How to Use BriefCatch

Learn How to Use the BriefCatch Functions

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To use the software, open Microsoft Word. BriefCatch works entirely within Word, allowing you to edit your documents in real time. Along the top ribbon in Word, click on the BriefCatch tab to open the BriefCatch functions:

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In this tab, you will see these options:

Runs BriefCatch on the current document, or selected portion, and scans for thousands of possible suggestions.
Clears the BriefCatch markup.
Scans the document and displays global statistics based on five proprietary algorithms that each yield a maximum score of 100.
Generates a one-page narrative report on the current document that shares data on sentence and paragraph length, possibly overused language, and general strengths and weaknesses.
Displays information about the BriefCatch software and license.
Allows you to share feedback, report issues, or make suggestions.

"Catching" a Document

After you click Catch, the software will scan your document in seconds.

The Catch function will apply thousands of rules and algorithms and will highlight matches throughout the text. A side panel will suggest changes and offer general editing advice.

Note: By default, the Catch function will run on the entire document. However, you can also select the text you'd like to analyze before clicking on Catch. BriefCatch will only analyze the selected text.

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Up or Down

Click “Change” to make the suggested change. If you see more than one wording option, click on the one that seems best in context. Click “Ignore” to leave the text as is. And click “Ignore All” if you want to disable a given rule, not just for the sentence you’re reviewing but for the rest of the document.

Getting Around

You can also click on any highlighted words and phrases in the document to jump to the associated suggestion. Once you have worked through all suggestions, click “Clear” to remove any remaining formatting.

Offense or Defense?

You’ll need to use your own judgment at all times. You’ll encounter the occasional false positive or suggestion that just doesn’t work for your particular document. For example, BriefCatch will flag the phrase “before this Court” because it can so often be cut to just “here” or to nothing at all. Yet you might, say, write “before this Court” before something like “rules on this issue,” in which case you should leave the phrase as is.

On the other hand, many of the changes are designed to help you shorten your words, sentences, and documents. Although there, too, you’ll need to use your own judgment, don’t be too quick to tell yourself that the longer words and constructions in the original convey “nuances” that the proposed shorter alternatives do not.

Consider the Source

You will also get suggestions on tone and on the use of case law. This advice reflects input that hundreds of judges have shared with the creator of BriefCatch.

What’s My Number?

At any time, you can also click on the “Stats” tab at the upper left of the screen to see how your editing is boosting your scores. Learn more about scores.

Wrap It Up

The report option is another way to get global feedback on your document and, perhaps, on your general writing skills.