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Office software Reviews
15,670 Reviews

WhiteSmoke General Writing 2009 review

$79 (around £40)

Manufacturer: WhiteSmoke

Our Rating: We rate this 3.5 out of 5 User Rating: Our users rate this 5 out of 10

WhiteSmoke General Writing 2009 aims to improve upon WhiteSmoke 2008 with a revamped user interface, updated style-checking engine and relevant grammar corrections.

WhiteSmoke General Writing 2009 is spell- and grammar-checking software. It aims to improve upon WhiteSmoke 2008 with a revamped user interface, updated style-checking engine and relevant grammar corrections.

WhiteSmoke General Writing 2009 also adds error explanations to help you improve your writing. All flavours of WhiteSmoke 2009 include useful templates, English lessons and a dictionary.

The basic principles and price structure remain the same. The program comes in several flavours, from the $79 WhiteSmoke General Writing 2009, through several packages aimed at specific areas of industry, up to the $249 Executive Package that contains them all. We tested General Writing.

WhiteSmoke is application agnostic. Whenever you're writing, it can be called upon by hitting F2. A WhiteSmoke General Writing 2009 window appears, showing your copy with ‘errors' highlighted and suggested corrections. Should you desire, WhiteSmoke appears on the fly to offer assistance, but this is a little too Clippy for our liking, and we soon switched it off.

WhiteSmoke General Writing 2009's user interface is a definite improvement, clearer and more intuitive. Errors are broken into three, colour-coded categories: spelling, grammar and style. If you're unsure of a grammar or style point, you can further investigate each error with WhiteSmoke's assistance.

Indisputably, WhiteSmoke General Writing 2009 is a robust spellchecker. And it's UK-specific, unlike your word processor, we'd wager. WhiteSmoke is also a helpful grammar crutch, but it is by no means a panacea. And if you're shelling out over and above the cost of your office suite for a product such as this, it really should be.

For instance, in our tests, simple errors such as leaving no space after a fullstop were not picked up by WhiteSmoke General Writing 2009. And your OS's free text editor will do that.

Literal errors such as 'were' and 'where' can also slip through the WhiteSmoke General Writing 2009 net. And your reviewer refuses to take style tips from a program that still fails on the less/fewer test. Must do better.

WhiteSmoke General Writing 2009 Expert Verdict »

Windows 2000/XP/Vista, Mac OS X
Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Google Chrome
internet connection
  • Ease of Use: We give this item 8 of 10 for ease of use
  • Features: We give this item 7 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 6 of 10 for value for money
  • Overall: We give this item 7 of 10 overall

If you lack confidence in your writing skills, WhiteSmoke General Writing 2009 may prove to be a boon. And General Writing stays just the right side of overpriced. But as with all such tools, caveats apply - don't rely on WhiteSmoke alone to make sure your copy is pristine.


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