PG received a promo email for a program called Editor’s Toolkit and was intrigued by some of the features it claimed.
From An American Editor
The new Editor’s ToolKit Plus 2018 has a wealth of new features, but I’d like to alert you to a few of my favorites, some of which are not immediately obvious but can be enormously useful.
. . . .
If I had to pick a favorite out of all the new features, it would be this one. The previous version of Editor’s ToolKit Plus made it possible to select a heading, press a key (or click the mouse), and properly title-case the selected text. For example, a heading like this one—
THE GHOST IN THE MACHINE
or this one (Word’s default)—
The Ghost In The Machine
instantly became capitalized like this—
The Ghost in the Machine
with commonly used articles, prepositions, and conjunctions lowercased. That was great as far as it went, but why not make it possible to properly title-case all of a document’s headings without having to select them? That’s what this new feature does, for any text formatted with a heading style (Heading 1, Heading 2, and so on—or your own custom heading styles).
But this feature takes things even a step further, allowing you to automatically title-case headings in the active document, all open documents, or all documents in a folder — your choice. Now, rather than painstakingly capping and lowercasing by hand, you can have this feature do it for you, in seconds rather than hours.
But wait — there’s more, as they say on TV. This feature references a list of words so it knows what to lowercase, and you can edit that list to fit your needs. Obviously you’re going to want such words as and, the, of, and an, but what about beyond? How about through? Add or remove words to meet your own editorial style.
In addition, you can add text that you want to remain in all caps: USA, NASA, AARP, and so on.
Finally, you can even specify mixed case, with words like QuarkXPress and InDesign.
. . . .
As you almost certainly know from hard experience, sometimes Microsoft Word documents become corrupted. (The technical term for this is wonky.) The standard fix, known as a “Maggie” (for tech writer/editor Maggie Secara, who has made it widely known to colleagues, although she did not invent the technique), is to select all of a document’s text except for the final paragraph mark (which holds the corruption), copy the text, and paste the text into a new document, which should then be free of wonkiness.
That’s simple enough, but section breaks can also hold corruption, so if your document has several of those, you have to maggie each section separately. Paragraph breaks also can become corrupt, in which case they need to be replaced with shiny new ones. The AutoMaggie feature in Editor’s ToolKit Plus takes care of all this automatically.
. . . .
If you’re fond of using macros that you’ve recorded yourself or captured online, you’ll find MacroVault a truly revolutionary feature of the new Editor’s ToolKit Plus 2018. It was included with the previous version of the program as a way to easily access the macros you use the most, including automatically set keyboard shortcuts to run those macros. Now it takes your macro use to the next level, allowing you to run any of your macros on the active document, all open documents, or all documents in a folder.
Not only that, but you can specify which parts of a document you want to use — the main text, text boxes, footnotes, endnotes, headers, footers, and comments. This brings enormous power and flexibility to your macro collection.
. . . .
FileCleaner has lots of new (and useful!) cleanup options — so many, in fact, that I’ve had to put each kind of option on its own tab, one for each of the following:
Breaks, Returns, Spaces, Tabs
. . . .
But I think the slickest new feature in FileCleaner is the ability to save entire sets of options for future use.
Just enter a name for a set of options (for a certain client, a certain kind of manuscript, or whatever). Then click OK to clean up those options. The next time you use FileCleaner, you can activate that set of options again by clicking the drop-down arrow on the right. When you do, all of the options for that saved setting will become selected. You can save up to 20 different sets of options.
Link to the rest at An American Editor
Here is additional information from the product’s website about various modules in the program:
FileCleaner cleans up common problems in electronic manuscripts, including multiple spaces, multiple returns, unnecessary tabs, improperly typed ellipses, ells used as ones, and so on. It turns double hyphens into em dashes, and hyphens between numerals into en dashes. It can also remove directly applied font formatting (such as Times 12 point) while retaining styles (such as Heading 1) and character formatting (such as italic and bold), quickly cleaning up those messy documents imported from other word processors or OCR programs.
. . . .
Microsoft Word’s automatically numbered and bulleted lists are fraught with problems. They’re hard to understand, they’re unpredictable, and, worst of all, they don’t use real characters, which means they can’t be imported into typesetting programs like QuarkXPress, making them useless for real-world publishing.
ListFixer converts automatic numbers and bullets into real numbers and bullets in the active document, all open documents, or all documents in a folder. In addition, it can be used instead of the Bullets and Numbering buttons on the Formatting toolbar, making it possible to select text and instantly apply or remove real numbers and bullets as you work.
If you like, ListFixer will apply special paragraph styles to your lists, allowing you to easily adjust indentation, line spacing, and tab alignment for list items simply by modifying the styles.
. . . .
MegaReplacer for Microsoft Word
MegaReplacer finds and replaces multiple text strings (characters, words, or phrases), text formatting (such as bold and italic), or styles in the active document, all open documents, or all documents in a folder—automatically or with your manual approval. The perfect tool for achieving complete consistency in a manuscript. No more looking through document after document for each item on your editorial style sheet. Simply list the items and have MegaReplacer find and fix them all. Or, if you’re writing a novel and want to change a character’s name in all of your chapters, MegaReplacer will do it for you in seconds.
Link to the rest at Editorium
At Casa PG, Mrs. PG writes the books and PG formats them, using MS Word and Kindle Create at the present time.
However, Mrs. PG, like many other authors (except those who stop taking their OCD Meds while writing) is focused on creating a story, not precisely formatting her manuscripts and maintaining coding consistency throughout the document. She and PG each have Grammarly installed on their machines for basic grammar-checking, but that doesn’t do much for formatting.
Part of PG’s formatting job is slapping the manuscript’s MS Word formatting into a consistent shape prior to pouring it into Kindle Create.
Over the years, PG has created various little shortcuts to speed the process along. However, while Mrs. PG writes on a consistent basis with a few short breaks during the year and is quite prolific, her books inevitably come at intervals long enough so PG may not remember all his little formatting tweaks between books. He has made some lists, but the formatting still takes longer than PG thinks it should.
Hence, PG’s flitting and fluttering attention seized upon the Editor’s Toolkit promo email when it drifted into his inbox. He’s checked out the website and it looks interesting and located a reviewer/editor online who says it’s a useful program.
But, PG would be interested in any experiences of visitors to TPV with Editor’s Toolkit or another tool that performs the same general group of manuscript cleanup tasks.
PG gave up writing litigation briefs and law review articles a long time ago, so he doesn’t need powerful footnote/endnote, citation-checking, etc. tools, just something that can efficiently transform a creative work of fiction into something resembling an attractive book. He’s also familiar with and has used Calibre, but is looking for something a little faster, automated and more focused on actively helping him catch errors instead of just giving him access to the nuts and bolts of an ebook file.
Here’s the link for the Editor’s Toolkit product page for the latest and greatest comprehensive version of the program (you can apparently buy separate tools in the toolkit if you so desire).
Here’s another link for the review of Editor’s Toolkit at An American Editor mentioned above
Here’s a review of Editor’s Toolkit and four other similar programs for the Mac
Here’s a link to Intelligent Editing’s Perfect It Proofreading Software which seems to be designed for a somewhat different job than Editor’s Toolkit (see video below)
Here’s a bonus long, long, long list of Copy Editing Resources from Journalist’s Toolbox