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10 Ways to Catch the Most Common Typos and Errors

What's your top tip for catching common typos and errors?

To help you catch the most common typos and errors, we asked marketing experts and other business leaders this question for their best strategies. From using a text reader to changing locations, there are several strategies that will help you catch the most common typos and errors.

Here are 10 ways to catch the most common typos and errors:

  • Use a Text Reader

  • Sequence Freelancers and Digital Tools

  • Retype Lines from Scratch

  • Make the Font Bigger

  • Take a Break

  • Read Copy Backwards

  • Avoid Proofreading Your Own Work

  • Read the Text Out Loud

  • Print Your Work

  • Change Locations

Use a Text Reader

Reading back through your text should help you to spot any obvious typos, but the problem we have is that, particularly with long passages or when we are growing tired, we don't look at every word. We know that certain words follow other words, and so our brain tells us there is no need to look at it. By using a text reader, we can be sure that every word is being checked, and this process should eliminate any errors. Make sure to listen carefully to what is being read to you and that there are no distractions as you listen. However, even after checking the document using a text reader, it is still good practice to read through it again before submitting it.

Morgan Taylor, Sourcery

Sequence Freelancers and Digital Tools

Hiring freelance content writers allows a team to bring on self-editing professionals who cost less than an additional editor. Because they are small business owners, their eye for catching errors is betther than other professionals. Unless they’ve outsourced the editing process, they have to go through each piece meticulously to ensure their clients are happy. Coupling this approach with an editing tool will provide two layers of protection before you publish any content across your channels. Selecting the right tool will involve some research, but it’s well worth it when you consider the time-saving alone. Confidence in what you put out frees up more time for developing an effective strategy and adjusting to market trends. Ultimately this presents an opportunity for increased revenue and overall growth. Improving upon both will help with that all important job security for yourself and your team.

Jerry Han, PrizeRebel

Retype Lines from Scratch

Retype lines from scratch. Aside from catching common typo errors like spelling and punctuation marks, retyping the text will allow you to double-check your piece for word usage and tone. Likewise, it can help you shorten sentences, when necessary, to make them more concise. Redrafting a document also helps me regain my writing momentum. It jumpstarts my flow state to improve lines or add new and relevant ideas. It’s beneficial in overcoming brief writing slumps or getting the right energy level back after a break.

Ryan Stewart, Webris

Make the Font Bigger

This is an unusual tip, but it works for me. I simply make the font bigger on my screen and reread it. For some reason, when the text is magnified, it makes it easier to pinpoint any typos. If you think about it, it’s easier to spot spelling errors on a huge billboard than on a small business card. Another reason it works is that changing the format of a piece of text allows me to look at it with fresh eyes.

Anthony Martin, Choice Mutual

Take a Break

As a freelance journalist, it’s essential that anything I write is completely correct. All my written contributions and correspondence must be as professional as possible. My top tip for catching common errors is to take a break before you edit. When we have been working on something for a long time, our mind sees what it expects to, and it’s easy to miss small details.

Taking a short break and returning with a fresh perspective is very useful. Spelling and grammar software is also helpful; however, I use these as part of my writing process, rather than relying on them entirely. Word choice, correctly spelled names, and factual accuracy are factors I particularly check for myself. I like to keep my skills sharp and proofread all my work thoroughly before submitting. Taking a break before the final edit is an important part of this process. Even five minutes makes a difference if I’m on a tight deadline.

Mario Cacciottolo, SBO

Read Copy Backwards

Start from the end and read your copy backwards, word by word. Yes, this may sound tedious (it kind of is), but take it from someone who reads a lot of copy – this is a great trick to catch common typos and errors. Your eyes correct mistakes without you even knowing it, so a great way to override this and catch your typos and errors is to go to the end of your copy, and read it backwards. By taking your copy out of context, you're making sure you don’t get distracted by the content, and stay focused on corrections. By sectioning off each word, you’re able to be very specific and focused on the spelling and easily missed typos and errors. It’s going to take time, it may be tedious, but you are going to come out the other side with an immaculate piece of copy you will be proud to share!

Karim Hachem, Sunshine79

Avoid Proofreading Your Own Work

Proofreading your own work can lead to biased tendencies because you already know the message you wish to deliver. There's already anticipation for the intended message, which causes you to oversee the words or phrases that need tweaking. You don't recognize our own errors since what you see on the monitor is clashing with the version in your thoughts. In other words, because you are too focused on the substance of your words, you unconsciously ignore typographical and grammatical errors, which generates a blind spot for technical mistakes. Thus, have others proofread your work and incorporate their insights that you find valuable. Sam Browne, HARO SEO

Read the Text Out Loud

Even professional writers make typos and errors from time to time. While most of us can use spellcheck in Microsoft Word or AI writing tools, I've found that the best way to catch writing mistakes is to read my work out loud. Sure, if other people are around, they might think I'm a bit silly but the process is incredibly helpful for me. Reading silently is faster but because of that, it leaves room for errors. My brain breezes through everything on the page when you're reading silently. Reading aloud forces my brain to slow down and think about the words I've written down. It’s also an excellent way to make sure that sentences flow smoothly, there's enough word choice variation, and the piece resonates with its intended audience.

Jibran Qazi, MCPD

Print Your Work

Read your piece in another format to catch typos and errors. If you typed your article on your computer, print it out to read it. Other options are opening your file on your tablet or an e-book reader. When you've been working in one format for quite some time, your eyes get so used to it that they tend to skip over many parts of your document. Reading your piece from a printout makes your eyes and brain start fresh, helping you catch typos you may have missed previously.

Change Locations

My advice is to not edit the content where you wrote it. Change your physical location. We get used to reading our content in certain situations, and changing our circumstances alerts our senses, enabling us to work better. I always change locations when editing content. New places bring a little anxiety that gets you out of the comfort zone. The anxiety-ridden brain finds typos and common errors quickly.

Faizan Fahim, Breeze


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