Stylewriter Review – Best Plain English Writing & Editing Software

StyleWriter is a plain english writing & editing software, If you don’t know What is Plain English? click this link first:

Business writing involves several skills, disciplines, and procedures. For most businesses it’s rare enough to find an employee that can write professionally, much less follow a particular style the company has developed. StyleWriter from Editor Software won’t write your documents for you, nor will it structure your prose into logically flowing communication — that’s still the responsibility of the writer. But what it will do is analyze your document for grammatical and linguistic problems, while also identifying words or phrases that need to be changed to match your organization’s definition of standards.

Stylewriter Plain English Writing Software Review

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StyleWriter installs as both an add-on for Microsoft Word and as a standalone application. If you regularly use MS Word as your editor you can click the icon in the Word toolbar to start StyleWriter’s analysis. If you use another editor you’ll need to start StyleWriter separately, and you may need to paste your document into the app.

Using MS Word or a similar word processor that supports DDE is the preferred method, though, as StyleWriter uses DDE (dynamic data interchange) to connect to your word processor. StyleWriter can use DDE interactively to apply changes it suggests directly to your document, and will even get out of the way so you can edit the document directly.

You can also use StyleWriter with any other application by copying your text to the Windows Clipboard. This does however make the process more cumbersome since StyleWriter’s changes can’t be automatically applied. In this case you will need to make the edits manually based on StyleWriter’s instructions. It would be helpful if the program had a more generic link and could be used directly with any Windows-based editor.

Going Above and Beyond Your Average Word Processor

So how is StyleWriter different than your average word processor?

All word processors can check your spelling, and most will even review your grammar and suggest changes, but StyleWriter goes beyond that. When StyleWriter is started from its icon in the Word taskbar it performs a preliminary analysis of your document and scores it on three criteria — average sentence length, number of passive verbs used, and overall style.

Different document types use different styles. For example, research papers have distinctly different styles than press releases. StyleWriter offers several choices for the type of document to be checked, including general writing, newsletter, resumé, cover letter, technical report, instructions, and general letter. Selecting the type of document you’ll be checking loads StyleWriter’s basic analytical parameters.

Besides checking sentence length and the number of passive verbs, StyleWriter’s style indexes check for a wide variety of common editorial issues like misused words, confused words, complex words, jargon, abstract words, hyphenation, overused words, legal words, sexist writing, clichés, grammar, and redundancies. And it goes even farther and does some of the same things a human editor would look for, such as overwriting, foreign words, sentence structure check, and even preferred spelling.

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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

Read the 21 reasons why you should order your Software for Writers CD.

Now the Fun Begins

After loading and scanning your document against the active parameters, three grades are shown ranging from “horrid” to “excellent.”

That’s when the fun starts.

StyleWriter works like an inline spell checker in that it identifies and highlights each of the offending items that contributed to the high score, then offers advice on fixing each problem. The word or phrase that was identified as violating the rule and the suggestions for repairing the problem are displayed in the Advice window. Many changes can be applied by simply clicking the suggested fix. For example, StyleWriter identified the word “authorized” as a Complex Word, and suggested using “let, allowed, approved, or sanctioned” instead. Simply clicking “allowed” replaced the word in the main document and moved to the next offender.

Some changes require editing the document directly, wherein StyleWriter automatically minimizes after clicking the Edit button so you can make your changes manually.

Customized Rules

In addition to making your documents easier to read using its built-in rules, you can also create your own set of House Rules checked by StyleWriter to ensure that documents adhere to them. For example, if your company has standardized on the spelling “e-mail,” StyleWriter can check for offending spellings like email, eMail, or Email, and suggest they be changed. The other parameters that control sentence length and passive verbs can also be modified to suit the company’s preferences.

A Complete Package

Overall, StyleWriter is a valuable tool for organizations that need to produce high-quality documents and that don’t have a full-time editing staff. Even with a documentation or public relations department, StyleWriter can help by ensuring a consistent set of standards and by easing the burden of training staff on the company’s preferred editorial guidelines.

The StyleWriter program comes with a demo and tutorial as well as a dictionary-thesaurus, a writer’s outliner program, a typing tutor, and a writer’s calculator. Guides for writing technical documents, business plans, resumés, cover letters, essays, and letter writing are also included as bonuses.

You can download a free 30-day trial from, and the full package on CD costs $160.00.

Pros: Valuable collection of tools for improving your writing and ensuring your company’s documents follow a set style, solid integration with Microsoft Word.

Cons: Windows OS Based, you can not use stylewriter on Mac. Aging interface, quite expensive at $160, doesn’t integrate as well with other word processors (especiallys non-DDE-compliant processors), somewhat buggy.

StyleWriter is undoubtedly useful for anyone who writes, not just technical authors. It takes the hard slog out of editing, and draws your attention to stylistic faults you probably didn’t know you had. In an ideal world, every technical author would have a copy of it.

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Stylewriter Features – The most powerful way to edit any document

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See some examples of text edited with stylewriter