Review of WhiteSmoke writing tools software – Part I

11 March 2009 By: Print This Post Print This Post Email This Post Email This Post         

Review Summary

What We Like:
  • Free Trial
  • Free Writing Tips Blog
  • Free Writing Tips email
What We Don't Like:
  • Can be pricey if you need more than one module
Our Rating:
Our Rating: 4 out of 5 Pens
Price:  $79 - $249
More Info:
Whitesmoke's free trial

Stop struggling with your travel writing! Writing tools such as WhiteSmoke writing software can enhance and improve your writing. If you’re not a strong writer, consider purchasing WhiteSmoke’s writing and grammar software. After all, they claim you can “write better, right now.”

In part one of this review, we’ll look at the good and surprises of WhiteSmoke. I must say that I was pleasantly surprised by WhiteSmoke. In part two, we’ll look at the bad. Yes, there’s a bad side to WhiteSmoke — it’s not as bad as you may think!

The Good

If you’re a travel writer whose writing is not strong, WhiteSmoke may be worth purchasing. Here’s an excerpt from their home page: “WhiteSmoke 2009 is an innovative proofreading and editing tool with a single aim – to help you write better. Whether you simply want to compose well–written emails to family and friends, or you need professional results for business and corporate settings, WhiteSmoke consistently delivers.” There are a number of reviews and testimonials to back up this claim.

You can use WhiteSmoke with MS Word or other text programs. Spell checking your travel article is not enough. Your travel writing must be spot-on to be published in major publications. With WhiteSmoke 2009 you get grammar, spelling, style, and more.

According to CNN, “ WhiteSmoke is ranked #5 in the Top 31 Business Ideas in the world.” Obviously there’s a need for writing software. Many people cannot spell let alone write complete sentences with correct grammar and punctuation. Never fear, WhiteSmoke can help you improve your writing.

The surprises

WhiteSmoke allows customers to “try the software before they buy it.” Take advantage of this. If you’re not completely sold on this product or any product for that matter, try it first and then spend the money. Many companies are giving customers the option to use software for a 30-day or 60-day trial. This will save you time and money in the long run. Plus, it shows that a company stands by its product without any strings attached. This is rare.

WhiteSmoke has a blog and it’s free! This is a fantastic blog to subscribe to whether or not you need writing help at this moment. I checked out the blog on adverbs and it was a great refresher courses. I also enjoyed the blog “Using Strong Verbs and Nouns.” It reminded me to use my thesaurus more often.

The blog “Stronger Writing with the Active Voice,” will help you improve your writing in the active voice. As writers, we may fall into a writing slump and write bland articles. Give your writing a makeover and make sure you write in the active voice. WhiteSmoke reminds writers that “in the active voice, the subject of a sentence performs an action.” This is a great reminder.

If you would like writing tips at the click of a button, sign up for WhiteSmoke’s Weekly Grammar and Writing Tips newsletter. They offer fresh content that will be delivered to your inbox. Check out the forum and post your question. You can even post a sample of your writing and receive feedback. This was a wonderful surprise.

Will you make the investment?

What do you think so far? Do you think WhiteSmoke is a good investment? If you make your living as a writer, you’ll take steps to enhance or improve your writing; WhiteSmoke can help you. In part two of this review, we’ll look at the bad and silver lining. Stay tuned!

Rebecca

Based on the above information, would you purchase WhiteSmoke’s writing software?


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18 Responses to “Review of WhiteSmoke writing tools software – Part I”

  1. DuchessofWriting says:

    Looking forward to part two. Thanks for the review.

  2. Anna says:

    I use whitesmoke and it really works for me. They dont have the free trial version anymore though – its a 30 day money back guarantee.

    Corrects grammar mistakes, spelling, punctuation and also style issues like wordiness, awkward phrasing, passive voice. Its a pretty good product for people who want to make sure things are caught that word processors usually don’t even look for.

  3. Trisha
    Twitter:
    says:

    Hi Anna

    Thanks for the feedback – I’m really glad you like it and that it works for you!

    I double-checked and Whitesmoke does still offer a free download that you can try for 30 days, so you don’t have to buy it first if you don’t want to….perhaps you went into their site through some other link like a store link to buy the product, or their homepage.

    Anyone who clicks on our link to Whitesmoke should definitely get the free trial download page…..I just checked it and did, but if anyone doesn’t please let us know!

  4. Marge says:

    I can’t download your software to my computer at work. is it possible I get web access to the same information?

    Thanks/marge

  5. Trisha
    Twitter:
    says:

    HI Marge – I assume you mean the Whitesmoke software we reviewed above? It isn’t actually “ours” (wish it was!)…..it can only be obtained through Whitesmoke.com. I do understand your issue about not being able to download and install software on company-owned computer. The good news is that Whitesmoke DOES offer some free online writing tools , but it doesn’t offer all the bells & whistles of their core (download) application, and it limits how much text you can analyze at one time. Still it may be a good interim solution for you, until you can get a computer of your own!

    Good luck!

  6. Lev says:

    As a result of the above discussion, I downloaded the WhiteSmoke software and am enjoying the inbuilt, instant corrections that are made to my writing. I, as a secretary to a CEO, cannot afford to send out letters that have mistakes. Those days are finished. WhiteSmoke does it for me.
    I also had need to contact the support and had satisfaction from their answers and time span in answering me.
    Regarding your comment about downloading at work, I checked this out with support, and if the office has a firewall which is blocking you, you need to contact them and they will get you through the stages of bypassing that. With WhiteSmoke, it seems that they are extremely helpful on all subjects.

    Good luck and let me know if it works for you.
    Lev

  7. Eric says:

    I am new to this openness with comments. Fun and useful.
    The idea is really nice and there is lots to gain.
    Came across it when looking how to go about traveling and writing.

    The WhiteSmoke software that you were discussing is now on my laptop. It is really special.
    I have also suggested to my children to try WhiteSmoke out, and wow, this is a win. They are not English speakers and have gained so much over the past 24 hours of “playing” with the WhiteSmoke software. Since the children are also benefiting from the software, I chose to purchase a 2nd license. I was offered a 50% discount for the 2nd license. Great work. I have connected to the tutorials, which are great….Those, in time, will be of help to the children.
    Even if they chose to use the WhiteSmoke tutorials in a while, once it is downloaded, it is there forever.
    Were any of you users aware of this?
    We will be traveling, and working on our English all at the same time.
    Great discovery. Check it for yourself. http://www.whitesmoke.com

    Please feel free to pass comment. I like to share good stuff on the net.

  8. den says:

    Hey guys…. A great discovery. WhiteSmoke’s support has been wonderful. They have the answers on their fingertips. Helpful and knowledgeable. Most people today are connected to the internet most of the time, which means that it is not a problem, taking into account that is what makes the software so updated and correct. They give suggestions and explanations for the words they suggest. One does not have to accept their suggestions. Options open. Missed plurals, homonyms, grammar corrections are all corrected.
    Nice work.

  9. lat says:

    A great on-line software. I am not sure why it is particularly good for travelers, because it is in fact good for all.
    The WhiteSmoke software has the best support I have come across. The grammar works real well as does the punctuation. I have gotten into using their templates which are excellent and cover a range of needs. They cover business, correspondence, social and many other topics.
    I am learning the rules for English through the site. They also have tips of the day.
    Great software.

  10. Howard says:

    The Whitesmoke software is not only a correction software. The tutorials on the program are quite informative and educational. The Templates are built-in and I have used them often for different occasions. One needs to copy and paste or press “insert” and they are transferred to the text area.
    This is saving me a great deal of effort in thinking what to compose when writing letters or reports.
    I am happy that I came across the site.
    I can highly recommend the WhiteSmoke software

  11. Howard says:

    I have noticed with the WhiteSmoke program that new versions are coming out all the time.
    Nice to know that the software is being updated and improved. As it stands at present, the software corrects written mistakes of all descriptions.
    I like the idea of the different colors that represent the different corrections. Grammar, spelling, style.
    It makes it really easy to understand the mistakes and their reasons.
    Yes, WhiteSmoke also gives the explanation of the word that has been chosen.
    It has so many aspects, a very multipurpose software.

    • Trisha
      Twitter:
      says:

      My biggest issue with the Whitesmoke software is the lack of a free trial period – I really think this keeps a lot of people from buying it because, even though they offer a 30-day refund, many people won’t buy something unless they can try it first. I know I wouldn’t.

      I’m not sure I can continue to recommend this product if they won’t come out with a free trial.

  12. Dean says:

    Was not happy with the process of the free trial. They default to changing your homepage and search engine. Why do companies feel the need to do this? Also program will not run with my current security settings which are necessary for PCI compliance. I was going to purchase the product but have such a bad taste in my mouth from the “free trial” I will search for another solution. Also had to force my laptop off because their product consumed all my CPU power and task manager couldn’t get it shut down. Another annoying feature was the addition of 2 icons on my desktop, one to buy their product and some garbage icon for something else. Makes me afraid of what they may have left on my hard drive. If they have such a good product why all the BS?

  13. Rebecca
    Twitter:
    says:

    Hi Dean,

    I downloaded the 2011 free trial from WhiteSmoke. If you do the ‘Quick’ installation, the program will make Bing your default browser and home page. However, you can do a ‘Custom’ install and click-off the boxes marked next to Bing. WhiteSmoke will install a tool bar on your internet browser but that’s it.

    I never heard of anyone having a problem and there’s no way I’d download a program if it will mess with my computer. WhiteSmoke requires the minimum requirements, i.e. Windows 2000 or current versions, Mac, IE, Safari, Firefox, etc…

    WhiteSmoke is backed by CNN, NBC, and Yahoo! If you’re concerned about the program, contact WhiteSmoke and speak with someone from the company.

    BTW: I removed WhiteSmoke to make sure it easily removes from a computer; in case you change your mind. The program was successfully uninstalled.

    I hope this helps!
    .-= Rebecca´s last blog post: Freelance Writers Use Mediabistro to Find Writing Jobs and Leads =-.

  14. Mel says:

    I was given whitesmoke as a gift and received the disc. The person who ordered it for me spoke with an “online rep” who assured them it would work on my MAC. I have tried to install it and nothing works. i have emailed support twice now and got nothing back. i have called multiple times NO ONE answers, no operator the support mailbox is full and i left a message on the sales number to please be forwarded to the support team. Overall very unhappy and i haven’t even used the product yet.

  15. Ron says:

    How can anyone say anything good about White Smoke. It is the snake oil of Grammer Checkers

    Don’t believe any of the hundreds of websites created by the people at white smoke.

    Their guarantee is worthless. They NEVER refund anyone EVER

    Its function is limited, but worse than that, its Grammer suggestions are often meaningless and completely wrong.

    It WILL NOT improve your writing. It will not, reliably, correct your errors.

    The grammer correctors on Word and Wordperfect are far better than White Smoke.

    You have been warned.

  16. PLEASE NOTE: COMMENTS FOR THIS POST WILL NOW BE CLOSED.

    Although I welcome comments on our posts, this is NOT the appropriate place to complain about Whitesmoke.

    Rebecca tested the product and it worked fine for her. She had no trouble with the free trial period, and was able to easily cancel within that period. She’s had no trouble with contacting them and getting support.

    We do NOT provide support for the software we test. If you have issues with their software PLEASE CONTACT THEM. Please see Rebecca’s links in the comment just prior to this one.

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