Editing in the Age of AI: 5 Applications Worth the Download (Plus an Honourable Mention)

by Michael Bedford

Published at 2024-03-27

Recently, artificial intelligence and its arguably endless applications have seemed to dominate the conversations in several aspects of our lives. Many editors are already enjoying the benefits of using the editorial AI applications below, and after looking over the services each offers, it’s easy to see how helpful these tools can be for editors and writers.



Grammarly is one of the top-downloaded editorial AI programs on the market. Although editors will find value in the services that Grammarly offers, writers will likely benefit more from this application. Grammarly scans pieces of writing and offers spelling corrections using a comprehensive dictionary. It also provides suggestions on how to improve clarity, engagement, and delivery. Grammarly’s suggestions on tone and clarity make it useful for all kinds of writing, from text messages to academic journal articles.

Academic writers and editors will also appreciate Grammarly’s plagiarism checker and its suggestions on how to fix stylistic errors.

Grammarly’s easy-to-use interface keeps navigation simple and efficient, and its availability on over 500,000 desktop, mobile, and web applications makes it easy to get started.



As a relative newcomer to the editorial AI business, editGPT, an AI proofreading application from the creators of ChatGPT, is making quick strides as a solid competitor in the field. Offering an exceptionally user-friendly interface, which even allows users to instruct editGPT to do things like “rewrite this for a younger audience,” this application might appeal more to writers of fiction rather than of journal articles. That said, this intuitive application can also be instructed to convert bibliography styles and much more.

If editGPT’s methods sound a bit too hands-off, rest assured that editGPT will track all changes, so users can accept and reject everything on a case-by-case basis.


Scribendi AI

Another juggernaut in the budding industry of AI editorial applications, Scribendi AI offers a somewhat more targeted approach to their product. Although Scribendi AI is missing some of the bells and whistles on offer from its competitors, such as plagiarism detection, it does have an extensive library of words and phrases against which it can check manuscripts for inconsistencies and grammatical errors. This makes Scribendi AI one of the best grammar checkers on offer. So, Scribendi AI could be a good place to start for editors looking to dip their toes in the AI pool without investing a great deal of money or time setting up their editorial preferences.



Another great tool for corporate writers and other writers whose work often sees several rounds of revision, Draftsmith seeks to cut down editorial working time by streamlining the process. The application targets a variety of common elements that editors often seek to improve, such as simplifying language, reducing wordiness, and increasing reader engagement by modifying tone.

Although Draftsmith would be a great tool in any writer’s or editor’s toolkit, its true focus is on corporate writing, so academic or fiction writers may find other editorial AI options on offer more appealing.



I found Marlowe particularly interesting because it—sorry, “she”—is specifically designed to critique fiction manuscripts. And, critique she can: Marlowe can generate a detailed 32-page report on a manuscript in a matter of seconds. This report contains information and suggestions about the manuscript’s pacing, characterization, plot organization, repeated words and phrases, and much more. Marlowe even compares your manuscript to other novels, including current bestsellers, that she thinks are similar to your manuscript.

Both Basic and Pro plans are available for download, or authors can choose to submit their manuscripts for review for $45 a pop. The Basic plan is free but only offers users basic reports, which leave out a variety of useful statistics, including a pacing analysis.


PerfectIt: A Powered-Up Editing Tool, but Not AI

As an honourable mention, we wanted to include PerfectIt, an editorial tool that has been around for a few years now, but is not technically AI. Because PerfectIt does not learn as it goes, enhancing itself and its knowledge base without human intervention, it does not qualify as AI (and its parent company, Intelligent Editing, is quite happy with that fact). It does offer a lot of the same scanning and checking options that the other AI tools in this blog do, but since it never connects to the internet, there are none of the security or intellectual property risks that have been associated with the use of AI in the editorial sphere.

 Available on both Mac and PC as a ribbon tool add-on in Microsoft Word, PerfectIt provides a straightforward interface that scans manuscripts for errors in consistency and spelling, provides suggestions related to common typos, and performs a huge list of additional checks that users can make as comprehensive or as cursory as they desire. Editors and writers of non-fiction will appreciate PerfectIt’s check for abbreviations that don’t include their definitions.

PerfectIt is designed as a proofreading tool, but that speaks to its strengths as a comprehensive editorial tool. PerfectIt includes up-to-date information on a number of style guides and dictionaries, so although all editorial professionals will find value in PerfectIt, the comprehensive nature of PerfectIt might seem a bit daunting to new users. However, if you aren’t so sure about adopting AI tools yet but want something more powerful than a simple spell check, PerfectIt might be just what you’re looking for.


Final Thoughts

When considering using one of the above AI applications, the question that potential users should ask themselves is, “What am I planning on using this for?” Writers and editors of corporate writing probably won’t get what they’re looking for from Marlowe, so it’s important to choose the right AI for the right job.

These applications will all undoubtedly prove to be valuable for writers and editors for years into the future, but they still lack the capacity to replace either group.

Applications like Marlowe and the others mentioned in this post are impressive, but they function best as tools that editors and writers can use to make preliminary checks on their work.



Michael Bedford is a freelance editor, copywriter, and performer living in Stoney Creek, Ontario. He can be reached at


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