Our copy-editing tools

RhiannonCopy-editing, Word tools

Copy-editing is one of our core services. We pride ourselves on offering an efficient and thorough copy-editing service for any English-language document.

So in addition to having a flexible crew of experienced editors on our staff, we use our own in-house suite of tools for Microsoft Word. We have been developing, improving and expanding these tools for years, with the aim of making academic and business documents correct and consistent.

Before starting to edit a document, we style the document and then run our clean-up suite. This suite can automatically correct many hundreds of common errors of spelling, grammar and punctuation. It can also ensure consistency and apply house style on such matters as number formatting, English version (US or UK) and reference style.

Our tools ensure, for example, that the degree sign in 22°C is indeed a degree sign and not a superscript letter o or zero; that a beta is a beta and not an eszett; and that ‘e.g.’ and ‘i.e.’ are correctly formatted.

Other corrections our clean-up suite can make include:

  • detecting and fixing incorrect use of punctuation
  • expanding contractions such as ‘can’t’ and ‘won’t’
  • converting straight quote marks to curly quote marks
  • converting hyphens to en rules where appropriate
  • removing blank paragraphs, extra spaces and unnecessary tabs
  • adding non-breaking spaces between numbers and units
  • correcting the spelling and capitalisation of common organisation and application names
  • converting text to (and from) italics where appropriate
  • and many, many other spelling, formatting and stylistic corrections.

The full clean-up suite can make several thousand changes to each document being edited, depending on how many classes of problem it discovers and how many cases of each occur. It takes minutes to run on a document, but saves hours of manual editing and makes the document text fully consistent. Our editors can choose to select which options are required by using a custom-designed user interface.

The tools are designed to complement, not replace, the detailed work of on-screen copy-editing. Editors can choose to apply the clean-up to all or only part of the text of a document. All significant changes made by our tools are marked for review during subsequent copy-editing, and our editors can overrule any software-created change.

In addition to the automated clean-up suite, we have created a large number of other tools for Word, to increase the efficiency of the manual copy-editing process. With the click of a button, our editors can, for example,

  • check that figures, tables, and numeric references are cited in order
  • detect and mark abbreviations for further checking
  • extract text from Word shapes
  • detect duplicate paragraphs or references
  • copy formatting from one word to all other instances of the same word
  • elide page ranges
  • find and highlight quoted text
  • and much more.

Using these tools, we can give you a fast and professional copy-editing experience, making your text fully self-consistent and compliant with your own house style. Get in touch if you would like to know how we can improve your documents.