How to Check the Readability of Your Writing With Microsoft Word

21 Jul
2011
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After writing your copy one of the first things you should do is check the readability of your writing. Some people want sophisticated copy that is hard to read, while others want something that’s easy to read. It would be hard to get an accurate measurement just by reading it. You need a software or a tool that will give you an accurate score.

In seconds, you will learn how to do it by yourself right on your computer. There’s no need to pay for, or download a software to do this. You’ve probably got this software on your computer already. I’m going to show you how to check the readability of your writing using Microsoft Word in seconds.

The first thing you need to do is open a Microsoft Word document.

 

 

 

 

 

After opening the page click on the windows sign located on the left corner of the page.

This will open the menu. Click on the “Word Options” tab here.

This will open up the word options window. On this window click on “Proofing” which can be found on the left column. In the proofing section check “show readability statics” and then click “ok”.

Now you can check the readability of your document.

Go to the review section of Microsoft word and perform a spell and grammar check by clicking on “Spelling and Grammar”.

If you have any corrections to do either do them or just ignore them and then the Readability statics window will pop up. If everything is correct the readability statistics will automatically pop up.

This shows you the Flesch Reading Ease and Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level. These two scores will help you measure your writing’s readability.

Flesch Reading Ease: This readability measure was developed by Rudolph Flesch, who was an expert at measuring readability. This uses a formula which takes in word and sentence length. The higher you score the better. 60 is the score you need to have for simple English. The higher you go the simpler the writing is.

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level: This has been developed with relation to the US grade school reading ages. A score of 7 means that 7th grade students can understand your text, which is around the age of 12.

Both my grades show that my writing is simple and that kids around the age of 12 can understand my reading. Yaay for me! As I believe that writing simple is the way to go.

This test also gives you the number of sentences per paragraph, words per sentence, characters per word, percentage of passive sentences and a few other stats that will help you work on improving the readability of the writing.

For tips on improving readability, i.e. writing at the simplest level, read our article on improving the readability of your white paper. This article has been written for improving the readability of white papers, but it actually applies to anything you write.

So what software do you use to check the readability of your writing?

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