Copyeditors get the raw material into shape for publication: they edit copy. When they have finished, and the layout has been created by the designer and/or typesetter, the work needs to be ready to go. It's like putting on a play: these stages are the rehearsals.
Proofreaders do the quality check and final tidy-up: they read proofs. They pick up anything the copyeditor missed and check that nothing went wrong at the design/typesetting stage. Proofreading is the last stage, the dress rehearsal, before the public get to see the result.
For this fact sheet and further information, please visit the website of the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading.
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