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By Bonnee Crawford

Hilary Cadman ran two sessions of her popular “Editing tools to boost your productivity” class in November. Editors Victoria organised these as part of their commitment to providing professional development opportunities for IPEd members. This professional development session was first scheduled for 17 November; however, tickets sold out and a substantial waiting list built up. Hilary agreed to run a second session on 22 November.

Hilary placed a spotlight on four tools she recommends for editors. These are PerfectIt, PhraseExpress, Editor’s Toolkit Plus and ProWritingAid. She summarised the purpose and uses of each tool. She spoke about how she utilises them to boost her productivity as an editor, and demonstrated via screen-sharing.

PerfectIt was a crowd favourite among attendees. It highlights inconsistencies across both content and formatting, and applies built-in style sheets with ease. PhraseExpress is a text expander, and is handy not only for editors but also for writers. It allows users to create shortcuts for long or recurring phrases, sentences and names. Users can utilise these in the main document content and in comments. Editor’s Toolkit Plus uses macros to work more efficiently in Microsoft Word by weeding out inconsistencies in the text and formatting. It is especially helpful when changing footnotes and endnotes. ProWritingAid functions as an all-round writing mentor, grammar checker and style editor. It can even generate reports on a document.

Hilary was knowledgeable about how each tool functions across Windows and Mac operating systems when installed as add-ins in Microsoft Word. Many attendees were interested in how these applications interact with the Track Changes feature in Word, which she also explained. She shared how they work online where applicable.

Hilary discussed the pros and cons of each tool and their differences to other similar applications. She also explained how she uses them to make the most of their features, meet her needs and match her preferences. While some applications have features that overlap, she articulated how similar functions worked differently and how this informs her usage of the tools in her repertoire. Each tool has a broad range of functions, and Hilary’s sessions highlighted that users can select the parts that work best for them.

Hilary Cadman’s professional development sessions offer insights for editors who are looking for ways to fine-tune their workflow and reduce their turnaround times. Hilary offers further training materials for each of these tools on her website.