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n30

Grammar, Writing, and Proofreading Technology Discussion Thread

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What are your favorite proofing reading tools? What are your favorite grammar editing tools? What writing tools do you use?

still proofing this post

Introduction: Even with the most modern technology, human proofreading cannot be beaten as the best way to check grammar and style. This is not a thread to say machine proofreading and grammar technology is better. However, as many editors (betas) know, the manual process of proofreading an 80-page chapter, over six times, can cause even the best beta eyes to blur and bleed. So, I want to share and discuss time-saving technologies that reduce the workload during the proofreading process.

Below are some of my favorite grammar and writing tools. I encourage you to share your own personal favorite tools. Also, feel free to discuss your experiences good or bad using such tools.

Writing, Concept Mapping, Character Development, and Planning tools:

  1. _________________ (blank space) _______________________. I put in this blank space, because I want encourage you all again to share your favorite technologies. I cannot wait to read what you share.

  2. Hemingway App: This my most recommended Web 2.0 app that I think both writers and editors should all use. It's also the last tool I use after 2 complete re-readings of a work. Hemingway once said he believed a writer should, "Use short sentences. Use short [...] paragraphs. Use vigorous English. Be positive, not negative." This app embraces that ideology. It does not check grammar or spelling. Instead, it improves readability by simplifying writing structure and sharpening syntax. If you simplify a minimum 5 red or yellow highlighted sentences using this app, then you will double your appeal to a wider audience. Check it out if you want more details.

Grammar and Proofreading Tools:

  1. Microsoft Word Spelling and Grammar checker ( or your default grammar checker): You cannot beat the classics. Microsoft Office time, so it's pretty good at the basics. In fact, the default grammar checker of your word processor, whatever it may be, is a good place to start when talking about proofreading tools. Pro: You already own it. Its gets the basic job of checking spelling and grammar done so you don't embarrass yourself. Con: It sometimes misses common mistakes.

  2. Grammarly: Grammarly is my go to proofreading tool, which I use to find and correct the most blatant errors before even reading on a paragraph. It's my rough cut. Pro: Its a pure grammar checker. It checks grammar to the point that often points out misused words and phrases that most editors miss. It deeply checks one's writing structure and not just looking for passivity or fragments. Its explanations are designed in a way that teaches you about English grammar and writing style, which English teachers can love. Con: The free version only grammar checks for one writing style . The pro-version to a lesser extent encourages a Ye O'Kings Modern English interpretation of grammar and syntax. So don't blame me if your writing sounds like your from London. The free version does not include the more complicated writing structure errors like fragments. Finally, it is WINDOWS ONLY.

  3. Ginger: Keeping it 100, I have a confession; I honestly don't own a Mac so I have little experience with Ginger Software. However, this is what I do know; it's the mac version of Grammarly. Pro: Offers many of the advantages of Grammarly. It proofreads grammar and spelling better than Grammarly while sacrificing syntax and writing structure. It's available on almost every platform including mobile. Con: It's not free, but medium range price.

  4. Jetpack and Polishmywriting: Many of you who use WordPress probably know or use Jetpack. Jetpack also has a built-in grammar editor based on After the Deadline / Polishmywriting software. Pro: Availability within the WordPress framework (only Grammarly also has this by default). It's a better spell and grammar checker than your default word processor. Con: Polishmywriting is not the best grammar checker out there, and the free version is very limited. Unlike software with too many false positives, Polishmywriting tends to miss certain grammar mistakes but less than default word processor. Still for WordPress, it's pretty awesome.

  5. StyleWriting: StyleWriting has all the advantages of the other proofreading tools and more. Pro: It checks grammar, syntax, spelling, word structure as good as if not better than all the other editors do. It even checks a little bit of readability in terms of word choice like Hemmingway. Con: Two words-- High Cost. To get the best out of this software you better buy in a group or are willing to sacrifice an arm or leg.

Proofreading Endurance (Accessibility) Tools:

Rome was not built in a day, and neither was becoming a great proofreader nor writer. The reality is that not everything you write or proofread is going to be exciting or even attention-grabbing. So how do you get through the boring stuff? How do you build your proofreading endurance? Some people say practices, I say reading accessibility tools. Specifically, you can use any technology developed for people with reading, writing, language communication, seeing, or hearing disabilities. I am behind the times with accessibility technology, so I encourage you to share your own ideas.

  1. Text to Speech Software: (Microsoft Office) (Chrome) (Firefox) Have you ever heard to read something out loud to proofread? Well, why do you read when your computer can read for you. Yes, the same software that helps the blind or language impaired can help you proofread. Microsoft has the TTS engine is back baby! Most browsers have apps for TTS technology. The only downsides are that TTS buffer slowly and that you have to spend a lot of time configuring and installing voice packs. Moreover, I have yet to find TTS that fluidly allows to you to read any line you want without restarting from the beginning of a paragraph or chapter. WARNING:. You've gone off deep end of TTS when you have 5 of them set to different macro-keys in order for all the characters have silly voices when you proofread. Use TTS in moderation.
  2. Line Reading and Highlighting Software: (http://goo.gl/3f2l3A) (http://goo.gl/Kwxhrz) By default Macs and Windows can allow you to create a bar that only allows you to see and read one line at a time.
  3. Print Accessibility/Read-Mode Software: (http://goo.gl/a27lTQ) (https://goo.gl/rpi8vB) Do you hate the fonts, colors, and sizes that you get sometimes from authors/translators? I do... a lot; however, I am smart enough not to complain and crush a new author's hopes and dreams of an entire fanfiction written in Pinky Pie Neon Pink with the color having 4th wall importance like Kirby or Mario Color Game. While you will have to google it yourself, Print Accessibility software can remove all the ads, image pop-ups, colors, and other annoying things, so you can get to the important stuff, which is the actual text.
Edited by n30

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