A Proofreader’s Tips for Catching Typos

In a post at her blog, professional proofreader Cecilia Lewis offers eagle-eyed tips for killing typos dead in their tracks. Read on if you want to get vicious.

Well, maybe not too vicious. Her first tip is to set writing aside and view it with fresh eyes later if possible, since it is so easy for your brain to think words are written correctly when you already know what the sentence is supposed to say. Increasing word size or changing the font and formatting of text can help you locate more typos, because it feels like new writing to your eyes. Ugly, messy fonts will also force you to read more closely, further increasing the likelihood that you will uncover hidden mistakes.

If there are words you know that you misuse often, use the “Find” command in Word to locate every instance of the word and double-check that it is being used correctly. And if you are concerned about how sentences are flowing, just read them out loud. That should tell you everything you need to know.

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