Checking that the whole manuscript has been included and represented in a correct way in the document. This includes finding:

  • spelling errors (should preferable already have been done at the manuscript preparation)
  • cut-off or missing text (text frames too small or not linked)
  • bad text flow: bad hyphenations as well as widows and orphans
  • multiple blank characters in a row
  • incorrect use of styles
  • low readability (a hard copy printout is necessary for this)
  • bad placement of images, text frames and graphic elements

The layout person creates a PDF version of the document and sends it to the person responsible for the proof reading. The proof reader should  be able to annotate, make notes of the errors, directly in the PDF document, and return this to the layout person.


We need software that can show PDF documents and let the user make annotations (notes of errors) in the PDF document. If this is not possible (or desirable) a separate text document can be used for noting corrections.

  • Jarnal is not fully open source (dependent on JPedal library which is partly proprietary.
  • PDF Edit has no functionality for annotations.
  • Okular saves annotations outside of the PDF file which makes it harder to send corrections between people.
  • Xournal is a notetaking application which supports annotation of PDF files.
  • Evince is also an option which supports annotation of PDF files. It is included in the default Ubuntu installation.


Xournal as it is free, supports annotations and keeps them in a PDF document. Evince is also a good choice.