Galley proof

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First galley proof of A la recherche du temps perdu: Du côté de chez Swann with handwritten revision notes by Marcel Proust
Bill Hosokawa pulling a galley proof while working as a newspaper editor in the Heart Mountain concentration camp, 1943

In printing and publishing, proofs are the preliminary versions of publications meant for review by authors, editors, and proofreaders, often with extra-wide margins. Galley proofs may be uncut and unbound, or in some cases electronically published, they are created for proofreading and copyediting purposes, but may be used for promotional and review purposes also.[1][2][3][nb 1]


Galley proofs are so named because in the days of hand-set letterpress printing in 1650s, the printer would set the page into galleys, namely the metal trays into which type was laid and tightened into place.[4] A proof press would then be used to print limited copies for proofreading in 1890,[4] the printer would then receive the edits, correct and re-arrange the type, and print the final copy.

Some publishers use paper galley proofs as advance copies, providing them to reviewers, magazines, and libraries in advance of final publication; these print-on-demand (POD) pre-publication publicity proofs are normally bound, but may be lacking illustrations (or have them in black and white only).[citation needed] Proofs in electronic form are rarely offered for advance reading.

Proofs in typographical sense are used from c. 1600.[5] Proofs created in a near-final version for editing and checking purposes are called page proofs.[citation needed] In the page-proof stage, mistakes are supposed to have been corrected; to correct a mistake at this stage is expensive, and authors are discouraged from making many changes to page proofs. Page layouts are examined closely in the page proof stage. Page proofs also have the final pagination, which facilitates compiling the index.

Uncorrected proof[edit]

These days, as paper and digital forms share the final product that readers actually use, the term uncorrected proof is more common as a term than galley proof, which refers exclusively to a paper proof version. Uncorrected proof describes the penultimate proof version (on paper or in digital form) yet to receive final author and publisher approval, the term appearing on the covers of advance reading copies (ARCs).[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Preliminary electronic proof versions are sometimes also called pre-fascicle, f.e. by Donald E. Knuth for early pre-production versions of the fascicles of his work The Art of Computer Programming.


  1. ^ Tapia, Allena. "Galley - What Is a Galley". About. Retrieved 2014-11-20. 
  2. ^ "Galley proof". Retrieved 2014-11-20. 
  3. ^ "Galley Proofs". Retrieved 2014-11-20. 
  4. ^ a b "galley". Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved 2017-05-27. 
  5. ^ "proof". Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved 2017-05-27.