Change The Font For Better Proofreading

Spell-checking is ubiquitous on most applications that accept text input these days, but that doesn’t mean proofreading is unimportant: spell checkers can’t detect errors of sense or missing words, for a start. You can make yourselves a more effective editor of your own work with a simple trick: change the font.

I was reminded of this tried-and-true technique when it popped up on an IT journalist mailing list over the weekend. If you’ve been endlessly working over the same text, it’s easy to become ‘blind’ to obvious mistakes and structural problems. Changing to a different font will force you to look at the text with new eyes, and changing the size will also shift the line breaks, which can also be useful.

You can achieve something of the same effect by printing out the document and editing on paper, but the font switch has the advantage of not wasting printouts. For another effective technique to distance yourself from your writing, try reading out loud (or using a text-to-speech app to have text read by your PC). Thanks Alex and Patrick!

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