SmartEdit Software Tutorial

Smart-Edit Software Video Tutorial

Today, I want to introduce you to a fantastic little program—Smart-Edit. I have never been impressed with the idea of using a program to edit your book for you. Editing involves too much creativity to be left up to the mechanical algorithms of a computer program. But Smart-Edit is different. It doesn’t edit your work, but what it does do is take the grunt out of the grunt work of copyediting by helping you track down overused and misused words and phrases. Take a look!

Tell me your opinion: What part of editing do you like least?

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About K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland

K.M. Weiland is the award-winning and internationally-published author of the acclaimed writing guides Outlining Your Novel, Structuring Your Novel, and Creating Character Arcs. A native of western Nebraska, she writes historical and fantasy novels and mentors authors on her award-winning website Helping Writers Become Authors.


  1. I tend to know as I write what words I’ll need to reduce the usage of when I go back through on edits, but I certainly won’t get ’em all. My main frustration when editing is seeing a sentence (or paragraph or entire page) where I can FEEL something is wrong—a character’s reaction isn’t clear enough or the pacing isn’t smooth enough—but I just can’t figure out how to fix it.

    Is there a program for that? XD

  2. There are quite a few editing programs out there, but I’m not personally familiar with any of them. The best way to edit a story will always be simply learning about story and prose technique.

  3. I’d like to find the “best” editing software, so I can use it just before I send it to my editor. WhiteSmoke keeps bragging about how good they are. Is there a “best/preferred by serious writers” program out there? I wonder.

  4. As I mentioned, I’m actually not a big fan of editing software, so I’ve never played around with it much before. But I don’t think you can go wrong with SmartEdit. It’s great for catching those little mistakes that sneak past both SpellCheck – and our own non-objective eyes.

  5. I’m glad to see another tool for ‘guided’ editing. I’ve been using the free Auto Crit, which is good. I’ll give this one a try and compare prices for full versions. Thanks for the tip.

  6. I dislike editing as a whole. During the writing process, I suppress my left brain. During the editing process, I suppress my right brain, and then despair at the mess. 😉

  7. @Alvarado: The great thing about most software programs these days is that you have the opportunity to take them all for a test run and figure out if they’ll fit your needs or not.

    @Gideon: Yes, generally speaking, the right brain is a rather more cheerful entity. :p

  8. This is the first editing software I’ve seen, so I have nothing to compare it with. I love all the different types of edits that should save a lot of time. I going to give it and a couple other programs a test run to see which I like best. Thanks for the tip!

  9. Editing programs can’t take the place of good old-fashioned proofreading, but this one definitely does a good job of reducing a little of the grunt work.

  10. Hi K.M. – loved the little demo! You’ve definitely piqued my interest! I think I’d use it the same way you did – I also write my mss’s in Word, so I think I might try this program…I can’t tell you how arduous it’s been trying to edit…and re-edit…and re-edit my current mss! I think this might help me a lot…as always, thanks for your fantastic blog and tips!

  11. Recurrent words and phrases are always problematic – mostly because we’re so blind to them. And replacing them is always a pain in the wrists, running all those searches. This takes so much of the effort out of an unattractive part of the editing process.

  12. I’d like to see if there’s a editing program that also checks punctuation.
    Another feature I could use is dialogue stacking.

  13. james rehg says

    Hey K.M. Thanks for the tutorial. I use ProWritingAid and find that it supplies many of the same checks that Smart-Edit supports plus several not present in Smart. Pro is not perfect, so when I run the same document through Grammarly I find that Pro missed some items. The combination of the two produces a fairly clean document. As a self-published author I’m looking for a way to avoid the $1200 to $3000 cost of a live editor. I have published eight text books with Pearson and got their in-house editing support. In the process I’ve learned that live editors are not perfect either. What I like about Pro is that it works inside of Scrivener, my writing software program, so I automatically save Pro’s changes in the Scrivener doc. I will try Smart-Edit on one of my processed text doc and see it finds additional corrections.

    I love your blog, thanks for posting.


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