How can I build a text corrector for my documents on the Mac?

Anonymous May 7, 2014
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Hi, I want to create a personal writing tool that corrects my writing for style, content and words etc. When I write quickly lots of bad habits crop up so before I send of any writing I want to output it through a personal filter of my own approved phrases, jargon and other terms. For my work I also want to make sure I am using proper terminology and jargon. So, basically what I am looking for is a text analysis and find and replace tool for text (mainly Word docs but others also) where I can set up lots of words and phrases with my own approved alternatives. I then want to run it both automatically (to correct the whole chunk of text in one go) and also phrase by phrase across a piece of text. I know in Word I can do find and replace but I don’t want to keep inputing the replace variables – I want them already set up as a list or database with the alternatives. I want to be able to add to this over time. I am on a Mac – does anyone do something similar and what solutions have you found?
I have seen lots of services that analyse and edit for good grammar, plain english etc but not one I can customize for my own language etc
Many thanks!
Paul

  1. Oron J
    May 7, 2014 at 11:37 am

    There are many ways to do this but there are two caveats:

      Do you want this to run on text only, or on formatted text? If the latter, the solution needs to run within Word (or your word-processor of choice).

    1. Building something like this from scratch is not as easy as it may seem, at least not if you are not an experienced programmer.
      Assuming you're running MS Word 2011 for Mac the easiest may be to do this in two parts:
      Add words to Word's autocorrect list. This will facilitate the automatic changing of words where appropriate.
      Create a macro using Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) in Word which will do a series of search & replace operations. Technically, this is program, not a macro, but it will not be too difficult to create if you read up on the subject.
      Alternatively, you can use AppleScript to program your wordprocessor/text editor to do the job, but if you are not experienced, you may learning "AppleThink" quite daunting.