PerfectIt is surely the best of the many tools available for editors. I have been using PerfectIt for more than 10 years, and I still find myself amazed by what this tool can do! Here are the three main reasons why, in my opinion, PerfectIt is a tool that no editor should be without.
1 – PerfectIt saves you time
PerfectIt is a feature that is added to MS Word to give the program extra functions. The main thing it does is to pick up inconsistencies in capitalisation, hyphenation, spelling, use of abbreviations, italics, numbers and so on. For example, if a document contains both ‘Client’ and ‘client’, PerfectIt will pick this up as an inconsistency. Similarly, the program will find issues such as centre/center, long-term/long term, eight/8 and naïve/naïve. In each case, PerfectIt gives you the chance to choose your preferred option (e.g. you may prefer ‘Client’ to ‘client’). Once you have chosen an option, the ‘Fix’ button in PerfectIt makes it quick and easy to implement the desired changes.
As an editor, you would of course notice and fix these issues as you work. What PerfectIt does is to greatly speed up that process (and unlike a person, it doesn’t get tired!).
2 – PerfectIt makes it easy to stick to a style
PerfectIt makes it easy to find deviations from a particular style, such as US spelling. The program has style sheets for different spellings (Australian, Canadian, UK and US) and organisations (e.g. European Union, United Nations and World Health Organization). Hence, if you are working on a document from the US, you simply choose PerfectIt’s US spelling style sheet. The program will then pick up any deviations from US spelling – for example, it will pick up the word ‘colour’, and it will do this even if the document does not contain the word ‘color’. Using one of PerfectIt’s style sheets thus greatly increases the power of the program, because it will pick up both inconsistencies and deviations from the chosen style.
3 – PerfectIt leaves you in control
When PerfectIt finds an inconsistency or deviation from a style, it does not do anything automatically. Instead, the program highlights the issue, and gives you the option of pressing ‘Fix’ to make a change. Thus, you are in control of making any changes. Also, if you press ‘Fix’ and then change your mind, PerfectIt makes it easy to go back and undo a particular action.
Another way that you have control is in setting which of PerfectIt’s checks you want to run. The program runs more than 30 different checks on a document. If you just want to check a specific thing – for example, use of abbreviations or punctuation at the end of bullet points – you can choose to run only the relevant test.