When it comes to project management, every second counts. You cannot afford to waste time searching for errors. To ensure that your project content is free of mistakes, brand consistent, and up to your high-quality standards, you need an online proofing tool. So here’s a look at the top online proofing tools that help optimize your content.
25+ online proofing tools
Online proofing tools come in different forms. While artwork and design approval software contains the most suitable tools to streamline your graphic design process, legal documents need slightly different tools to make the most of your approval workflow.
Therefore, we are going to take a closer look at the best online proofing software for 2021.
Filestage is an online proofing tool that simplifies and streamlines the content approval process for documents, images, videos, and audio files. The platform enables teams to share, discuss and approve all files in one centralized place. Additionally, Filestage makes it easy for reviewers to leave precise feedback by adding comments and annotations when collaborating on files in real-time.
Filestage has an intuitive and easy-to-use interface that allows you to set up customized review processes and get started in minutes. Plus, with the project dashboard, you can maintain an overview of each file’s status. This transparency makes it even easier to manage your projects and ensure that they are finished on time.
GoVisually offers project managers a streamlined creative review and approval process, which aims to speed up production by helping marketing and design teams work more effectively. However, this tool does have some organizational issues, which can make it difficult for teams to find the right project.
When it comes to the review and approval stage, time is of the essence, so searching for the right project could reduce efficiency. It could also lead to some confusion among team members, and result in wasting time and prioritizing incorrectly.
GoProof is a review and approval platform for collaboration that aims to streamline the proofing process. Despite the quality of the platform, users have complained that key features are locked behind a pricey premium version.
As a project manager, it’s your job to both manage your creative workflow and ensure the profitability of your projects. In other words, you might want to consider finding a tool that’s more cost-effective and boosts the profitability of your projects.
ProofHub is a popular web-based online proofing software that offers a large tool kit to plan, collaborate, organize and share your digital and creative content. The ProofHub software contains a variety of planning tools that enable you to create Kanban boards, Gantt charts, custom workflows, and stakeholder management features to assign customized roles.
Plus, ProofHub can be integrated with software such as FreshBooks, QuickBooks, Google Calendar, Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, and Outlook. According to users, it can be difficult to keep track of all your projects while still being able to see projects from others.
Approval Studio offers a solution to bring your creative assets to the next level: four comparison modes help creative teams make the most of the review and approval process. The online proofing tool supports most file types that the creative function utilizes and is available in seven languages.
The rotation and zoom functions allow users to view the layout from all sides and to rate all the details. Some users have reported that they had problems with uploading large PDF files and that they had to go through several training sessions to get used to this tool.
Screenlight offers creative and marketing teams a single management platform to organize and manage client feedback. The more people are involved in a single creative project, the more problems designers may have when trying to implement all suggestions. Screenlight allows you to upload your work, share it among all stakeholders and collect feedback.
Despite the strengths of the tool, some users complain about a lack of version control, missing support for side-by-side comparisons, and difficulties with the UI.
Notism aims at helping creative and marketing teams share, review, and approve design and video work. However, users should exercise caution because there have been some complaints about files being replaced, rather than duplicated.
You don’t want to fall prey to these types of frustrations. To save time and help you get the best results possible, the online proofing tool that you use must offer clarity and impeccable version control.
With Ziflow, users can review videos, images, webpages, documents, and other content on a single platform. This platform enables users to visualize all relevant content pieces, making it easier to collect and implement feedback.
However, the tool doesn’t include task management features which can disturb the workflow and make work less efficient. Users also criticize that it can be confusing to set up projects until you learn the difference between the stages and the roles of reviewers and decision-makers. This means that your team might need several training sessions and spend a lot of time getting to know this tool.
The goal of Workfront is to connect enterprises and help multidisciplinary teams collaborate in the digital age. While it offers enterprise project management, it can often take several weeks to set up.
The best online proofing tools are plug-and-play and provide all stakeholders with a frictionless experience. If you have to spend a lot of time configuring and managing another tool, you could sacrifice time-effectiveness.
Aproove is an online proofing tool aimed at busy marketing teams. The goal of this platform is to simplify and expedite collaborations. However, some users are concerned that the tool offers external stakeholders too much control, which complicates workflows.
You want an online review tool that makes it easy for your external stakeholders to leave their comments and feedback, but you want to restrict the number of users who are able to directly make changes to the collateral, as this practice can become increasingly problematic and interrupt your work.
InMotionNow empowers creative teams to foster stronger collaborations with both clients and stakeholders. Despite an otherwise clean interface, some users find that it can be difficult to configure account settings and get the most out of the tool.
Since the best online proofing tools are simple to set up and get started, cumbersome user experiences will inevitably become obsolete.
Pastel is a tool for visual feedback that’s aimed at web designers, developers, and agencies. Its goal is to provide a seamless feedback process throughout the entire project. Some customers complain that the UI could be smoother and that the version history isn’t currently included.
This tool is exclusively aimed at helping creative teams collaborate on websites. While it fills this gap well, it isn’t optimized for other collaterals. So if you work with a diverse range of file types, you might want to find a more comprehensive tool.
ConceptShare is an online proofing software that’s aimed at creative and marketing teams. Its goal is to empower these teams to deliver content faster and at lower costs. But according to some users, the advanced features are difficult to learn.
You want an intuitive tool that will help you quickly acquire accurate feedback without frustrating your internal and external stakeholders. If a tool has a steep learning curve, it can become a source of frustration and inefficiency.
ReviewStudio is a collaborative review platform that offers an easy, visual interface to mark up and approve a range of media types. But the lack of timestamping its comments can be confusing.
In order for your team to work efficiently and effectively, your feedback must be crystal clear. If your team is left with doubts about the hierarchy of comments, they could make incorrect decisions that will negatively affect the quality of the final product.
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, so it reduces the efficacy of marketing and creative teams.
You want to find an online proofing tool that makes it easy to create actions based on the feedback you receive. Task management is an important feature, and it can help your team act on the feedback they receive.
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Vidhub allows marketing and creative teams to send detailed, time-coded feedback on videos. This tool is simple to use and rich in features, but it offers limited functionality, as far as task management and sign-offs.
The best online review tools make it possible to collect approval from various stakeholders. This feature improves overall transparency and drives accountability. Without this feature, it’s difficult to know when the proofing process is finalized, and when each stakeholder is happy with the project.
QuickReviewer is a tool that aims at improving the productivity of creative and marketing teams by facilitating collaborative reviews and faster approvals. However, the platform doesn’t offer a mobile version yet, which reduces convenience and flexibility.
The online proofing tool you choose needs to be as accessible as possible. Your internal and external stakeholders may prefer to use tablets and other mobile devices, so they’ll expect to be able to work on them. If you can deliver those preferences, your stakeholders will be more comfortable with your feedback.
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.
In general, you’ll want to choose a specialized, standalone tool that will help you reduce complexity, make it simple for stakeholders to get up and running, protect your workflows, and make adjustments as needed.
Cospective 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 expensive, so it probably extends beyond the needs of most marketing and creative teams.
So it’s important to choose an online review tool that’s appropriate for your needs. You should also investigate the target market and scale of the tool. If you’re a smaller agency, it makes sense to work with a tool that fits your particular needs.
PageProof is an online proofing software that enables users to review a wide range of file formats, including artwork, presentations, videos, and websites. However, since PageProof doesn’t provide a section for creative briefs, project managers might find they receive too many notifications.
The online proofing tool that you choose should facilitate discussion and make it easy for you to update your stakeholders. These features can make your chosen platform a one-stop shop for the review and approval process.
LookAt is a cloud-based review and collaboration tool that aims to make collaboration fast and easy. Some users complain that the tool is too expensive for the quality you get, even though the 360-degree video preview is a welcome feature.
When you choose an online proofing tool, make sure to thoroughly investigate the pricing. There is a range of pricing structures on the market. When it comes to making your project profitable, every cent counts, so make sure the tool you choose makes economic sense.
ProofQuick accelerates design approval. While this tool aims to help creative and marketing departments save time and money, it’s somewhat outdated. Furthermore, it’s an HTTP website, which could cause security risks.
Your online proofing tool must be secure and offer unbeatable encryption. Since you may be sharing confidential collateral in your comments, you cannot risk being the one who leaked information. So the compliance rules within your organization may demand that your tools offer a particular level of security.
WebProof is a simple, effective tool that aims to make your workflow and collaboration easier. Unfortunately, many users complain that the UI is outdated and difficult to navigate, which could be deal-breakers if your stakeholders want to make seamless adjustments.
You want an online proofing tool that’s intuitive and easy to understand. Since your internal and external stakeholders have varying levels of technical ability, you want to make sure the tool is simple to use. In other words, you want to use a modern tool that abides by the most common UI and UX conventions.
Slope is a cloud-based collaboration tool that tries to make it easy for teams to plan, track, and review creative work. Some users complain that the requested service is not robust, and that upload speeds are frequently slow.
Your online proofing tool should be fast and performant. If you’re working with large file sizes, some tools may struggle, which could cause frustration and reduce efficiency. It can even lead to functionality errors such as desynchronization, which could jeopardize your review and approval process.
The goal of Ashore is to stop proofs from getting lost at sea by offering online proofing for creatives. Despite the fact that the tool focuses on usability and simplicity, some users complain that it can often be cumbersome to use.
Many online proofing tools emphasize simplicity and usability, but the results can vary wildly. Before you encourage your team to adopt a certain tool, you should be sure to utilize free trials and assess each tool. This tactic can provide you with better usability, and it will be a good way to gauge how it will be received by your stakeholders.
The goal of Cage is to help teams collaborate better and celebrate sooner. The media collaboration and project workflow tool aims to move projects forward. While this platform is very popular, its file overview tool is somewhat confusing. If you’re working on multiple projects, you might find that it becomes increasingly difficult to keep track of requested changes.
It’s very important that your chosen tool is simple and intuitive. Remember, you’re investing in an online proofing tool that will eliminate confusion and increase transparency. So if it creates confusion, it’s not worth using.
BLUE Software offers an online proofing tool that’s part of its suite of project management solutions. Given that the tool is part of a larger suite of software, some teams may find that the convenience and simplicity of alternative tools is lost.
But if an online proofing tool is part of a larger suite, you may find that it lacks particular features and requires integration with the entire system. This element can be frustrating for your stakeholders, and it can prevent you from accessing specific tools.
CrossCap is a piece of marketing management software that adapts to the business needs of each specific customer. But since this tool isn’t specifically dedicated to proofing, users might find it to be cumbersome and ambiguous.
The best online proofing tools stick to this one tricky and demanding area. If a company offers a wide range of features and tools, the quality might suffer, due to a lack of focus.
With Filecamp, you get an online proofing software and a digital asset management (DAM) system to manage all your digital assets. The online proofing features allow you to comment on and approve your files. You can also invite your clients to become reviewers by adding their email addresses to each project. Plus, the DAM system allows you to organize, share, tag, and distribute all your digital assets.
Although Filecamp offers a variety of features, some users are concerned about the poor mobile experience, the layout, and the minimalistic UI. Since you only have a small preview image for each file it can be difficult to recognize pictures when navigating around. Also, a drag and drop feature to move files is currently missing.
What is online proofing?
Online proofing is a review and approval process that helps you get fast, transparent, and accurate feedback on your work. From sharing your first draft to getting final approval, online proofing keeps things clear and organized for your whole team.
Here’s how you can use online proofing to make your workflow more productive:
- Document proofing – collect everyone’s feedback in one place
- Image proofing – enjoy more visual feedback with annotations
- Design proofing – make design feedback easier for your stakeholders
- Website proofing – iterate on your web pages faster and more often
- Video proofing – add comments directly on your videos with full context
- Audio proofing – get clearer feedback and share ideas in the comments
In the last decade, we’ve seen a boom in messenger apps and project management software like Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Asana. Now, the most forward-thinking companies are investing in online proofing tools to streamline their approval process.
What are online proofing tools?
Online proofing tools are web applications designed to help you share, review, and approve your files – all in one place. They speed up the whole process by automating things like file sharing, feedback reminders, and version management. And most importantly, they save your team huge amounts of time and money.
Online proofing tools vs. traditional proofing
Here’s a quick comparison between online proofing and traditional proofing:
Online proofing with Filestage
1. You upload your file to Filestage.
2. You invite your reviewers to give feedback by adding their email addresses – and you set a due date to make sure it arrives on time.
3. Your reviewers get an automated email from Filestage asking them for feedback.
4. Your reviewers open Filestage and give feedback directly on the file, collaborating in the comments to agree on the best way forward.
5. Filestage sends automated reminder emails to reviewers who forget to give feedback.
6. You work through the feedback to create the next version and upload it to Filestage.
Traditional proofing with email
1. You upload your file to a shared drive.
2. You send a link to your reviewers by email or chat and ask for feedback as soon as possible.
3. Your reviewers open the link and download your files.
4. Your reviewers give feedback in different chat threads and email chains, taking screenshots and writing out long descriptions to make things as clear as possible.
5. You send chaser emails to reviewers who forget to give feedback, trying your best not to be too passive aggressive.
6. You consolidate everyone’s feedback in a document and realize that your reviewers disagree on some important points.
7. You call a meeting with your stakeholders to discuss the feedback and get everyone on the same page, but that isn’t until next week.
8. You take notes in the meeting to make sure you don’t miss anything.
9. You work through the feedback to create the next version and upload it to a shared drive.
What are the benefits of using proofing tools for digital projects?
1. Better quality and accuracy
Here’s how proofing tools raise the bar for your digital projects:
- Loop in all the right people at the right times – and make sure nothing gets published without a green light from all your reviewers.
- Get clear feedback directly on your files – so your creative team knows exactly what to do next.
- Set consistent standards across your company – follow the same proven steps across every team and department.
2. Easier and more collaborative
Here’s how proofing tools make review and approval easier for everyone:
- Tap anywhere to give feedback on a file – instead of taking screenshots and writing out video timecodes and descriptions over email.
- Improve transparency between stakeholders – so they can discuss ideas in the comments and agree on the best way forward.
- See everyone’s feedback in one place – saving hours of back and forth to collect comments and get reviewers on the same page.
3. Faster review rounds and approvals
Here’s how proofing tools help you hit your deadlines:
- Automate your review process – share files, send feedback reminders, and get status updates, all without lifting a finger.
- Make sure feedback arrives on time – invite your reviewers and set a due date, then let your proofing tool take care of the rest.
- Stay productive from start to finish – minimize manual work and admin so you have more time to focus on moving projects forward.
As we have seen, online proofing tools can have a transformative impact on your review and approval process, by helping your team work smarter and take their work to the next level.
Since every review team such as product management, marketing, or legal can check specific criteria of your content and documents, a solid online proofing process enables your entire organization to make a leap in efficiency. This will have a tangible impact on the top and bottom lines of your business.
Muriel loves to create any kind of content and is a big fan of graphics that are visually catching and provide value to the reader.