Friday, October 16, 2009

Keep it short

As you most probably know, Atlantis has the "Overused Words" feature which helps creative writers avoid repetitions and clichés because any writer knows that he should avoid them if he wants his texts to be read with any interest or pleasure because overused words are simply boring and will invariably put readers off, whether these "tired" words belong to the common stock of catch phrases used by most people, or to the writer's own idiosyncratic style, and no one will be interested to read such boring texts because there are more interesting things to spend time on.

You can immediately say what's wrong with the above sentence (yes, it's one sentence). Its main problem is that it's TOO LONG.

Overlong sentences tend to be very boring and confusing to read. They can easily prevent your reader from understanding what you want to say. This is why overlong sentences should be also avoided.

Of course, Atlantis could not automatically fix overlong sentences by dividing them into shorter and clearer sentences. It's not that smart (yet). :) But you asked for a feature that would report overlong sentences (remember, you can request features through the Atlantis Forum?). And you'll have it.

A new tab will be added to the "Tools | Overused Words..." window of Atlantis:

It has a single edit box where you can control how many words per sentence is "too much".

Plus it has only two buttons "Previous" and "Next". Clicking these buttons will highlight overlong sentences in the active document. You could then rework reported sentences in any way you want.

It's that simple.

A beta version of Atlantis with this new feature will be available for download from the Betatesting page of the Atlantis site in the next few days.

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