Because professional editors are so expensive (and worth every penny), the purchase of electronic editing software can be a smart investment. Here’s a review of the four best tools for authors offering “first-pass” or “last-pass” editing to clean up mistakes in spelling, grammar, and punctuation. These tools do much more work than the built-in spelling and grammar checkers in your word processor. They alert you to overuse of adverbs, clichés, redundancies, overlong sentences, sticky sentences and glue words*, vague and abstract words, diction, and misuse of dialog tags, to name just a few. Some of these tools will even connect you with a human editor with a click of a button.
- AutoCrit for Mac and Word for Windows annual subscription $144
- Grammarly for browser annual subscription and Word for Windows plugin $139.95
- ProWritingAid free online with $35-$120 paid premium with Word for Windows plugin
- SmartEdit offers a full-featured 10-day trial, $57 online tool, $67 Word for Windows plugin