Quick Tip:
Are You Writing “Too Smart?”

Your prospects don’t want to read copy that challenges them intellectually. They want copy that’s easy to read – short sentences and familiar words.

Microsoft Word comes with a handy tool that can help you revise your copy to make it more “reader friendly.” It’s called Readability Statistics.

Once activated, this tool will automatically display the following helpful information at the end of a spelling/grammar check of your document:


  • Words
  • Characters
  • Paragraphs
  • Sentences

AVERAGES (Lower is generally better)

  • Sentences per Paragraph
  • Words per Sentence
  • Characters per Words


  • Passive Sentences (Fewer are better; keep it below 10%)
  • Flesch Reading Ease (Higher is better)
  • Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level (Aim for around a 6th-grade level)

If Readability Statistics is not already activated on your computer, here’s how to do it:

  1. On the Tools menu, click Options. Then click the Spelling and Grammar tab.
  2. Select the “Check grammar with spelling” check box.
  3. Select the “Show readability statistics” check box. Click “Okay.”
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Published: July 10, 2006

1 Response to “Quick Tip: Are You Writing “Too Smart?””

  1. Are there similar tools in products other than Microsoft Word? We don't use Microsoft products.


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