So what exactly IS the difference? Quite often these two, apparently similar, jobs are understood to be one-in-the-same. But they’re not!
Proofreading is pretty much what your school teacher did for you when she marked your work: checked that spellings, punctuation and grammar were correct and highlighted areas that could be improved if you wanted to spend more time on the document. After having your document proofread, you know that you have a correct, technically accurate text. It is your work, they are your words.
To have your text edited means you’re having a proofread with knobs on. Beyond doing a proofread for accuracy, an editor will offer suggestions for weaker words and phrases; s/he will research every word that raises a question for them; and ensure that the entire text is well-structured and consistent.
For both options your editor should return a ‘tracked’ copy, which uses the ‘Track Changes’ function in Word and highlights every change the editor has made, so you can learn from the process and improve your own writing skills; and a ‘final’ copy that is completely free of lines and comments and is ready for you to use.
Hope that’s cleared that up for you. 🙂