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How to Improve your Proofreading Skills

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Depending on your preferences, writing for web, for social or even just an email can be an enjoyable task, but proofreading? Not so much.

Not only can proofreading be boring and tedious, but it can sometimes be redundant too. No matter who you are, or what you’re writing, it can be extremely difficult to spot your own typos. Particularly if you’ve been staring at your copy for hours on end.

So, why is it so difficult to spot your own typos, but so easy to spot those made by other people?

It’s all to do with the final destination, according to Tom Stafford. Even if the readers of your work are more than familiar with the ideas and words contained within it, they’ve never read the article or email or post before, so they don’t know what’s coming next. Your readers are paying more attention than you are, because they aren’t anticipating the final destination.

Proofreading your own work can be useful, but in general it’s best to get someone to do it for you. But what if there’s no one available?

Microsoft Edge

It’s a good thing that the Microsoft Edge Browser has a built in, free, and always available proof-reader at your service with their Immersive Reader.

Not only does Immersive Reader help you find mistakes, but it makes your grammar and structure flow better. All you need to do to use it is press F9 in Microsoft Edge.

Wondering how it works?

  1. First, open up Microsoft Edge, and navigate to an article on a website you want to proofread.
  2. By hitting F9 or the little book icon in your menu bar, you can open up the Immersive Reader, which allows you to view all the content on a web page without the design getting in the way.

The real bonus of Immersive Reader is the ‘read aloud’ function which does exactly what it says on the tin.

With the editor open in one screen, and Immersive Reader open in another, you can listen for mistakes, grammatical errors, and the flow of your copy — making corrections as you go.

It's particularly helpful when it's not a misspelling, but the wrong word (like using "form" instead of "from" where spellcheck isn't as helpful).

There’s even an option available for you to control the speed at which the software reads your copy back to you and choose the voice that it uses. All you have to do is go to ‘voice options’ at the top of the screen.

Some of the best copywriters around use a read aloud function to check for mistakes in their copy, even if it looks perfect. Why? Because, as we’ve already said, it can be extremely difficult to catch your own typos.

Give Immersive Reader a go the next time you’re writing something for web, or if you need help writing your blogs and social copy, get in touch and our team will be happy to help.

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