We all know that some small – or big – grammar and spelling mistakes are almost never possible to completely avoid… We all have also had to deal with mistakes that our clients failed to correct or that we didn’t realize they had corrected.
We should therefore clarify with our clients up-front that spell checks are exclusively their responsibility. It would also be even better if they got to sign the final printed sample with the phrase “to-be-printed”. You can also help your client’s proofreader make corrections properly by providing the following file, which – at least at our company – has repeatedly saved the day.
File for the client’s editor
Before you commence the spell check, please carefully read the following:
Corrections should be made with a red pen and if possible according to the guidelines described below.
The text to be corrected should be read carefully and slowly and also in parallel with the manuscript, so that there’s no risk of skipping lines or even paragraphs.
It should also be clarified that even things you might consider implicit may be mistaken, since the texts are written and corrected by the operators.
SOS: The manuscript or mock-up (electronic or not) brought by the client is not a proof of the final printing output. The final hard-copy proof or mock-up produced by the graphic artist is.
In order for the final mock-up to be approved to be printed, it must be signed before it’s given to the graphic artist.
Graphic artists have a right to discreetly place their logo or website on the back of the printing output, unless otherwise agreed beforehand.
Thank you for being cooperative!
Before you send a file to be edited for the first time, you should print the file above and attach it to your sample printout.
However, it would be even better, if you did an automatic spell check for obvious mistakes before you handed it in for a first editing.
I personally have set up Indesign (which is where I make up the pages and design the final products) to underline with red the words it considers to be wrong. You can set that up through Preferences à Spelling. The words are not automatically corrected; the mistakes are simply pointed out. If you right-click on the underlined words, you can see suggestions.
Spell check and correction is not a process of minor importance when it comes to printouts. A printout with correct grammar and spelling implies that the creator can properly handle the language and the graphic artist’s work is also positively highlighted. The quality of your own work and final products is also best ensured when the texts are as flawless as possible.
Tips for spell checks