LONDON - 16-June-2014. London-based software company Intelligent Editing Ltd has partnered with Canberra-based Biotext Pty Ltd to launch a time-saving tool for government report writing. Together, the two companies have built the first software checker specifically designed to assist with editing Australian Government style, the official style used throughout Australian public sector departments.
The automated checker allows public service staff to quickly and simply ensure their documents are consistent with Australian Government style directly within MS Word. Users spend less time looking up style decisions and make fewer mistakes.
Australian Government style is used in the preparation of almost all government documents, with most departments at both the regional and federal level basing their house styles on it. Editing text to meet Australian Government style is currently a time-consuming, manual process. For example, to choose between two spellings of a word (e.g. adviser/advisor or multi-cultural/multicultural), authors look it up in the Style Manual, then check their document to ensure consistency. With hundreds of reports written each year and hundreds of style decisions to be made for each report, significant government staff time is spent in checking and rechecking text.
The checker has been co-developed by Intelligent Editing and Biotext Pty Ltd. It is distributed as a style sheet that works with PerfectIt, Intelligent Editing's flagship software, and it enables users to look for Australian Government style preferences directly in MS Word. The style sheet is free to all existing users of PerfectIt as well as new customers. Major institutions that already use PerfectIt include CSIRO, the Department of Defence and the Australian National University.
Maryanne McKay, an accredited editor of the Institute of Professional Editors, who works for a number of government departments including the Department of Health and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said 'The checker makes working with Australian Government style easier and faster, and the time saved means that the editing process is more efficient.'
Janet Salisbury, Biotext Director, said: 'The tool will be a tremendous help for our many government clients, enabling staff to use their time more effectively. One of the most important strengths of PerfectIt is its ability to pick up inconsistencies in expression and spelling, which so often creep in to large and complex documents. PerfectIt makes the usually tedious and time-consuming tasks of correcting inconsistencies quick and easy, which means users can spend more time improving the clarity and expression of the document.'
Daniel Heuman, Managing Director of Intelligent Editing, said: 'Building on the strength of PerfectIt, which automatically checks documents for consistency errors, we're delighted to release the checker for Australian Government style. The style sheet will help thousands of public service workers to save time checking text.'
PerfectIt is an MS Word add-in that spots consistency mistakes in documents and can be programmed to check house style. PerfectIt is used by more than a thousand professional editors around the world, as well as Fortune 500 companies and major institutions such as the OECD and the European Space Agency. Style sheets that have previously been built for PerfectIt include United Nations Editorial Style, World Health Organization style and European Union style.
Biotext is a writing, editing, design and publishing company that specialises in scientific and complex subjects. For more than 15 years, Biotext has worked on many reports and guidelines of national and international significance, working with clients in health, agriculture, environment and government. Biotext has offices in Canberra and Melbourne.
Intelligent Editing specialises in software that delivers faster, more accurate editing for professionals. Intelligent Editing's philosophy is that good software lets you write your way. Intelligent Editing designs software that quickly and easily helps professionals to create the best documents without the use of templates, input fields or anything else that restricts writing.
Daniel Heuman, Managing Director, Intelligent Editing
Richard Stanford, Creative Director and General Manager, Biotext Pty Ltd