Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

PerfectIt by Intelligent Editing : Product review

May 28, 2009

PerfectIt Product Shot

Title: PerfectIt
Developed by: Intelligent Editing
Price: 1 License ($90); Bundle of 5 licenses ($250); Bundle of 20 licenses ($650); Site license ($1,490)
Website: http://www.intelligentediting.com/default.aspx
Reviewer: Eddie Gear

PerfectIt is an excellent tool for users of the Microsoft Office Word application especially writers, editors, and others who are in the field of authoring and who need an easy-to-use proof reading tool. Although PerfectIt does not offer spell check or grammar check options, it includes several key tests that help you to create professional looking documents. PerfectIt can be easily installed in MS 2000, 2003, XP and 2007 as add-ins.

The main focus of this tool is checking for inconsistencies in documents. You can apply all the tests that are available in the tool, choose a test, or customize the test settings to suit your needs.

System Requirements

Microsoft Office Word 2000, 2003, XP or 2007

User Interface

The interface has a simple layout and easy-to-use buttons that helps you to perform tasks quickly and efficiently. A balloon notification guides you through the proof reading process when required.

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The PerfectIt dialog box comprises the Menu bar, an instructions section, and a Settings section. The Menu bar provides file saving options, testing options and Help options. The Settings section allows you to save documents before starting the test, select notifications on tips, and choose the tests you want to apply to your document. Once you hit the Start button, PerfectIt will run tests based on certain criteria and display the inconsistencies in the document. You can then choose to fix the errors or move on to the next item.

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On clicking the Start button, the user interface displays four sections.

Section 1: Displays the test that is currently running.

Section 2: Displays a brief description of the error.

Section 3: Displays preferred forms of the error.

Section 4: Displays the locations of the errors in the Word document.

A description at the bottom of the PerfectIt dialog box displays a note or cautionary message. There are also a series of buttons that help you perform tasks related to the error which are described in the following table.

Button

Function

Next Moves to the next criteria that are to be tested
Help Displays the PerfectIt Help window explaining the rules related to the test or criteria
Fix Fixes the error
Undo Reverses the error that was fixed in the earlier instance
Fix All Fixes all instances of the error related to a particular criteria

Final Tasks

On successful completion of the tests, the PerfectIt dialog box displays a note informing you that all the tests are complete and performs a series of finalization tasks. The tasks include:

  • Generating a table of abbreviations
  • Accepting all tracked changes
  • Removing comment boxes
  • Updating the table of contents
  • Updating cross-references

These additional tasks help you create a clean and professional looking document.

Tests Used By PerfectIt

PerfectIt proof reads documents based on certain tests. Brief descriptions of the different tests run using this tool are described in the following table.

Test Type

Description

Phrases with hyphens/dashes Checks if hyphenated phrases or words appear consistently throughout the document.
Language version Identifies instances where there is inconsistent usage of British and U.S. English.
Numbers Checks if there is consistency in using numbers between words in a sentence.
Usage of compound words Checks if compound words of a similar type appear consistently.
Abbreviations Checks for consistency issues when using abbreviations including if abbreviations:

  • Are used for in two forms
  • Are defined in two ways
  • Are used before a definition
  • Appear twice
  • Appear without definition( provides options to add a definition if without one)
  • Are not used
Capitalization Identifies areas where capitalization is not followed consistently in:

  • Headings
  • Phrases
  • Bullet lists
  • Numbered lists
  • Titles in tables
Punctuation Identifies missing or inconsistent usage of punctuation in:

  • Bullet lists
  • Numbered lists
  • Tables
Tables Highlights consistency issues in tables including:

  • Labels in table headings
  • Labels in Boxes/ figures
  • Figure captions
  • Sequential numbering of tables
  • Missing table headings
  • Missing Figures/boxes

Customizing Settings

PerfectIt allows you to apply settings to customize the tests to suit your writing needs. The Customise Test menu includes options to select preferences for a particular word or never find a specific word. Advanced customizing options include options to select phrases that PerfectIt never finds, phrases that PerfectIt always finds, and applying settings for lists numbers and compound words. You can also add, delete or modify the custom settings as per requirements.

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You can also maintain the same custom settings when you work on different computers by copying the files CustomFindLists and CustomExclusionLists from the location where the application is stored. For example, if you have saved the application on your C drive, the location will be C:\Program Files\ PerfectIt.

Likes

PerfectIt is a very useful tool especially when working with large complex documents. Most technical papers and documents have consistency issues and having a simple add-on tool such as PerfectIt saves time and increases efficiency in proof reading.

  • Easy to install and use
  • Quickly locates discrepancies
  • Especially useful in tracking inconsistencies when document is prepared by multiple authors
  • Checks inconsistencies in hyphenations, abbreviations, capitalization, tables, language version, use of numbers and punctuation
  • Fixes errors at the click of a button or allows you to manually fix errors
  • Saves time
  • Helps to generate a table of acronyms and update the Table of Contents
  • Good reference documentation in PerfectIt Help
  • Customizable to suit your business\industry requirements

Dislikes

PerfectIt is not the perfect proof reading tool. Just as with any proof reading tool you cannot take it for granted and assume that all errors in the English language are identified and eliminated. You still need to exercise due discretion and judgment before making fixes.

  • Does not provide a spell check option
  • Grammar check option is not available
  • Based on specific tests, so does not identify other types of errors

Conclusion

PerfectIt is the answer for writers who have time bound projects or who run on tight schedules and who need quick proof reading solutions. It’s user-friendly interface and features, make it a worthy tool for all those in need of proofing solutions. The fact that PerfectIt is customizable for your specific writing needs makes it a must buy item. Although you still have to apply your judgment before making the changes to your document, this tool will definitely go a long way in ensuring the highest standards of writing and creating a professional looking documents that will impress your clients and customers.

I give this tool a rating of 7 out of 10

Blog Blazers by Stephane Grenier: Book review

April 15, 2009
Title: Blog Blazers
Author: Stephane Grenier
ISBN: 978-0-9810852-0-3
Publisher: Levac Publishing House
Pages: 213pp
Price: $16.95
Reviewer: Eddie Gear

What this book is about….

Blog Blazers is a book written by an avid blogger, Stephane Grenier for bloggers and wannabe bloggers. This book provides a unique look into the minds of some of the world’s successful bloggers and shares their thoughts on how to create your own success story. What makes this book unique is the fact that it does not simply provide one single formula for success. It brings out the success stories of top bloggers such as Seth Godin, Jeff Atwood, Aaron Wall, Eric Sink, Neil Patel and others. It also provides references to other successful blog sites and bloggers and gives tips and information for newcomers. This book is written in a question-answer style and is simple to read and easy to follow. The author asks each blogger a series of questions and draws out the interviewees secrets to success.

Why I like this book…

What makes this book fantastic is that it provides answers to questions on how different people have adopted different ways to make their blogs successful. This I believe will provide a variety of ideas to people who wish to start their new venture. It discusses strategies adopted by the top guys on how to create a successful blog and maintain it. It also provides tips, information and recommendations for new bloggers, and advice in regards to content and writing.

It also looks at the usual mistakes bloggers make, where bloggers usually go wrong, the pitfalls of blogging and what deters people from visiting blogs. Good advice indeed!! This gives us a fair idea of the things we need to avoid when running our own blog. Lastly, the book discusses effective marketing techniques, how to monetize your blog and make money online. That is certainly a motivating factor that encourages us to drive more web traffic and be a successful blogger.

This book provides a glimpse of some of the great blogging minds of our times. We can certainly learn a lot from such top minds and become one of the success stories, just like them. Who know, maybe someday we will be in one of Stephane’s Blog Blazers. Happy Reading!!

Seven good reasons you should get this book:

  1. Helps build a high profile niche
  2. Creates an understanding of the secrets behind top bloggers minds
  3. Provides marketing strategies and monetization benefits to drive web traffic
  4. Delivers tips and information on content and writing
  5. Well priced
  6. Recommends websites and books for new bloggers
  7. Details the dangers of poor blogging and how to avoid them

I give this book a rating of 8 out of 10