Grade-level writing - tool suggestions?

Subject: Grade-level writing - tool suggestions?
From: "Hughes, Linda" <Linda -dot- Hughes -at- respironics -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2004 16:20:53 -0500

Warm fuzzy of the day: My boss called me in to request some help from my "Tech Writer's list."


A "Provider Manual" for one of our ventilator units is written for a medically-trained audience. Not super-technical, but certainly high-school to college level. We need to rework the manual and reduce it to a 7th grade reading level for use by homecare patients and their families.

So far our other tech writer has been editing, copying the text from Frame into a Word doc, then analyzing it with the Flesch-Kincaid scale provided in Word. He's not having much luck. Even when it does work, it's a slow, painful way to re-write a 200 page manual.

I've checked the archives to see if there might be a plug-in for Frame, or another program to make this process easier. Grammatik was mentioned, and a few others, but the posts were too old to put any confidence in the information.

Has anyone else gone through this process recently? Any ideas on the fastest, least painful way to accomplish the job? We could even throw a few bucks at it, if the right software presented itself.

Many thanks.

Linda Hughes
Sr. Technical Writer / Translation Coordinator
Respironics Novametrix, LLC.

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