WhiteSmoke WhiteSmoke 2008+ Executive
I can has good grammar?
- Pretty good at picking out definitive errors
- Unforgiving of any deviation from absolute best practice — even in 'Creative writing' mode
As a comfort blanket for checking documents before you send them on, WhiteSmoke 2008+ Executive offers more than MS Word. It's full-featured and easy to use and picks up basic mistakes. But WhiteSmoke suffers from problems intrinsic to all automatic editors; without a human to make judgements, it will never be infallible. At $136.99 WhiteSmoke 2008+ Executive seems a little expensive to us, but the $79 General Writing version may suite your needs just as well.
Price$ 136.99 (AUD)
The advent of the digital office and the demands of Web 2.0 have made copywriters of us all, regardless of occupation or grasp of grammar. WhiteSmoke 2008+ Executive is software that aims to improve and edit your writing.
WhiteSmoke 2008+ Executive checks your grammar and punctuation and uses what it calls 'text enrichment' to enhance your writing — although that enhancement is a matter of taste. WhiteSmoke comes in several flavours, from the basic $79 General Writing, to the Executive flavour we tested. WhiteSmoke 2008+ Executive helps you check letters and emails in styles ranging from general, business and medical, to legal and creative writing.
Document templates are included in WhiteSmoke 2008+ Executive, along with a dictionary and thesaurus, as well as an idiom checker and translation tool that includes 18 languages.
Once installed, using WhiteSmoke 2008+ Executive is a cinch. You can use the program as a word processor, and when using any kind of text input, hitting F2 brings up a WhiteSmoke editing pane. The program checks the copy on the fly, so within a second or two you have WhiteSmoke 2008+ Executive's suggested edits.
WhiteSmoke 2008+ Executive highlights words it thinks you need to change. Each edit is colour coded: red for spelling, green for grammar and blue for enrichment. It really is a simple process.
It's not always a useful or even a reliable process, however. We liked the fact that despite being a download from a US website, WhiteSmoke 2008+ Executive knows its favor from its favour (unlike your office suite, we'd wager). It's also pretty slick at verb/noun license/licence type conundrums, and we can vouch for its spellchecker capabilities. In terms of picking out definitive errors, WhiteSmoke 2008+ Executive will serve you better than your word processor — although it criminally failed to spot when we incorrectly used 'less' instead of 'fewer'.
WhiteSmoke 2008+ Executive then is not a panacea, so 'AutoCorrect' should be avoided. Proper nouns will fox it, for example. And WhiteSmoke has something of a mania for commas.
It's also unforgiving of any deviation from absolute best practice. This makes sense when writing legalise, for instance, but even when checking 'Creative writing' WhiteSmoke will pull out any instances of sentences starting with 'but' or 'and'. Indeed, when we test edited a 350-word review with WhiteSmoke 2008+ Executive, the results were the same when checked for 'General', 'Business' and 'Creative writing'.
Which leads us to the 'text enrichment'. At any point you can ask WhiteSmoke 2008+ Executive to enhance any given part of your text. It's a nice concept, but computers aren't writers, and 'enriching' copy piecemeal is an odd process. Suffice to say that relying on software to add style to your copy is never a great idea.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
- 2 Sony Xperia XZ review: turbo-charged last-gen phone
- 3 Sony X9300D and X8500D UHD 4K TV review
- 4 Hisense Series 7 ULED 4K UHD TV review
- 5 Moto X Force review: Leading features from a mid-range phone
Latest News Articles
- Buggy Windows 7 cumulative update? Just tell us, says Microsoft
- Microsoft fleshes out seismic change to Windows patching
- Successful launch for second NBN satellite
- Where's the bottom for Microsoft's Internet Explorer?
- ICANN transition moves forward, despite last-minute attempt to block it
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: The new best Android phone
- Japan Robot, gadget and car expo slideshow
- Panasonic DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review: Best all-round TV ever?
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- CCSolution ArchitectNSW
- CCFront End DeveloperNSW
- FTPeopleSoft Business Analyst x 2QLD
- TPSenior Business AnalystQLD
- TPiOS Developer (Mobile)NSW
- CCSenior Business Analyst - 12 month contract, ASAP startVIC
- CCTest Analyst - Mid/Junior levelVIC
- CCDevOps EngineerNSW
- CCProject SchedulerSA
- CCDigital Solutions ManagerNSW
- TPSenior IT Project CoordinatorQLD
- CCSiebel Technical Integration SpecialistACT
- FTBiomedical Project ManagerQLD
- FTSolution Architect with end user computing (EUC) experienceNSW
- FTStorage SpecialistNSW
- CCNetwork EngineerNSW
- FTWeb DeveloperNSW
- TPDesktop Support EngineerVIC
- FTBusiness Analyst - Health Industry - Melbourne CBDVIC
- FTIT Systems ManagerNSW
- CCSolutions Architect (Data Warehouse/Application Integration) - Contract - SydneyNSW
- FTProject SchedulerSA
- CCNetwork AdministratorVIC
- FTFront End Developer / UXNSW