Correction marks

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Logo of the German Institute for Standardization DIN 16511
Area Printing technology
title Correction marks
Brief description: Signs for correcting texts
Latest edition 1.1966
Logo of the German Institute for Standardization DIN 16549-1
Area Printing technology
title Prepress - Correction marks for picture and additional information
Brief description: Signs for correcting images and additional information
Latest edition 11.1996

Correction marks are used for correction of texts and proofs used. They are usually in the proofreading of a corrector used and mark mostly at the edge and in the body text, the spelling mistakes or to improving places. Correction characters are standardized in Germany in the DIN standards DIN 16511 and DIN 16549-1 and are explained collectively in spelling dictionaries (e.g. Duden ). The German system comes closest to the international standard ISO 5776 (proof correction marks); the characters used in the Anglo-Saxon area differ somewhat more from it (e.g. according to the British standard BS-5261). An overview of the correction symbols in different countries can be found in the Duden sentence and correction .

The current standards have been under revision for a long time, as they contain many correction characters for errors that are no longer included in the character set in modern word processing (e.g. upside-down letters) and, on the other hand, can only be used for corrections on paper are, but not for short comments in today's electronic correction workflows e.g. B. with comments in PDF files. A new version of ISO 5776 was published in April 2016, which is expected to replace the two DIN standards in the medium term.

DIN 16511

The basic principle of DIN 16511 is to mark the errors in the line and to repeat each correction character on the outer edge, where it is provided with the correct character string. Individual characters are crossed out vertically (|, Tes⃒t ) and character strings horizontally with end marks (⊢⊣). One or two short horizontal lines can be added to the vertical lines to distinguish them (꜖, ꜒, ˥). A double line (⨅) connected at the top is used to correct two consecutive letters (e.g. reversed order or ligature ‿).

For missing words is a caret used (꜒) are exchanged with a transition character bracketed. Deleatur serves as the deletion mark₰ .

For some errors that occur in lead type, there are special conventions such as underlining (possibly double) the letters to be used. Missing, too narrow, too wide and superfluous spaces between words are marked with arcs and vertical lines. The correction character for a paragraph break or line break to be added Insert paragraphis the rotated symbol for a missing interword, while the opposite is indicated with a loop from the end of the line to the beginning of the line Connect lines.

In contrast to orthographic changes, requests for typographical changes, for example a different font or a different font style , are displayed by underlining the relevant part of the text, possibly also overlining it. Incorrect indents are marked by horizontal lines with a vertical stop (⊢), incorrect line spacing by a semi-arc in the margin at the end of a horizontal line (—⸦, —⸧). Incorrectly lined up lines are numbered correctly in the margin.

Explanations in free text are put between double brackets: ⸨ Note ⸩. A blockage symbol consisting of a cross in a rectangle is used for content errors or dubious text passages : ⌧. Incorrectly placed correction characters are underdotted in the line and crossed out at the margin.

DIN 16549-1

Correction marks according to DIN 16549-1
character Explanation
+ Reinforce
P Passer
₰ Take away
← ↓ ↑ → Move
↺ ↻ Rotate
U Turning back
K Counter
⇤… ⇥ Resizing

Overfill / underfill
∑ ... Overall change

The correction symbol is usually followed by the relevant abbreviated color component ( C, M, Y, K ; L, H, C ; R, G, B ) and the change value, possibly followed by a percentage symbol or unit of measurement (usually 'mm').

Austrian dictionary

The correction characters in the Austrian dictionary are based on ÖNORM A 1082 and can be accessed online.


  • Duden. The German spelling . Volume 1. 25th edition. Mannheim 2010, ISBN 3-411-04012-2 , p. 131 ff.
  • Otto Ellguth: The proofreader. VEB Fachbuchverlag Leipzig 1980.
  • Brigitte Witzer: Duden. Typesetting and correction . Mannheim 2003, ISBN 3-411-70551-5 , p. 307 ff.

Web links

Commons : Proofreading  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Correction signs  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Austrian Standards International: ÖNORM A 1082: 1996 08 01 - Webshop - Austrian Standards. Retrieved September 13, 2017 .
  2. Correction marks . In: Austrian dictionary . 2012, p. 970–974 ( [PDF]).