Proofreading marks and symbols

Although a significant amount of editing and proofreading is now done using tools such as Microsoft’s track changes feature and Adobe’s commenting tool, you may find yourself faced with traditional proofreading marks and symbols on a printed document someday.


The following list shows some of the most common proofreading marks and symbols and explains their meaning (note that some proofreaders will use different symbols than those shown here; if you see a symbol on a document and you’re not sure what it means, ask your proofreader).

Proofreading mark insert symbolInsert something; the text to be inserted will likely be provided in the margin

Proofreading mark delete symbolDelete

Proofreading mark close up space symbolClose up space

Proofreading mark delete and close up symbolDelete and close up

Proofreading mark add space symbolAdd space

Proofreading mark transpose symbolTranspose

Proofreading mark spell out symbolSpell out

Proofreading mark make uppercase symbolMake uppercase

Proofreading mark make lowercase symbolMake lowercase

Proofreading mark let stand symbolLet stand

Proofreading mark make equal space symbolMake equal space

Proofreading mark insert a comma symbolInsert a comma

Proofreading mark insert period symbolInsert period

Proofreading mark insert semicolon symbolInsert semicolon

Proofreading mark insert colon symbolInsert colon

Proofreading mark insert hyphen symbolInsert hyphen

Proofreading mark insert en dash symbolInsert en dash

Proofreading mark insert em dash symbolInsert em dash

Proofreading mark insert apostrophe symbolInsert apostrophe

Proofreading mark insert question mark symbolInsert question mark

Proofreading mark insert exclamation mark symbolInsert exclamation mark

Proofreading mark insert parentheses symbolInsert parentheses

Proofreading mark insert brackets symbolInsert brackets

Proofreading mark insert quotation marks symbolInsert quotation marks

Proofreading mark set as bold symbolSet as bold

Proofreading mark set as italics symbolSet as italics

Proofreading mark wrong font symbolWrong font

Proofreading mark move left symbolMove left

Proofreading mark move right symbolMove right

Proofreading mark move up symbolMove up

Proofreading mark move down symbolMove down

Proofreading mark center symbolCenter

Proofreading mark begin paragraphBegin paragraph


Read more

Best practice content writing


Resources

Expert proofreading online

Proofreading services

Copy-editing services