Tag Archives: PerfectIt

What’s e-new?

By Andy Coulson

The efficient guide to Word

This issue of The Edit has a theme of working efficiently, so let’s take a look at how we can persuade every editor’s favourite tech tool to work efficiently.

1. Keyboard shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts are a great little time saver. Think about what you do when you use a mouse – you move it about to try to line up a pointer on a (small) target. You then click and, depending on what you want to do, perhaps repeat this two or more times to get to your command. But with a shortcut you press two or three keys together, and away you go. ‘How-To Geek’ has a really good list.

You don’t have to accept Microsoft’s default choices, either. If you go to Options > Customize Ribbon you’ll see an option at the bottom to customise keyboard shortcuts. This allows you to set up shortcuts for any commands. You can also allocate shortcuts to macros (see below).

2. Styles

Styles offer you a way to quickly format elements of the document. However, they can be a bit fiddly to use. In Word 365, the styles appear in the Home ribbon, as well as in the Quick Access Toolbar at the top. Often you’ll find you use the styles already in the document, and you simply apply them by putting your cursor in the block of text you want to style and then clicking the style name.

But, what do you do when a client says ‘make file A look like file B’? Word has a mechanism to copy styles between documents, but it’s well hidden. You can add the Developer tab to the ribbon, which you do by going into File > Options > Customize Ribbon and selecting ‘Developer’ from the list on the left. Make sure ‘Main Tabs’ is selected at the top of the list on the right and then click ‘Add’.

In the Developer tab, click on ‘Document Templates’, and then ‘Organizer’ in the ‘Templates’ tab of the pop-up box. You will see two lists. The one on the left should have the file name of your current document underneath. On the right-hand one, click ‘Close File’, and this will clear the list, then change to ‘Open File’. Click on it and select the template or document you want to import from. You can then simply select the styles you want and click the ‘Copy’ button to import these to your document.

3. Wildcards

If you use Find and Replace, learning to use wildcards will transform your searching. These allow you to look for patterns rather than specific words. For example, ‘?ed’ tells Word to find ‘ed’ preceded by any other single character, so it would find ‘red’, ‘bed’, ‘Red’ or ‘Bed’ and so on. This can get complicated, but it can also be a real time saver. One of my favourite applications is cleaning up question numbering in textbooks where I can’t use auto-numbering. Here, searching for ‘([0-9]{1,2})\)^s’ and replacing with ‘\1^t’ would change one- or two-digit numbering like this: ‘1.<space>’ to ‘1<tab>’.

There are an awful lot of options, and one place to find help on these is Jack Lyon’s Wildcard Cookbook for Microsoft Word, which is available as a PDF ebook. I have it open in my ebook reader most of the time I’m editing in Word. Geoff Hart’s Effective Onscreen Editing also has a chapter on making the most of Find and Replace.

4. Macros

Macros are short programs that build on the capabilities of Word. They often link together a number of functions within Word to achieve a more complex task, be that something which finds information about the document, changes what you have selected or makes global changes.

Many of you will be aware of Paul Beverley and his macros, and I can’t suggest a better way in to macros than Paul’s Macros by the tourist route. This is a really good introduction to using macros, and will lead you to Paul’s amazing macro library. Once you get into using these you can really start saving time on your work in Word.

Among my favourites are DocAlyse, which runs a range of tests on a document to flag the types of issues it may have; WhatChar, which identifies any character; SpellingErrorLister, which creates a list of potential spelling errors; and HyphenAlyse, which identifies the frequency of hyphenated words (and their non-hyphenated equivalents) and checks common prefixes.

The CIEP has also produced a fact sheet about getting started with macros.

5. Add-ins

Add-ins go a step further than macros. They are programs that work within Word to add more functions. Many of you will have heard of PerfectIt, and this is a good example. PerfectIt will check consistency in the document in a way that Word’s tools simply can’t. You can install stylesheets to suit particular clients (or create your own). I recently had a job using Chicago style (CMOS), and through the forums (thanks, Hilary Cadman!) found a ready-built one that was a big help.

PerfectIt is not the only add-in you can use. I’ve talked about ClipX before, which is an add-in to Windows rather than Word. It’s a clipboard expander that allows you to see the last 25 entries in your clipboard, so you can reuse them. I’ve just discovered it too has add-ins and one, Stickies, maintains a constant list of entries. I use this a lot when I’m manually tagging a file, so I can quickly insert tags.

6. Learn Word

I’ve saved this for last, but perhaps it should be first. Invest some time in learning to use Word to its full potential, as it will repay you time and again. Many of the things above are rooted in a knowledge of how best to use Word. As you get more familiar with Word you’ll be able to customise your set-up, helping you to use it more efficiently. A great resource to help with this is the CIEP course Editing with Word. This will give you a good introduction to many of the things I’ve talked about above.

Andy Coulson is a reformed engineer and primary teacher, and a Professional Member of CIEP. He is a copyeditor and proofreader specialising In STEM subjects and odd formats like LaTeX.

 

 


‘What’s e-new?’ was a regular column in the SfEP’s magazine for members, Editing Matters. The column has moved onto the blog until its new home on the CIEP website is ready.

Members can browse the Editing Matters back catalogue through the Members’ Area.


Photo credits: keyboard – Halacious; tourist map – pixpoetry, both on Unsplash

Proofread by Emma Easy, Intermediate Member.
Posted by Abi Saffrey, CIEP blog coordinator.

The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of the CIEP.

PerfectIt 4: an upgrade

With PerfectIt 4 now available, Dr Hilary Cadman, a long-time devotee of PerfectIt, reviews the updated program.

Daniel Heuman and the team at Intelligent Editing have heeded feedback from users and made this fabulous program even more impressive.

Simpler to start

PerfectIt has always been user-friendly, but now it is even more so, with an expanded Start panel. As soon as PerfectIt launches, it is immediately obvious which style is selected, and you can change it using the dropdown list in the Start panel rather than having to go to the ribbon. Also, with ‘Choose Checks’ upfront, it is quick and easy to see which tests are selected. Previously, if you deselected particular tests when running PerfectIt, it was easy to forget you’d done that, and then wonder why PerfectIt was missing things the next time you ran it (speaking from experience 😊).

Faster and cleaner

A major improvement from previous versions is the speed of PerfectIt 4. The initial step of assessing the document is impressively speedy, with it now taking only seconds for PerfectIt to complete its scan, even if your document is hundreds of pages long or contains lots of tables and data.

Another new feature of PerfectIt 4 that makes it faster is the function to fix errors. Whereas in previous versions the ‘Fix’ button sat to the right of the ‘Locations to check’ window, it now sits within that window, and each location to check has its own ‘Fix’ button. If you drag the task pane to make it wider, the ‘Locations to check’ window expands, making it easy to see each possible error in context. Thus, instead of having to click on a location, look at it in the document to see it in context and then return to the PerfectIt task pane to fix it, you can now work just within the task pane, saving time and effort.

Initially, I found that I was trying to click anywhere in the highlighted location to apply the fix, but once I realised that you need to have the cursor on the word ‘Fix’, it was fine. Activating the keyboard shortcuts (with F6) speeds up the process even more, because you can use one hand to move the mouse down the list and the other to click ‘F’ to apply a fix.

Also new are the little buttons near the top of the PerfectIt side bar that allow you to easily rerun the test that you’re in, or to open the whole list of tests and move on to an earlier or later one if you wish.

Styles made easier

Managing styles is another thing that’s better in PerfectIt 4. Creating a new style sheet based on an existing one used to involve exporting a style sheet, saving it to the desktop and importing it with a new name. Now, the whole thing can be done from within PerfectIt simply by opening ‘Manage Styles’ and selecting ‘New’ – this opens a window in which you can give your new style a name and say which style you want to base it on.

Another welcome style change is that the built-in styles are now preserved, but if you want to make a change to one of those styles (eg to UK spelling), PerfectIt will automatically create a new version of that style sheet (eg ‘My UK spelling’), which you can modify. Also, the built-in styles will automatically update if Intelligent Editing makes changes to them. A further useful new feature is the option to combine style sheets, nominating which style should override the other where they differ.

Finally, the style sheet editor, which works behind the scenes, was always a rather daunting part of PerfectIt, particularly in comparison to the front end of the program. The basic set-up looks much the same, but a welcome improvement is that changes to the style sheet editor now save automatically, rather than the user having to click on ‘Save and exit’ to save changes.

The verdict

I would highly recommend updating to PerfectIt 4. The upgrade is relatively cheap (currently only US$49/year – around £40 – for those already on subscription), and the benefits will be obvious immediately, particular in terms of time saving. Also, for those who are used to previous versions, the interface is sufficiently similar that updating won’t hold up your work.

If you’re still in doubt, why not give it a try. Free trials for permanent licence holders and new customers are now available (and any style sheets that created in PerfectIt 3 will automatically be brought into PerfectIt 4).

Disclosure: Hilary received a 2-year subscription to PerfectIt as an incentive to pen this review.

Hilary Cadman is a technical editor who has been using PerfectIt for nearly 10 years and has produced online courses to help fellow editors get the most out of the program.


This article originally appeared in the July/August 2019 issue of Editing Matters, the SfEP’s digital magazine.


Proofread by Emma Easy, Entry-Level Member.
Posted by Abi Saffrey, SfEP blog coordinator.

The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of the SfEP.

What’s So Exciting About PerfectIt Running on a Mac?

Daniel Heuman, CEO & Founder of Intelligent Editing, brings us some long-awaited news about PerfectIt.

In a world where cars are driving themselves, computers are recognizing faces, and hackers are stealing elections, it’s perhaps unsurprising that proofreading software is not the tech that’s on most people’s minds. However, by January of this year, more than 600 people had written to us to request a Mac version. In editing circles there is no doubt that a Mac-compatible version of PerfectIt is the cause of considerable excitement. Why so much fuss?

PerfectIt doesn’t involve artificial intelligence. However, in many ways, that’s exactly why it’s right for editors. As the authors of PerfectIt, we believe that humans make the best editing decisions and that they always will. We build technology to help people edit faster and better. What that means in practice is:

  • PerfectIt finds mistakes that are tedious, time-consuming and difficult to locate.
  • PerfectIt can substantially reduce the number of readthroughs an edit requires.
  • PerfectIt is the difference between spending your day on mundane consistency checking or using that time for substantive editing where you add the most value to clients.
  • PerfectIt is intuitive and doesn’t require any training.
  • PerfectIt leaves all decisions to the editor and doesn’t get in the way of how you work.

Up until now, PerfectIt has only been available for PCs. As a result, some Mac users have bought Parallels, Windows and Word just to run PerfectIt. Some have even bought laptops just for the purpose. On 26 June, those days will come to an end with the launch of PerfectIt Cloud. But after all of that, can PerfectIt on a Mac live up to the excitement?

I can’t wait to show everyone. However, one reason why I’m writing before launch is not to drum up excitement, but to dampen it down a little! We launched PerfectIt in 2009. We’ve had almost ten years to build it into the product that it is today. PerfectIt Cloud is just a first version. It requires Office 2016. It needs an internet connection. It can’t drive a car for you. However, it is at the cutting edge of what is technically possible for a Word add-in. Being at the forefront means that at launch you won’t be able to customize styles or check footnotes. We’re committed to building those, but it’s going to take time and it’s going to take your support.

That said, I’m delighted about what we’re delivering. As well as Mac, it works on iPads, PCs or Word Online. Almost all of the checks that PerfectIt 3 runs are built into PerfectIt Cloud at launch. That includes checks of hyphenation consistency, capitalization consistency, abbreviations without definitions, punctuation and capitalization of lists, consistency of headings, and much more. Moreover, PerfectIt Cloud shares the same codebase as PerfectIt 3. That means the results it finds are almost identical to those found in the PC version. When it comes to checking text, it is every bit as good as the original.

The feedback we’ve been getting from the beta trials has been phenomenal. Users describe:

“My working life is now so much more time-efficient and I feel the surety of not having missed spacing, spelling or consistency issues.”

“I’ve just started to use it but already I can tell it’s helping my speed and consistency while editing.”

“This product is fantastic! After switching over to Macs a few years ago, PerfectIt was the one thing I missed, and I am thrilled that it’s now available to Mac users.”

In some ways PerfectIt Cloud is better than PerfectIt 3. It updates automatically. You can add it directly from the Office Store without downloading an installer. And we’ve built a new interface that makes it easier, faster and more intuitive than ever (as you might expect from a Mac-compatible version). You can see that from even one screenshot. Which of the below would you rather use?

I’d like to think that another reason for the excitement is that while Intelligent Editing has grown, we’ve never forgotten where we’re from. PerfectIt’s development has been driven by feedback from professional editors (and it still is). PerfectIt Cloud probably wouldn’t even exist without that support. So we’re working with editing societies around the world to keep the price down for editors. If you’re a member of SfEP, ACES, EFA, Editors Canada, IPED, PEG or others, we’ve set up an affinity discount that’s 30% below the price others pay. With the discount, PerfectIt is just $49 USD (+VAT) per year which pays for itself quickly if you’re in the business of editing.

PerfectIt won’t carry out surgery, control drones or launch cars into space. Its launch doesn’t yet include all the features that we’re looking forward to adding. However, from 26 June, what it will do is provide an affordable way to improve the working lives of editors. There is a reason why so many are so excited!

Daniel HeumanDaniel Heuman is the creator of PerfectIt and the CEO and Founder of Intelligent Editing. His software is used by thousands of editors around the world as well as more than 500 members of SfEP. Members of professional editing societies (including the SfEP) can get a 30% discount on PerfectIt here.

 

 

 

The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of the SfEP

Meet the SfEP conference sponsors

London Royal Holloway - the venue for the 25th SfEP annual conference 13-15 September 2014

London Royal Holloway – the venue for the 25th SfEP annual conference

So, you’re off to the SfEP conference. You’ve booked your workshops, you’re finalising your travel arrangements and you’re wondering what to wear to the Gala dinner. But have you thought about how to make the most of our exhibition?

Whether you want to find out more about software that will streamline your operations, you’re looking for a training course, or you’re looking at ways to reduce your stress levels, you’ll find something of interest among our conference exhibitors.

Here, we give you the lowdown on our conference sponsors, including their profiles, so you can decide which ones to visit at the exhibitors’ fair and prepare any questions when you visit the stands.

Sponsors

The Publishing Training Centre and The Publishing Qualifications Board

Whether you’re just starting your career in proofreading or editing, or you are looking at further developing your skill set, The Publishing Training Centre (PTC) is definitely worth a visit. The PTC is sponsoring the Whitcombe Lecture.

The Publishing Training Centre and The Publishing Qualifications Board profile:

‘The Publishing Training Centre (PTC) supports organisations and individuals that utilise publishing skills as a critical part of their operations by delivering classroom based and distance learning courses. The distance learning courses are provided under the auspices of The Publishing Qualifications Board that was established in 1991 as the awarding body for the vocational qualifications of the publishing industry. Later this year The Publishing Qualifications Board is being re-born as the PQB. In addition to accrediting the distance learning courses, PQB will provide a comprehensive Continuing Professional Development framework for publishing professionals.’

Inera Inc.

Ensuring references are correctly formatted can be a thankless task. However, Inera Inc. could come to the rescue with their tools, which automatically correct, link and format references. Inera – Innovation for Today, Resources for Tomorrow – is the firm that created eXtyles® and Edifix®. Inera is sponsoring Anne Waddingham’s ‘Working with Word’s styles’ workshop.

Inera profile:

‘Inera is a leading developer of sophisticated editorial and production solutions for the publishing world. Our eXtyles® suite of editorial and XML solutions are used in the production of journals, books, standards, and government documents in more than twenty-five countries. What sets us apart are the unique features and unparalleled quality of our products and services, and the relationships we build with our customers.

Manual curation of references is costly, time consuming, tedious, and error prone. Edifix® automatically edits plain-text references to popular editorial styles such as AMA, APA 5, APA 6, Chicago, ICMJE (Vancouver), ISO 690, and MLA. References are also linked to PubMed and CrossRef and corrected with data retrieved from these online resources. Results can be pasted into Word, saved to JATS XML, or converted to RIS for seamless integration with popular reference managers. Edifix® is built with proven eXtyles® reference processing technology, used by the leading scientific publishers worldwide, and is available by flexibly priced subscription, making it affordable for everyone, from individual users to large enterprises.’

Intelligent Editing – PerfectIt

If you’re looking for software that will pick up inconsistencies in documents, Intelligent Editing’s PerfectIt is worth a look. We mentioned it in our blog post on Computer Tools for Proofreaders. PerfectIt is sponsoring the exhibitors’ fair.

Intelligent Editing – PerfectIt profile:

‘PerfectIt saves time and helps editors deliver better documents. More than 250 members of the SfEP use PerfectIt to find difficult to locate mistakes. In seconds, PerfectIt can find inconsistent hyphenation, acronyms that haven’t been defined, list punctuation errors, capitalisation inconsistencies, and much more. PerfectIt is designed for professionals and is easy to download, install and use. A free trial is available from: www.intelligentediting.com.’

Exhibitors

BioExact

If you specialise in the life sciences or if you know an author or publisher involved in biological or medical sciences, then BioExact is definitely worth a visit. The firm specialises in editing manuscripts and also offers an editing service for abstracts and press releases for publications or conferences.

BioExact profile:

‘BioExact is a UK-based, online service that specialises in editing manuscripts for life science publications. Abstracts and press releases for publications or conferences, are currently edited free of charge. Authors and publishers are welcome to call (0844 800 4044) for an informal discussion about their editing needs. Visit bioexact.co.uk for further information about services and prices.’

Mariette Jansen / Dr De-Stress

Feeling stressed? Do you get anxious? Are deadlines getting you down? Is your life getting out of control? Visit Mariette Jansen, also known as Dr De-Stress for information on how to regain control of your life.

Mariette Jansen / Dr De-Stress profile:

‘Dr Mariette Jansen (aka Dr De-Stress) is an expert in helping people with stress related challenges. Using her knowledge and experience as a psychotherapist, tutor in counselling education and author about mindfulness meditation, she has created a range of tools that help clients to take charge of their stress levels. Stress is caused by the (perceived) lack of control and by understanding the dynamics of stress and learning tools to deal differently with it, people can change their lives around. Dr Jansen has been awarded for her stress management technique by Janey Lee Grace (radio and TV presenter, author and founder of www.imperfectlynatural.com), has written a series of articles for ‘the Guardian’, is a published author and offers personal coaching, tuition, and workshops.’

EM Words – Elizabeth Manning Murphy DE

We all love books, so you’ll definitely want to take a look at editor, writer, mentor and trainer Elizabeth Manning Murphy DE. She will be selling her study guide, Effective writing: plain English at work and her book about editing and writing, Working Words, which, among other things, tackles the well-known curse of editors and authors: ‘itchypencilitis’.

EM Words profile:

‘Elizabeth Manning Murphy is a distinguished Editor (IPEd, Australia), an Honorary Life Member of the Canberra Society of Editors, and has an Honours degree in Linguistics. She has been editing, writing, training and mentoring in Australia and internationally for more than 40 years. She specialises in academic editing – theses and scholarly journal articles, with a special interest in helping authors whose native language is not English.

Elizabeth is an acclaimed author of many books about editing, writing and business, most recently a second edition of her popular study guide ‘Effective writing: plain English at work’ and ‘Working Words’, a collection of ‘chats’ about editing and writing. Her training focuses on English grammar and plain English as a basis from which to build a good relationship between editor and client. She is an experienced teacher, mentor and speaker to large and small groups.’

John Linnegar

Many of us work with authors from around the world, so a book that reflects international best practice is of real value. Especially when it includes details of a systematic approach to efficiently tackle texts. John Linnegar will be selling Text Editing: A handbook for students and practitioners in the exhibitors’ fair.

John Linnegar profile:

‘Co-author with professors WAM Carstens (North-West University, South Africa) and Kris Van de Poel (Antwerp University, Belgium), John Linnegar was largely responsible for translating and adapting the published source text into ‘Text Editing: A handbook for students and practitioners’ (UPA, Brussels, 2012). This publication is expressly intended for an international audience of language practitioners and has been favourably reviewed and well received in Western Europe, Australia, South Africa, and also in the UK. Unlike similar publications aimed at text editors and associated language practitioners, ‘Text Editing’ reflects international best practice in the most accessible and practical of ways. 

A core feature of the book and its approach is the so-called ‘CCC Model’, the 15 evaluation points of which – covering important facets of documents such as text type, content, structure, wording and presentation – provide the most systematic approach to analysing, evaluating and improving texts yet published. The list of resources available to practitioners is one of the most comprehensive yet published. Copies can be obtained during the SfEP annual conference. Alternatively, they can be ordered either directly from Antwerp-based John Linnegar (info@editandtrain.com) or via the University Press Antwerp website (www.aspeditions.be).’

Oxford University Press – Oxford Language Editing

Do you specialise in academic editing? If so, you’ll definitely want to visit the Oxford University Press stand and find out more about its new Oxford Language Editing service.

Oxford University Press – Oxford Language Editing profile:

‘Oxford Language Editing is a new service from Oxford University Press for academic researchers around the world, helping ensure that academic writing is published in the highest-quality English, giving ideas the best chance of making an impact. The service draws on OUP’s extensive English language knowledge through its publishing of the Oxford English Dictionary, over 300 leading academic journals, and award-winning books in a wide number of subjects. We offer English language editing and abstract editing services in a variety of disciplines.’

Reedsy

Interest in self-publishing continues to grow, so anyone working with authors who are self-publishing might want to investigate Reedsy, which operates as a marketplace where self-publishing authors can find all the experts they need to launch their book.

Reedsy profile:

‘Reedsy is a curated marketplace for self-publishing authors. We allow them to find vetted, industry-experienced editors, cover designers, publicists and translators, compare their profiles, request quotes and samples, and ultimately work together. But Reedsy is more than just a marketplace. We provide innovative collaboration tools to keep the workflow on one platform, both for the authors and for the freelancers. Think of it as a project management tool. We have also developed a new writing software optimised for author-editor collaboration, with an inbuilt track changes system, and simplified conversion to the electronic formats. In a word, Reedsy can make authors’ and editors’ lives much easier.’

The SfEP is extremely grateful to all our conference sponsors and we hope this guide helps you make the most of the exhibitors’ fair. Let us know which stands you plan to visit.

Joanna Bowery

Joanna Bowery
SfEP Social Media Manager

Joanna Bowery is the SfEP social media manager. As well as looking after the SfEP’s Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts and the SfEP blog, she offers freelance marketing, PR, writing and proofreading services operating as Cosmic Frog. Jo is an associate of the SfEP and a Chartered Marketer. She is active on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.

This article was proofread by SfEP associate Karen Pickavance.

The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of the SfEP.