An Extra Pair of Eyes: Recommended Editing and Proofreading Programs
Written require a lot of of skill as well as the abiility to correct yourself. Now if you haven’t noticed, that first sentence could have used a sparkling touch by an editing wand. Writers tend to be the first to notice these glaring goof-ups, but even the best writer misses a misspelling and comma splice from time to time. Give your customers a reason to hire content writers—utilize an editing and proofreading program such as one of those that follow.
I tried out WhiteSmoke a few days ago for a test run of their services and I was quite impressed with this lollipop. Installation is a cinch and the program runs in the background of your other programs for easy access. Use WhiteSmoke to check spelling, grammar and basic readability. Fortify your content with this second pair of eyes for the price of $79.95 for a one-year subscription or $299 for the premium package, as of 2012.
This WordPress plug-in can be uploaded on a variety of browsers including Firefox and Google Chrome as an extension. However, there isn’t anything tiny about this proofreading powerhouse. A robust text checker, you can check for everything from spelling to style. Best of all? This add-on is free to use.
The self professed “world’s most accurate grammar checker,” Grammarly is simple to use. Cut and paste your error-filled document into a text box and let the program do its magic. Not only will your document come out cleaned and polished, but Grammarly educates by telling you what grammar rules you’ve put to shame. The teacher style arrangement scores your paper and leaves you longing to write better next time. Pricing? As of 2012, expect to pay $19.95 for one month of service, while three months cost $39.95 and one year costs $94.95.
This program gleams with all the glory of having a tiny little editor tucked away in your pocket to be whipped out when needed. While not a spell checker, you are corrected in sentence structure, cliched expressions and illogical phrases. Serenity will scour your sentences and clean out all of the wordiness and oddly used terms. Best of all? The program gives you groovy feedback that explains everything so you can improve your writing. Serenity Software will set you back with a one-time fee of $55 to $75 as of 2012.
Things to Consider
Do we have to go there? Does it beg to mention that computers are not humans? Well duh, that would be like singing to the choir. However, when it comes to writers who spend more time with their computers than with real people, the line between real and imaginary sometimes is blurred. So for those writers out there who live in la-la land, a proofreading or editing program will not pick up on every mistake. You will need to double check what mistakes these visionary programs provide and never, ever hit ‘accept all.’
Read through the mistakes and feedback so you don’t find yourself making the same glaring mistakes twice. Plan ahead by writing a piece, using a proofreading/editing program to check, and then leave the piece aside 24 hours. Come back to it with a fresh pair of eyes that have seen more than just a computer screen, and reread your work before hitting the ‘send’ button. You’ll be delighted to discover how often you’ll find yourself on the A-list of those companies and individuals who hire content writers.
Miranda B is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.