by Jenne Acevedo

If you use Chicago Style for editing, PerfectIt’s updated editing software may be your new best friend. PerfectIt collaborated with The University of Chicago Press to incorporate The Chicago Manual of Style into their program. Editors across the country rejoice.

When I first tried PerfectIt more than two years ago, I instantly knew I needed it in my editor’s toolbox. Check out my first review of their software, written before I even used it regularly and created my own style. It now checks for consistency in my projects as the finishing touch. I hoped someday they would incorporate Chicago Style, and then I heard the good news.

I could hardly wait to use the update. And it did not disappoint. Right off the bat PerfectIt showed the tried-and-true issues with consistency, except this time it had the corresponding rule from Chicago noted in the bottom right corner. Once clicked, the box displayed the exact rule from CMOS with a direct link to CMOS Online. One more click, this time on the familiar Chicago-red rule number, opened that rule online in my own CMOS account. Additional research instantly available in that specific section of CMOS. Mind blown.

I am thrilled to finally see technology coupled with the industry standard in book publishing. If you already use both PerfectIt and CMOS Online, the update is ready for you to download from PerfectIt’s website right now. No additional fees. If you don’t use both, start your subscriptions today and link them using the steps provided. PerfectIt 5 does not offer the Chicago update without a CMOS Online subscription. Of course, this stellar use of automation for editing does not take the place of a professional editor. Our clients need our expertise and experience to edit their manuscripts, but how nice is it to have a little help along the way? Not only will you love the product, but your clients will also appreciate your going the extra mile to make their work shine.

PerfectIt’s update claims to make me a better editor. I wasn’t sure about this one. I’ve been editing for years, and I stay updated on changes to the style guides. Yet I will admit not knowing every rule by heart. I don’t know many editors who do. We just know where to find that rare rule when we need it: CMOS Online. So when a rule I didn’t recall popped up in PerfectIt’s box, I thought they just might live up to their claim. Only time will tell. But as an editing instructor and mentor, I follow the advice I give my students: Never stop learning. Keep up with the manuals. Read more than just the rule you need. We can all use a good refresher now and then. They just might be right.

Intelligent Editing, creators of PerfectIt, plans to roll out more options in the coming releases. As their collaboration with Chicago strengthens, we all benefit. Stand out as an editor by using this technology.

Disclaimer: In exchange for my unbiased review, I was given a one-year license for PerfectIt and CMOS Online.

As a freelance editor, project manager, and consultant, Jenne Acevedo works with a variety of private and corporate clients. Through Acevedo Word Solutions LLC, she specializes in editing nonfiction, proofreading for publishers, and encouraging both authors and editors. She teaches editors through online courses and one-on-one mentoring. Jenne is a cofounder of Christian Editor Network LLC, former director of The Christian PEN, former director of PENCON (a conference for editors), member of Christian Editor Connection, and instructor for The PEN Institute. She started the Chandler Writers’ Group (AZ) in 2011, which still meets regularly.