I've been proofreading The Single Mums' Picnic Club this week before it goes back to my editor for the final time, and I've been using the 'Read Aloud' function on Word to help.
Although the voices are rather robotic and I wouldn't normally listen to a book being read this way, it does help to spot small errors that I wouldn't necessarily pick up on while reading the manuscript in my head. For example, there have been several rogue words (usually 'the' or 'it') hidden in sentences that I've missed during various drafts, but hearing the sentences read out loud makes them much more obvious. I've also spotted the wrong name used, which jumped out at me this time, and little errors, such as 'suggestion' being used in place of 'suggested', makes the sentence jar when being read out loud.
You can adjust the settings on the 'Read Aloud' function, changing the voice and the reading speed, and although it isn't a perfectly natural-sounding read, I find it does help to weed out those little errors and improve the manuscript.
Do you have any proofreading tips? Share them in the comments below! :)