Tools I Use

Here are some tools I use for editing.

reference books

  • The definitive style guide for editing literature is the Chicago Manual of Stylecurrently in their 17th edition. This is commonly referred to as the editing bible and it is probably the most-referenced resource in the field. I have been known to read it for fun.
  • Every good editor (and writer) keeps a dictionary on hand. I refer to Merriam-Webster. There isn’t a “best” dictionary, but the more well-known it is, the better.

I have read a number of other books about words, language, writing, typography, and editing. These occasionally appear as book reviews on the blog.


  • I use Microsoft Word. There are other competent word processors out there, but some of them aren’t compatible with Word, and the latter is the most-used. It is also quite intuitive and easy to work with. I use the Track Changes feature for editing. Many publishers work this way.
  • I have experience working with PDFs in Adobe Acrobat. This is not my preferred method of editing (and many editors share this opinion) but I can do it.


Right now I’m using a number of macros provided by Paul Beverley. Macros are scripts that you can run in MS Word documents in order to alter or give you information about the text. For instance, you can easily count the number of serial commas used, remove all highlights, or spell out all numbers less than one hundred in mere seconds. This makes editing faster and more accurate.

I hope to add to this list soon. There are a few fun editing tools I’m looking at. If you have any to recommend, I would love to hear about them.