4 last-minute things to check before you publish

When I was at college, I worked on the weekly student newspaper. It was so much fun that I decided to go into journalism after I graduated, rather than making a career in the science-heavy vocational subject I’d been studying. 

It also taught me some valuable lessons.

Like the week we put out a paper with the word “tomorrow” mis-spelled in 4 inch high letters across the front page. (We spelled it with double m.)

I’d like to excuse us by saying it was late, we were tired and we were rushing to get finished. We’d only just put the front cover together, so this was one of the last things to be written and only a handful of people were around to check it. But multiple people did look at the text and didn’t notice the mistake before the plate was made and put on the press. 

The truth is that we simply weren’t careful or professional enough about the “small stuff” — although, ironically, it’s a known issue in the publishing industry: the larger the text, the harder it is to spot a mistake. Text that’s all capitalised is also often harder to check.

To save you from making this kind of error, here are 4 last-minute things to check before you publish your content.

1. Headings  and subheadings

Are they spelled, punctuated and capitalised correctly? Is the grammar correct?

2. Captions and alt text for images

Again, is the spelling, punctuation, capitalisation and grammar right?

3. Links

Have you applied all your links to the right elements in your text?And do all the links actually work and open the expected content? Don’t forget to check links applied to buttons and images as well as in the text, and links in headers, footers and email signatures.

4. Abbreviations and Acronyms

Do you have the right letters in the right order? It’s easy to end up with EST when you mean EDT, or for your fingers to have typed SAA when you mean SSA.

Checks for issues like these are among the steps included in my Ultimate Editing and Proofreading Checklist. Click on the banner to find out more and to get your own copy.

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