Proofing Examples

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This wiki page is a modest attempt to organize the knowledge in the forums so that it is easier to find the many threads in the forum which give good advice and examples on proper proofing. (There is a companion page of formatting examples).

The intention is not to reprise the guidelines. Nor is this a substitute for the forums. It is, however, a supplement to them. The forums are still the primary venue to pose questions and seek answers for how to properly proof and format something. However, often, in the midst of proofing, a proofer may say, "Now, I remember a thread with an example much like the problem I am facing, if only I can find that thread again...." And very often, the thread with the example desired is in some hard-to-find corner, like in a team-talk thread, or a specific project thread. That's when a proofer can turn to this page.

In the remarks column of these tables, excerpts from the Guidelines (regarded as authoritative) are shown in a bold contrasting color thus. Other text comprises excerpts from forum discussions (or comments by the editors of these wiki pages) and are exactly that: discussions. These tables can only quote excerpts, and it is often a good idea to follow the links for fuller context. Also note that sometimes people may not fully agree with a forum post but not air their disagreements to avoid starting a dispute when the advice given the the poster who asked a question would not differ much. This is particularly true in the Q&A fora, from which a number of examples are drawn here. the correctness and universality of the examples used here can be debated on the talk page.

In addition, by gathering many examples into a single place, experienced DPers can review them from time to time, and when the Guidelines or the practice under them changes, this page might be well be changed to match. Thus it may eventually be a more up-to-date collection of examples than a search of the fora would reveal.

If you happen to stumble upon this page, please recognize that it is very much work in progress, and that it will be a long time before it is anything like complete, much less definitive. In the meantime, feel free to use this page, or better still, edit it.

This page uses a set of templates to create display tables in a consistent way. for discussion of these, and to comment on the format and content of this page, please see the talk page.

(Note: the initial version of this page was a joint page with the Formatting Examples page. For the early history of the text on this page, prior to the split, see that page's history.)


At line and page ends
No. Image Remarks
Correctly Proofed Text
1. Dash-example1.PNG In Forumpost:232654 acunning40 wrote: "...later on during post-processing the line breaks will be moved around automatically, and at that point the end of the line is equivalent to a space. We normally remove spaces around em-dashes like--this, so that means we also can't leave an em-dash at the start or end of a line, since that's the same as a space."

"The exceptions to this are at the beginning or end of a paragraph, or a line of poetry. In those cases the text won't be joined to the text before or after, so it's fine to leave the dash at the start or end of the line. In regular paragraph text where it all flows together, though, the dashes should always be "clothed"--have a non-space character on both sides."

First Topic--Second Topic--Third Topic--Fourth

topic--Fifth Topic--Sixth
Topic--Final Topic

2. Mark started to respond, but was cut off by the whistle.

"I think it's almost time for — {End of Page here}

Guideline for end-of-page hyphenation and dashes:
Proofread end-of-page hyphens or em-dashes by leaving the hyphen or em-dash at the end of the last line, and mark it with a * after the hyphen or dash.
Mark started to respond, but was cut off by the whistle.

"I think it's almost time for--*

3. Dash-example2.PNG Forum advice has no clear consensus, except to leave a proofer's [**note] and discuss the matter in the relevant project forum. The issue is that the dash appears to end a broken off sentence, rather than merely signaling a pause or parenthetical insertion, as discussed in the guidelines examples.

In forumpost:281992 laurawisewell says "Interesting. It certainly looks like the space in the image is much bigger than around the other dashes on the page, so it seems intentional. I'd probably close it up as per guidelines but leave a [**note] for the PPer."

In response grumbuskin says "I have come across a few of these. I do not close up the space, but do leave a [**Intentional space?] note for the PPer" and t-bonham adds "It doesn't matter much whether you leave that gap or close it up .... In proofing rounds, you can just concentrate on getting the text correct, and leave problems like this for the formatters or PPer's to take care of."

Garweyne writes later in the thread "I add that removing the gaps in PP is quite easy, while introducing them requires to look at the images. A space near a dash will never go unnoticed, since any PP and WW software looks at them. A comment makes sure that a following proofer does not remove them, or if he does, that the PPer will be warned anyway."

Why, in lots of the books, nowadays, the girls themselves

cling to the men in a close embrace, or put their
mouths tenderly to theirs-- [** space?]Well, of course, it sounds
rather disgusting, but in your own earlier books, I'm
sure there's more of it--of passion. Isn't there?


Why, in lots of the books, nowadays, the girls themselves
cling to the men in a close embrace, or put their
mouths tenderly to theirs--[** space?]Well, of course, it sounds
rather disgusting, but in your own earlier books, I'm
sure there's more of it--of passion. Isn't there?


Quote Marks on Each Line
No. Image Remarks
Correctly Proofed Text
1. Line quote example.png See the Guidelines.

Note that all quotes except the leading one are removed. The paragraph will be rewrapped, so if we didn't remove the excess quotation marks they'd end up at random spots within the final text.

If the quotation started on the previous page, then the first ' would be removed as well since in that case the first line of this example would not be the start of the quotation. If a page starts with quote marks on each line and you don't know whether to keep the first quote mark or not, a [**note] about it would be helpful so that the PPer can check when the pages are all joined together.

The final line of the paragraph (not shown in this example) would typically have a closing quote mark in the book, which we retain like normal.

'--may God rejoice his soul; his illustrious

years exceeded eighty-five, and it was the
universal belief that every boy who read the
Koran or studied the traditions in his


As Parts of Words
No. Image Remarks
Correctly Proofed Text
1. Superscript example 1.PNG garweyne wrote in forumpost:221830 (part of forumtopic:21338):

"P2 was wrong, the guidelines describe how superscript have to be handled, not only contraction superscripts. I agree that the guidelines might be clearer."

The guidelines are not as explicit as they might be on how to handle the superscripted "c" in some "Mc" or "Mac" names. Note also the handling of small caps in this example.

And so G^{eo} M^cClelland did grant to J^{no} M^cFarland

a plot of ground five acres in extent.

2. Superscript example 2.PNG In forumpost:250847 tunelera wrote:


Ordinal indicator should be reserved for marking ordinals. Degree sign should be reserved for degrees. "

See also forumtopic:22812

Note that ° is always short for "degrees". The raised o and a which show with underlines in the DPCM font are used almost exclusively in Spanish, and are known as "ordinals" because they are most often used in constructions parallel to the English "1^st, 2^nd, 3^rd, ..."

Chanel N^o. 5 includes esters that evaporate

at 3°C or higher.

Period Pause "..." (Ellipsis)

No. Image Remarks
Correctly Proofed Text
1. Ellip-eg2.png Guidelines:
An ellipsis should have three dots. Regarding the spacing, in the middle of a sentence treat the three dots as a single word (i.e., usually a space before the 3 dots and a space after). At the end of a sentence treat the ellipsis as ending punctuation, with no space before it.
Note that there will also be an ending punctuation mark at the end of a sentence, so in the case of a period there will be 4 dots total. Remove extra dots, if any, or add new ones, if necessary, to bring the number to three (or four) as appropriate.

These are each at the end of a sentence: in the first case it's followed by a capital letter which wouldn't normally be capitalized, and the second is at the end of a paragraph so it has to be the end of the sentence. (Sentences don't generally continue from one paragraph to another; if there's no more of the sentence in the text, it's the end of the sentence.)

He was a Special Investigator.... A society girl, playing
at work....
2. This sentence has ...

too many ellipses in it!
... It's absurd.

In the proofreading guidelines under "Trailing Space at End-of-line":
When the text is post-processed, each end-of-line will be converted into a space.

In Forumpost:219024, ortonmc writes: "What it boils down to is that anything can go at the end of a line, as long as it would normally have a space after it. But if there should not be a space, it needs to be joined up with the adjacent line.

There's a space after the first ellipsis, so it's OK to have a line break there. But there's no space after the !, so that would need to be joined up with the next line."

This sentence has ...

too many ellipses in it!...
It's absurd.

3. I have never loved in the manner you

mean. I do not wish to. Perhaps I am incapable of it.
... I hope I am;

Ellipsis at the beginning of a line.

Similar to the sentence with the exclamation mark in the example above. The ellipsis at the beginning of the fourth sentence looks like it belongs with the period that ends the third sentence (to form four consecutive dots). Therefore it needs to go up, otherwise when rewrapped, linebreaks become a space and it would look like "incapable of it. ..." "I hope I am" can stay down because it is separated by a space from the four dots.

See the discussion at Forumpost:347412 and the explanation at Proofreading Guidelines Explanations

I have never loved in the manner you

mean. I do not wish to. Perhaps I am incapable of it....
I hope I am;

4. The third (Victoria...), although only published in

September, 1863, has already

Is this ellipsis at the end of a sentence? Should it have 3 or 4 dots? No consensus in forumtopic:24553.

ortonmc explains in forumpost:278525): "If the title of the book were written out in full, there would be no period there. So I'd say space and three dots, as it's not the end of a sentence."

laurawisewell felt that a space after Victoria might risk an undesirable linebreak. A [**note] should be left to flag this for the PPer.

caw preferred formatting the ellipsis without any spaces as there could be an argument that the close parenthesis is an "ending punctuation mark", and the result would match the original better. He agreed on the need to leave a note for the PPer.

The third (Victoria ...), although only published in

September, 1863, has already


The third (Victoria...), although only published in
September, 1863, has already

5. Elipsis-quote example1.PNG See the comments on the first example above.

"Quite," said the Rum and Milk. "My stout Uncle Henry...."


6. Mbridge-112a.png



These 3 examples all come from 112.png of Murder at Bridge. (see complete image at Open Library System)

See the comments on the first example above.

you were Mrs Selim's landlord.... May I ask

no rent at all?" But there were other ways to find

her, he thought with a slight grin, to address him as one
man to another....

Paragraph Breaks/Line breaks

Basic Examples
No. Image Remarks
Correctly Proofed Text
1. Ltr-exmpl1.png See forumtopic:24433. The point here is that the closing line (Yours as ever...) and the P.S. are both treated as separate paragraphs, and a blank line precedes each.
A letter from you could reach me at Bretton Woods, and

I should be glad to hear there just when you think affairs
might be settled.

I'm hideously impatient, but I'm not unhappy.

Yours as ever, and a little more,

P. S.

We came back from Plymouth tonight, along the short
road, Caspian patched up, but sulky as an owl. Luckily I
didn't lose the way once.

2. Paragraph example 1.PNG In Forumtopic:24152, kraester wrote: "What I do when proofing is think about do I or do I not always want a piece of text to 'wrap' in with the previous text? If not, I insert a blank line.

The basic idea is that we keep the line breaks as shown on the scan to make proofing easier, but the PP will eventually ... allow them to re-wrap themselves automatically .... This is similar to what happens to paragraph text in a word processing application ....

Not having the blank line would imply that re-wrapping the two lines into one paragraph would be OK...

Similarly, ... if the OCR is putting a blank line between the end of the quote and the attribution, then it is likely that the attribution is considered a separate "paragraph" and should be separated from the end of the quote with a blank line.

In the case of chapter headings and block quotes, the formatters are charged with getting the formatting exactly right, which includes the exact spacing ..., but I always figure that the least I can do as a proofer ... is to make the separate paragraphs clear/distinct from each other,... And I define a paragraph as basically anything I don't want to re-wrap with the previous line."


The Arrival of the Deux ex Machina

Jazz is not dead, it just smells funny

Frank Zappa

In poetry
No. Image Remarks
Correctly Proofed Text
3. Poetry example 1.PNG In forumpost:258995 (part of forumtopic:23430) garweyne writes: "Whatever say the guidelines (and they are at least ambiguous) I would rejoin. A line split in this way might be unnoticed in formatting (the formatters are not assumed to read the text) and the final result might be wrong."

Lucy24 responds (agreeing): "Most formatting is decorative,[1] but split lines-- whether it's a whole word(s) or only part of one-- are an essential element of the text. It may be even more important in drama than in plain verse, because sometimes you'll meet single-bracketed [stage directions and you don't want to confuse those with overflow words. But you get them anywhere there are space constraints.

1 That is, you can strip it away and the text will still make sense."

This is the first, and longer, line of poetry.

This is the second line.

4. Poetry example 2.PNG As per the guidelines. Contrast with the previous example.
This is the poem and it doesn't

quite fit...
So the line extends a little bit.

Footnotes and Endnotes

No. Image Remarks
Correctly Proofed Text
1. Footnote example 1.png In forumtopic:24017, lucy24 wrote "Sometimes you'll meet projects where you are asked to position the footnote exactly where it was in the original: before, after or between words. But this isn't one of those cases; the following semicolon makes it unambiguous where the footnote marker belongs, so close up the space just as you would if the footnote marker weren't there. (Unless the Project Comments specifically say not to, in which case you're safer posting in the Project Discussion thread.)

"Yes, you delete the existing parentheses. Those are footnote-anchor parentheses, not "real" parentheses serving some function in the text. More often you'll see footnote anchors followed by a single close-parenthesis, and if you ever get into Post-Processing you'll be glad those are taken away, because they send the Mismatched Bracket Checker into hysterics."

Note the removal of the catchword (the first word from the next page)

they were generally loaded with bilious Humours[e];

which. if suffered to remain in the

e According to Dr. Hillary's account of the Yellow Fever

2. (1) First footnote blah blah.

(2) Second footnote blah blah.

See forumpost:260931, part of forumtopic:20191. note that parens are removed and each footnote is treated as a separate paragraph.
1 First footnote blah blah.

2 Second footnote blah blah.

3. Footnote example 2.png See forumtopic:24575. Note that each footnote is treated as a separate paragraph, even though there is more than one note on a line in the original.

Note also that parens around footnote numbers are converted to square brackets.

Marks[1] asserts that this state is

impossible. Banks[2] responds that
it could occur, while Jenks[3] cites
actual instances.

1 Journal of Irreproducable Results
V. 15, No 3, pp. 4-7

2 JIR Vol. 16, No 2
pp. 5-9

3 JIR Vol. 17, No 1 pp. 15-18


No. Image Remarks
Correctly Proofed Text
1. Catchword example 1.png In many older books, the first word (or partial word, as here) on the next page is printed at the right below the last line of the page. DP considers this a kind of footer, and it is normally omitted. When a book has catchwords, they will most often be mentioned in the project comments.

Note that removal of the catchword leaves a hyphenated word at the end of the page, which is handled in the normal way.

The one tires, the other shocks. Even

in the lowest classes of life, the composer
must seize only what is the fittest
to give satisfaction; and omit
whatever can excite disagreeable ideas.
It is from the animal joy of me-*
{End of page here}

2. Catchword example 2.png Here the catchword is a complete word. It is also removed.

Note that in both examples the scan shown is from the bottom of a scanned page.

Note also the "long s" in each example.

This leads us to examine more directly

emotions and passions with respect to the
{End of page here}

Lists of items

No. Image Remarks
Correctly Proofed Text
1. List example 1.png In forumpost:271729 (part of forumtopic:24189) De2164 wrote "put the second column under the first column as per the guidelines"
Temple on May 8th; also, to return their thanks for the liberal donation

presented to this Post; and at the same time to express the
hope that you may be successful in your object and journey


Theodore L. Kelly, Commander.
Edwarard F. Rollins, Adjutant.
W. Brooks Frothingham.
James T. Price.
Frank Boman.
Theodore L. Baker.
Thomas Langham.
J. Henry Brown.
George W. Powers, Chaplain.
Robert W. Storer, Q. M. S.
Oliver Downing.
James McLean
William S. Wallingford.