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Professional editing adds value to your work.

Whether your work is commercial or academic, writing or translation, it is worth using an experienced native speaking editor before you publish.


The right hand column below provides a brief summary of the various types of editing. Most of the members of this site offer editing services. Their links are listed below.

Editors & specialist subjects

Billy Nolan
Architecture & construction, urban design & planning, landscape design, interior design, product design
PC Translations
Finance, commerce, law, development aid
LiDa Language Services
Public relations, marketing, IT, telecom, management, policy, academic publications, art, culture, fashion
Language Matters
ICT, education, science, sociology, economics
Back2Back Language Services:
Finance, commerce, law, development aid
Michael Gould Associates BV
Policy documents, reports & annual reports, magazines & brochures
Cathy Scott, Brief Encounters
Advertising & journalism

Types of editing

There are several types of editing:

Developmental editing

Helping the author of a document (or a client) to develop a document into a finished product. This will often involve making a number of draft documents. This can include:

  • Suggesting content, organisation and presentation
  • Rewriting, writing and researching
  • Suggesting topics or providing information about topics
  • Proof reading
  • Revising

Substantive editing

Also called stylistic & structural editing. This involves reorganising the text to improve the order in which it is presented - reorganizing paragraphs, sections or chapters, rewriting segments of text to improve readability and tailoring the vocabulary and sentence structure to the readership. This can include:

  • Checking that ideas are clearly formulated
  • Checking and correcting style, word usage, punctuation, and grammar

Questions or uncertainties are usually submitted to the author with the edited document.


Correcting while preserving the meaning and voice of the original text. The client may well impose pre-set rules and these will often be made available as a corporate style manual or as style sheets. Alternatively reference may be made to a specific manual of style. Tasks include:

  • Correcting spelling, grammar, punctuation, syntax, and word usage
  • Checking accuracy and consistency of terminology use
  • Reading for overall clarity and sense - considering target readership
  • Checking with the author about possible errors or inconsistencies
  • Cross-checking references, figures, etc for consistency with references to them in the text


Comparing the latest stage of text with the preceding stage, marking discrepancies in text and possibly checking for problems in page make-up, layout, colour separation or type. Proofreading may also include:

  • Checking proof against typesetting specifications
  • Correcting or querying mistakes or inconsistencies that may have escaped the editor or writer
  • Reading for typographical errors or for sense


A fast check of text for errors and omissions. This often follows translation.