I recently subscribed to ProWritingAid. And yes, it’s like an all singing and all dancing editor. It covers everything you can think of that you’d want to check. Passive sentences, sticky sentences, repeats. You name it, it seems to check it. I’ve found this a great help and way cheaper than having to pay someone to do the editing.

Unfortunately, ProWritingAid has one fatal flaw – you have to login every time you want to use the darn thing. So, if you’re using the Word add-in you have to be online, despite entering a licence code. If you’re using the desktop version to edit your Scrivener files, you have to login. And if you happen to close the session and then go back to it – you have to login again. (Serves me right for not checking this in more depth before I subscribed.)

Having to login to the desktop app and be online for the Word add-in tells me a couple of things about the people that invented ProWritingAid: they are paranoid about software piracy, and they’re lazy app developers. Why? Because I tried logging in and disabling my WiFi temporarily. Then I tried using both the desktop app and the Word add-in. They have to connect to the server. Basically these ‘apps’ are shells that go out and call the server to do most of the work. Which is a way of saying you might as well use their website and not bother with the apps a subscribed user can download.

Needing to be tethered to the internet is a giant pain in my butt because my primary time for editing is on my work commute. When I’m offline. Or more to the point, can only connect via my phone.

I noticed the Hemingway app is only $19.99 and doesn’t require a licence to work, so I might use that for the commutes.

In conclusion…  ProWritingAid does many good things but its one hundred percent reliant on being connected to the interwebs. This can be inconvenient for those of use trying to steal editing time in places with no connection (trains, buses, planes, hotel rooms, and at work when using your personal device).

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