SmartEdit for Word is a first-pass editing tool for creative writers and novelists that sits inside Microsoft Word and helps you as you work. It's not a replacement for a human editor. Neither is it designed to do your editing for you. It's an aid—a helper for when you begin editing your work. A standalone version also exists for writers who do not use Word.
SmartEdit runs a series of 20 individual checks on your work and highlights areas that might need to be looked at. These checks include: highlighting repeated phrases and words, producing a list of every adverb used, flagging possible misused or misspelled words such as “complement” instead of “compliment”.
SmartEdit also examines your sentence structures: highlighting common phrases you use to begin sentences, monitoring sentence length, as well as flagging possibly incorrect punctuation, such as multiple exclamation marks (“!!!?”), or inconsistent use of smart quotes and straight quotes.
It does not tell you to remove or replace a word. It does not make any automated changes for you. It does not tell you whether your work might be good, bad, or somewhere in between.
These decisions and interpretations are yours, and only yours to make. Software cannot make them for you, and should not even try. After all, how many repeated phrases are to be found in Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech? Would that speech be remembered today if Dr. King had removed all but one of those “I have a dream” phrases in response to a software prompt?
SmartEdit’s results should be used as a starting point in your editing process. They should by no means be taken as Gospel. It's your work, your creative endeavor; you know far more about it than an automated tool does.
Are you a published author? Are you planning to become a published author? Have you finished or are you close to finishing a first draft of a novel or short story? If you answered yes to any of these questions, SmartEdit is for you.
SmartEdit was built for writers who are serious about their craft. It works best and helps most when it has content to work with. That means—at the very least—a finished first draft. If you're not quite there yet, you should hold off on using SmartEdit until you've reached that final page.
December 2015 saw the release of the latest version of SmartEdit for Word. This release was updated to work with Microsoft Word 2016 and contained a number of changes that allow it to work well with high resolution monitors (getting more and more popular on laptops these days). The UI was also brought more into line with Word, making the software appear as if it were a part of Word rather than an Add In.