After the Deadline

Two Tricks for Tracking Down Typos

Posted in Proofing Tips by Michelle W. on October 7, 2014

How many times has this happened to you: you write a post, read it through seventeen times, hit “publish,” and then immediately spot an error in the published post?

If it never has, lucky you! Would you mind proofreading ours? 🙂

For the rest of us, it’s an all-too-frequent occurrence. We’ve been sharing resources for improving your eye for detail throughout the year, and here are two more tricks to try today.

Read backwards.

Part of proofreading is being able to slow down and focus enough to stop your brain from correcting typos or filling in gaps before you notice them. Reading your work backward forces you to stop and look at each individual word in a way you can’t otherwise — it’s great for catching those final spelling errors.

Change your font.

Similarly, things that cause you to look at your writing in a new light also slow your brain down. Changing your font (or your font’s size/color) only takes a click of the mouse, but transforms your words. A mistake you might have skimmed over becomes unmissable when it’s 30 points high or bright red.

Sometimes, finding that last gaffe means having to trick your brain into noticing it — these are two simple ways to do it that anyone can try, no special tools needed.

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