What Software Do Editors Use?

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What’s the best software for editors? Well, one thing’s for sure, there’s certainly a number of them to choose from. From prose-specific apps like Grammarly to all-encompassing toolkits like ProWritingAid and AutoCrit, there’s a bevy of editing software out there capable of aiding your journey in the world of commercial writing.

Whether you’re editing your work or someone else’s, you’ll find the following tools on this list can assist in the process immensely. It won’t take a lot from you to test out any of these tools and discover that the post-writing phase isn’t as intimidating as you once thought.

Top Software Tools for Editors

Editing a novel can be a fun learning experience when you have the following tools to rely on:

ProWritingAid

If Grammarly doesn’t quite do it for you, then ProWritingAid should be a great alternative. It assesses your work from 24 different angles, giving you full reports along with enlightening suggestions for each issue. It’s designed specifically for dealing with prose-specific and structural problems, ensuring the full editing package.

One of the main focuses of ProWritingAid is to enhance a draft’s readability factor. It does this by tagging content for plagiarism, identifying grammar mistakes, and allowing you to create your vocabulary in the app dictionary.

However, the free version will limit you to a 3000-word text per evaluation, which is hardly convenient if you’re editing a novel. You want to go premium if you’re editing a lengthy manuscript.

If you’re editing for business, you can take advantage of this toolkit’s style guide feature, which you can share with the other members of your team through the app. ProWritingAid also works well in tandem with Scrivener, particularly for editing fiction. You can use its editing features in manuscripts stored in the Scrivener software.

Scrivener

If you plan on editing your book, then Scrivener’s features could be just what you need. It allows you to set a word count and personalize a status for each writing process phase. In doing so, you become more organized and might even get your manuscript edited faster.

You can use its super-convenient drop-and-drag feature to move across your book’s chapters with ease. This way, you’ll know where you’re at with each chapter before publishing.

The software’s distraction-free feature can also prove useful for working on chapters littered with writing issues. It keeps your attention on the manuscript and conceals the desktop, so you don’t lose focus.

Grammarly

This toolkit specializes in editing prose and can polish the basic grammar, spelling, and syntax elements of your draft to near perfection. It also identifies plagiarized content, which could save you from a potentially career-ending mistake.

You can copy and paste the chapters of a novel to the Grammarly site or use the plugin version on Chrome or Google Docs. In Grammarly’s recently updated version, users can create a style guide, which is particularly useful for non-fiction writers who work in a team.

You can use Grammarly on pretty much everything, even MS Word. Still, you must note that it’s not structured around a novelist’s needs. While it’s a good toolkit for writing, it might not be comprehensive enough to address your fiction-writing requirements.

AutoCrit

Here’s another full-service editing app that rivals ProWritingAid in terms of comprehensiveness. With almost 30 writing reports per assessment, you can bet that this software analyzes your work down to the nitty-gritty.

Nothing escapes the AutoCrit interactive book editor, except words purposely repeated by the writer. The app’s non-consideration for context might instantly spotlight repeated words if you don’t uncheck the boxes next to the words. Nonetheless, such a flaw is hardly noticeable when you understand and know how to navigate the software.

What’s most impressive about AutoCrit is its ability to evaluate the elements specific to fiction writing. From strong writing, repetitions, dialogue, and word choice to pacing and momentum and POV inconsistencies, there’s a whole bunch of elements this app comprehensively reports on. Reports will also include insightful suggestions for improvement.

At the end of the day, AutoCrit is favored by many writers because of its ability to make them think about their writing strengths and weaknesses. Instead of letting you obsess about the details, it lets you think of how you can improve on specific areas in your writing. This is key to helping you become a better writer and editor.

Software for Editors and Writers

While there’s a certain element in editing that’s absent when you’re modifying someone else’s work vs. when self-editing, that doesn’t make your job any less easy. The tools presented above suit both writers and editors alike, editing a range of written pros.

None of these tools cost a pretty penny, so you’re free to try them out as you desire. This will make it easier to select the tool or combination of tools that work for your journey.

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Jennifer Evans
President, @B2BNewsnetwork (launched Nov 2014). Content, community and analytics obsessed. Inventor @squeezecmm. Past chair, @itac_online @whiteribbon