The Proofreader's Parlour
A blog for editors, proofreaders and writers
TextSTAT is free text analysis and concordance software, but I use it as an editorial tool to generate a word-frequency list and eliminate spelling inconsistencies.
After you've downloaded TextSTAT, select New Corpus; then choose Add Local File (if you're working on PDF you'll need to strip out the text into a .doc or .txt file). Next, click on Word Forms and then Frequency List from the bottom of the right-hand menu. I then export this to Excel (as it's easier to sort) and then into Word for simpler handling.
Take a look at the generated list in order to spot inconsistencies. I find it particularly useful for finding errors in the spelling of proper nouns, non-English words, and authors’ names.
Yes, it takes a little time to work through the list and see what needs to be attended to but I can’t count the number of times I've found authors’ names spelled inconsistently (in heavily referenced manuscripts with a multitude of international authors, it's easy to see differences regarding accents and diacritics).
TextSTAT won't cost you a penny and is simple to use; it will improve your spelling consistency and accuracy, and the job you return to your client will shine just that little bit more.
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