It seems PerfectIt 5 is an editor’s heaven, but I’m not privy to the software as an iMac user. The latter didn’t seem bothersome as I’ve been in a habitual, dedicated relationship with one document editing system for a few years now. However, when I heard Intelligent Editing was creating a new PerfectIt Cloud software, I jumped gleefully at the opportunity to review it. Since compelling iMac owners to purchase a PC solely to accommodate PerfectIt didn’t seem plausible, the engineers at Intelligent Editing created a Cloud version of the software. The idea of linking a document editing program to The Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) Online seems like an encounter with a mythical creature. It’s the Pegasus for which other editing software programs didn’t think to capitalize.
Manually thumbing through CMOS can be intimidating on a good day and downright daunting when one needs to retrieve a style rule in a jiffy. Conveniently, PerfectIt Cloud provides a digital experience where professionals have direct access to CMOS guidelines and modifications with a click of the PerfectIt button in Word’s title bar. After several weeks of tinkering with the software, the CMOS collaboration is its most significant selling point. It is the rock star driving the reason PerfectIt Cloud may be more attractive to professionals who rely heavily on CMOS. When I failed to italicize “The Chicago Manual of Style” in my review’s rough draft, the software presented a pleasant but assertive message, “The title of a book is usually italicized, including an initial ‘The’ belonging to the title. See more from CMOS 8.168.” Agreed. Thank you kindly for the reminder and the rule!
In my current editing practice, I’m accustomed to completing an assessment within a certain amount of time, depending on the word count. Therefore, my one criticism is the time the program takes to complete an error and consistency check. Although seeing the CMOS rules appear beside my Word document made me giddy, it took more time to see them than I preferred. My waiting period for a document containing 1,400 words or less is roughly twenty minutes, sometimes much longer. I’ve conducted several assessments on various documents (professional editing projects, blog posts, graduate school writing assignments) at different times of the day. Unfortunately, my efforts were inconsequential.
Chris McKay, the customer support manager at Intelligent Editing, graciously spoke with me regarding my issue. He provided insight into and a remedy for the lag time. Unlike PerfectIt 5, the Cloud requires continuous internet connection and patience. Any break in connectivity, however slight, may cause a lag in the editing assessment. Additionally, McKay informed me an Apple user might run into issues using a Windows add-on. He recommended a hard drive partition; it splits the Mac drive into two sections—one for the Mac system and one for Windows. That way, the user can choose the Windows operating system when she wants to use PerfectIt for a timely edit.
Is the Cloud version as perfect as its Windows-friendly counterpart? Not yet. But McKay and the engineers at Intelligent Editing are working to make it so.
Latoya Johnson is an editor, graduate student, and U.S. Air Force veteran who spends most days lounging on her back porch. She lives in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, with her daughter and pet rabbit.