Saw an offer going on MacHeist to buy two years of Pro Writing Aid for $45 – although you need to add the sales tax. Total came to $54 at the final payment screen. My previous subscription was for three years and I’ve been tempted lately into buying the lifetime subscription. The lifetime subscription at full price is $240, and I didn’t want to pay that out all in one go. I thought it better to keep on the lookout for similar offers and pay every couple of years. Pro Writing Aid is a fantastic tool which looks for problems you might find in your writing. The more you edit what you write, the better you get at writing. I expect the software will find fewer problems after I’ve been using the editing software for longer. Could have bought the Grammarly grammar checker instead, but Pro Writing Aid is just that bit better. It does intensive deep checks on the text. The software looks at structure, readability and basic grammar. Pro Writing Aid will look at the style of writing and also check for overused words. I’m smiling like an idiot to find out I can dictate into the Mac version of the software. I could also use Scrivener for the dictation and work with Pro-Writing Aid.
Finding problems in real-time
Real-Time icon at the top of the screen informs how many mistakes found in the text so far. At this point, it’s telling me about nine possible mistakes in the draft. Ten by the end of that sentence. I can see words underlined with red. Yellow underlines adorn other parts of phrases within the writing. The text with red lines are spelling mistakes. Only one of those at the moment because I’m using dictation and I don’t get many spelling mistakes. The red line is under a word which Pro Writing Aid doesn’t recognise and I will add that to the list of recognised words.
Lots of reports to check the text.
The summary report goes into deep detail of all the problems found. Any problems raised are advisory only, ignore if you wish. One thing it does is to check for sticky sentences. A sticky sentence is one with lots of glue words which don’t really do anything useful. They are only present to stick the useful, hard-working words together. Pro Writing Aid recommends sentences should only be about 40% sticky. It’s not too difficult to rewrite sentences to cut out glue words and make the whole piece much more readable.
Possibly tedious though satisfying at the same time
It takes time to go through your text to check out all the problems. There are words to delete completely, sentences to rewrite and thinking is required. After you’ve gone through the text three or four times with various reports, you have a piece to be proud of. I like to go with the Hemingway style of writing. Short to the point sentences are easy to read and make more sense to the reader. I also have another grammar software called Hemingway which is useful but doesn’t go into the same detail. The goal is to produce good writing which our readers enjoy. Good result if no glaring mistakes are present to slap the reader in the face. Without a doubt, I will use Pro Writing Aid regularly during the next two years. Could even buy the lifetime subscription next time.
The only problem you’ll end up with is deciding when enough editing is enough.