Five Tools That Help My Editing Business


Five Tools That Help My Editing Business

No electronic tool can match the mind of an editor when it comes to making judgments informed by training, widespread reading, on-the-job experience, and lessons shared by peers and mentors.

Searching the #spellcheckcantsaveyou hashtag on Twitter, for example, will give you tweet after (often-humorous) tweet of spellchecker fails.

But that doesn’t mean spellcheckers aren’t useful (if limited) tools. You just have to know the limitations of your tools so you can let them help you without relying on them in areas where they fall short.

I regularly use the following five tools and am happy to have them at my disposal.


PerfectIt from Intelligent Editing is essentially a consistency checker that looks at such areas as spelling, abbreviations, capitalization, hyphenation, house style, and bullets and lists.

You run PerfectIt from within Word and can set customized styles for clients. I run it on every document I edit, and if it occasionally turns up something I might have missed otherwise, then I’m thankful for the assist.

Editor’s Toolkit Plus 2018

Editor’s Toolkit Plus 2018 from the Editorium is a Word add-on that collects easy-to-use macros for doing such things as fixing ellipses, finding and replacing multiple items, cleaning up common editorial problems, and extracting embedded footnotes.

The 2018 version includes Editor’s ToolKit, FileCleaner, QuarkConverter, NoteStripper, ListFixer, MegaReplacer, QuarkConverter, InDesignConverter, Puller, and WordCounter. Many of these features are great time savers (and editors can always benefit from making their processes more efficient).


Tracking time spent editing is essential for estimating editing fees and managing your schedule. Toggl is a time tracker with handy reporting features for generating client reports.

I haven’t compared Toggl to other time-tracking tools, but I find it easy to use and am happy with it. (My only complaint is that I occasionally forget to turn it on or off, but I can only blame myself for that!)

Google Docs

I use Google Docs for my style sheets and small writing jobs. I wrote this post, for example, on Google Docs before copying it to WordPress. (I find writing on WordPress a bit maddening, and my experience has been that you’re much less likely to lose your work when writing with Docs.)


I proofread for a publisher that uses DropTask to move covers through the proofing process.

DropTask uses lively visuals so workflow can be managed by dragging and dropping jobs (and all their accompanying files) through stages represented by circles and icons. DropTask is easy to use and is even quite a bit of fun (if you’re into that kind of thing).

Special Mentions:

In addition to the above, I’ve been using the following with various clients: Miro (an online whiteboard and collaboration tool), Basecamp (project and document management and team communication), Paymo (project management and time tracking), and PayPal (payments).

Poor carpenters may blame their tools, but I’d say that poorer ones refuse to use the tools at their disposal. What tools do you use?

About James Gallagher

Copyeditor James Gallagher serves clients through his business, Castle Walls Editing. Email James at to find out how he can help with your writing projects.

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