Video: Fool Your Brain With These Proofreading Tricks



Confession: I am a terrible proofreader.

I work with a trusted partner wherever possible (Hello, Lynn!) because I find it virtually impossible to proofread my own work.

After having written something over several drafts I literally cannot see the typos. And yes, there are always typos.

In my defence, even Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone has an error. To err is human after all.

Now, I haven’t looked into the science of typos (and perhaps it’s just my brain) but I find that my eyes seem to fill in the missing words and correct small mistakes automatically.

I’ll often read the same sentence several times and still miss the errors because my eyes are seeing what they expect to see.

The only way I’ve found to to get around it is to fool my brain. This video explains the techniques I use to trick my mind into spotting typos in my work.

Have I missed any golden secrets or silver bullets? Please do share, I admit I need all the help I can get.

UPDATE

Since I published this post, the brilliant Jon Darke shared his diamond proofreading hack with me: make your computer speak your text aloud.

Hearing your words voiced in that robotic voice is an easy and fast way to pick up typos but also weed out grammatical mistakes and overly long sentences.

You can even set this up in your system preferences (or control panel) as a keyboard shortcut.

Genius!


About the Author: Anna McLoughlin

Anna McLoughlin, Copywriter

Anna is Director of Inkspiller. An incurably curious writer and brand strategist, she has made it her life's mission to truly see others, then reflect their brilliance back out to the world.

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