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Software Review:

Software I use in order of preference.


1.) The editor I really like using is Word and my version of word 2000 is free, but it’s a bitch having window after window open on-screen.

I’ve found something cool and its called:-

Chapter by Chapter.

Here’s the link [ chapter-by-chapter ]

Please note: The above link will open a new window:
– As will all *links* on this page.

If you have any problems getting it let me know, and I’ll send you a copy. It’s free-ware, and brilliant.

Basically it’s a Word controller program. It tells the editor where to go, and where to stay. You simply select the file you want by clicking on the list, and moving between the word files is easy.
-(I think I’m in love.)-

[ Why I use Word 2000. ]

2.) Thesaurus. [ Webword ].

– – – – I still can’t find anything on the PC platform to beat this! – It’s not technically free, but as long as you don’t start flapping your wings -(flying on an aeroplane)- then it remains free to use.

3. ) Proofreading Program: [ ClaroRead ].

The newest arsenal in my writing Toolbox. It reads to you what’s written on the screen, and is in-valuable for proof-reading your work.

– – – Note: Claroread is a shit company to deal with, and their products are very expensive for what they are, but the software is good.


Strange one this!
– But if you use a Proof-Reader, then you need it to sound like a human voice talking back to you, and not a Microsoft Robot! – There are many voices on the market. AT&T, Real Speak, Acapela and Cestral to name a few:

– But there is one that stands above the rest. It is from a Polish Company, called IVONA : their voices, and pricing structure is brilliant.
– I cannot recommend this outfit enough.

Edit: Been taken over by Amazon in Aug 2013: the jury is still out on whether the purchase will benefit either Amazon, or IVONA’S customer base.

Also runs in the proofreading arena; and a fine contender worthy of a mention is: [ Next-Up ] It’s at version 3 and does its job well, but it *does* depend on what you want out of it. The Pronouncing Editor is excellent. (something that you need to be aware of when you begin using proof-readers). Unfortunately the Next-Up program doesn’t work within Word.
– Claroread does, which is why its a better solution.
– – That’s how close they were.

Overlord Icon

Update: (2013 – Sept) Needed a new PC, and a new Software solution: I like Window 7, but the windows platform is becoming far too expensive to run, and in my humble opinion : it’s dropping into a self destructive black-hole.

– – Just what were Microsoft thinking about!
– – – Window 8 isn’t for me.

After extensive research, software and hardware: I bought a Mac.
[A refurnished MacBook Air from Apple to be precise.]

– It has everything built-in:
– – And: has a respectable desktop to work with.
– – – It’s not like an iPhone.

Windows developers, you might one day be proved right in your insistence that the Tablet will be king, but not today, and not when we have PC’s bolted to our desks.
– Because that is what we still have to work with.

Three options formed my search criteria, Battery Life, flexible Hardware support: simple Software options. The Mac, in all my searches; won over Windows. Linux didn’t even come close, software installs were far to complicated, and voice support, was a complete mystery. I still can’t work out if Linux has any, or not!

What’s included in a Mac Computer, that’s relevant to me, and my modest requirements.

– Up to (ten) hours battery life.
– – Note: I’ve used it non-stop for nine hours, before it died. Really impressive.

– Two monitor support built in.
– – Simplicity itself to set up and run.

– Built in OS Software:
– – Voices (yes, and they are free!) and the spell checker is very strong, as is the Thesaurus : there is also a Grammar Checker that is part of the OS. It really comes into its own whilst working on live web sites.

– – – – – It will pick up on the incorrect use of ‘where’ and ‘were’ in a sentence.
– – – – Really Impressive:

The Mac didn’t get it completely right: I’ve installed the Mozilla, Fire-Fox browser and Thunderbird mail client. Couldn’t use the offerings from Apple, they really were awful.

One other reason I brought the Mac, was Scrivener: It runs quite nicely on its home platform.

I could gush one about that program for hours, but wont. My advice, if you’ve read this article thus far; is to try Scrivener for yourself.

– You will not be disappointed.

Update: as of April 2017.

The Mac was a total failure: the voices were awful to use, because I couldn’t control its speed when it proof read my scribbling(s). From experimentation – the only way to slow it down; was put double full stops in at the end of sentences, and that kept getting in the way of my writing.

It had to go, and I’m once again on the PC bandwagon, but at least everything works as it should with Windows 10.  As a consequence: I’ve once again lost scrivener, and am now just using Word and Excel (2003) with Dropbox, — and the file system build into the OS itself.

It’s harder, but the IVONA proof reader element of it works well.

Now all I’ve got to do is stop updating these web pages, and start writing those books.


This is a local popup, .. it’s been placed here to advertise the fact that you can have your own **free** local WordPress environment, and at the click of a button.

I’m putting my own reputation on the line to push this local program, and what I can say on the subject: is quite frankly it’s brilliant. The program itself will provide you with a very simple WP environment to go local: simple but powerful.

Setting it up and running it is a breeze, but like everything else software wise out there, you do need to read the docs: just a little bit to get it running.

Did I mention that it’s free!

Download and install it here.

Try it, you won’t be disappointed.