Editing and proofreading tools help you to enhance the quality of your work. Editing your work isn’t always straightforward. Even if you perform a final proofread before submission, mistakes can still slip through. That’s where editing and proofreading tools can work as a second pair of eyes.
These days, the internet is awash with these tools. They can do everything from spot typos to check your work for clarity and readability and even suggest words based on acronyms.
Using Word as an editing and proofreading tool
Microsoft Word is useful as it highlights sentences that don’t flow and spelling errors. Plus, there are macros you can use to help you check your grammar. Yet many online editing and proofreading tools go beyond these simple tasks. They can do things like:
- Make synonym suggestions
- Match words within your text for spelling consistency
- Identify complex sentences
- Suggest simpler words
- Pinpoint repetitive words.
If you really want to enhance your skills, you might want to take an editing course. But if you’re happy to go it alone, here are five of the most useful online editing and proofreading tools you can use to check your work.
1. Grammarly editing and proofreading
Grammarly is a simple and commonly-used app for proofreading. As well as checking your grammar, it proofreads your writing for spelling errors or poor use of vocabulary. If you buy the software, you can sync it with all your web applications including email.
Grammarly works differently to a word processor as it can identify correct words that are used in the wrong context. It also checks your grammar within the context of your sentences and even suggests words to improve the readability of your writing.
Although it may appear basic, Grammarly is a great tool for a final proofread.
PerfectIt is one of the best-known software tools used by health editors. The application is downloaded to use with Microsoft Word and also has free apps available to check abbreviations or spelling consistency in your writing.
If you have been given a style guide, you can customise PerfectIt so that your writing meets brand requirements. The software can also accept track changes, remove double spaces and update cross-references, among many other features.
Tip: Make sure you have a compatible version of Microsoft Word, as there have been some problems for users.
3. Ginger Grammar and Spell Checker
Ginger is like Grammarly and is another basic editing and proofreading tool available for iOS and Android. It can perform a final check of spelling mistakes in your writing as you type. Unlike Grammarly, though, Ginger cannot detect plagiarism or errors in your punctuation.
Ginger may not suit your needs for editing. Yet it could be useful if you’re just looking for a fresh set of ‘eyes’ to proofread your writing for typos.
4. Hemingway Editor
The Hemingway Editor app is a great editing and proofreading tool (we used it to write this blog post!). Its core focus is to highlight content that makes your writing hard to read. The app identifies complex words and extra long sentences. It also points out when you have written in the passive voice, and it shows you what grade (reading level) your content appeals to.
Hemingway is helpful for checking readability and flow. As it aims to simplify your content, it may not be the best option when you’re writing more scientific or academic content.
5. Phrase Express
Phrase Express is another great online tool for editing. The tool can complete or correct phrases in your writing. It’s also user-friendly with a variety of functions beyond correcting spelling mistakes.
For example, it can expand abbreviations as you type – saving you valuable time. It can also recognise repetitive sentences in your text – which can be useful for blog posts in particular. There are dozens of other useful features, depending on how you customise the app. Plus, it’s available for iOS and Android.
Which editing and proofreading tools do you rely on? Feel free to share your best tools in the comments.