As an author in the 21st century advanced technological world, the first thing which comes to mind that how to write a book that can grab the attention of the reader. What it be that one factor for which the book should be picked over others?

How good one may be an author or a writer, it’s the presentation and the style in which you present the content truly matters. So, let’s understand how to inculcate style in your writing that it becomes fresh, crisp, silk-flowing content to captivate your readers and position it high.

Copyediting is an art to make a piece of writing effective, flawless, and add style. One of the key components of copyediting is keeping the consistency of the content. A stylesheet is used to keep the consistency of the content in copyediting. Consistency with characters, time, dates, spelling, etc.

What is a Stylesheet?

The term style sheet is basically a template that was originally used by the print publishing industry for designing media content. It was a template or we can say a sample sheet that depicted how news or an article to be represented in a newspaper or magazine. In short, it’s a guide to provide a format for a particular piece of writing as a basis or template for creating media.

In today’s modern context, a style sheet is a form or a format used by editors to define a specific layout style for a document. This may vary from an article to a document, fiction from non-fiction. It provides a specified format for making the layout of content. It guides what should be the font size when capitalization is used, where the quotation and how many quotations will be used. It also specifies page size, margin and saves the editor’s time as it is meant to be consistent throughout the content.

What is the common format of Style sheet?

A style sheet helps in the presentation of the content and makes it very appealing visually. After an author has written the first draft it’s the copyeditor who takes care of the final representation of the content. Copyeditor uses stylesheet to give a final shape up as per a stylesheet.

Some formatting elements provided by style sheets include:

  • Font and Font size.
  • Emphasis on which word will appear bold, italics, or underline.
  • Colour.
  • Justification.
  • Alignment and indentation.
  •  Paragraphing.
  • Capitalization.
  • Uppercase, lower case.
  • Proper image inserts.

 Types of Stylesheet

Types of Style sheets

Three types of Stylesheet are used in content writing.

  • Cascading Style Sheet (CSS)
  • Modern Language Association (MLA)
  • American Phycological Association (APA)

What is Stylesheet? Why is it important in Copyediting and Proofreading?

Both Copyediting and Proofreading use of style sheets is very important because for both of them consist in writing is very important. Once the style sheet list is prepared, they need to pay less attention to each and every word, style, format to maintain consistency.

They look at the stylesheet guide and match it with the content, which not only saves their time and save them from struggling in maintaining consistency.

Since style sheets are prepared by copyeditors most of the time and it’s their responsibility but a proofreader can certainly add to it if the works are done by different individuals.

Sometimes a writer can also create a style sheet and want her contents written in a particular format, in that case, the copyeditor and proofreader do the same.

If the copyediting is to be done for newspaper and magazine in that case the copyeditor prepares the style sheet and the writer follows the traditional way of writing in that format.

The whole idea is to keep the content consistent and check everything before publishing.

How to Prepare Checklist for Style sheet?

Copyeditors and Proof-readers should certain things in their stylesheet and they are:

  • What are the words, phrases you want to get capitalized?
  • What should be the font size, and which words will be bold, italic, and underline?
  • Where the quotation will be used and how many quotations? Will they be in quotes? Will they be written in italics or bold?
  • Numbering of page.
  • paragraph, subtitles.
  • Usage of links, references, citations, etc.
  • Symbols, hyphens etc.
  • Size, the color of images, etc.

How to create Stylesheets?

Style sheets are made by copyeditors and Proofreaders for giving a professional look to the book or to the document. It also highlights the key features and provides a focus big picture. Enhance readability

While creating a style sheet,

  1. Read the first draft/manuscript / document/ or the content.
  2. Write the name, place, or location on a note.
  3. Compare the names or data that you have already written in your notepad.
  4. Look into the fonts.
  5. Tense to be used in the text.
  6. The particular use of symbols, plurals, etc.
  7. Provide professionalism in writing
  8. Write Headline properly
  9. Use proper space.
  10. Take care of the Header and footer.

In Microsoft Word documents, style sheets can be prepared easily.


Copyediting and Proofreading is a skill and the underlying strength to give each and every content is the stylesheet used by the authors. Depending on the writer’s choice the styles sheets are used, CSS, APA, or MLA stylesheet. Style sheet format various from writing to writing, such as Fiction to non-fiction, but the guiding principles remain the same.

Hope you find the content useful and if you have any queries, please write to me.