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Unique tailoring and customization of your house style

The Electronic House Style is a premium service that guarantees all employees use a consistent style for product names, dates, titles and other standards set by your organization.

A good house style will stop inconsistency of product names, dates and so on. Does your house style recommend 23 June, June 23, 23rd June or June 23rd? Does your house style prefer Washington D.C. or Washington DC? Do you want to use a house style to discourage people from using industry jargon by recommending replacing system performance indicators with performance targets?

We can code StyleWriter to check thousands of your house-style rules to help every employee write consistently and accurately. Here’s just one example. A finance company had a product called: Low-cost Homebuyers’ Plan. The correct form needed a capital letter in three places, lowercase for the other letters, a hyphen and an apostrophe in the correct position. Staff wrote the phrase many ways and each time StyleWriter found the mistake and suggested the correct form.

Such inconsistencies or mistakes are difficult to spot and laborious to look for in any document. StyleWriter is the only program you can use to set an Electronic House Style with an unlimited number of rules. StyleWriter, with the Electronic House Style built in, guarantees all your documents are clear and consistent across the organization.


House Style Demo

Using StyleWriter to check your organization's house style preferences.VIEW DEMO watch tutorial

 

 

 

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Making Words Work by Mike Crowther, Manager Service Excellence - Halifax Bank of Scotland

AT HBOS we’re changing the way we write. We’re encouraging everyone to write in clear, plain English. We want colleagues to write to customers in a natural style that reflects our open and approachable philosophy. The success of our Make Words Work campaign depends crucially on using Editor Software’s customized editing and training programs.

Every few months managers complained at the standard of customer correspondence and internal documents. We were no different from any other company or government agency—we did not write well. All organizations, especially large ones, suffer from a business style that gets in the way of clear communication.

We tried solving this problem in the traditional way—we ran internal courses teaching colleagues how to write clearly. Unfortunately, although colleagues enthusiastically embraced the ideas, they soon fell back into their old writing habits when they returned to their desks.

StyleWriter—The Plain English Editor

We turned to Editor Software to find a practical solution to our problem. We had previously asked Editor Software to edit over 800 of our standard letters. Once edited, the new letters met with universal approval from our customers. We had also introduced Editor Software’s StyleWriter software into a few areas of the business. This software, popular with colleagues, checked letters for thousands of plain English style and usage problems, gave valuable editing advice and encouraged a clear and natural style. Could StyleWriter be the answer we were looking for?

 

 

 

The Software Solution

When discussing our needs with Editor Software, the company’s director, Nick Wright, helped us by offering software solutions. He suggested designing an Electronic Writing Course based on our customer-service letters to teach colleagues everything they needed to know to write in a clear and effective style. Our site license to the Course lets us train all colleagues quickly and efficiently at their desks.

Once trained, we issue staff with StyleWriter. Each time a colleague drafts a letter, StyleWriter checks, analyzes and rates the document. The program highlights the poor business style—long sentences, wordy phrases, clichés, passive verbs and so on. With a few simple mouse clicks and keystrokes, the writer produces a better letter. StyleWriter is as simple as running a spell-check but the results are far more impressive.

Editor Software also helped us to design an Electronic House Style. This gave us control over what StyleWriter checked. We added editing advice to check the correct capitalization of product names, dates, time, telephone numbers and so on. As a financial company, we also had to tackle proscribed wording set by the industry’s regulator, the Financial Services Authority. As part of our house style rules, Editor Software adapted StyleWriter so the program highlighted FSA banned wording and stopped employees editing required, regulatory paragraphs.

To make sure colleagues understood our Make Words Work project, we ran internal promotions, newsletter articles and specialist training workshops. Nick Wright trained our 70 plain English champions who would go back to their departments as experts in plain English and the StyleWriter software. To make sure the whole project ran smoothly, Editor Software also designed an electronic Tutor to teach colleagues how to use the software. Checking Every Letter with StyleWriter

 

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Checking Every Letter with StyleWriter

Each time we opened Microsoft Word to draft a letter, there are three new icons available.

  • The Tutor icon explained the project and shows colleagues how to use the new software tools.
  • The Electronic Writing Course icon to learn how to write in plain English.
  • The StyleWriter icon sits there ready to check for thousands of writing problems, including our customized house-style rules.

The software solution we use to improve our writing standards is always there—in the user’s word-processing program.

Measuring the Success of our Project

StyleWriter lets us measure the standard of our writing. The program automatically collects a before (the original draft) and after (the redraft) scores for every letter
checked. For the first time, management will have quantitative data to see how
our writing standards improve. We have already seen a marked improvement in
every letter that StyleWriter checks. We expect the program to continue to help raise our standards.

Conclusion

This year, 1,500 HBOS employees will use these software tools. If the project meets our
expectations, we’ll issue the software solution to around 10,000 employees. Eventually, we expect to use StyleWriter to check, monitor and improve the seven million non-standard letters we send to customers every year.

Working with Editor Software has been a pleasure. The company designed software and workshops to meet our specific needs. They offered a workable and effective solution that saved us money and delivered better results than our traditional training courses. If more organizations followed our example and used Editor Software’s StyleWriter program, clear writing, rather than business-speak, could become industry standard — surely a worthwhile goal.

Download HBOS Case StudyDownload HBOS case study (PDF)

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"For me the best feature is adding to the program. I have dozens of preferred spellings, alternatives to industry jargon and words I want to avoid. Adding my advice to the program means I can check for all my editing issues in seconds."
- Newsletter Editor

 

"You could, for example, add technical words or words used in your profession in your organization's House Style. I could imagine the editor of a computer magazine adding the word 'baud' to remind writers it is often misused for 'bits per second.'"
- Freelance Journalist

 

"Adding errors you want to find is as easy as using find-and-replace in your word processor. But StyleWriter's secret is that if you ask it to find an error, it remembers to check every document for this error and any other errors you might add."
- Proofreader

 

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"We used Editor Software to code hundreds of mistranslations of legal terms our European lawyers often make. It used to be a time-consuming and boring job to check for such mistakes. But now as StyleWriter checks for the clarity of our legal documents, it also checks for the mistranslations." - Lawyer

 

"The Electronic House Style designed for our organization stops inconsistencies
in documents and saves hours of proofreading."
- Publications Manager

 

"I've been looking for years for a program I can add my long list of mistakes I find in documents so I don't have to constantly change the same errors, manuscript after manuscript. StyleWriter has most of the words and phrases I want to edit out of documents. But I was delighted to find I could add my own pet hates and industry jargon to the program." - Publications Editor

 

back back

"Working with Editor Software has been a pleasure. The company designed software and workshops to meet our specific needs. They offered a workable and effective solution that saved us money and delivered better results than our traditional training courses. If more organizations followed our example and used Editor Software’s StyleWriter program, clear writing, rather than business-speak, could become industry standard — surely a worthwhile goal." - Manager

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Arrange a Quote

Please fill in our form and we'll contact you to discuss your organization's needs. (Please fill out all details marked in bold).

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Video Demonstrations

Introducing StyleWriter

Transform your writing into a clear, concise readable style
VIEW DEMO watch tutorial

Starter and Standard Editions

A StyleWriter edition to suit your budget and writing needs.
VIEW DEMO
watch tutorial

Professional Edition

Add the unique Editor's List feature to the Standard Edition.
VIEW DEMO
watch tutorial

StyleWriter Smart-Spell

Find errors missed by conventional spell checkers.
VIEW DEMO
watch tutorial

StyleWriter Jargon Buster

Comprehensively check any document for jargon.
VIEW DEMO
watch tutorial

Audience & Task

Fine-tune your writing to different audiences and tasks.
VIEW DEMO
watch tutorial

Customizing StyleWriter

Add your own proofreading and style issues to StyleWriter.
VIEW DEMO
watch tutorial

 

Testimonials

"For me the best feature is adding to the program. I have dozens of preferred spellings, alternatives to industry jargon and words I want to avoid. Adding my advice to the program means I can check for all my editing issues in seconds."
- Newsletter Editor

"You could, for example, add technical words or words used in your profession in your organization's House Style. I could imagine the editor of a computer magazine adding the word 'baud' to remind writers it is often misused for 'bits per second.'"
- Freelance Journalist

"Adding errors you want to find is as easy as using find-and-replace in your word processor. But StyleWriter's secret is that if you ask it to find an error, it remembers to check every document for this error and any other errors you might add."
- Proofreader

"We have coded hundreds of mistranslations of legal terms our European lawyers often make into StyleWriter. It used to be a time-consuming and boring job to check for such mistakes. But now as StyleWriter checks for the clarity of our legal documents, it also checks for the mistranslations."
- Lawyer

"The Electronic House Style designed for our organization stops inconsistencies in documents and saves hours of proofreading."
- Publications Manager

"I've been looking for years for a program I can add my long list of mistakes I find in documents so I don't have to constantly change the same errors, manuscript after manuscript. StyleWriter has most of the words and phrases I want to edit out of documents. But I was delighted to find I could add my own pet hates and industry jargon to the program."
- Publications Editor