Copyediting Symbols

Copyediting and proofreading symbols

Copyeditors use certain symbols and conventions when marking corrections on hard copy. If each copyeditor used his or her own correction marks, the writer, the desktop publisher, the typesetter and any others that the copyeditor is trying to communicate with, could become confused.

The following are the copyeditor marks that are used in Australia. Do not be confused by the fact that they are labelled ‘symbols for correcting proofs’. Substantially the same marks are used for copyediting and proofreading. The big difference is that when proofreading, there are always marginal marks as well as marks in the text itself, while when copyediting the marks are inserted into the text, and the corrections made above the letters or words to be corrected and only a few marginal marks are used. This is why manuscripts should always be double-spaced.

Symbols for correcting proofs




Textual mark



Marginal mark