Correctomatic is a special tool that checks documents for words or phrases and enables you to correct them.
When to use Correctomatic.
You can use Correctomatic in a variety of situations:
- Check your documents for consistency with a style guide. Most style guides provide correct spellings for some words, or preferential spellings for some words that can be written in different ways. This can be a corporate style guide or a public style guide, e.g., the Economist style guide, Chicago Manual of Style, Guardian and Observer Style Guide, etc. For example, the words “adviser” and “advisor” are both correct, but Guardian and Observer Style Guide requires you to use “adviser”.
- Use a specific dialect of a language throughout a document. For example, you can use Correctomatic to “convert” a document from British English to American English, etc.
- Find potential errors that are not detectable with the spellchecker. Every language has words that are spelled similarly but have differences in meaning. For example, in British English the words “dependent” (adjective) and “dependant” (noun) have different meaning, but you cannot rely on the spellchecker to help you.
- Find potential translation errors. In specific fields of knowledge, translators tend to make the same mistakes. There are also a lot of "false translator friends" in different language pairs.
Where to find Correctomatic.
To run Correctomatic, click Correctomatic button found in the Quality Assurance group on TransTools ribbon (for Word 2007, 2010, 2013 and newer) or select TransTools -> Quality Assurance -> Correctomatic menu.
How to use Correctomatic.
Correctomatic works on the basis of correction lists that contain entries. Each entry includes the text that needs to be found in the document, its search options, optional correction text, a note helping you decide whether to make a correction depending on context, and some other attributes described below.
To check a document:
- Under Search Options tab, select "Entire document" or "Selection" option depending on the situation.
- Select the appropriate correction lists in the list below. You can make changes to correction lists or add new ones by pressing
button. The correction list editing process is explained below.
- Press Search Results tab.
button. The document will be searched for words/phrases included in the selected lists, and all matches will be shown under
- The Search Results tab (appears if there are matches) contains the following information:
- Status information (list column):
- If a match is marked with "!", you need to review it because there is an important note associated with it, the corresponding entry requires you to check matches manually, or your attention is needed because of an error.
- If a match is marked with "?", you need to review the correction text for this match because it was calculated (e.g., when the corresponding correction list entry has ‘At start of word/phrase’, ‘Anywhere in word/phrase’ or ‘Custom’ matching mode) or if the case of the correction text is uncertain.
- Search result (list column): this column shows the found text and short context.
- Replacement (list column): this column specifies the correction text. Initially, this is a correction suggested by the program.
- Details about selected search result: this box contains information about the selected search result - context information (Context), notification which explains what needs to be reviewed (Attention) and the correction list which contains the entry that was found (Correction list).
- Correction for selected search result: in this box, you can change the replacement text and see a note related to the found correction list entry.
If the suggested replacement text is wrong, you may want to press button in order to replace the suggested replacement text with original document text and then make changes to it.
If the same text was found elsewhere in the document and you make corrections to the suggested replacement text, you can press button to change the replacement text of similar matches.
- Check (tick) the items you would like to correct and make changes to replacement text if necessary or make a correction in the document directly.
The best way to move through the list is by pressing Up or Down arrow keys to move up or down and Space key to check / uncheck an item.
As you move through the list, the text will also be selected in the document. It is recommended to increase the zoom ratio of the document and align Correctomatic window next to Word window to make reviewing easier.
- In the Action box, select the desired highlight color for corrected text so you can make a final verification, or select Do not highlight if you don't want to apply highlighting. You can also apply a highlight color to the unchecked items by checking “Also highlight skipped matches” option and choosing an appropriate color.
- Press checked items will be corrected with the specified replacement text, and highlighting will be applied as per your selections.
button. All the
Managing correction lists
To edit, create or delete correction lists, use Correction List Editor which can be opened by pressing Manage correction lists.
button on Correctomatic dialogue or by clicking the down arrow under Correctomatic button on the ribbon and choosing
You can perform the following actions:
- Choose an existing correction list from the dropdown list in order to view/edit it.
- Add a new correction list by pressing Correction Lists subfolder of your TransTools folder (this is C:\Documents\TransTools\Correction Lists if you used the automatic installer to install TransTools).
button at the top near the dropdown list. You will need to specify a name for the list. All correction lists are stored under
- Edit the properties of an existing correction list by pressing
button at the top near the dropdown list. You can change the name and description of a correction list, although the file where the correction list is stored will not be renamed (you can do so manually from Windows Explorer).
- Delete a correction list by pressing
button (after confirmation).
- Add a new entry by pressing
button to the right of the entries list.
- Edit a selected entry by pressing
button to the right of the entries list.
- Remove selected entries by pressing
button (after confirmation).
- Remove all entries by pressing
button (after confirmation).
- Copy selected entries to another list by pressing
button. For example, you can use this button to create a duplicate copy of an existing list.
- Import an existing correction list from a file or from clipboard by pressing Import a Correction List dialogue.
button, adding entries to the current correction list. For example, you can edit a correction list in Microsoft Excel, copy it to the clipboard, and then paste the entries into a correction list with the help of this button, choosing “Import from clipboard” in the
- Export all entries from the current correction list to a file or to the clipboard by pressing
button. For example, use this button to place a correction list into the clipboard so you can edit it easier in Microsoft Excel or a similar editor.
Note that built-in correction lists (the ones with “[TransTools]” in their names) cannot be modified, therefore all the buttons that allow editing are disabled if you select one of these lists.
When you press
or buttons next to the entries list, you will see the following dialogue:
To change or add a correction list entry, specify the following information:
- Find word or phrase: specify one or several spellings of the word/phrase you would like to correct. Most entries will have only one variant, but you can add several by selecting “<Add new alternative...>” and then entering the alternative. To remove an alternative, select it in the list and click the button to the right of the list.
You can use special wildcard symbols – * will find 0 or more characters and ? will find a single character, provided that you choose Custom in the Matching list.
- Proposed replacement: enter a word or phrase that you would like to be proposed as a replacement if one of the words/phrases in the Find list are found in a document.
If you specify Custom in the Matching list, you can also use * in order to “calculate” the replacement text automatically if there is a “fuzzy” match in the document (e.g., if you have “*color*” in the Find field and “*colour*” in the Proposed Replacement field, and the document contains “discolored”, “discoloured” will be proposed to the user. For now, this only works for * at the start or end of the replacement text.
- Matching mode: you can choose among the following options:
- “Full word/phrase” (matches a word/phrase exactly). Unless document language has strong inflection, this is a recommended option as it will allow you to avoid incorrect matches and specify replacement text which will not require editing prior to correction.
- “At the start of word/phrase” (e.g., “color” will match “colored” or “colorization”).
- “Anywhere in word/phrase” (e.g., “center” will match “centers” or “epicenters”).
- “Custom” (you can use * to match 0 or more characters and ? to match 1 character).
- Case-sensitive: check this option if you want the search and replacement to be case-sensitive. For example, to replace “WiFi” with “Wi-Fi”, you can use this box.
- Replacement must be confirmed manually: check this box so that all matches of this entry are initially unchecked in the list of matches in Correctomatic dialogue. In addition, ! will be displayed next to such entries. This way you can ensure that each match is reviewed before correction.
- Important note: in this field, you can enter special information that will help you make a decision before correction. If a word should be replaced only when it has a specific meaning, enter this here. For example, if you want to replace the word “flat” with the word “apartment”, you should enter a reminder that the correction can be made only if “flat” means the same thing as “apartment”.
All matches of an entry with non-empty important note will be initially unchecked in the list of matches in Correctomatic dialogue, and ! will be displayed next to such entries. The contents of this field will be displayed below the Replace With field when you select a match that came from this entry.
- Category: in this field, you can specify the category of the entry. This field is only necessary for organisation of your correction lists.
Built-in correction lists.
Correctomatic includes several built-in lists that you can use out of the box to correct documents or detect potential errors. These include:
- [TransTools] British English - American English
This list contains over 1000 entries to help you “convert” documents written in British English to American English.
- [TransTools] American English - British English
Contains over 300 entries to help you “convert” documents written in American English to British English. This list does not contain entries for correction of -ize endings to -ise endings because some British English dictionaries treat -ize endings as normal. If you would like to correct -ize endings to -ise, see the Downloads section below.
- [TransTools] Commonly confused English words
This correction list will detect English words that are most frequently confused with other words which have similar spelling (e.g., “manger” vs “manager”, “loose” vs “lose”, etc.). This list is compiled on the basis of several publicly available lists.
All built-in lists will be improved in future versions of TransTools, therefore you cannot modify these lists. Instead, you can do one of the following:
- Select all entries in a built-in correction list and copy them to another list by pressing
button. You can then edit that list as usual.
- Create an additional correction list that will include extra entries not found in a built-in list. When you check a document with Correctomatic, select the built-in list + your own list so that Correctomatic can search for entries from both lists. This is a recommended option because this way you can take advantage of improvements in built-in lists as they are updated in future versions.
Correctomatic offers a number of settings:
New correction list entry defaults: in this box, you can change default values for new entries that you add into your custom correction lists. By changing them here, you can edit correction lists faster.
Useful downloads – Excel-based correction list editor with examples and more
If you would like to create your own correction lists, please download this spreadsheet. It contains the following:
- List Editor sheet: use this sheet as a starting point for your own correction lists, then copy entries to the clipboard and use Import List button to insert entries from clipboard. This sheet explains the various options and provides useful examples with remarks.
- IZE to ISE sheet: use this sheet to create a correction list if you want to change words like “organization” to “organisation” when converting a document from American English to other varieties of English (the built-in [TransTools] American English - British English list does not perform such corrections). It is better to place these entries into a new correction list and select this list along with [TransTools] American English - British English list so that entries from both lists are searched for.