PerfectIt is a different kind of proofreading tool that's designed more for editing than for checking grammar and spelling mistakes. But does that mean it's ideal for us indie authors to use instead of tools like Grammarly or ProWritingAid? Read on as I answer that question in this PerfectIt review!
Just want the quick rundown? Here it is, just for you:
- Checks your entire document for consistency.
- Checks hyphens, dashes, capitalization, formatting, abbreviations, tables, bullet points, and headings.
- Ideal for editors and proofreaders.
- Generates an error report.
- Customizable style sheets, including the Chicago Manual of Style
- Free two-week trial (full features)
- Easy to use
- Available for PC and Mac
- Only $70 a year
- Does not check spelling or grammar mistakes (but will point out spelling inconsistencies)
- Does not check passive voice
- Only for use with MS Word
- No browser checker
- Not necessarily made for checking book manuscripts
The Bottom Line:
PerfectIt is designed for editors and proofreaders who work with industry-specific documents. It's a time saver for these professionals, but the casual writer won't get as much use from it. That said, it can certainly help you correct certain types of errors in your fiction or nonfiction manuscript before you send it off to a professional editor. But you'll also need to use a proofreading tool that checks spelling and grammar because PerfectIt does not.
- What PerfectIt is and who should use it.
- What kind of features PerfectIt has
- How much it costs
- PerfectIt’s pros and cons
Table of contents
- What is PerfectIt?
- PerfectIt Features
- PerfectIt Integrations
- PerfectIt Pricing
- How Does PerfectIt Compare to Other Proofreaders?
- What I Like About PerfectIt
- What I Don't Like About PerfectIt
What Qualifies Me to Talk About PerfectIt?
So I've been writing for many years, and writing professionally through both my books and Kindlepreneur articles for over 10 years.
I've been using a spellchecker for all of that time.
Additionally, for this review, I tested PerfectIt and a ton of other tools to really understand which was the best, and to understand the intricacies that make make a program like PerfectIt more appropriate for some, while another program like Microsoft Word, ProWritingAid or Grammarly might be better for others.
Plus, before I put together this review, I reached out to Kindlepreneur's audience to get a general overview of what they thought was the best proofreading software
So with that in mind, let's dive in to the meat of the review.
What is PerfectIt?
PerfectIt was created as an editing and proofreading tool for professional editors by Daniel Heuman in 2009. The company, Intelligent Editing, is a private company based in London.
Essentially, Heuman wanted to make a tool that had a niche market: professional editors and proofreaders. And he did just that. PerfectIt is an editing software that's used by professionals of all kinds. But it's not a replacement for a human editor. It is, however, designed to save editors time while they go through a piece of writing.
Since PerfectIt is more of an editing tool and less of a grammar checker, I need to be careful about direct comparisons to general-use tools like Grammarly or ProWritingAid. That said, this tool has some great features that could certainly benefit writers of all kinds.
PerfectIt acts as a consistency checker, highlighting mistakes that a grammar checker won’t catch. Then it presents all these possible mistakes to let you decide. It does this with a number of features that check the document for different things.
This function checks for inconsistent or incorrect use of hyphens, en dashes, and em dashes (or lack thereof).
This function checks for nearly all possible spelling inconsistencies. This includes things like accents, contractions, numbers, similar words, and even user-specified words that are commonly misspelled.
Checks for consistent and correct use of italics, brackets, quotes, superscripts, subscripts, and even usage of Oxford commas.
PerfectIt will check for proper and consistent use of abbreviations. It will also check to see if you’ve defined the abbreviation before or after its use — or forgot to define it altogether. For example, if I were to use PWA here without a definition, then PerfectIt would tell me that I did it, prompting me to define it so the reader isn't confused. (It stands for ProWritingAid, btw.)
Capitalization in Headings and Phrases
This proofreading software will also check for consistent and correct capitalization throughout the document, including in headings and phrases.
Lists, Tables, Bullets, Boxes, and Figures
These are two separate features, but they essentially do the same thing, making sure that your use of capitalization, punctuation, and numbering is consistent throughout lists, figures, bullet points, boxes, and figures.
Finalizing and Reporting
PerfectIt will automatically create a table of abbreviations used in your document. Plus, it will generate a report of all the errors you fixed using the tool.
As a writer, you probably know that a lot of the writing “rules” aren't hard and fast. Instead, there are a lot of variations that are considered correct. This is where PerfectIt's style sheets come in. The tool provides different style sheets to choose from. Which style sheet you choose will determine how the tool checks your document. Some of the standard style sheets include:
- American Legal Style
- United Nations Style
- WHO Style
- Australian Government Style
- UK Spelling
- Canadian Spelling
- And many more
Most recently, they've included the Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) as a sheet, which you can use if you have a CMOS subscription. You can also create your own individual style sheets if their defaults don't meet your needs.
As of this writing, PerfectIt only works with Microsoft Word. It works on both Mac and PC. On Mac, PerfectIt Cloud is compatible with Microsoft 365 (Office 2016/2019). On PC, you can use it with any version of Windows and Word.
Unfortunately, there aren't any integrations with other writing programs, like Scrivener. But since most editors work with MS Word, it's not surprising that this tool is only available for Word. This means you can't use it on your Google Doc, although it's easy enough to download a docx version from Google Docs.
PerfectIt includes all features with all of its subscriptions. The only price differences are for big teams who will be using the tool. And they do provide a free trial so you can try it out.
PerfectIt Free Trial
You can download and use PerfectIt for 14 days without paying anything, giving your credit card number, or even giving them your email address. You get full features, so you can experience all the functionality. Of course, if you still want to use it after 14 days, you'll need to start a subscription.
PerfectIt for Individuals and Teams
This subscription is $70 a year per person for 1 to 39 users. You get access to all the features. There's only one version of PerfectIt, and it's fully loaded. You also get all future updates and support.
One subscription means you can use it on all your devices. You don't have to pay for multiple subscriptions to use it across all your eligible devices, which is certainly nice.
The Enterprise subscription is good for 40 or more users, allowing you to get significant discounts per subscription if you have a lot of users. Pricing gets as low as $25 per user (for 2000+ users).
How Does PerfectIt Compare to Other Proofreaders?
Comparing PerfectIt to Grammarly, PWA, or even the Hemingway Editor, would be like comparing apples to bananas. This tool checks for very specific mistakes and inconsistencies that are common in technical manuals, white papers, legal technology documents, and industry-specific papers.
It could surely help you edit your book, but it won't do the same things general proofreaders do. And it won't replace the need for a professional editor. In fact, most people say that they use PerfectIt in addition to a general proofreading tool like Grammarly or PWA.
But if you're an editor or a professional writer who works on legal documents, white papers, or other technical documents, then this could be a great tool for you.
What I Like About PerfectIt
There's a lot to like about PerfectIt because it really is a unique tool that can do a broad first pass edit on any document.
1. Customize Your Checks
There are a lot of different options available with this tool, which means you can customize your own style sheet. This is incredibly useful for locating mistakes that you wouldn't necessarily remember to look for when you’re focusing on the big picture.
2. Check Only Certain Things
If you don't want to use a specific style sheet, you can tell PerfectIt to only check certain things. Say you want to check hyphenation. All you have to do is select it from the drop-down menu, and then analyze the suggestions as they come up right there in your Word document.
3. Two-Week Free Trial
These days, it's pretty common to have a free trial for software. However, most other free trials require that you give your email address and credit card number before it starts. Not PerfectIt. You can try it for two weeks with no strings attached.
Two weeks is a good amount of time to determine if you want to pay for this tool. And there's no lack of features for this trial period; you get to experience the full tool, which definitely helps.
4. Final Pass and Report Generation
When you're done editing with the tool and want to put the finishing touches on your document, PerfectIt will save you time. It will remove things like extra spaces and then print you an error report so you (or the writer you're editing for) can see the common issues and fix them in the future.
5. Super Easy to Use
PerfectIt is really easy to use, even going so far as to provide you with a document with instructions and a suggestion to run PerfectIt on it. They've purposely left some examples in the instruction document that PerfectIt will pull up, so you can understand how it works.
It's always good when a tool has a ton of features but you don't feel overwhelmed by them.
What I Don't Like About PerfectIt
There are a few things I wasn't thrilled about when using PerfectIt
1. Only Available With Word
While this isn't a big deal, it would be great to see PerfectIt integrated with other writing software. A browser version for things like emails and work in Google Docs would be fantastic.
2. Takes Some Customization for Editing Fiction
Since this tool isn't really designed for fiction manuscripts, it takes some time to determine what will work well for you and what won't. Some things you can automatically disregard, like superscript and subscript. But other things take a little more trial and error, depending on what you're writing.
I'd like to see them come out with a fiction style sheet. My editor would love me!
3. Remember the Tool's Limitations
PerfectIt doesn't check for passive voice, grammar errors, spelling mistakes, or plagiarism. It does check for inconsistency across your document and against common writing styles. This means that you likely still need a good grammar checker even if you are going to use this tool.
This is important to keep in mind because $70 a year for a new author isn't something to sneeze at, especially when you could be paying on top of that for Grammarly or ProWritingAid.
PerfectIt is a tool designed for editors and proofreaders. Its full functionality comes in handy when checking legal tech documents, white papers, medical texts, and other industry-specific documents.
But that doesn't mean indie authors can't use it. Although you shouldn't use it in place of a professional editor, it can help you clean up your manuscript, eliminate inconsistencies, and learn what kinds of mistakes you make that slip through your own editing process.
And if you do proofreading, editing, or freelance writing on the side, I'd venture to say this tool is a must-have.
If you're inclined, try it for free with no strings attached and see what you think!
Be sure to check out my full comparison with the other best proofreading tools out there, along with individual reviews of the following: