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Got a Mac? Let Alex proof your writing before you post it

I just wrote about using the text to speech capabilities with Alex yesterday and already I have found a use for "him" that is very cool and I want to share with you.

Have you ever had to write a significant e-mail that you read through several times before sending out? How about a blog post, or even a comment that will be published on the web for all to see? You know the kind: you want to make sure you are sending the right message and that it reads well. What I started doing yesterday has become something that I think I'll be doing all the time moving forward.

Highlight the text right before you hit Send or Publish and let Alex read it back to you. Does it read Okay? Is your sentence structure clear? As the author of the text you write you will probably have the tendency to gloss right over a phrase that is difficult to read because you don't see it the same way.

I've found that if I let Alex read over it I get a chance to hear what my words will really sound like before I even show them to others. For this purpose I have assigned the Command-Option-S key combination to my friend Alex.

He reads it back to me before I send it off and I get a sense for what my words actually sound like. Thanks Alex!

2 comments:

Paul said...

Hi David,

I've a couple of apps to recommend. As someone who likes keyboard shortcuts very much, they're very useful.

1) 1Password. The best password manager for Mac. It integrates with Keychain, meaning everything is secure. You can then fill in webforms with a quick flick of [apple] + [\]. I recommend telling the program to remember forms automatically, and don't forget to import all your data from Firefox/Safari first..

2) Coversutra. By pressing [shift] + [apple] + [space] it launches a Spotlight-like interface for searching iTunes. It also allows you to easily assign keyboard shortcuts to iTunes functions - eg next song is [cntrl] + [apple] + [right].

I found these took me a few minutes to learn new habits, but are saving me a lot of time. Unfortunately neither is free, but CoverSutra is included in Mac Heist - http://www.macheist.com/

Enjoying your blog!

Paul

David Alison said...

@Paul: I've read about 1Password briefly - I'll check it out. I love the idea of having forms filled out for me, though Safari has actually been doing a pretty good job of that on it's own. I'll check that and Coversutra out. Thanks man!