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List of proofreader's marks

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Title: List of proofreader's marks  
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Subject: Proofreading, Book trimming, Subsidiary right, Book folding, Hardcover
Collection: Copy Editing, Proofreading
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List of proofreader's marks

Below are lists of marks used in proofreading to indicate problems in a text and to suggest solutions. Marks come in two varieties, abbreviations and abstract symbols. These are usually handwritten on the paper containing the text. Symbols are interleaved in the text, while abbreviations may be placed in a margin with an arrow pointing to the problematic text. Note that different languages use different proofreading marks and sometimes publishers have their own in-house proofreading marks.


Abbreviation Meaning Use
sp Spell out Used to indicate that an abbreviation should be spelled out, such as in its first use
stet Let it stand Indicates that proofreading marks should be ignored and the copy unchanged
fl Flush left Align text flush with left margin
fr Flush right Align text flush with right margin
eq # Equalize spacing
ls Letterspace Adjust letterspacing
ital Italics Put in italics
rom Roman Put in Roman (non-italic) font
bf Boldface Put in boldface
lc Lower case Put text in lower case
caps Capitalize Put text in capital case
sc Small caps Put text in small caps
wf Wrong font Put text in correct font
hr # Insert hair space


Symbol Name Image Meaning Example of Use
Dele (Unicode U+20B0) Delete
Pilcrow (Unicode U+00B6) Begin new paragraph
Caret ^ / v Insert
# Insert space
Close up (Unicode U+2050) Tie words together, eliminating a space I was reading the news⁐paper this morning.
][ Center text
] Move text right
[ Move text left
Insert em dash
Insert en dash

External links

  • The Chicago Manual of Style Online: Proofreading
  • Merriam - Webster: Proofreader's Marks
  • Another (different) list of proofreading marks
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