Review of PerfectIt (professional editing software)

I recently downloaded and bought the Professional version of PerfectIt, editing software for professional editors. On balance, I’m glad I did so but it is not a silver bullet, eliminating the need for a professional editor. In the wrong hands, it could introduce errors to a document or book. Nor is it the sole tool you will need. You will still need to use Word’s spell checker and the New Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors and macros and your intelligence and professional experience. You still need to check suggested changes for context before permitting PerfectIt to change something, lest you demote Wolfe Tone to Wolfe tone, or eliminate hyphens where they should be kept or introduce them where they don’t belong (e.g., ‘the built-in wardrobe’ versus ‘built in Dublin’).

On balance I’m very happy to have PerfectIt and I run it before filing a document to a client to check if I’ve missed anything and to aid me in my editorial work. It is an efficient tool which spots things and does much of the donkey-work, identifying inconsistencies about which the editor can then make a professional decision. I particularly liked its automatic creation of a list of all abbreviations used in the document being edited. It also notes any abbreviations without definitions and if an abbreviation has been written out in full after its definition. That it checks inconsistencies in lists and bullet points is very helpful and a relief, removing a tiresome job for editors. I also liked that it identifies unfinished edits such as bookmarks or highlighted text. This was very reassuring. It’s not perfect, but will help you get your manuscript closer to perfect.

 

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