Copy editing (also copy-editing or copyediting, sometimes abbreviated Ce) is the work that an editor does to improve the formatting, style, and accuracy of text. Unlike general editing, copy editing might not involve changing the content of the text. Copy refers to written or typewritten text for typesetting, printing, publication, broadcast or other independent distribution. In the context of publication in print, copy editing is done before typesetting and again before proofreading, the latter of which is the last step in the editorial cycle.
In the US and Canada, an editor who does this work is called a copy editor. An organisation’s highest-ranking copy editor, or the supervising editor of a group of copy editors, may be known as the copy chief, copy desk chief, or news editor. In book publishing in the United Kingdom and other parts of the world that follow British nomenclature, the termcopy editor is used, but in newspaper and magazine publishing, the term is subeditor (or the hyphenated sub-editor), commonly shortened to sub. The senior sub-editor on a title is frequently called the chief sub-editor. As the “sub” prefix suggests, copy editors typically have less authority than regular editors.
The term copy editor may also be spelled as one word or in hyphenated form (copyeditor and copy-editor). The hyphenated form is especially common in the UK; in the US newspaper field, use of the two word form is more common