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 Software for Writers > StyleWriter > Features
StyleWriter's Features
The most powerful way to edit any document

Call StyleWriter up by clicking a button in your word processor's toolbar. StyleWriter displays all your editing problems at the same time. As you begin editing, StyleWriter offers intelligent alternatives and sound advice to help you edit your document into simple, concise, plain English. With a split screen of StyleWriter and your word processor, you can go through your document at your own pace. You can click on any style or usage problem with your mouse, or click back to your word processor to edit your text.

StyleWriter edits any document. Articles, press releases, resumes and cover letters, technical manuals, speeches, ads, sales letters, proposals, legal documents, corporate communications - you name it, StyleWriter can help edit it. Within seconds of launching, StyleWriter has analyzed your documents for thousands of style and English usage issues including:

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Style Issues   English Usage
Complex words
Overused words
Jargon/Abstract words
Wordy phrases
Passive verbs
Foreign words
Qualifying words
Confused hyphens
Legal words
Long Sentences
Sentence Variety
  Misused Words
Confused Words
Sexist Writing
Common Grammar Slips
Preferred Spelling

Without StyleWriter

Dear Mr Thompson:

We have now completed the majority of our redrafting work conducted on an annual basis for your management brochure however a number of issues still remain to be addressed before it can be sent for printing.

I have been asked to follow-up on a number of questions that need to be answered by yourself or your head of public affairs.

I would be grateful if you could give this matter your urgent attention. Should you have any questions concerning the information required, please do not hesitate to contact me.

With StyleWriter

Dear Mr Thompson:

We have completed most of this year's redrafting work on your corporate management brochure. However, you need to address some issues before we print the brochure.

I need to follow up these questions with you or your head of public affairs.

Please look at these issues urgently and contact me if you need more information.

Words: 93

StyleWriter suggested improvements 17:
6 wordy phrases
· 2 complex words
· 3 business clichés
· 5 passive verbs
· 1 long sentence
· 1 grammar error (by yourself)
1 hyphenation error (follow-up)

Words: 60

The StyleWriter recommended redraft is 60 words - 33 percent shorter.

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Full-screen editing plus your word processor

StyleWriter's displays all of its editing advice at once. You can expand the screen to show a page of your document, with each problem or issue highlighted. The top of the screen shows you how to edit your document into concise, clear English. You can make most changes by just clicking the blue alternative shown. If you want to make more extensive changes - and you will - just click StyleWriter's Edit button and you're in your familiar word processor with all its advanced editing features.

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Instant analysis and ratings of every document

StyleWriter's gives you instant, relevant analysis and scores. Most other writing aids offer you simplistic readability formulas. These measure, often inaccurately, your sentence length and a syllable count to define long words. There's more to good writing than sentence length and word length.

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StyleWriter has three key scores and ratings shown at the bottom of the program's screen.

1. The Style Index - an overall score of the clarity of your style.

2. The Average Sentence Length - an important readability measure.

3. The Passive Index - a measure of the most common writing problem.

Each score and rating becomes instantly updated as you edit your document.

When you edit with StyleWriter, you'll discover that StyleWriter shortens sentences and strengthens words. Readers can easily take in and remember your message and as they find your writing style easy and understandable.

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Constant updating of advice, analysis and ratings

As you edit, StyleWriter updates the text, analysis and ratings for your document. Each time you shorten a sentence, cut a redundant phrase or simplify your word choice, StyleWriter updates the text, reanalyzes your documents and give you new scores and ratings. This real time change helps you see your writing style improve.

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Fine-tuning the analysis to your document

You can adapt StyleWriter's analysis and ratings to the type of document you're drafting. An advertisement needs to have a punchy, direct writing style; a manual needs to be clear and simple; a report can carry more complex ideas. So you can tell StyleWriter the type of document you're drafting and it will alter its analysis and ratings to reflect the different styles expected. For example, you'll get a higher Style Index and stricter ratings if you tell StyleWriter you're writing an advertisement rather than a report.

Choose from 12 writing tasks to fine-tune StyleWriter's analysis.

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See an instant graph of sentence variety

StyleWriter gives you an instant graph of your sentence variety so you can see if you're mixing long and short sentences to add interest to your style. While short sentences make easy reading, good writing contains good sentence variety and a readable average sentence length between 15 to 20 words. The program will even pop-up a warning if your sentence average drops below 12 words - a sign you're taking the idea of short sentences too far.

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Use sentence variety to add interest to your writing style.


See a breakdown of your writing problems

Identify your writing habits in every document. The left-hand side of StyleWriter's Category Summary Screen shows the style problems in document you're checking. You'll find this a great way to know if your style is passive and wordy, abstract or stale.

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Use StyleWriter's summary of writing issues to identify your writing habits.


StyleWriter puts you in control

StyleWriter puts you in control of the problems it highlights in your writing. For example, if you find your main writing problems are passive and hidden verbs, you can ask the program to switch off all other categories and concentrate on these problems.

Choose which problems you want StyleWriter to highlight.

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Add advice to StyleWriter

You can add advice to StyleWriter to increase the power and accuracy of the program. The more you use StyleWriter the more your writing and editing skills improve. Learning the main techniques of good editors makes you think like an editor and you'll soon spot other ways to improve your writing. For example, suppose you notice you are overusing the words 'provide', 'involve' and 'undertake', you simply add them to the program and ask the program to pop up some relevant advice. It's as easy as using search and replace on your word processor. But StyleWriter searches for everything you add and its 35,000 style and usage patterns check every time you run the program.

Add any editing advice to StyleWriter

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Delete any advice that annoys you

Deleting advice from the program is easy. Anything that annoys you - perhaps because it has a different industry-specific meaning - you can easily remove.

Fine-tune StyleWriter's advice to suit your writing needs.

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Make context-sensitive exceptions

You can make context-sensitive changes to StyleWriter's advice to fine-tune it to your own writing needs. For example, StyleWriter suggests replacing 'purchasing' with 'buying' to simplify your style. But what if your job title is 'Purchasing Manager'?. You can make 'purchasing manager' an exception. Then every time StyleWriter checks a document it highlights all occurrences of 'purchasing' unless the next word is 'manager'.

Fine-tuning StyleWriter's advice is easy.

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Review the changes made to the program

StyleWriter records any changes you make to the program so you can review and even reverse them. Most users delete or make exceptions to between 10 and 50 of StyleWriter's 35,000 patterns. StyleWriter's Review Changed Patterns feature lets you view every change you've made.

Review your changes to StyleWriter's database.

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Bring StyleWriter's power to your documents

StyleWriter looks for patterns in language and uses wild cards to find thousands of variants of problems in writing. This gives the program immense searching power. StyleWriter has 35,000 style and English usage checks designed to reflect patterns in the English language. For example:

Before StyleWriter
Mr Jones has reached his decision and will take his retirement option next year.

After StyleWriter
Mr James has decided to retire next year.

Editors recognise 'reached his decision' and 'take retirement' as hidden verb - expressions you can turn from nouns to verbs to improve style, add action and save words. Because StyleWriter uses wild cards within its pattern searches, it doesn't matter if you write 'reached his decision', 'reaching different decisions' or 'reached my decision'. StyleWriter finds each variant hidden verb and thousands of other possible hidden verbs with just a few coded patterns.

StyleWriter, by using wild cards to match with patterns editors spot in text, is the world's most powerful writing aid.

Bring the power of StyleWriter to your writing.


Use StyleWriter for different writing tasks

You can call up StyleWriter's extensive help screens for different writing tasks. Perhaps you have to write a sales letter for the first time. Simply click on StyleWriter's Writing Tips and you'll find expert advice. You can also call up this advice from your word processor's help menu so it's available when you first draft your document.

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StyleWriter helps you tackle different writing tasks.


Use StyleWriter's help screens for more editing advice

If you want more advice, just click your mouse on the problem and up pops the relevant help screen with more editing advice.

For example, if you've used a grammar checker you'll notice it stops on passive verbs. But you probably don't understand why using passive verbs are a problem or what to do with them. StyleWriter, with its accurate and comprehensive search for passive verbs, explains why passive verbs are such a problem and shows you simple techniques to switch them to the shorter, more direct active style.

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Look at this government example. Changing the passive verbs (shown in red) into active verbs (shown in blue) saves 18 per cent of the words.

Before StyleWriter
It was estimated by the research that half of the states would adopt the approach, and that savings of up to $900 million a year would be made. However, to make sure these savings are guaranteed estimates will need to be recalculated by the Department of Labor for accuracy.
(49 words)

After StyleWriter
The research estimated half of the states would adopt this approach and could save up to $900 million a year. The Department of Labor will need to recalculate this estimate to guarantee these savings are accurate.
(36 words)

Switching passive verbs to active verbs is easy with StyleWriter's expert editing advice.


Keep track of your improved writing skills

StyleWriter's Statistical Archive lets you record the word count, style index, average sentence length and passive index of every document. StyleWriter records your scores when it first checks the document (the original draft score) and when you finished editing (the redraft score). The Statistical Archive lets you measure the improvement you make to each document. By looking at the original draft score, you can see how your general writing standard improves.

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StyleWriter keeps a record of the writing scores
for every document checked.

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"StyleWriter is like a crash course in professional editing. It will not leave one's writing unchanged."
- Computers and the Law















"Looking back at the way I used to write press releases I now understand why
editors didn't bother to publish them. StyleWriter shows me how to write in the style newspaper and magazine editors prefer. The result is more free
exposure in the media."
- Chief Executive Officer






"If its a style checker you're after we'd plump for StyleWriter. The rules are simple to understand and it's a it's a doddle to use."
- What Personal Computer


"Using StyleWriter is a real
eye-opener. It gives instant analysis and ratings for style, sentence length and passive verbs. My style was consistently rated poor until I started to follow the program's advice. Now my writing is consistently good and occasionally the program rates it as excellent."
- Accountant







"As I edit, StyleWriter's analysis and ratings of my document change. There's no better encouragement to edit your draft than seeing the improvement in your own scores. I now constantly strive for three excellent ratings."
- University Lecturer

"I ran StyleWriter through my technical report. The redraft was 30 percent shorter, simpler and easier to read and understand. I'll use StyleWriter on every document now."
- Technical Author

"StyleWriter really helped me during my Masters degree with an 81 percent average. I am sure part of that is due to StyleWriter making my writing more readable and succinct."
- Student

"StyleWriter's the best thing since sliced sandwiches!"
- Journalist







"I work as a senior marketing manager at a Fortune 500 company. StyleWriter showed us we're not very good - no we're dreadful - at communicating with our customers. Since using StyleWriter, I've gained the skill of writing clearly. It's like shining a searchlight through a sea of corporate fog."
- Marketing Executive

"For me the best feature is adding to the program. I have dozens of preferred spellings, alternatives to industry jargon and words I want to avoid. Adding my advice to the program means I can check for all my editing issues in seconds."
- Newsletter Editor




"You could, for example, add technical words or words used in your profession. I could imagine the editor of a computer magazine adding the word 'baud' to remind writers it is often misused for 'bits per second.'"
- Freelance Journalist

"Every lawyer should use this software. I should know - I've been practising law for 30 years."
- Lawyer







"In an ideal world, every technical writer would have a copy of StyleWriter."
- The Manual






"StyleWriter constantly surprises me. Just when I think I've produced the clearest possible draft, it comes along and points out a few more ways to improve my style or picks out a hyphenation or word choice error."
- Subeditor







"There's more good advice in StyleWriter's help screens than on any $200 business writing course. The screens summarize the key points of the best writing techniques and give me the confidence to tackle any writing task."
- Training Officer



"Once I followed StyleWriter's advice and switched passive verbs into active verbs, my writing became shorter, clearer and less ambiguous. StyleWriter's advice on passive verbs alone is worth the price of the program."
- Government Administrator




"I'm from the Wall Street Journal and I need a copy of StyleWriter."

"Do you want to review the package?"

"No. I need it for everything I write."
- Press Journalist



Find out how StyleWriter can help you with: Technical Reports, Journalist Writing, Advertising Copy, Minutes of Meetings, Writing Memos, Writing Policies and Procedures, Legal Documents, Essays and Research Papers, Business Letters
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