Editor built into Microsoft Word

Replaced by a computer?

Many of my clients have been asking about the “Editor” function built into the latest versions of Microsoft Word.  Am I worried about a computer coming to take my job?  Will the built-in editor do all the work for me?   For now, the answer to these questions is no.  The current version of Word’s Editor is just a reskin of the “Spelling and Grammar Checker”.  This feature has been around since the dawn of the word processor. 

It is interesting, though, to think about where the technology is headed.  Will there ever be a computer program capable of performing the work of a competent editor?  AI text generation is progressing, as seen in such projects as GPT-3.  Someday, an automated editor will likely be able to perform much of the work of a skilled human editor.  Human editors will be even more important when this happens.   

Rising tides and rising dough

The “publish or perish” paradigm has led to increased competition among scholars, editors, and publishers. As a rising tide lifts all boats, rising standards have lifted the requirements for all of us involved in academic editing.  Standards have never been higher, and that means we all continue to look for any possible advantage.

Countless professions have undergone transitions due to automation and increased levels of productivity. Think about all the extra effort a baker would exert to make a loaf of bread only 200 years ago.  Without electric mixers, she would have to knead the dough by hand.  A lack of refrigeration caused endless hassle managing ingredients with a limited shelf life.  It was difficult for bakers to precisely control oven temperature – our baker had to divide her attention to address uneven heating.

Certainly, today’s baker enjoys countless advantages over her recent ancestors.  Does this mean that today’s baker works any less hard, or produces less tasty bread?  Of course not.  Instead, two related circumstances have arisen which make the job of a baker, while easier in certain respects, more challenging in others. 

Rising standards

Firstly, while modern baking technology makes quality and consistency easier to achieve, higher standards mean that consumers are increasingly demanding.  Levels of quality which once would have been a tremendous advantage in the marketplace are now the barest minimum required to compete. 

Secondly, freeing up the baker’s time from certain repetitive but important tasks such as kneading dough means that each baker has more time to develop her craft.  Fancy cakes, pies, and doughnuts require different skillsets and greater creativity on the part of the baker.   Each baker is constantly thinking about how to improve the quality and presentation of their baked goods.

How is an editor like a baker?

You might be wondering how our baker’s dilemma is related to Word’s Editor.  The comparison is more apt than it may first appear.  Software capable of performing the same job as a qualified academic copy editor remains distant. However, there have been numerous advances in technology to help copy editors perform better work for their clients.  

Much like an electric mixer allows a baker to prepare more bread, automated spellcheckers allow an editor to edit more words per hour.  Just as an electric mixer only shifts the attention of the baker to more demanding tasks, the ability to perform spellchecking automatically allows an editor to focus on other areas of a paper.  Any time saved through the crude automation tools available today can be used to improve other aspects of a paper, such as flow, tone, and structure.  

Additionally, similar to how consumers have come to expect higher quality and consistency for their bread, authors now expect that their papers will not contain any grammatical or spelling errors.  Tasks which fell into the category of “proofreading”, once considered distinct from copy editing, are now built into Microsoft Word.  This means that a paper which has undergone only proofreading no longer has an advantage – as all papers today undergo proofreading before being submitted.

We’re here to help

As automation continues to develop in the proofreading/copy editing space, my job as an editor is to use all available tools to present your ideas at their best.  The widespread deployment of automated proofreading tools means that you should take advantage of any opportunity to stand out from the crowd.  Let me find issues which today’s (and tomorrow’s) computers will not see. Contact us today with your project, and I will personally respond with a fast and free quotation.  

Focus on what you do best, while we do our best to serve you

Today’s academic environment is brutal and competitive. Growing numbers of students and academics are chasing choice assignments and shrinking space in reputable journals.

Even if you work harder and smarter than the competition, everyone has the same amount of time… … or do they?

Our English language proofreading and editing services will add hours to your day. Time you can use to gain an advantage over the competition, plan your next move, or just relax knowing that your paper is in good hands.

Malaysians are working harder than ever before, but long hours don’t mean you can’t meet your responsibilities while producing a paper which is error-free the first time, every time. Your paper is your life’s work, and sharing your work with as broad an audience as possible will improve your academic standing and give you a head start on the competition.

Your paper will be handled quickly and efficiently. There are no layers of administration between you and Mr. Stuart, an accomplished editor with over a decade of experience. Just send your paper to us for a fast and free quotation. With us, your paper is kept confidential from start to finish. As our administrative overhead is low, this means that only the editor will read your work. Our updated document management system means that your work is never left exposed to accidental disclosure.

You’ll receive your paper quickly, and can submit your work knowing that it will be accepted. No more back-and-forth with journal reviewers or your academic supervisors – by submitting a paper with no grammatical errors the first time, you’ll save them and yourself valuable time. Not only that, you’ll also find that submitting your next paper will go more smoothly.

We value your time, and are available for consultation at hours convenient for you. Should you have any last-minute additions to be made, Mr. Stuart will prioritize your needs. Submit your questions and comments in our webform or email us directly to receive an immediate response.

Save time by preventing the back-and-forth process of submission, rejection and re-edits. Contact proofread.my today and received the same level of quality service that thousands of Malaysian academics have enjoyed over the past decade, so you can focus on what you do best, while we do our best to serve you.

Why can’t I edit my own paper?

For the same reason that physicians often refuse to treat their spouse or child. Surgery often requires detachment and careful thinking, as does editing. Like a surgeon operating on her own son, you may be too close to your own paper to ‘make the cuts’ required by editing.

Writing a thesis or journal article takes weeks, months, or even years. You become attached to your words after spending so much time with them.

You might fail to see a spelling error, or miss a grammar mistake after reading the same line for the hundredth time. A mistake made in Chapter 2 might go unnoticed as you finish Chapter 6.

Check your paper with someone who isn’t as attached to the words themselves, but is still fully focused on your success. At Proofread.my, we take a professional, detached look at the words themselves, while helping you express your thoughts and ideas in the best way possible.

Of course, you are the final decision-maker before submitting your paper.

That’s why proofread.my always offers a “tracked changes” version of your document. Having your paper professionally edited does not mean giving up control. Even the best writers benefit from having a professional editor on their team. Let us at proofread.my have a second look at your work. You’ll be glad you did.