Return to How to

Sample editing checklist

Front Matter

  • Check the publication number.
  • Check the document title.
  • Check the company address.
  • Check the front matter page numbering.
  • Check the printing date.
  • Check the trademark information.
  • Check the copyright information.
  • Check the company phone number and other contact information.

Format and Appearance

  • Scan each page for obvious formatting errors.
  • Check the typefaces and type sizes.

Table of Contents

  • Cross-check all entries against actual entries in the document.
  • Check the head levels for parallelism.
  • Read each entry for spelling errors.
  • Verify the page numbers.


  • Read all table headings.
  • Read all table footnotes.
  • Check the table numbering.
  • Check that numbers in tables are aligned correctly.
  • Read nearby text that refers to the table.


  • Scan each figure for obvious errors.
  • Read all labels in figures.
  • Read all figure titles.
  • Check the figure numbering.
  • Read nearby text that refers to the figure.


  • Read all chapter or section titles.
  • Check that steps in all procedures are numbered in sequence.
  • Check the page numbering.
  • Check the fonts and type sizes.
  • Verify cross-references.
  • Check recent edits. Pay close attention to any material copied and amended.
  • Check for duplicated or missing material.
  • Read the headers on each page.
  • Read the footers on each page.
  • Read all of the body copy.


  • Read the text of each index entry.
  • Check the indentations.
  • Check the alphabetisation.
  • Verify the index page numbers.

This checklist is very similar to one given in a paper by James B. Hansen titled “When you have to edit your own writing” in Proceedings of the 43rd Annual Conference, Society for Technical Communication, 1996, pp. 550-553, which was also published as “Editing your own writing” in Intercom, STC, February 1997, pp. 14-16.

Last updated 30 January 1999