ProWritingAid has customizable reports that help you find any manner of technical or stylistic gaffes in your work. Besides the 25+ reports that help you polish your work, you can use the House Style or the Combo Check. But what’s the difference between these two?
The Combo Check
The Combo Check lets you customize a report to look for your own specific problem areas. This is the perfect feature for copywriters, content specialists, bloggers, and others who edit a lot of shorter documents.
Who knows your bad writing habits better than anyone else? You do! So you choose the key reports you need to run every single time before you send anything out to a client or an editor.
From either the online editing tool or your desktop add-on, you can access ProWritingAid’s settings from the drop-down menu bar. Choose "Preferences" if you’re not in a document, like the screenshot below, or when in a document, choose "Settings," like the next screenshot.
You can choose from any ProWritingAid report with the Combo Check. I have a bad habit of writing sticky and extra long sentences, plus some other annoying errors. I’ve created a Combo Check report that looks like this:
The more reports you include in your Combo Check, the more complex your report will be to interpret. But generally I recommend including a maximum of 4-5 reports, otherwise it can become overwhelming.
Consider how you could change the Combo Check depending on what you’re writing. You may have problems with corporate wording when you write blog posts and adverbs in dialogue when writing fiction. Just change up your Combo Check settings for each type of writing you’re editing.
The House Style Check
If you’re a premium user, you can create a House Style Check. Use the House Style Check for specific situations. For example, if your 9-to-5 job is working in a law firm, they may want all lawyers referred to as "attorney." You can create a rule that flags anytime you write "lawyer" and ask you if you meant to write "attorney" instead.
Another example is different clients have different style guides. Say, for example, one of your clients is adamant that their four regions—North, South, East, and West—be capitalized. Or imagine that their company's President has an uncommon spelling to her name, like: Diane Pederson.
You can create your own House Style Check that edits your document instantly against your client’s wants and needs. Here is what it looked like in the ProWritingAid settings when I created these examples as rules:
And this is how those rules came out when I ran the House Style Report on a sentence containing all of those examples:
The House Style Check saves you time and effort by finding all instances where you have strayed from your client’s style guide. It also lets you create your own rules to help other members of your organization stick to your company’s style guidelines. Remember, however, if you want the advantages of setting up your own House Style, you need the premium version of ProWritingAid.
The House Style report lets you create specific rules that ProWritingAid will check for. And the Combo Report runs a combination of the available reports depending on what you need help with the most. Clear as tar, right?
Let us know in the comments below how you make them work for you.