SEATTLE—On Tuesday, October 4, 2022, WordRake Holdings, LLC released WordRake 4.0, the newest edition of its professional editing software. In this version, WordRake adds a new editing mode, introduces seamless subscription purchasing, and refines and enhances existing editing algorithms.
“The latest version of the WordRake software is a game-changing achievement. We’ve expanded functionality, dramatically increased editing algorithm quantity and quality, eliminated license keys for renewals, and lowered the barrier to entry for new users,” said Scott Johns, President of WordRake. “We think current and future users will love how we’ve made editing effortless, reliable, and affordable for any writing project.”
New Editing Mode Added
In a major update to WordRake’s core functionality, WordRake 4.0 now includes two editing modes: Brevity and Simplicity.
“This massive update would not be possible without our extraordinary team and the vision of founder Gary Kinder. It has been Gary’s dream to offer plain language editing in WordRake software since the Plain Writing Act of 2010 was introduced,” Scott added.
Earlier versions of the software offered clear and concise edits, which reduced word count, cut needless modifiers, converted nominalizations, and more. The newest version goes further by offering suggestions for improving readability and simplifying complex language.
“The Act inspired us to take WordRake a step further with a unique functionality that would help government agencies communicate more effectively with their readers,” said Gary Kinder, founder of WordRake. “That’s why we’re introducing Simplicity editing mode, which helps you find the word your reader is most likely to know. It builds on WordRake’s existing functionality, which helps you cut needless words.”
Since 2010, United States law has required federal government agencies, executive offices, and independent regulatory agencies to use “clear government communication that the public can understand and use.” An expansion of the Act was proposed in August 2022. The shift toward using plain language for consumer communication started in the 1940s, and today, there are over 775 plain language laws in the U.S. The global plain language movement is gaining momentum, too, with passed or proposed laws in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and beyond, and a new International Standard coming in early 2023. To meet international demand, WordRake works with all forms of English. WordRake is proud to join the global plain language movement to make writing accessible for more readers.
“Plain language isn’t dumbing down,” emphasizes Ivy B. Grey, Vice President of WordRake. “It’s improving communication by clarifying and streamlining. It goes beyond word choice to include document design and user testing,” Ivy continued. “Given typical time, budget, and staffing limitations, it makes sense to use software like WordRake for sentence-level editing, then turn to plain language and document design experts to finish the job,” she added. WordRake is a collaborative editing tool meant to help writers and editors produce their best work, but it does not replace or usurp human judgment.
Legal work needs plain language, too, Ivy points out: "As a bankruptcy lawyer doing both creditor and debtor work, and practicing in finance, I followed plain language laws as part of my work. I saw how simpler phrasing could build trust and understanding, smoothing transactions and improving compliance. Yet I still felt tension. It wasn’t until I worked in writing improvement software and legal technology that I realized plain language goals and legal practice realities don’t conflict.” Simplicity mode will be available to all new and current users who want it, including lawyers; it will not change legally operative terminology. See examples of Brevity and Simplicity edits.
How to Get Plain Language Edits
Before Raking text with WordRake 4.0, users select the editing mode(s) they want based on their editing preferences:
Simplicity mode prioritizes familiar words. It’s WordRake's new editing mode, designed to help meet plain language guidelines. With this mode selected, you’ll get suggestions to improve readability by simplifying complex language. It converts jargon, bureaucratic language, and difficult words into text anyone can understand. It’s designed for government writers and anyone who must follow plain language rules. Simplicity mode offers edits to help you meet over 85% of suggested simplifications for government writers.
Brevity mode prioritizes succinct writing. It’s WordRake’s classic editing mode, available since 2012. With this mode selected, you’ll get suggestions to make writing concise and compelling. Writers rely on Brevity mode for streamlining legalese, cutting useless words, trimming legal doublets and triplets, and replacing archaic terms, all while protecting terms of art and legally operative phrases for lawyers. Brevity mode is the default selection for all users.
New Subscription Options Added
WordRake is introducing subscriptions in the WordRake online store. With this new offering, users can buy monthly or annual subscriptions. The monthly offering accommodates users who love WordRake but don’t write often. It is $17 for WordRake for Word, or $24 for WordRake for Word and Outlook. Customers will save money if they buy a subscription for the annual license, which is still $129 per year for WordRake for Word and $199 for WordRake for Word and Outlook. Non-subscription timed licenses remain available for gift purchases and for those who cannot use credit cards for automatic renewal.
All subscriptions renew automatically, so users no longer have to repeat the process of purchasing and entering license keys. The new subscription system will please customers who prefer automatic renewal. Now customers need to enter the license key only once after purchase. Cancellations can be initiated at any time through account settings or by contacting support and take effect at the end of the current billing cycle.
Updates to Editing Algorithms
WordRake 4.0 also features extensive upgrades and refinements to existing editing algorithms; it is the second such update this year. “We owe our success to the hard work of our team that designs and refines WordRake’s 35,000 editing algorithms,” said Scott. “Our rigorous review process for WordRake’s edits is time consuming, but it pays off. We think customers will love the results.”
How to Get WordRake 4.0
Current WordRake customers with version 3.85 or later may upgrade to version 4.0 by checking for updates from the Help menu within the app, and all WordRake users may download the update from these links:
WordRake for Word on Mac: https://www.wordrake.com/update-word-mac
WordRake for Word on Windows: https://www.wordrake.com/update-word-pc
WordRake for Outlook on Windows: https://www.wordrake.com/update-outlook-pc
If you're interested in trying WordRake, you may download a 7-day free trial here—even if you've tried an earlier version of WordRake.
Launched in 2012, WordRake is editing software designed by writing expert and New York Times bestselling author Gary Kinder. The software was originally created so lawyers could focus on their legal analysis without using unnecessary verbiage but has since been expanded to work for all types of professional writing. While teaching over 1,000 writing programs for many of the country’s largest businesses and law firms, Gary identified a set of signals that indicate wordiness and muddled writing. Those signals became the foundation for WordRake editing software. WordRake runs in Microsoft Word and Outlook and uses complex, patented algorithms to find and improve weak lead-ins, confusing language, and high-level grammar and usage slips. A free 7-day trial is available at www.wordrake.com.