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Writing Analytics
Blog | 3 December 2021

New Editing Tools in Writing Analytics

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Today, we're adding five brand-new editing tools to Writing Analytics. You can use them when drafting to catch issues straight away or to clean up your draft during revision. Sharpen your prose by catching unnecessary adverbs, removing passive voice and simplifying hard-to-read sentences.

In this post, you’ll learn how these work and how to customise them to match your editing needs.

How It Works

Much like the spell checker, these tools processes your draft as you work. They look at various aspects of your prose and highlight them in the editor. This includes readability, passive voice, adverbs and unnecessary complexity.

These tools will help you catch most of the common mistakes so you can focus on the more complex issues when you edit.

Here are examples of the types of alerts you can expect to see.

Readability

The editor evaluates each sentence based on its length and the readability of each word in it. It highlights sentences that could be difficult for your readers to understand.

Readability highlights in Writing Analytics.
Readability highlights in Writing Analytics.

These highlights are orange and red.

Passive Voice

Passive voice gives your writing a stilted, formal tone. Although it is useful sometimes, overusing it will make your writing harder to read.

Passive voice highlights in Writing Analytics
Passive voice highlights in Writing Analytics.

Writing Analytics looks for passive voice in your sentences and highlights it. This makes it easy to see how often you're using it. You can go through all the highlights in a quick editing pass and rewrite your sentences in the active voice. This makes the editing process a lot more efficient.

Passive voice highlights are light blue.

Adverbs

Again, not all adverbs are bad, but being mindful of how you're using them will help you find words that can stand on their own without modifiers. Writing Analytics highlights adverbs that weaken your writing so you can go through them all at once in a single pass.

Adverb highlights in Writing Analytics
Adverb highlights in Writing Analytics.

Adverbs will be shown in mint green.

Simpler Alternatives

Writing Analytics has a list of redundant and overused words and phrases. It will flag them any time you type one in the editor. When you hover over the highlight, you'll see a few simpler alternatives to use instead.

Phrase highlights in Writing Analytics
Simplify complex sentences.

These will be purple in the editor.

Accidental Repetition

When making edits, it's easy to type the same word twice in a row. Our brains are surprisingly good at ignoring those mistakes when reading our drafts.

We've added a check for this too, so it's easy to get rid of accidental repetition as soon as it happens.

Duplicate word highlight in Writing Analytics
Remove duplicate words.

In the editor, yellow highlights signify unwanted repetition.

How to Customise the Assistant

The best part about the assistant is that you can turn any feature on and off individually.

Configure what highlights you want to see
Configure what highlights you want to see.

All highlights are off by default during writing sessions and on during revision. To customise your settings, select Highlights from the main menu in the editor. A window will come up where you can toggle each tool. You can also create your own highlights to search for undesirable patterns in your draft.

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