Online Proofing: The Solution to Traditional Proofing Challenges

Online Proofing

Online proofing?

Wait, what? 🤨

Back in the days when I was in the formative stage of my career and was leading different teams altogether, chasing people for feedback, awaiting responses, and managing back-and-forth communications were a few of the issues I witnessed firsthand. 

When feedback passed on by the reviewer was getting misunderstood by the recipient and lost in the lengthy email chains, it not only led to prolonged review rounds but evoked the emotions of frustration, confusion, and disengagement in teams and in me. And calling meetings was the only solution I swore by to break down the communication barrier. 

Anyone in a position to overcome barriers to free thought and communication should do so. – Noam Chomsky

And so I did. 

To work around these problems, I used my developing skills to fuel my side hustle to develop a solution to keep everything aligned and traverse the digital age problems. 

And this is where ProofHub came into existence and got its name from.

To be the first of its kind! 

A platform where annotating documents and providing clear-cut instructions was possible while looping in the feedback, comments, and suggestions of team members for smoother workflow and stronger output. 

If you’ve ever got your reviewing cycle run through emails and messages, then you surely would know what I am talking about. 

Isn’t it?

But let’s just declare the manual feedback process a thing of the past and move ahead to identify the efficiency, effectiveness, and remarkable benefits of proofing.

Are you tired of time-consuming process of proofing?

Online proofing speeds up projects by 56%, cuts revisions by 30%, and reduces effort by 59%.Simplify reviews, cut confusion, collaborate & approve creative asstes – all in real time with a proofing tool.

What is online proofing?

The need for online proofing arose across teams and organizations when feedback and comments started accumulating and were transmitted in silos – resulting in a time lag in the project completion.  

It is the process of files, documents, and designs moving through multiple stages of being reviewed, previewed, proofed, and feedback-sharing – all in one place and in real-time – before reaching the final “Approved” destination. 

In the times when 47% of employees waste a significant amount of time in meetings and checking emails, file proofing alleviates the chaos of manual administration by bringing everything under one roof. 

Online proofing vs. Traditional proofing 

If you ever feel bogged down in emails and swirled in the whirlpool of conflicts that come with traditional proofing, online proofing is the way to take a quantum leap. 

But before we move ahead with listing the benefits of real-time proofing and the shortcomings of traditional proofing, let’s take a look at the difference between the two which will set the stage for our further exploration.

Online ProofingTraditional Proofing 
✔️ Unfolds the real-time essence into proofing practices by fostering seamless collaboration amid teams spread worldwide. ✖️ Multiple suggestions and discussions fly back and forth mitigating the efficiency of the reviewing process. 
✔️ Edits and comments are consolidated in threaded conversations to provide clear and actionable feedback. ✖️ Disorganized communication and providing feedback lead to the vague implementation of remarks.
✔️ Document versions are always safeguarded, accessible, and organized automatically.✖️ Tracking a document’s journey after a series of edits in long email chains or in written documents turns overwhelming.
✔️ Automatic tracking with real-time status indicators leads to accurate assessment.✖️ Limited functionalities and manual tracking lead to unnecessary delays in the approval process.
✔️ A single platform with markup tools to annotate files, all together in one place. ✖️ Getting files proofed via Emails, slide shows, or transfer links turns messy.
✔️ Feedback and annotation are directly provided on files, documents, and designs. ✖️ Feedback shared via emails, phone calls, meetings, long descriptive messages, or screenshots creates confusion.
✔️ Centralized and streamlined feedback process.  ✖️ Distributed and complicated feedback process.
✔️ It can be integrated immersively with other tools.✖️ The nature of traditional methods is fragmented. 

How can an online proofing solution help my business?

Proofing solutions completely revolutionize the way teams used to collaborate and communicate with each other via email (majorly). It saves you time by consolidating all the feedback, comments, and attachments that were earlier scattered throughout the email chains and eliminating the need to remind reviewers of the due feedback or ask the team to implement suggestions. So you get to ensure quality results in less time.   

According to Zipflow’s annual report, an enterprise online proofing solution offers diverse ways to achieve immediate ROI.

Without wasting even a second, let’s just delve into the detailed benefits of proofing. 

What are the benefits of online proofing?

Online proofing bestows significant benefits on teams by cutting down on challenges that show up in their work and hinder work progress – 

1. Reduced human efforts 📁

Not only is it tedious to share files or documents as attachments in emails for approval, but the process following is equally frustrating. It streamlines the approval process by centralizing review and preview practices and bringing everyone involved on the same page, ensuring higher-quality output. 

No manual tracking or updating of documents and spreadsheets, no hunting down feedback in messages, and no revision discussion in meetings – just everything sorted and accumulated in one place. 

2. Improved status tracking 👀

Traditional proofing derails the efficient status-tracking process due to scattered information and multiple resources included to find a reliable answer. And if in any case, some manual error occurs in recording the intricate details of feedback and revisions, the situation can turn out to be extremely dreadful. 

On the other hand, online proofing creates a transparent project dashboard to review task status at a glance. 

3. Enhances clarity and visibility 🗺️

It escalates the clarity and transparency levels without requiring you to sift through tangled email chains and attend frustrating meetings to understand the deep insights of feedback and opinions. 

Instead, this seamless flow of information and opinions gets swiftly resolved because of being able to pinpoint and highlight the exact sections and context, leaving no room for misunderstanding and confusion. 

4. Stronger version control 📚

With online proofing tools, you can free yourself from the worry of keeping track of past proofing iterations on your own. Their centralized and organized storage is going to be your virtual auditorium to take a sneak peek behind the curtain to access all the historical information.

Also, everyone involved in the reviewing process can easily catch up with the previously added comments, annotations, and suggestions to ensure the final product reflects collective insights.

5. On-schedule task delivery

One thing that following a real-time proofing workflow can greatly assist you with is the timely delivery of your project by expediting your approval path – without any unnecessary time delays. 

With the transparent feedback system, you can have real-time oversight to make quick interventions ensuring no step is overlooked and no step is prone to error before hitting the final stage. Marketing and creative teams can greatly benefit from client-proofing software to stay on time and within budget. 

6. Increased accountability 📄

The online file proofing process introduces accountability in your workflow system and proofing solutions by providing transparency and allowing you to clearly communicate and collaborate on files and designs.

This way proofing and reviewing software records timestamped actions, like when were the edits made, what suggestions were provided, and who approved the changes, to create an environment where everyone is accountable for their tasks

7. Minimize feedback time 🕒

Minimized turnaround time is the significant benefit of the centralized feedback system that not only houses every feedback and approval history in one place. But eliminates the frustrating and time-consuming need to await physical copies or document-attached emails. 

Also, the ability to annotate directly to the documents, collaborate in threaded discussions, and consolidate feedback, makes it much superior to sending you uncountable emails to minimize the multiple rounds of revisions. 

8. Fosters global collaboration 🌐

Acknowledging the geographical barriers and dispersed team force, proofing tools come in handy. Not only do they allow you to simultaneously collaborate on the same document, but allow you to contribute as per your schedule. 

Ensuring round-the-clock productivity, bridging time zone differences, and minimizing communication delays. So that you can bring together expertise and perspectives from all around the globe.

How does the online proofing and approval process work within ProofHub?

ProofHub is an all-in-one project management and team collaboration tool with a comprehensive suite of proofing features to speed up the process of review and feedback, eliminating the hassle of running behind reviewers and stakeholders to get approval. 

To get you through the uncertainties and delays inherent in traditional proofing, I am here to enlighten you on the five-step online proofing process sequence with ProofHub aimed at mitigating miscommunication, missed feedback, and deadlines.

1. Create a project  

The first step of the whole review process starts with creating a project, where you can name it, add a description, and assignees.  Apart from this, you can even select a pre-built template to move ahead. At the same time, you can communicate your clear expectations and deadlines.

Create a project in ProofHub and communicate clear expectations and deadlines
Create a project in ProofHub and communicate clear expectations and deadlines

Once your project is ready and starts running, you can add label your priorities, and add or remove fields as per your requirement. 

Add label to priorities, and add or remove fields as per requirement
Add label to priorities, and add or remove fields as per requirement

2. Upload and share files 

Following the creation of a project, you can attach your files, documents, PDFs, graphics, videos, audio, and more that will only be visible to a specific set of individuals. 

Attach files, documents, PDFs, to projects and limit their visibility
Attach files, documents, PDFs, to projects and limit their visibility

3. Content proofing 

Now that the files have been uploaded, you and your team can annotate and share clear, visual, and actionable feedback on files and documents with Markep tools. 

Share clear and actionable feedback on files and documents with the markup tool
Share clear and actionable feedback on files and documents with the markup tool

You can even create multiple file versions, share them with team members, stakeholders, and clients, and store them in a central library for seamless access to version history in the future.  

Create multiple file versions and share them with team members instantly
Create multiple file versions and share them with team members instantly

P.S. – Following either a sequential step or parallel review is your wish.

4. Collaborate in real-time

There is a discreet section on your screen within every project that reviewers can utilize to mention teammates and collaborate through inline comments regardless of their location and time zones. 

Mention teammates and collaborate through inline comments
Mention teammates and collaborate through inline comments

5. Get notified

Lastly, ProofHub notifications alarm team members of the changes made and comments added to the project.

Get all changes and comments instant notifications in ProofHub
Get all changes and comments instant notifications in ProofHub

Once the proofing is done, you can share files with external collaborators to review and approve in multiple file formats, including PNG, JPEG, PDF, and more, and they don’t even need to log into ProofHub.

Ditch the email chaos

Designed to save time and boost productivity, ProofHub’s online proofing simplifies collaboration for managers.

What is online proofing software?

Online proofing software or real-time SaaS proofing software is a digital tool to centralize the process of sharing, reviewing, collaborating, and approving creative marketing content and digital assets. 

With significant and compelling benefits in its court, online feedback and proofing is here to replace the outdated practices of providing feedback in emails or in one-on-one interactions by allowing you to upload, annotate, and share these documents altogether. 

So, getting access to feedback, file versions, and approvals is a hassle no more.

Introduce your creative process to excellence with the handpicked list of the 15 Best Design Feedback and Annotation Tools for Designers.

Key features to look for in online proofing software

If you are upgrading yourself from traditional proofing practices, here are some of the most essential features you need to seek-after in real-time proofing software. 

  • Real-time collaboration & feedback – The biggest advantage a proofing tool can offer teams is to create a common storage ground of feedback and comments from team members, stakeholders, or clients. So, that you don’t need to search for a particular comment or file version through countless emails, and waste time in meetings or in-person phone calls.  
  • Annotation and markup tools – The must-have features you need to look for in an online collaboration tool are annotation and markup tools. If a tool doesn’t allow you to highlight, annotate, and provide direct feedback on the exact spot of any media type of your content, then there is no point in investing your valuable assets into that tool.
  • Version control and tracking – The major reason behind proofing solutions coming into existence was efficient version management which traditional proofing lacks. A built-in central library where the entire version history of a project is stored serves the teams who need to make comparisons and validate revisions by revisiting the previous versions. 
  • Cost-effective pricing – Considering there are several proofing tools out there, you need to equip your organization with a solution that isn’t weighing heavy on your pocket while fulfilling your proofing needs. If the tool is not providing value for your money in removing the productivity bottlenecks, then it’s high time to look for a cost-effective alternative.  
  • Google Drive and Dropbox integration – Make sure the tool that you are going to swear by for your proofing needs, provides seamless integration with storage platforms like Google Drive and Dropbox. This way you can easily share, access, and attach files from your ProofHub account.

Deliver high-quality and error-free results to end users with these 6 proofing tools for creative teams in 2024


From the crux of our discussion, the key element we takeaway is that traditional proofing significantly heightens the time invested in iterating the review rounds, which isn’t agile enough to keep up with the modern industry requirements. Moreover, handling projects and progressing them to the final stage with conventional tools like Adobe, Microsoft Markup, or Dropbox is equally frustrating.

ProofHub, on the other hand, with its dynamic online proofing tool liberates you from being stuck in the feedback cycle by streamlining the review and approval process. It empowers your team to work and collaborate smarter and faster on documents and projects.

Online Proofing FAQs

What is an online proofing tool?

It is a collaborative platform with numerous robust features where creative and marketing teams can annotate and share feedback on designs, files, and documents directly to get things done without any confusion and on time.

What is proofing in marketing?

Proofing in marketing refers to reviewing and previewing the content of a specific marketing campaign to ensure content alignment with company guidelines and requirements.

Who uses online proofing software?

Although any company relying on feedback and an approval process can make the most from proofing software, its prime usage finds a significant foothold in the marketing sector, creative agencies, and design industries.

What is the best online proofing software for 2024?

ProofHub is one of the best online proofing software for 2024 with a wide range of project management and team collaboration functionalities apart from its robust proofing tool to take care of your project management needs from start to finish.

What is online approval?

Online approval is the process of getting consent and feedback on files, documents, designs, videos, and graphics in a rationalized and centralized manner through digital proofing software.

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