If one of your resolutions for 2014 is to streamline your life, you might want to check out some of these new digital tools to make you a more efficient and effective editor.
If you do a lot of editing and proofreading work in Microsoft Word, a US$59 investment in PerfectIt can save you countless hours of time spent nitpicking. This software runs within Word and highlights inconsistencies in spelling, capitalization, hyphenation and abbreviations. For example, if the business plan you’re editing alternates between “startup” and “start-up,” PerfectIt will alert you of this error, let you review each case and then apply a consistent style with just a couple of clicks. It even allows you to create a style sheet that can be saved and reused—priceless when you’re working on multiple documents for the same client—or you can download ready-made style sheets of common styles like the Canadian Style used in government documents.
In case you’re skeptical, PerfectIt offers a free trial period of 30 days and can be downloaded at Intelligent Editing. EAC members receive a 15 per cent discount on the full version; the coupon code is available on the EAC website (login required).
If you’re often one of many people working on a document, LooseStitch is an innovative way to collaborate using just an email address and a web browser. The website inspires teamwork from the early stages by allowing you to share outlines and keep track of ideas. It then helps you stay on schedule by assigning tasks to individuals and sending a notification to everyone involved with the document when each task is completed. A free version of LooseStitch is available, but to make use of its best features you’ll want LooseStitch Pro, which costs US$24.95 for one user or US$49.95 for up to five users.
Have you ever worked with a client who didn’t understand the importance of keeping a complete bibliography? If so, BibMe is your new best friend. Just enter a few keywords like the author name or title and this website will automatically generate a citation.
In addition to academic journal articles, it can also generate citations for books, newspapers, magazines and even movies. But the real icing on the cake is that you can choose whether you want the citation in MLA, Chicago, APA or Turabian style. BibMe is a free service but, as we hope it’ll be around for a long time, consider making a donation if you find it a useful tool.
Tanya Procyshyn is a freelance writer/editor & science grad student based in Burnaby, B.C.