An Introduction to Online Proofing

For many teams and organizations, regardless of industry, the creative workflow process is broken.

Feedback is transmitted in silos. It is spread over emails, across printed documents, lost in meetings, or missed in phone conversations. These silos and broken systems make it hard to stay on top of revisions, timelines, and responsibilities.

The idea behind online proofing is to provide the best of physical or “offline” proofing, with the convenience and efficiency of being able to collaborate online.

The results are smoother workflows, faster turnarounds, happier clients, and stronger creative output.

The Idea of Proofing


Proofing as a practice dates back as far as the printing press. A prepress proof was used to get final approvals from different parties. Mistakes could be very costly.


With computers and monitors, our focus shifted from the “hard proof” to the cheaper and easier “soft proof”. Though the print and proof is still very popular.


Technology has come a long way over the past decade (let alone centuries). What’s changed more than anything are the tools we can use to manage and collaborate on creative projects.

Task Management for Online Proofing

Today’s Conventional Creative Workflow

Today, the proofing process is spread out across a range of platforms, each with their own set of shortcomings. Most organizations without a proper online proofing tool will use some combination of the following:

  • Email

    Probably the most common “proofing tool”. Proofing by email results in information overload, siloed communications, and a rampant lack of clarity.
  • Project Management Tools

    Project management tools can keep teams organized, but are not built to put your content at the center of the conversation.
  • Print & Hard Copy

    Still a popular and accurate proofing method, hard proofing is cumbersome, slow, and usually expensive. It’s definitely not ideal for video.
  • Meetings

    Often the best way to review content (especially video), but meetings can be inefficient, expensive and logistically challenging.

How the Conventional Creative Workflow Fails

While there are plenty of tools and techniques used to gather feedback and get approvals, they often share several critical shortcomings. The reliance on solutions that relegate proofing functions to these siloed systems can result in:

  • Miscommunication

    Instructions that are not tied to pixels or frames tend to be less clear and precise, meaning directives are easily lost in translation.
  • Conflicting Feedback

    Siloed feedback will often be inconsistent or contradictory - and can result in headaches for project managers and creatives.
  • Lost Documentation

    Feedback might be buried in an email thread, a colleague’s desk, a poorly labeled folder or perhaps it doesn’t exist at all in writing.
  • Lack of Transparency

    Why was something done a certain way? It’s hard to know without a traceable history of a project, with consolidated and sequential iterations.
  • Inefficiency

    In a broken workflow, everyone ends up spending too much time coordinating, deciphering, and retrieving feedback.
  • Inconsistency and Inconvenience

    Downloading large files and navigating plugin requirements are examples of roadblocks that unnecessarily delays in feedback and approvals.

Key Considerations For Your Proofing Process

When getting started, there are a few critical concepts that you’ll want to address to ensure you are getting the full benefits of your proofing process. Without a proofing solution, these considerations are often poorly addressed.

  • The Files: What Requires Proofing?

    This could be a video, image, ad campaign, brochure, or any other media that you are working on with others. Every format can require different processes and resources. You ideally want a tool to handle all your proofing needs.
  • How Precise Can You Be With Your Feedback?

    Precision reduces miscommunication and provides clarity. Pinpointing a markup or annotation to a specific frame, pixel, page, or perhaps word is critical – and should provide 100% accuracy.
  • What’s To Be Done with the Feedback?

    You need the option to deliver action-oriented feedback. Whether the task is to cut a frame, edit copy, address a bug, or adjust an image, assigning tasks ensures feedback is implemented and with accountability.
  • Who Needs to Act?

    General feedback removes responsibility from any particular party. It’s critical to ensure feedback is connected to the user responsible to take action. It also helps if they can see all the other feedback and in context.
  • How is Feedback Related to the Deadline?

    Clarity is essential for meeting expectations regarding deliveries, whether for individual tasks or approvals. Accountability requires clear expectations and transparency.

The Benefits of Online Proofing

Online proofing is an easy win. It’s simple to implement. It delivers results without downloads, installations, or plugins. With a properly implemented online proofing solution, you can expect:

  • Faster Version Turnaround

    Avoid headaches over partial or miscommunicated feedback and streamline versioning. Everyone is on the same page.
  • Lower Project Management Costs

    Reduce the unnecessary back-and-forth that comes with broken communications, while improving how you track deadlines and approvals.
  • Accelerated Project Completion

    Create fewer versions, mitigate unnecessary delays, and have an easier time meeting deadlines. Get creative approved and delivered faster.
  • Less Aggravation

    Streamline revisions and communication while cutting down on scope creep with transparent feedback.
  • Less Time Wasted

    Host fewer meetings, make fewer phone calls, and send fewer emails. It should be about the creative not email management.
  • Client Loyalty

    Create an altogether better mutual experience for your clients and teams – they might just thank you for it.

Online Proofing Can Be Easy

Online proofing adds tremendous value to your creative workflows.

It can be integrated seamlessly and is intuitive to adopt.

The results of simplifying your creative workflows will be felt immediately. You’ll produce stronger work in a shorter time period, put less of a communications burden on your teams…

…and collaborate better.

What is online proofing


Take in a bird’s eye view of all our proofing and workflow features.


Explore our plans - built to meet your particular needs and budget.


Watch these short tutorial videos to explore ReviewStudio highlights.

Trusted by Leading Brands and Agencies Worldwide


  • ReviewStudio is a great way to streamline the communication not only within the team, but also with our partners involved in projects. They are constantly evolving new features to make the process even more efficient.

    Head of Marketing
  • Andy Hoare

    ReviewStudio have been a fantastic partner for us at IIG for a number of years. We have worked closely with their team to provide solutions for both our internal teams and our clients. The product is exceptional.

    Andy Hoare

    Senior Business Analyst
    The Inside Ideas Group
  • Client Tutorials 4

    ReviewStudio has been a game-changer for us. Managing revision cycles was one of our main workflow challenges. This online proofing software was key to helping us provide an easy, intuitive, yet robust solution for our clients.

    Client Tutorials 4

    The Sign Pack
  • ReviewStudio is an integral tool at Cicada Design. The feature rich collaboration platform has sped our review process immensely. It allows us to communicate clearly while reviewing complex content such as VR and Video.

    Director of Production
    Cicada Design Inc.

Get Started for Free – Today!

Discover the power of ReviewStudio’s intuitive proofing solutions for clearer feedback and a smoother approval process. Simply sign up and get started today!


  • How do I learn how to use ReviewStudio?

    You can start by watching our online tutorial videos. Our Help Center provides instructional articles and a comprehensive knowledge base. You are also welcome to schedule a free online training session where we’ll take you through the application and discuss any specific creative workflow issues that may be relevant to your situation.

  • How does an Approver give their approval?

    If you are designated as an Approver, you will see a “Submit Decision” button in the Review Canvas for each file that is included in the Review. The default options include “Approve”, “Approve with Changes”, or “Revisions Required”. Note that these options may be customized for each account. For more on approvals, check out our knowledgebase.

  • How can I keep track of tasks required to complete a project?

    All feedback can be turned into revision requests by converting them to tasks and assigning them to specific users. From the main Dashboard, these users can quickly find any open tasks assigned to them across all Projects and all Reviews. Within a Review, users can filter the comments to show only their open tasks (as tasks are marked as completed, they will be hidden from the list). Admins can also keep track of the progress of task completion by all users across all Projects.

  • Can I select and highlight text?

    If you upload a document that contains text, the toolbar will show enabled text markup options. These include highlight, select, delete, underline and insert. You can also copy/paste the selected text into a comment to indicate edits.

  • How do I compare multiple versions of a file?

    Using Compare Mode, you can review any two files or versions of a file side-by-side that are in the same Review. For full details, have a look here.

  • What file formats can I proof in ReviewStudio?
    • Images – JPG, PNG, GIF, TIFF, PSD, 360 Panoramic (JPG or PNG)
    • Video - MP4, MOV, OGG, WebM, FLV, AVI, WMV, ASF, ProRes +
    • Audio - MP3, WMA, AAC
    • Documents - PDF, SVG, DOC(X), PPT(X), XLS(X)
    • Web - HTML (either as a ZIP or URL capture)
    • 3D - GLB

    If there is a particular format you use that is missing from this list, please reach out to support and we can consider adding it.