Why Your Word Processor Can't Be Your Editor

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Can I use word processing software for editing copy?

Why Your Word Processor Can't Be Your Editor

Word processing programs such as Microsoft Word and others are helpful when catching the glaring spelling and grammatical mistakes, but are not the best tools to use when editing copy. Although most word processors have a built in spelling and grammar check, these tools may not catch all the errors. Although word processing programs spot many spelling, grammatical and typographical errors, it is essential to review each proposed change carefully. Word processing programs do not spot:

  • Words that are spelled correctly but incorrectly used, such as the homonyms 'there' and 'their, which sound the same but have completely different meanings.
  • Poor spacing between words; for example if there is a space between 'in' and 'deed' the spell check will see those as two correct words, rather than a misspelled 'indeed'.
  • Consistency of style.
  • Readability issues - these will only be picked up by a human reader.
  • Factual errors - no word processing program will spot an incorrect historical date.
For all these reasons, it is best to use a human being for editing copy.



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