and ambiguities

It is not a proofreader’s job to rewrite text or change an author’s style; stylistic matters must be left to the copy editor. Proofreading is the direct opposite to speed-reading, where material is read slowly and carefully, taking in every letter of every word, whilst considering spelling, punctuation, etc.

The Editing House offers their own unique professional proofreading and editing service. For details, please visit our website at http://www.proofreadingediting.co.uk.