I can’t be alone in wondering why the spell checker in Microsoft Word has hardly improved in the last ten years. The solution is to use professional editing services, although you need to ensure your manuscript has as few avoidable errors as possible before you send it for editing.
For my last two novels I’ve been using a third-party add-in to help spot typos and ensure consistency. PerfectIt is easy to use and install and can be run at any time as an extension to the spelling checks.
In particular, I find PerfectIt good at highlighting the following, which are often overlooked by the Word spelling check:
- Common typing mistakes (such as 'manger' instead of 'manager')
- Words spelled in more than one way (such as 'adviser' and 'advisor')
- Inconsistent capitalisation of headings, titles and proper nouns
- Finding missing quote marks in dialogue
- Highlighting phrases that are used inconsistently
- Checking for words and phrases that appear with and without a hyphen
- Improving consistent use of compounds, numbers, fractions and directions
- Removing spaces before punctuation
Once installed, PerfectIt appears as a new tab in the Word menu. You can set up you style preferences and save them for different types of documents. All you have to do then is launch the add-in and follow the instructions.
You can try PerfecIt for free before you buy it - and the licence is for life, so there are no problems if you change your PC or laptop. Visit http://www.intelligentediting.com/download/download/
PerfectIt is not a substitute for a professional editor but will help your editor spend their time on things that really matter, rather than sorting out avoidable typos.
Do you have some great editing tips you would like to share? Please feel free to comment
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