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Roger J Carlson
04-27-2005, 10:43 PM
I have been given permission by Jenna, our kind and generous hostess, to post this on multiple boards. I hope you don't mind.

I've written several little programs in Microsoft Word to do some things that Word does not do:

Word Frequency Counter:
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11152

This program counts all instances of each word in a document. This can be useful to determine if you are using some words too frequently. In addition, it also tracks the shortest distance (in words) between any two instances of a word. (For instance, "I said that he said" would return 3. This can help determine if you are using words in too close proximity.

Phrase Frequency Counter:
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11380

This program is similar to the Word Frequency Counter, but it counts only those phrases you specify. If you have a tendancy to use cliches or over-worked phrases, this can help identify them.

Passive Word Highlighter:
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11330

This program goes through an entire document and changes the color of passive, boring, or cliche words and phrases. For instance, it will replace every instance of "was" with "was" (formatted in red). You control which words it checks for and the color it assigns.

I originally posted these in the Writing Novels board, but I thought they might be useful to others as well. The links above connect to those discussions if you want to read more about them.

These programs are entirely free and you can download them from my website, here:

http://www.rogerjcarlson.com/WritingHelp/TechTips.html

I hope you find them useful. I would be glad for any comments or suggestions. I'd particularly like to know if you have any problems.

BTW, all of the programs work externally, that is they open a separate document file and work on that. I am currently working on a Master Suite of utilities that you can import into Word itself and use on your currently active document. I'll let you know when it's ready.