What do I need to do, as a proofreader?
Proofreaders are vital to one of the most crucial stages of production - proofing. But they are also often under time pressure, working to limited client budgets, and often with ineffective tools. Futureproofs helps proofreaders to review and correct the proofs quickly and efficiently, making it simple to enter corrections easily and quickly, and to ask and answer queries. When you are asked to do other tasks, we also help you to quickly collate the team's input into a single authoritative master proof, as well as providing tools to check the revisions against the previous master.
Futureproofs is a web-based application, which means that it runs in your web browser. We support all modern web browsers, and the chances are you already have the software you need.
When you log in, you'll be shown your Futureproofs dashboard. This lists all the projects you are a member of. Initially, there will be an introductory project called "How to use Futureproofs". This steps you through the basics of marking up a proof in Futureproofs - there are more details in the next section here. (You may also see one or more other projects, if your clients have already invited you to work on them.)
Marking up a proof
To mark up a proof, you hover your mouse over it on the dashboard and click the 'Check proofs' button that appears. When the proof loads, you'll see a toolbar at the top of the window that provides all the tools you'll need.
The key concept in Futureproofs, though, is that you just draw on the screen with your mouse or trackpad. Futureproofs will then suggest actions to you in a menu, and you choose the one you want. The correct markup (set by the project's owner - BSI or Chicago) is then shown on the screen, and you can make your next correction. When you need to type a correction, you can format your text or even enter Maths.
There are several ways to move around the proofs - you can change page one at a time, jump to a specific page number, browse the book pages visually, use bookmarks or even search for specific words or phrases. (When you've been jumping around, it may be useful to know that you can jump straight back to the page you were viewing immediately before the jump.)
When you're finished, you should mark your proof as complete. This confirms that you've finished and is shown in the proof-status report - and also means you won't get any nagging emails about deadlines!
Dealing with queries
On your dashboard, you may notice a message on the left-hand side about queries. This lets you know when one of your queries has been replied to, or when someone else on your team has asked you a question about the proof.
To deal with these queries, you hover over your project again and click the Details button, and then choose the Queries tab. You will see all the queries for your project, in order. In each case, the full conversation is stored so that it's always clear what decisions have been made. There's a simple button to see each query in context and respond to it.
If you don't respond to your queries, you'll get a reminder email each day, summarising all your queries and giving a link straight to the relevant page of the proof.
When a query you raised has been resolved, you should click the Finish button. This removes the query from your proof (although it remains in the Query tab of your project permanently) and stops you receiving reminder emails to deal with it.
Dealing with the master proof
Once the team has finished adding their markup, and the queries have all been resolved, you may be asked to collate everything into a master proof that can be shared with the designer (or whoever is implementing the changes). To do this, open the master proof, view the markup of each user in turn (or all at once) and copy in whatever markup you need.
Proofreading the new version
Once the corrected proof has been received, you may well be asked to proofread it against the previous version. Futureproofs provides a split-screen mode for this purpose, which shows the master proof and the new proof at the same time, and lets you step through all corrections on the master and copy across any that were missed.
Once this proofread is complete, the rest of the team check the proof again. And so the cycle continues until the proof is signed off and ready for print!