What is the Difference Between Similar But Different Things, Terms, and Objects

What is the Difference between Copyediting, Proofreading and Editing

Writing was considered as one of the strongest medium of expression. Now a day, when technology has mastered everything we cannot deny the importance of written material. We can find different piece of writing not just in the printed form but a large number of writing projects are published on the internet daily. Copyediting, proofreading and editing are three different terms, which we commonly hear, when it comes to writing a proper document.  However, a common person cannot differentiate between three of them. Here are some basic differences between these important terms.


Copy editing is associated with improving the formatting style and accuracy of text in any document. Copy editor is the person, who does this job. It is not concerned with changing the substance of the text; rather it is concerned with the typesetting and publication. Copy editing is one before proof reading. Sub editor is another term, which is used for copy editor in some countries.

Proof reading

Proof reading is the last stage in the processing of any text document, which is done right before publication. It is done to remove all production errors from any document. Traditionally, a proof reader checks the whole document, no matter how long it is, word by word for any kind of error. Generally, proof readers have no editorial or managerial authority.


Editing is more comprehensive term as compared to copy editing and proof reading. Editing is about selecting a proper piece of document, which is good enough to get published. An author writes a piece of writing or any story and editor removes the unnecessary parts to make it a publishable text. Editing has many stages and it’s a long process, which is time taking too.

Copyediting vs Proofreading vs Editing

Editing is the umbrella term which is used for a wide range of activities. Editing includes copy editing, structural editing and proof reading. Hence, editing is the main terms and copy editing and proof reading are part of this process. Copy editing is concerned with the style and format of the text while proof reading is concerned with the originality of the document. Copy editing is the first stage of editing process, while proof reading is the last stage as it is done right before publication. Copy editor revises a document and recommends changes, if needed. On the other hand, proof reader does corrections instead of recommending them to the author or editor.

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