Cleartext Limits Your Writing To The 1000 Most Common Words In English

Cleartext Limits Your Writing To The 1000 Most Common Words In English

Mac: Last year, XKCD’s Randall Monroe released Simple Writer, a web app that restricted your writing to the top 1000 most commons words in the English language. If web apps aren’t your thing, Cleartext is a free Mac app that does the same thing. Cleartext follows the same principle as Simple Writer: when you’re trying to explain something complicated, you want to use common language so more people will understand it. When you’re writing (sadly, Cleartext doesn’t support pasting text in), Cleartext highlights any word that isn’t in the top 1000 most commonly used words to help you simplify what you’re trying to say. This can be useful when you’re preparing a presentation for someone outside your field, a big inter-office memo or if you’re working on any other block of text that you’re struggling to make readable. If you work in an industry with a lot of jargon, it can be helpful to highlight that jargon so you can come up with words everyone understands. As an app, Cleartext is a simple text editor, but it does support different fonts and text sizes alongside a full-screen mode. Cleartext isn’t a tool you’ll use all the time, but it’s useful to keep around nonetheless.

Cleartext (Free) [GitHub]


  • Great thing this APP…sometimes I’d just love to have the contrary, to improve my written English skills 😉

    • So many amateur e-book writers fail to understand the difference between an uncommon word and a concise word. With so many human brains incapable of performing the feat I doubt you’ll find a piece of software to do it. When is the last time you heard someone use the word “chagrin”? Depending on the context “embarrassment” or “shame” are far better words and everyone knows exactly what you mean. Another common one is “perspicacity” where “shrewd” “alert” or “smart” are usually better but they use the obscure word to show how smart they are. I translate a lot of technical service manuals into plain English instructions, jargon is my enemy. I’m sure Thinkpol would approve, now if anyone has any suggestions for improving your grammar I’d love to know, mine is ungood.

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