Cam Virgola is the winner of a year’s subscription to both The Chicago Manual of Style Online and Scientific Style and Format! And we love Cam’s dream app:
“A Word plug-in that would show the author on mouseover why I made that particular change so he or she wouldn’t have to ask me or insist on keeping the problem. I wouldn’t have to tell the plug-in why I did certain things; it would always just know.”
Your dream app . . .
If you could design the perfect app for writers or editors, what would it be? What chore would you love to automate with a tap on your keyboard or phone? Magic is allowed!
Describe your ideal app in the comments section below and you’ll be automatically entered in a drawing for a free year of The Chicago Manual of Style Online, which includes full access to both the 15th and 16th editions and full access to Scientific Style and Format.
The contest closes at 11:59 p.m. (CST) on Tuesday, June 7. We’ll choose a winner by lottery from all the entries and announce it here on Wednesday, June 8.
Craving more conversation? All individual and group subscribers to The Chicago Manual of Style Online have access to the CMOS and SSF forums. Just log in to your account and click on Forum at the top of the page.
Please see our commenting policy.
20 thoughts on “First Friday Shop Talk
(Plus: Win CMOS and SSF for a year!)”
An app that would parse the rubric for an assignment, compare the draft student submission to the rubric, and generate a projected mark for that submission. That way, the editor could follow the trend in the projected marks as editorial changes are made, and finally inform the student “this should give you a 50% higher mark! 🙂
An app that tells me when to use (or remove) a hyphen. Although then I might not look at the CMOS compound chart (and i dearly love that chart).
A Word plug in that would show the author on mouseover why I made that particular change so he or she wouldn’t have to ask me or insist on keeping the problem. I wouldn’t have to tell the plug-in why I did certain things, it would always just know.
Please, for me and all the other unsung, underappreciated editors, create an app that would weigh every change that I made (based on the Chicago Manual of Style) and spit out a score in the form of percentage of improvement: You made this blog (or whatever) 33.5 percent better.
I’d love an app that would show you every variation on a sentence. Could semicolons be used instead of commas due to the complexity of the sentence? Bam! The app will analyze and shoot back all the options.
I would like an app that could capture the essence of a wordy sentence (or paragraph or paper).
A multilingual all that could detect automatically generated translations from Google Translate, so I don’t have to weed them out myself.
An keyboard all that were adaptive and multilingual so that I didn’t have to switch between keyboards all the time.
An Autocorrect app that ACTUALLY worked properly and automatically suggested words that are gramatically relevant and SEO friendly.
An app that detects trending topics and generates blog post ideas randomly
An app that lets you play quidditch
I teach English Literature and Composition. I would love an app that correctly graded all of my students essays and short writings…with the wave of my magic wand, of course! POOF! (background music, please) Hehee! Ahhh…this would allow me to also get so much more sleep! 🙂
Oh, pick me! I use CMoS almost every day!
dianadomino, Thank you for using CMOS almost every day! Maybe that’s almost as good as having the perfect app?
I’d love an app that would allow me to edit word docs with a stylus and then transcribe them into typed words/symbols.
I edit webpages often; it would be nice to be able to somehow screenshot or collect the copy from the page and be able to add comments or additional bits of copy/revision on the page. It gets complicated having to navigate the copyediting process through a word file with web designers.
I do a lot of editing in a content management system directly in HTML. What I would like would be an extension — preferably one that would work with any browser, but I’d accept one that worked only with Firefox or Safari — that would bring the power of a word processor to the CMS. Allow me to do search and replace, create macros for things like formatting in italics, etc.
I do a lot of editing in a content management system directly in HTML. So what I would like would be an extension that would work with any browser that would allow me to do find and replace, create macros for things like formatting in italics, and generally take up the slack between the CMS and a real word processor. I would accept one that just ran on Firefox or Safari if necessary.
May I please have an automatic “There is” and “There are” fixer app for academic/scholarly writing so that I never have to revise or query when I see those words at the beginning of a sentence? Thanks ever so much!
Writing soundtrack generator. You select your genre, type of scene, age of audience, and book setting, and it creates a playlist for you to write to.
An app that allows you to choose formatting at the beginning of the doc and then applies it ever after. Also, a spell and grammar check that uses CMOS.
It would come with a free smartphone to put it on, since I don’t have one. ;^) But I do have a Kindle Fire, so there’d be a version for that. I know zilch about app design, but ideally it would have everything the website has…including the indispensable forum. I suppose that’s not particularly helpful, but I hope it’s enough to count for an entry!
The perfect app for writers would have two paragraph styles, body and heading, and two character styles, roman and italic.
That’s it. Everything needed for text, and no other dross to mess up a text document with. Ready for me to copy edit and send over to the designer.
An app that would magically provide citations for all of the facts or quotes that the author failed to cite.
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