Using the ReachDeck Editor
A step-by-step guide to using the ReachDeck Editor:
The ReachDeck Editor will help you to write in a way that’s simple, short, clear and error-free.
Follow our guide below. Explore how to improve readability. And discover how to make best use of the online editor.
Step 1: Get started with the ReachDeck Editor
The ReachDeck Editor will help you to write in a way that everyone can understand. From your colleagues, to your customers and beyond. Use it to write emails, reports, task briefs, social posts and more. It'll help you to reach your audiences better.
In this video, gain quick overview of the ReachDeck Editor.
Once you've opened the ReachDeck Editor, this is what you'll see.
To get started, simply start typing. As you type, you’ll notice the ratings on the right-hand side changing. Make sure to switch all the toggles to 'On'. Once they're turned on, the toggles will turn green. And if there are any errors, you'll notice highlights in parts of your content.
Through steps 2-5 we'll explore what each of these highlights mean.
Step 2. Lower reading age
As you type, your content will be given an Overall Reading Age. It’s worked out by looking at your text as a whole. You’ll also be shown a Word Reading Age. This looks at the reading age of specific words.
Use the slider to choose a Word Reading Age. As you do this, you’ll notice that certain words are being highlighted using an orange block with a triangle symbol. The highlighted words have the Word Reading Age that you've selected.
You'll use this tool to lower the reading age of your content. Below, we'll show you how.
What's the recommended reading age?
We recommend that you aim for a reading age of between age 9 and 15 years.
That’s because the average reading age of adults in the UK is just 9 years old. And in the US, it’s between 12 and 14 years old.
How to lower reading age
To lower the reading age of your content, change words that have a high reading age. To do this:
- Use the slider to highlight words with the highest reading age. In the example below the Overall Reading Age is 19. And the highest Word Reading Age is 13. So, you would begin by updating any words with the Word Reading Age of 13.
- Once you’ve done this, start updating the words with the next highest Word Reading Age. In the example below the Overall Reading Age is now 17. And the highest Word Reading Age is 11. So now, you would update any words with the Word Reading Age of 11.
- Keep doing this until your content is as simple as you can make it. For example, after updating words with a Word Reading Age of 11, the Overall Reading Age changed to 12. That’s within the recommended reading age. But we knew we could make the content even simpler.
To help you, here’s some extra resources:
Learn more about readability and what it means. And discover how readability is measured.
Choosing simpler words
To help you to choose simpler words, here’s an A-Z list of Plain English words.
The Texthelp team
We're here to help you make the most out of ReachDeck. So, ask us anything!
Check out the answers to the most frequently asked questions.
Step 3. Cut out jargon words
Jargon words are special words that are used by a profession or a group. That means they may be difficult for others to understand. They should be avoided wherever possible.
As you type, jargon words are highlighted using a green block with a circular symbol. This will help you to find them in your content. To help you replace them, if you hover over the highlighted word, you’ll be given other words to choose from.
Go through your content and remove as many as possible.
Step 4. Shorten long sentences
As you type, long sentences will be highlighted grey. Long sentences are sentences that are 21 words or more.
We recommend that you keep sentences shorter than 21 words.
That’s because studies show that sentences of 21 words are fairly difficult to read. At 25 words, sentences become difficult, and 29 words or longer, very difficult.
To keep your sentences short, stick to one thought per sentence.
Step 5. Remove errors
Not only does the ReachDeck Editor help you to keep your content simple, short and clear. It also helps you to improve the accuracy of your content. So you can feel confident that your work is accessible, and error-free.
Under the ‘Errors’ section of the Editor, you’ll be given the total number of spelling and grammar errors. When you click the toggle button to ‘On’, all spelling errors will be identified with a yellow underline. And grammar errors will have a red underline. Review your content and correct all errors.
Please note: You can change the language from English US to UK spelling. Simply use the drop down menu in the ‘Language’ section to the right-hand side of the Editor.
Tell us what you think
We’d love to hear what you think of the ReachDeck Editor. Tell us how it’s helping you. Or, share your suggestions. As our latest product, your feedback will help us to make ReachDeck even better.
This page has been written using the ReachDeck Editor. It has a reading age of 14 years.
At Texthelp, all our web content is written using the ReachDeck Editor. And we're rolling out the ReachDeck Editor across the entire company. Have you shared the Editor with all your teams?