Writers can use a variety of editing tools to improve their writing. Here are a few of my favourite tools:
- Consistency Checker (Google docs add-on)
- Hemingway app
- Kindle e-ink reader for proofreading
- Editors Toolkit Plus, a MS Word add-in by Editorium
- Editing macros (see below)
- Scrivener’s Binder or Word’s Navigation Pane for rearranging sections of text
- Split-screen feature in Word and Scrivener for viewing different parts of a long document
Macros have changed the way I revise my writing. Below is a list of my favourite editing macros, designed to work with Microsoft Word. If you’re not sure how to use macros, this free 20-minute macro course will have you up and running in no time!
- Confusables — words that are often used incorrectly
- lyWords — adverbs, which will likely need to be deleted
- NeedlessWords — words that clutter your writing
- PassiveWords — words that can obscure meaning; change passive words to active words
- PlainLanguage — high falutin’ words that you can replace with simpler words
- TellingWords — words that suggest instances of telling, where showing might work better
Editor Paul Beverley has created a 600-page book of free macros. You’ll need to download his book to get these helpful macro scripts:
- FRedit — a free find-and-replace macro created by Paul Beverley — an absolute fave!
- CountThisWord—tells you how many times you’ve used a word to determine if you’ve overused it
- HighlightSame—highlights all instances of a word you’ve selected; use it with CountThisWord
- LongSentenceHighlighter—highlights long sentences so you can shorten them
Image by Matt Scott
6 thoughts on “Editing Tools”
Casually, do not you know if there are self-editing tools for texts in Spanish?
Javier, I don’t know of any self-editing tools in Spanish, but writers of English shouldn’t have all the fun, should they? 😉
This is a helpful self-editor/corrector for Spanish:
The free option has a limit of 100 words per check, so I usually check for errors in my articles paragraph by paragraph.
Thanks for the link, Gaspar. Your Spanish speaking colleagues will thank you!
Do you know of any self-editing macros for Mac? I’m looking for one for needless words/words to eliminate.
The NeedlessWords macro on this blog should work in every Mac version of Word, except in 2008 (it doesn’t have the VBA program to run macros). My 20-minute macro course will get you started with loading macros into your version of Word.
Best, of luck!