Recently I met up with an old friend who is writing a book. Out of interest I began asking him how he is editing his work (before sending it to a professional editor). He then went into the complex topic of editing software and which programs are best. I had no idea there were so many available to choose from! I can’t write about all of them in one blog post but I will write about one.
He spoke about editing software such as Grammarly for basic editing needs, and Stylewriter as a more in-depth editor. Stylewriter is a UK based editing program. They only offer English on their system but offer US English, UK English, and Australian English to compromise for the differences between them. The software was designed by professional editors but still can never come up to the standard of a human editor.
Stylewriter 4 Editor Software
The software is a download that only works with Microsoft Word. If you want to edit an email he suggests writing it in Word first and then transferring it to your email once it has been checked and edited. Grammarly however will work on Word, and in your browser. This makes it the best choice to use if you need to proofread emails, or social media updates. Stylewriter is better for editing documents.
The actual editing by the program is in-depth and will keep track of your progress, and your frequent mistakes. It will reward you for your writing on a points based system- much like a teacher would reward a student for good work.
The software can also determine your target audience as readability of your text will depend on your audience. You cannot write a book for children with long and complex words, and you cannot use basic vocabulary in an adult novel.
The smart-spell technology catches any contextual spelling mistakes that may have been overlooked in other spell-checkers such as the one provided by Microsoft Word.
This software is best if used for advertisement editing, business reports, contracts or legal documents, newsletters, web pages, journalism, or writing a novel.
You can download a free trial to test it out for yourself and learn how to use it before buying to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth. Online tutorials will explain to you how to use the software efficiently for your editing purposes. If you have any issues however, you can call up the support office in the UK. Remember that it is based in the UK so you will need to call during British working hours. You could alternatively send an email but they do not guarantee an answer within 24 hours. This can be extremely cumbersome for someone in the middle of editing a piece of text and has a sudden problem. If they have a deadline to reach then it is even worse for them.
I highly recommend therefore that you download the trial before you buy the product as it is not cheap and you do not want to waste your money.
Grammarly is free, so try it out as well – a Grammarly review can give you an overview of the differences between the two products.
There are 3 editions available of Stylewriter:
- Starter Edition $90
- Standard Edition $150
- Professional Edition $190
The starter edition allows basic text editing. The standard edition gives editing, as well as explanations of your work through statistics and graphs. The professional edition will give you greater insights into your writing style. Many however see no difference between the editions. At least no difference that is worthy of paying an extra $100.
My friend wanted to try out this system but found the software very difficult to install, and due to the lack of immediate customer support it took him a few days to get the software up and running. He says it was useful for his work but he will not be using it again in the future. He also stressed the point that anyone who works with deadlines such as business people, or students, may find the system too time consuming so he advises them not to use it but to get something a little more advanced and faster to use such as Grammarly. But overall, he said StyleWriter 4 is a great spelling and grammar checking tool.