online proofing tools

12 online proofing tools that make feedback easier

Nowadays, being efficient at work has become an imperative across all industries. And 3 in 4 people say they would create better work if they spent less time managing feedback. 

With an online proofing tool teams can share files, collect feedback, and collaborate with your stakeholders until they get approval. Plus, they make the whole process a lot smoother and faster.  

So here’s a look at the top ones.

1. Filestage – best online proofing software

Filestage is an online proofing software that helps you share, discuss, and approve all your files, all in one place. It offers agencies and marketing teams a better way to manage digital projects and collect in-context feedback.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Upload your files and add a due date
  2. Invite your reviewers or send them a link (they don’t need an account)
  3. Let reviewers add their feedback and discuss ideas in the comments
  4. Turn the comments into a to-do list so you can tick off edits for the next version
  5. Upload the new version to Filestage
Filestage file overview

2. ProofHub

ProofHub is an online proofing system that makes it easy for managers of creative teams to streamline their team’s creative process by giving them a central place to share files, review them, annotate and mark changes in those files, and approve them once done. 

It integrates with third-party apps like Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox and Box to give creative teams a central place to access and store files.

3. Screenlight

Screenlight aims to help creative teams untangle feedback and swiftly drive video projects forward. This digital proofing software allows its users to review videos, audio files, or images that turn into preview files viewable just about anywhere.

When a reviewer starts typing a comment, the tool automatically pauses the video and grabs a precise timecode. This way users spend less time guessing where clients want to make changes and more time getting the project done.

4. Workfront

The goal of Workfront is to connect enterprises and help multidisciplinary teams collaborate in the digital age. The tool specializes in enterprise project management, and can take several weeks to set up.

With Adobe Workfront marketing teams can build actionable strategies and launch campaigns while delivering personalized experiences at scale.

5. Lytho

Lytho is a proofing software that empowers creative teams to foster stronger collaborations with both clients and stakeholders. The teams can do that by building creative workflows to efficiently manage all important aspects of the project, including everything from stakeholders and their resources.

6. ConceptShare

ConceptShare is an online proofing tool that’s aimed at creative and marketing teams. Its goal is to empower these teams to deliver content faster and at lower costs. However, keep in mind that some more advanced features can be pretty difficult to learn.

7. SyncSketch

SyncSketch offers its users a real-time collaborative media review in the cloud. While this tool provides a fun way to acquire general feedback, it doesn’t offer task management, which can reduce the efficacy of marketing and creative teams.

SyncSketch is designed to help boutique creative agencies and visual effects, animation, and gaming professionals to supercharge their remote workflow. 

8. Kollaborate

Kollaborate is a cloud workflow platform for video professionals. It’s produced by Digital Rebellion, and it offers integration with its other suite of apps. But in order to get the full benefits of this tool, users run the risk of getting pulled into an ecosystem that could be counterproductive.

The tool is designed strictly for video editing and reviewing professionals allowing them an Instant real-time feedback from colleagues and clients until the project reaches approval.

9. Cospective

Cospective is a proofing software that offers two distinct tools to assist marketing and creative teams with the review of their video content. 

The remote review tool is tremendously accurate and provides users with high-resolution videos that have high frame rates. However, the tool is quite pricey which often extends beyond the needs of most marketing and creative teams.

10. ProofQuick

ProofQuick accelerates design approval. While this tool aims to help creative and marketing departments save time and money, it can be somewhat outdated.

Their solution allows customers and their clients to review their proofs, edit and mark any changes, or simply approve the ads and deliver the approval without installing or downloading a special software.

11. Ashore

The goal of Ashore is to stop proofs from getting lost at sea by offering online proofing for creatives. This online proofing system has automation tools that allow teams to set up and save flexible workflows for every kind of proof. Users just need to add their approval stages, select approvers, and append their white-labeled email templates.

12. CrossCap

CrossCap is a piece of marketing management software that adapts to the business needs of each specific customer. The tool isn’t specifically dedicated to proofing, which can make it cumbersome and ambiguous to teams that are specifically looking for this functionality.

Why should you use an online proofing tool?

Proofing tools help you solve the pains and frustrations in the traditional review process, making everything faster, clearer, and easier for everyone involved.

And in project management, every second counts. To make sure that your projects are efficiently managed and free from errors, you’ll want to use the best online proofing tools out there.

4 ways online proofing tools make feedback easier

Getting feedback on your content can be a headache. But online proofing makes life easier for everyone involved – from content creators to C-level stakeholders.

Here are four ways online proofing tools make feedback easier:

  1. See what’s happening across all your projects
  2. Get crystal clear feedback with full context
  3. Make sure everyone’s on the same page
  4. Manage versions and review rounds with ease

1. See what’s happening across all your projects

Imagine if you could answer any question about the status of your content within 10 seconds. Maybe even five. With online proofing software, you can.

The problem

Checking the status of your content takes some serious detective work. And not the fun kind. The very, very boring kind where you have to pour through email chains, chat threads, in-app comments, and spreadsheets just to work out if a piece of work is approved or not.

In fact, you would probably struggle to answer any of these questions quickly:

  • Is this version approved and ready to be published?
  • Who still needs to give feedback?
  • Which images has the client approved?
  • When can we expect feedback from the product team?
  • Has the latest version been shared with Jane in Legal?

How online proofing tools help

With online proofing tools like Filestage, you can see the status of all your content from your project dashboard. This gives you a bunch of important information at a glance, including:

  • Approval status – see which stakeholder groups have approved your content (e.g. Creative) and which ones still need to give feedback (e.g. Product)
  • Review decisions – see whether each reviewer has given their approval, requested changes, or still needs to take a look
  • File status – see which files are in review, approved, or ready to be worked on
  • Due dates – see when feedback is due and find out who is holding up the review process
  • Version management – see which version is the latest and check who approved previous versions

The cherry on top 🍒

With Filestage, you can tap “F” to search every project, file, reviewer, version, and comment. So if you remember an important piece of feedback but can’t remember where you saw it, you can track it down in no time.

F search functionality

2. Get crystal clear feedback with full context

Rumor has it that if you add up all the hours people in your company waste capturing screenshots, copying out timecodes, writing out long descriptions that make no sense to anyone but themselves, and attending meetings to explain what they meant… Well, safe to say you’d have a very big number!

The problem

Separating files and feedback is a recipe for disaster. Here are three reasons why:

  1. It wastes time for stakeholders – there’s no simple way for your reviewers to give feedback, so they have to explain which parts of your content they’re talking about
  2. It creates a huge margin for error – it’s easy to misinterpret the feedback and make the wrong edits, leading to more work later in the process
  3. It leads to conflicts and confusion – feedback is rarely consolidated between stakeholders, so meetings need to be called to resolve things 

How online proofing tools help

Online proofing tools make it easy to give and receive feedback with pinpoint accuracy – down to the frame, letter, or pixel.

Here are five Filestage features that help make comments clear:

  1. Markers – tap anywhere on your content to create a marker, even if it’s a video
  2. Annotations – draw on top of your content to perfectly illustrate your point
  3. Highlights – select a word or sentence you want to comment on
  4. Strikeouts – select a word or sentence you want to delete
  5. Attachments – add a reference or asset to your comment

The cherry on top 🍒

In Filestage, you can get clearer feedback on all your content. That includes documents, PDFs, videos, images, live websites, interactive HTML, and audio. So you can also save your team time bouncing between tools!

Dashboard with multiple review steps

3. Make sure everyone’s on the same page

I used to wonder why stakeholders shared feedback with so many conflicts. But then I realized something. You may not like it, but I promise it’s true. It isn’t your stakeholders’ job to consolidate their feedback.

I repeat: it isn’t your stakeholders’ job to consolidate their feedback.

The problem

Your stakeholders don’t have time to read and understand everyone else’s feedback. They barely have time to give feedback themselves. And even if they want to see what other people have said, they’re sure to have trouble finding it.

Here’s why:

  • You don’t have a standardized process for collecting feedback
  • Stakeholders share feedback in the way that best suits them 
  • Comments end up scattered across lots of tools and email chains

How online proofing tools help

Online proofing puts transparency and collaboration at the heart of your feedback process.

In Filestage, all your stakeholders give feedback in the same place. So as they’re watching your latest edit or reading your brochure, they’ll see exactly which points other people have commented on.

So if they agree with something, all they have to do is give a thumbs up 👍 And if they don’t, they can add a comment and @ the other person to kick off a discussion in real time.

The cherry on top 🍒

Filestage also includes team-only comments. This lets you post a comment or reply that only your teammates can see, helping to keep discussions in context. So if a client posts an outlandish suggestion in the comments, you can tag a teammate to check you’re not the only one who thinks it’s crazy.

Team-only comment

4. Manage versions and review rounds with ease

Versions are like relationships. When it’s clear things aren’t working, you need to draw a line in the sand and reflect on what went wrong. Only then are you truly ready to move on.

The problem

Version control is, well, out of control. And modern collaboration tools are only making things worse. Documents and designs are in a constant state of flux, changing every time a new comment appears. Then, once the edits are done, the comments are ticked off or resolved. Almost as if nothing happened.

Here’s why that’s a problem:

  • There’s no record of where your content began and how it developed
  • There’s no history of who said what and how it impacted your work
  • Your versions all blend into one endless feedback loop

Even without these tools, you’ve still probably faced your fair share of version woes. Like getting feedback on an old version, or having your client edit your copy directly.

How. Dare. They.

How online proofing tools help

Online proofing tools automatically manage your versions so everyone knows which one is the latest.

Here are three ways Filestage helps with version management:

  1. Version history – use the drop-down menu on your dashboard to revisit previous versions and check the content or comments
  2. New version available – if anyone opens an old version of a file, a message appears to make it clear that there’s a newer version
  3. Auto-versioning – if you upload multiple new versions at once, they’re automatically matched with files of the same name

The cherry on top 🍒

With Filestage, you can compare two versions of your content side by side. So if you need to check the new version against what you and your teammates said last time, your feedback is only a click away.

Compare versions_ poster

What makes the best online proofing software?

Here are some of the features you should look for in an online proofing tool:

  • Upload an unlimited number of files and versions
  • Share your content with an unlimited number of reviewers
  • Set due dates to send automated reminders if people forget to give feedback
  • Add comments to any file format, including videos and live websites
  • Create timestamps for videos instead of writing them out one by one
  • Draw annotations and add attachments to make feedback clearer
  • Use comments as a to-do list to create the next version
  • Compare versions side by side to see what’s changed
  • Manage projects with review steps for different types of stakeholders
  • Integrate Filestage with your favorite tools, like Asana and Slack

Final thoughts

Everyone faces problems in the feedback process, but few choose to do anything about it.

I hope I’ve helped to shine a light on these problems and identify some solutions that work for you, your team, and your stakeholders. If you’d like to take a closer look at Filestage’s online proofing system, you can request a trial here.

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