How to Choose the Right Content Editing Software

These days, a number of word processors offer features and tools for revising and editing your work. But if you really want to take your writing to the next level, you need proper content editing software. 

Content editing software is designed to help users improve the quality of their writing by catching errors, suggesting alternative word choices, and providing other feedback. It can be used for anything from writing a novel to revising a blog post.

Content editing software may take a variety of forms. Some work as plugins that integrate with Microsoft Word or other word processors. Others are standalone programs.

No matter what form it takes, content editing software can give you the edge you need to take your writing to the next level. But with so many options available, how do you choose the right one for you?

Your decision should be based primarily on the type of writing you do. Read on for guidelines on choosing the best content editing software for the job.

Short-Form Content

Blog content, social media posts, and quick-hit articles  are typically short and sweet, so you may not need a lot of bells and whistles when it comes to content editing software. However, there are user-friendly tools out there that can help you write faster at a higher quality. Here are a few key features to look for that will make your life easier.

Ease of use

First, look for a content editor that has a simple, intuitive interface. The last thing you want is to spend precious minutes trying to figure out how to format your posts.

You should be able to easily move text around, add headings, embed images, and create links without having to spend time learning how to use the software. 

Many programs now come with a "what you see is what you get" (WYSIWYG) interface that lets you see how your content will look as you are creating it. This can be a big time-saver compared to having to preview your content after you create it.

Spelling and grammar assistance

If you're producing a high volume of content with short turn-around times, you probably don't have much capacity to carefully proofread each piece before hitting publish. But you also don't want to send typos and poor grammar out into the ether.

That's where a good content editing software can help. Most content editing software programs will have some form of spell check and grammar assistance built in.

However, the quality of these tools can vary greatly. Some content editing software will simply highlight errors for you to fix yourself, while others will actually make suggestions for corrections.

One of the most popular tools in the latter category  is Grammarly, which is available as a plugin and also features handy readability and plagiarism checkers.

If you're not a great speller or have trouble with grammar, look for content editing software that offers more comprehensive assistance. Otherwise, a basic spell checker should suffice.

Integrations

Ideally, your content editing software will integrate with other tools that you use, such as your social media accounts. This way, you can share your content easily and without having to worry about format compatibility. 

Other integrations to look for include those with email marketing platforms, so you can easily send your content to your subscribers, and with analytics platforms, so you can track the performance of your content.

When your tools are integrated, you'll be able to work more efficiently and effectively, and you'll have a better overview of your content strategy as a whole.

Long-Form Content

Content editing software can make long-form writing projects like novels, reports, articles, and essays much less overwhelming and more manageable, allowing you to stay focused on your ideas.

Along with basic features like a spelling and grammar checker, look for components that help you format and edit your text with ease.

Formatting options

Your long-form document should be formatted in a way that makes it easy to read and understand. Most content editing software provides basic formatting options, such as font size and type, line spacing, headings, and margins. 

However, if you're planning to introduce more complex elements into your document, such as tables of contents, images, tables, or infographics, you'll need to make sure the software you choose can handle those elements. 

Some software is designed specifically for handling long-form content, so it may offer more comprehensive formatting options than general-purpose word processors.

Software that supports complex formatting for longer books and articles includes QuarkXPress and Adobe InDesign.

Organization tools

It’s all too easy to get lost in your writing! Look for content editing software with features that help you keep track of your ideas, characters, and plot points.

This can be anything from a simple to-do list to more sophisticated outlining and note-taking features. Having all of your information in one place will save you time and frustration later on.

Some software programs are specialized for specific types of writing, such as screenplays or comic books. If you’re working on a novel or long-form article, look for software that includes general organization tools that can be customized to your project.

Editing tools

If you’re dealing with a lot of text, your content editing software should offer editing tools beyond a basic spelling and grammar checker. 

Some programs include readability checkers. These tools analyze your text and offer suggestions for improving sentence structure and word choice to make your writing more readable.

You may also find a read-aloud function helpful as an alternative way of proofreading your document. After long hours spent digging into the details of your writing, hearing your text read aloud can highlight errors or awkward sentences that your tired eyes may not have spotted.

Finally, if you plan to share your document with others for feedback or editing, make sure your content editing software can track changes, support comments in the margin, and revert to previous versions if needed. This will prevent confusion during the back-and-forth process of editing and revision.

Word count

As a last note, check whether the software you’re considering has any size restrictions. Not all programs can handle novel-sized documents.

Alternatively, you may opt to break your document down into smaller chunks that the software can handle. Depending on your project, this is often a good idea anyway, as it can make editing and revising easier.

In Summary

Content editing software handles the more tedious aspects of the content editing process, leaving your mind free to focus on writing a creative, insightful piece.

When you’re looking for content editing software, the first thing you should do is read online reviews from trusted sources. This will give you a good idea of what other people are saying about the different products on the market. Once you’ve done that, you can narrow down your choices and decide which product is best for you. 

Keep in mind that many companies offer free trials of their content editing software, so you can try before you buy. This is a great way to see if a particular product is right for you.

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