Okay, ran a quick analysis of various editing software packages – Grammarly (which I was already using), Ginger (which I had stopped using), ProWritingAid (new to me), and Whitesmoke (new to me). AutoCrit had a pay wall, so I didn’t evaluate that. And I also compared to my own eyes – the proofreader in my head.
**I analyzed one chapter of my WIP that was originally dictated and had been through one round of editing. Normally, I would need to do at least two more passes to get to the error level I would accept, plus use Grammarly to catch typos/homophones/missing words that I missed.
SUE’S EYES: 26 errors (23 min to edit)
**I’m correcting and catching mostly awkward things and egregious typos – but none of the editors accomplish anywhere near this many catches. Obviously, there’s no real substitute for my own brain. The point of the editing software is to catch things that I can’t.
GRAMMARLY: 6 errors (3 min to edit)
**Grammarly is by far the fastest, but it also misses all kinds of stuff, including a missing period at the end of a sentence. But it’s a good complement to my brain, because it catches things like missing words, that I don’t.
GINGER: 2 errors (7 min to edit)
**Still not impressed with Ginger – it takes a long time, line by line, and you have to babysit the software while it reads your MS. On top of that, the “errors” that it catches are the ones my own brain catches pretty easily… and it misses most of them.
WHITE SMOKE: —
**I didn’t get far with this – it doesn’t incorporate into word – it has an external text box that then “applies” the corrections to Word (no, thank you). Also, it’s glitchy and won’t analyze more than a paragraph at a time. For the five or six paragraphs I was willing to HIGHLIGHT-F2 to enable it, it found plenty of non-errors and no true ones.
AUTO CRIT: nope
**couldn’t get past the paywall, but Autocrit had an extensive video upselling me.
PROWRITING AID: 10 errors (15 min to edit)
**This is actually a winner for me – the reason it took so long was I was diving into all the features. Sadly, the homophone feature is so generic, it’s not helpful, but things like overused words, diction, and other features are the kind I’d LOVE to use to do sweeping pass through the MS once at the end to tighten everything up.
UPSHOT: Sue’s eyes continue to be the best proofreader my time can buy. Unfortunately, it takes a LOT of time… and I still consistently miss some errors, mostly missing words. Grammarly does a good job of catching those things for me, but still misses some. However, it’s so fast (3 min per chapter), that it’s worth using for the things it does catch. I’m going to add ProWritingAid to my process for a final pass that will hopefully catch more typos, but even better to add that “tightening up” pass that’s good before the final, final read-through (post-formatting).