Traditionally the author used to mark up the corrections and send it to the editorial office of the publishing house by post or courier.
The advent of PDFs & Internet represented a leap forward for author proofing. No longer did proofs need to be printed out and either mailed or faxed to the author for correction. The PDF could be delivered instantly over the Internet, and the author could view and annotate the PDF on a computer in a different environment, using a different operating system. Of course, that does not stop the author from printing the pages out, correcting them by hand, and mailing or faxing them back!!
The question then becomes, how can we bank the gains that were made in delivery and interoperability and take them to the next level to achieve faster publishing cycle and at reduced costs?
The development of XML / HTML5 technologies provided the right solution for author proofing. Cascaded style sheet to display and edit XML files helped the authors to carry out the corrections directly in the source file XML seamlessly and pass it onto the editorial office instantly for acceptance and publication.
The clearest advantage of an online, XML-based proofing system as offered in XPERT Proofing System (XPS) is that everyone involved can work on the same document from copyediting through final corrections. This stands in contrast to PDF-based proofing, where authors and editors may mark up different PDFs, which are then given to a typesetter to transfer the corrections. Sources of error at this stage include the misinterpretation of sometimes ambiguous corrections and the rekeying itself. A new PDF is then generated, and another review cycle is initiated. PDF proofing is thus both inefficient and prone to error due to the degree of manual intervention.