Graphic Design / Interactive Design / Fine & Applied Arts / Parkland College

Graphic Design Exercises
InDesign: Spellchecking and Proofreading


To learn how to read and use proofreader's marks. To learn InDesign typesetting procedures by example.


Proofreading for content is the job of the editor. Proofreading for typographic errors is the job of the designer. Proofreading is best done by someone who is not working on the job (you won't be able to find as many errors because you've been staring at your job all day).

The most common typographic errors beginners often miss are:

  • straight quotes instead of "curly" quotes
  • punctuation outside of quotes
  • two spaces after periods
  • incorrect use of hyphens and dashes
  • too many hyphens in a paragraph
  • too many widows and orphans

Note: InDesign will automatically use typographer's quotes unless you turn this preference off (InDesign > preferences > type).


  1. print and review sample proofreader's marks handout
  2. place your text cursor at the start of the text block and Check Spelling (command-I)
  3. when a misspelled work is found, an alternate will be offered: choose "struggled" and change
  4. when a duplicate word is found, a single word is offered: choose "with" and change
  5. when a word is found that is not in the dictionary, you can add it; when it finds "Carnegie," click "Dictionary"; check "case sensitive"; click Add
  6. print and read the spellchecked document "tibor.indd"
  7. in your assigned teams, work together to find all typographic and style errors; mark your proof up with a red pen
  8. re-open "tibor.indd" in InDesign and make the appropriate corrections
  9. add your name and exercise number to the top of the file
  10. print a revised proof


  1. submit b&w proof with your name and exercise number on it for grading
  2. file your graded proof in your Process Book for individual review

Last updated: 3/2/17 ■ Webmaster: Paul Young