Craig Sybert

Do you use an electronic editing software? If you do, which did you choose and why? I am exploring several before I commit to one. The first I used was a free program online called After the Deadline. AtD is Open Source software and has a WordPress plug in if you have a WordPress blog (like this one). But for brief writing, it would not likely be a permanent solution. That said, it was great to have a free, simple option with a deadline looming. To try the program before downloading, insert your test into the demonstration panel. For a moderately sized brief, I inserted my text in sections and switched back and forth to my Word document to make edits. I found that if I put too much text in at once it said I had no errors, which made me feel fantastic. But such perfection was not accurate. After the Deadline found a number instances of passive voice, a subject verb agreement issue, and a couple of minor spelling errors. It is not legal specific, though, so it works best if you have independently reviewed your citations.

Three other powerhouse programs I am keen to try are the extremely popular Grammarly, which has a free Firefox plug in, Perfect It, a subscription that works with Microsoft 365 and is legal specific, and Word Rake. Word Rake is also a subscription and was started by an attorney. Each seems beneficial, so look out for a comparison post in the near future.

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