This is #1 of 2 posts I'm doing today because I found some software I wanted to mention. The first one is for writers of all kinds: technical, business, creative, students - whoever. It's called ProWritingAid. I tried it out all this morning, and here's my take on the pros and cons:
- Analyzes writing from several different editing viewpoints - not just grammar and spelling. I counted 20 built-in reports, plus some customizable "house" reports.
- Integrates into MS Word as an add-in.
- Generates a report that can be viewed alongside your Word document.
- Has a 14-day trial download.
- Has reasonable pricing for 1 to 3 year ranges.
- Can be used online(with limitations), without a download, for free.
- It would clean that previous sentence of mine right up. This one too. Ha!
- Giving feedback on the site is made easy.
- Would be very useful for students, businesspeople, and technical writers.
- I had trouble using the "Help" function.
- I needed "Help" to understand some of the report information.
- The add-in version requires an internet connection.
- I had trouble trying to run a new report on a different document.
- The lifetime pricing might seem reasonable, but what happens if the company goes obselete? (This happened with the original StoryBoard software creators.)
- The more advanced functions are tricky to master.
- Fiction/creative writers might get annoyed at some of the nit-picky rules.
- One of the reports is based on some new-age-y stuff to do with NLP... ~shrug~
I left out this one nice (but slightly odd) Pro: being able to generate a "word cloud" from your document. This is mine from my (unfinished) manuscript
|PRO! Will be doing lots of these.|
Pretty cool, huh? You know that I'll be creating more of those whenever I have writer's block.
Overall, I think the Pros beat the Cons.
While I got very annoyed having to tell the software to ignore some words ("y'all" is a word, y'all!), I did find it helpful to know when I was over-using words or going heavy on the adverbs. I think this is probably the best (mostly free) tool I've seen for editing.
One big caution to creative writers: don't get bogged down in all the various reports until you are finished with a rough draft.
Forgive the cloddy writing in this post, I didn't run it through the software. Deal with it.