LanguageTool standalone

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webfork
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LanguageTool standalone

#1 Post by webfork » Sat Jun 26, 2021 8:17 pm

Background

I’ve been doing a LOT of writing lately so I’ve been digging further into tools like SmartEdit (not-portable), LibreOffice, and now LanguageTool Standalone:

Review

A Java-based spelling and grammar checker, with a lot of extras. It seems to catch quite a few things I don’t care about (their classification for word complexity and “to be” verbs is a little blurry to me), but it also caught a lot of other things I sometimes miss during an edit. It seems to have a lot more available in the standalone version than when I tested the Browser plugin and LibreOffice add-on years ago.

Really it’s nice to see basically ANY program try to come up with better recommendations than Grammarly and Microsoft Word, both of which have their own issues.

Requires: jPortable and JAR launcher

Steps: Download, unzip, and launch languagetool.jar using JAR Launcher.

Status: Portable, writes to JavaPortableLauncher\Data\AppData\languagetool.org\

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Homepage: https://languagetool.org/
Download: https://www.softpedia.com/get/Office-to ... Tool.shtml

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Related: Linguist for LibreOffice

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Re: LanguageTool standalone

#2 Post by webfork » Fri Jan 28, 2022 10:50 am

New version out: v.5.6

It doesn't appear to be advertised on the main site but here's a direct link: https://languagetool.org/download/Langu ... stable.zip

Changelog: https://github.com/languagetool-org/lan ... CHANGES.md

Here's the text of the batch launch file I use to quickly launch with JavaPortableLauncher:

start "" "C:\temp\PortableApps\JavaPortableLauncher\JavaPortableLauncher.exe" "C:\temp\PortableApps\LanguageTool\languagetool.jar"

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Midas
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Re: LanguageTool standalone

#3 Post by Midas » Sat Jan 29, 2022 4:50 pm

FYI, if you put the following batch file launcher in your 'LanguageTool' folder, it'll still work if you move the 'PortableApps' folder elsewhere...

Code: Select all

start "" "%~dp0..\JavaPortableLauncher\JavaPortableLauncher.exe" "%~dp0languagetool.jar"

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Re: LanguageTool standalone

#4 Post by webfork » Sat Jan 29, 2022 8:05 pm

Midas wrote:
Sat Jan 29, 2022 4:50 pm
it'll still work if you move the 'PortableApps' folder elsewhere
Very nice, thanks

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Re: LanguageTool standalone

#5 Post by webfork » Sat Oct 01, 2022 10:05 am

Posting a long overdue review of a software I've come to rely upon ...

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Short version: Of all the language analysis tools out there along the lines of Grammarly and ProWritingAid, this is probably the most customizable. It also is likely the most privacy-friendly as it doesn't need access to external sources. The only negative is that it downloads all of those sources locally so it takes up a lot of space.


TESTING

I ran this on an annual report and was both pleased and frustrated by it.


PERFORMANCE

The program did catch some real issues in my document but it also highlighted a LOT of issues I didn't care about. You have to really look closely and I only accepted about 1 in every 12 of the provided suggestions, which is below average for programs like this. That said, it did catch some things that multiple editors missed, so it's far from junk. You can also modify the rules so it suggests fewer issues.

GOOD SUGGESTIONS

* Extra text - Maybe it's best aspect is that it catches unnecessary terms and phrases that just don't add anything to your text. At least for me, when I get a writer's voice in my head, I just don't see these. Big helping hand to editors.

* Hyphenation - an ongoing pain point in my work as an editor, and this caught a few that I'd missed.

BAD

* Readability - These were maybe the most useless. "High word complexity" is easy to catch but hard to fix. Will likely turn this check off entirely in the future.

* Passive language - Other writing aids have this same issue, always trying to suggest the active voice, e.g. "We could be going to the store" vs. "We are going to the store" when that's not always ideal.


RESOURCE USAGE

Very high. 225 meg download and 372 uncompressed, likely due to multi-language dictionaries. Takes up 1.55 gigs of RAM. Processor usage was very light.


RECOMMENDATIONS

* Do not take recommendations verbatim. This is a very similar problem to Grammarly: just because the program thinks that's a valuable change doesn't mean it makes more sense. You still need to know the English language. This is meant to highlight possible issues, not clear instructions on fixing your text.

For example, it recommended "like" over "similar to" but if you've already got like in the same or nearby sentence as "to enjoy or prefer", that's not an improvement. "It's like how I like my drinks" is not better than "It's similar to how I like my drinks"

* Avoid pasting in one HUGE document and instead break it into parts.

* Because of all the changes you probably don't care about, try clicking "deactivate" for a rule you're not really concerned about. You can reactivate these under options if you change your mind.


OTHER NOTES

* You can also create rules by right-clicking on something and choosing "activate rule" for example if something that doesn't look misspelled in your document, such as if you are editing "lead" as in leaders and "lead" as in the poisonous material.

* Unlike absolutely every other program of it's type lately, this software can be run on a very small screen (like 600x800).

* The nice thing is that there are some rules listed alongside the suggestions so if you're not sure why it's highlighting something, you can dig into the topic.


WISHLIST

* Dark mode.
* When you click a line number in the results list, it would be nice if the top view would go to that line directly.
* Ability to modify both the top and bottom window fonts. Currently it's just the top window.
* Top window and bottom window scroll independently even though there's quite a bit of overlap.

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Re: LanguageTool standalone

#6 Post by Midas » Sun Oct 02, 2022 6:00 am

For common English dialects, this online resource can probably be useful in a hurry, too: :|
Free academic style corrector for modern scientific writing.

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