What does a copy-typist do? What is copy-typing?

04 Oct

Do you have sheaves of handwritten notes from a training course or presentation you’ve attended? Maybe you like writing longhand and have completed a novel. You will find a copy-typist useful if you have a lot of typing to do from handwritten documents, especially if you don’t type very fast, or you just don’t have the time to sit down and type it up.

These days, I usually work from scanned handwritten documents, rather than the documents themselves, although I will happily accept the documents on paper too. Quite often, my copy-typing projects come via Virtual Assistants, who can easily outsource a single project like this to someone like me, if they don’t have time to do it themselves or would rather be doing something only they can do for their client.

I’ll then type it up – I usually correct spellings and put in the punctuation as I go, but I don’t have to, it depends what the client wants me to do!

I started off my freelance career years ago, typing up people’s PhD theses from their handwritten versions. It surprises me that, x years later, I still type for people; but there’s obviously still a need for it, and it’s a good thing to outsource.

Other useful articles on this blog

Copy-typing hints and tips 1: What it is, what it looks like and how to charge

Copy-typing hints and tips 2: How do I do copy-typing work?


Posted by on October 4, 2011 in Business, Jobs, Skillset, What Do I Do?


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24 responses to “What does a copy-typist do? What is copy-typing?

  1. kelouise

    March 3, 2013 at 11:36 am

    Hi, I’m trying to get into copy typing since I can touch type and really need some extra work to support myself through uni, but fitting in jobs around my schedule is hard. Just wondering what would be the best way to find such jobs? And what is a virtual assistant? Thank you!


    • Liz at Libro

      March 4, 2013 at 4:00 pm

      Hi there Kelly. A Virtual Assistant is someone who offers secretarial services either remotely from their office or at the client’s office (like a temp but running their own business not temping for an agency). I don’t think you could make a living copy-typing, but transcription might be a good option for you. Have a look at the info on transcription on the website, and I’m aiming to publish a new piece on it either this week or next, so keep an eye out for that). Good luck!


  2. TOYO Tony

    January 16, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    Hi, we ourselves are a virtual assistant (TOYO LTD) and offer a copy typing service ( We’re based in East Sussex/Kent and have clients across the country. One suggestion I would make for people who are looking to offer a copy typing service is to use cloud based systems (such as Dropbox or Google Drive) to transfer files, as this is a secure, faster method than email. Hope this helps!


    • Liz Dexter

      January 16, 2015 at 6:32 pm

      Yes, indeed – this is just a fact-providing post as I don’t actually tend to get much copy typing work these days (although I keep busy with other work). Of course, some of my clients who transfer large files to me ban me from using cloud-based systems for security reasons, so I tend to just go with however they choose to send the files to me!


  3. Writology

    December 21, 2016 at 9:11 am

    Once I tried to copy type from handwritten notes…It was really difficult because of handwriting! It took me couple of hours to finish the job. Does the price for your services depend on the readability of customer’s handwriting?


    • Liz Dexter

      December 21, 2016 at 9:15 am

      A good point – yes it does. For all of the work I do (editing, transcribing, proofreading, copy-typing), I always ask for a sample first so I can give a price that’s fair to the client and to me!


  4. Ashima

    August 17, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    Hey can u give me some guidelines so that I too can start doing the samd


  5. Sheena Rhea Gingco

    November 27, 2017 at 10:46 pm

    Hello Author. Where can I apply for copy-typing job?



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