Proofreading is boring, time-consuming and costly. Consultants, lawyers, proposal managers, marketers, engineers, researchers, authors, technical writers and other professionals spend hours each week on proofreading. Just one mistake can forever damage your reputation, so it’s work that cannot be skipped. As a result, there is an essential need to reduce time spent on proofreading and increase productivity.

PerfectIt locates errors that no spelling or grammar checker can find. It focuses on consistency mistakes and other difficult-to-locate errors that can take hours to find manually. For example, PerfectIt finds inconsistent hyphenation (email/e-mail), capitalization inconsistencies (government/Government) and variations in spelling (colour/color). Those variations might be pages apart, but the software finds them instantly and presents them with an easy-to-use interface. PerfectIt also checks that every abbreviation is defined on its first use, checks list punctuation and helps to make sure tables are in the correct order. It can even generate a table of abbreviations (linking all abbreviations to their definitions without any input from the user). In addition, PerfectIt can help enforce house style. It comes with built-in style manuals for Canadian, Australian, British and US English, as well as the option to check specific preferences for American Legal Style, United Nations Style, European Union Style or Australian Government Style. When it comes to adding polish and putting the finishing touches on a document, there is nothing like PerfectIt.

PerfectIt is already the leading add-in among professional editors. However, the existing version only works on PCs and can’t be listed in the Office Store (because it’s a COM add-in). That’s why we developed PerfectIt Cloud. To build it, we split PerfectIt into server-side and client-side functionality. The server-side code (where most of the processing takes place) is almost entirely unchanged. The client side is completely new, written entirely in the Javascript API for Word (and using Fabric for its front-end). For the new environment, we developed an interface that makes PerfectIt Cloud easier and faster to use than the original. It’s going into its beta trial now (via a preview we submitted to the Office Store on January 27th), and will be available to everyone via the Office Store in a few months.

PerfectIt Cloud pushes the Javascript API to its limit. To carry out this level of checking, the framework has to undertake an enormous number of searches. And every result requires detailed contextual checking to ensure that the program does not generate too many false positives. The sheer volume of queries forced us to continually optimize our code to ensure that the API could support it.

We’re proud to have built one of the most comprehensive proofreading add-ins developed for the Office store. And we're delighted that we can finally bring PerfectIt's checking to Mac users. We’ve been tracking development of the Javascript API since its launch. We believe we are the first in our category to fully commit to the new Javascript API, and the first to develop for it at the highest level.

In delivering PerfectIt Cloud, we’ve not only created a great tool that will save users valuable time, we’ve also learned a lot. PerfectIt was originally developed by our founder and CEO. Until 2015, our company was still just one person. However, the new platform and new access to clients meant we could justify bringing on both a chief engineer and a front-end developer. PerfectIt Cloud is the result of teamwork. We’re doing things we didn’t know were possible two years ago, and we’ve become a more confident, capable company.

For Hack Productivity, we’ve submitted our first beta version. That currently includes 14 of PerfectIt’s 37 tests. The rest are close to completion. Within a couple of months, the beta will include almost everything that PerfectIt can do. At that point, we’ll release PerfectIt Cloud via the Office Store. However, that initial release of PerfectIt Cloud is just the start! There are still some features in PerfectIt that can’t be replicated in PerfectIt Cloud because the API isn’t capable of it (for example, the option to check footnotes). We’re hoping to add those soon. More importantly, the move to a web-based product creates opportunities for better customization. We plan to completely re-develop the customizability of house styles so that PerfectIt Cloud will be the standard for any business looking to increase productivity and cut time spent on proofreading.

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