Review: Readable

In today’s blog post I review Readable. As the name suggests, Readability allows you to check how readable your text is. Readable describes itself as “A collection of tools for improving the quality of your writing. We believe there is a clearer, smarter and better way to write. A way that helps your readers easily understand what you are trying to say, promote or describe. With unrivaled readability scoring, we help marketers, authors, lawyers, and anyone else with a passion for writing.”

Key Features

One of the key features that made me decide to purchase the pro version was the list of algorithms that Readability can score against. 

  • Flesch Reading Ease
  • Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level
  • Gunning Fog Index
  • Coleman-Liau Index
  • Common European Framework of Reference for Languages
  • SMOG Index
  • Automated Readability Index

You can upload a document to score large pieces of content or you can type/copy and paste text directly into the text analyser tool. You can also enter a web address and score the readability of a website. Documents that can be uploaded include:

  • Word doc and docx
  • CSVs of Text or URLs
  • PDF
  • HTML / Web pages
  • Plain text and rich text (rtf)
  • Ebooks
  • Markdown

There are some other cool tools that you can use too! I didn’t really have a use for it, but the Gender Analyser tool was very interesting to use. It picked up that 2 modules I had written were more feminine, whilst the other two were more masculine. I suppose knowing this information is useful for writing consistently. There is also a Buzzword Detector a Case Converter and a Hedge Word Detector. 

Readable. Picture taken from the website that shows the Text Analyser screen.
Background and Purpose

My day-to-day writing tools include Grammarly and PerfectIT Pro. For a recent project I needed a scoring mechanism for identifying the readability of content. Readability can be defined as the reading level someone needs to be at in order to read a piece of content with ease. To give you an idea about what this means and why it is relevant, the average reading age in the UK is 9. Book publishers, magazines and newspapers will score content for readability to ensure the writing style is suitable for the target audience. There are many algorithms that can be used to generate a readability score, one of the most popular is the Flesch-Kincaid test and Fog index.

Review and Experience

I uploaded content for 4 e-learning modules into Readable. The application is incredibly easy to use, it scored my document quickly and I was able to download a .csv version of the results. This data was brilliant for my Masters project as I was able to show a before and after comparison. It identified that my content contained a lot of difficult to read words and long sentences and I was able to adjust these to lower the overall reading age.

The upload tool is really useful as I didn’t have to copy and paste all my content into the Text Analysis. Once the document had been successfully scanned an email was sent to me to tell me the report was ready to view. This didn’t take very long at all.

After using the trial I decided to purchase the pro version as it’s really reasonably priced. The website lets you use the Text Analyser for a short period of time before timing out so you can try before you buy.

Pros and cons

The pros:

  • The application is intuitive and familiar which makes it easy to use and easy to understand.
  • The generated score reports are great as you can compare a lot of data from a single document.
  • Reasonably priced.

The cons:

  • I had to turn email notification off as every time I uploaded and scanned a document it would send me a notification. This became annoying after the 12th email in 2 hours.
  • I found it hard to edit documents which had been uploaded previously and couldn’t work out how to rescan amended content. I ended up reuploading my documents. This could be user error on my part!
Summary

A great, easy to use, reasonably priced readability tool. If you are looking for something to help improve your content’s consistency and help improve overall readability, then this is definitely a tool to consider. It’s a great tool to use if you are looking to meet particular content standards and need to generate reports or gather evidence to meet particular criteria. 

Checkout Readable by visiting the website https://readable.com/

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