The level of editing can be adjusted to fit the needs of the project; however, the copyeditor's responsibility is always to maintain the author's unique writing style while assuring accuracy and consistency in elements such as: capitalization, punctuation, spelling, and grammar; use of abbreviations and acronyms; and parallel structure in headings and lists. The focus in copyediting is on editorial improvement, whereas in proofreading, the focus is on editorial accuracy.
In addition, the copyeditor prepares a style sheet if the client does not supply an in-house or client style sheet. A style sheet or style guide keeps your documents consistent. It lists words, phrases, numbers, and conventions that can be handled in more than one way and shows the choices you've made for your document or company. For instance, will you write Web site or website? Do you prefer phone numbers separated by periods (415.828.9830) or do you prefer dashes (415-828-9830)? Your individualized style sheet will make sure your preference is always observed.
Substantive editing is also known as "development" or "content" editing. In addition to the standard copyediting tasks, the editor may suggest a change in writing style or format. The editor may rewrite, add, delete, or restructure sentences, paragraphs, or chapters to help communicate the material in a more effective format or tone, or to fine-tune an appropriate marketing focus.