PROS / With detailed reports on grammatical and language issues, this software is great for the classroom.
CONS / The dated interface falls short of current expectations.
VERDICT / When used by its target audience – teachers and students – this software has a useful place, but it has a long way to go before it gets a strong endorsement for the general public.
Editor is writing enhancement software by Serenity Software that bills itself as a tool for teachers and students. Within that context, it's quite useful, once you master how to navigate its interface. This grammar check software generates detailed reports on particular errors it finds in grammar, diction, syntax and spelling. This can be useful for both teachers and students because it shows exactly where students' trouble areas are and where they can focus their attention for improvement.
Outside of the classroom, however, we found that Editor is not so useful. The primary problem with this spell check software is its counterintuitive and archaic interface. The software recently got an upgrade to version 4.0, but it still looks like it was programmed in the 1990s, and the workflow reflects that time period's technological sophistication. For Editor to rank closer to the best writing enhancement software, it needs to move into the 21st century.
After analyzing your writing, Editor generates a separate report with the results of the grammar check. This report is confusing. At first glance, it seems to repeat the same information over and over. The Usage section is the most helpful part of the report. It lists the errors the application finds in your writing in a text file format. Some of the suggested corrections are incorrect or unnecessary, but others are helpful. If you hover your mouse over a certain parts of the report, a pop-up window will appear to explain the correction.
Editor's reference tools include explanations of the symbols used in the grammar check report. It also provides a list of common spelling, punctuation and typographical errors and how to correct them. The software includes tools that can help you enrich your text by eliminating unnecessary words, pretentious language, redundancy, illogical expressions and vague statements. However, this software does not include writing templates, translation tools, a citation guide or a grammar guide.
Editor comes with a comprehensive user manual and help section. You can contact Serenity Software by email, fax and mail. The company responded to our emails within a day and provided relevant and useful information. The website includes answers to FAQs, but we found the site difficult to navigate.
Serenity Software's Editor offers quick feedback to help you compose clear, effective text, but it presents its suggestions in a way that can be confusing. This writing enhancement software package is missing some helpful reference tools, and the interface might deter some people from using it. However, the explanations for suggested corrections are helpful if you learn how to use this grammar checker correctly and have the time to do so.