Whether you’re researching, writing, or editing, Word add-ins are a guaranteed way to enhance and speed up your workflow as a journalist. Here are our favourite Microsoft Word add-ins for journalists to help you increase productivity, reduce distractions, and source content — right from your creative space.
In a past blog post, we highlighted the 7 best Google Chrome extensions to help journalists save time and now it’s time to shine a light on Word. With over 2,000 Word add-ins to choose from, you can transform your document in countless ways for added functionality and boosted productivity.
Editing long-form features, compiling information for fact-heavy articles, adding links to boost search engine optimisation (SEO) and proof-reading can all feel like lengthy tasks. But there’s always a Word add-in that can help. With just a few clicks, you can extend the capabilities of your document to best fit your needs.
Like our team at LOYAL, Microsoft has also been exploring the use of AI technology to improve their offering to journalists. Check out Microsoft 365 for journalists where you can find a list of resources on how to set up your own reporter notebook and sync this with your calendar for effortless note-taking during interviews and meetings here.
Before we dive into our list of essential add-ins, let’s first go over how to install add-ins for Microsoft Word to get started.
How to install Word add-ins?
We all know add-ins are great, but how do you actually find and download them? It’s simple: open a Word document and follow these steps to get started. You can browse a list of helpful add-ins and search under specific categories to quickly locate exactly what you’re looking for:
1. Click File > Options > Add-Ins.
2. Select an add-in type.
3. Click Go.
4. Select the add-ins to add, remove, load, or upload. Or browse to locate add-ins to install.
If you’re using Office 365 for the web, you can simply type “add-ins” into the search bar and find a list of add-ins under “store” on the Office Add-ins page.
Make a note of these Word add-ins for journalists to strengthen your writer’s toolkit.
Key benefits: Flagging up grammar, spelling and punctuation errors.
The Grammarly add-in for Word is essential for any content creator looking for a second set of eyes on their work before they file. The add-in spots grammar and spelling errors, assists with tone of voice and helps you edit long sentences with complicated structures into clear and engaging copy.
Download Grammarly here.
2. LOYAL AI
Key benefits: Searching for news articles across the web right from your document.
With LOYAL you can analyse your entire document or specific sections of text using advanced AI technology to retrieve the most relevant news content to what you’re writing about in seconds, with the added benefit of SEO metrics, article topics and quick-glance sentiment analysis.
For journalists, researching a piece is often the most time-consuming and frustrating part of the process. Repetitive searches and hopping between multiple browser tabs to find a great case study or statistic can be overwhelming. With support from the Google News Initiative and Innovate UK, our team of natural language processing (NLP) experts have built an easy-to-use journalism tool that sits right within a journalist’s creative space.
Find new angles and reputable sources with just one click, without having to leave your creative space and disrupting the writing process.
Find out more about LOYAL’s Microsoft Word add-in and how it can transform your workflow as a journalist.
Key benefits: Keep your work consistent by setting editorial rules.
Writer is a fantastic tool that enables you to set up editorial rules within a Word document. It’s a great way to keep tone of voice consistent across your publication. If for example you’re aiming for a confident tone of voice, Writer will flag up ways you can amend words and phrases to be more direct and assertive.
Download the Writer Microsoft Word add-in here.
4. I Should Be Writing
Key benefits: Hit your deadlines!
This is a great add-in that allows you to measure your writing and compete against your best times. Use it to improve your earnings per hour or writing. We all need goals. ‘I Should Be Writing’ allows you to measure your improvement. It’s also a good way to show you if the writing projects you’re currently working on are actually worth the time taken.
Download the I Should Be Writing Microsoft Word add-in here.
Key benefits: Quick, preliminary research.
With the Wikipedia add-in for Word you can search directly in the app or highlight words within your document to pull up results for speedy, effortless research. Adding quotations is simple as you can select the content in the task pane and click to insert it within quotations into your document.
Download the Wikipedia Microsoft Word add-in here.
6. Pickit Images
Key benefits: Access to a library of free images.
Do you ever find yourself stumped trying to find the perfect header image for your article? Enter Pickit Images. This nifty add-in lets you scan a library of free images. Simply download the add-in and choose striking imagery to add to your article, right from your document.
Download the Pickit Images Microsoft Word add-in here.
Key benefits: Speed up your writing time.
We’re a big fan of using AI to speed up tasks here at LOYAL. And this is a powerful paraphrasing tool using AI to do just that. Download QuillBot for assistance in cutting down lengthy, complex content. It provides endless suggestions of different words and phrases to use that could help you craft a tightly-edited article.
Download the QuillBot Microsoft Word add-in here.
With these great Word add-ins for journalists, you’ll be able to produce your best work in less time. You won’t need to hop between web browsers and applications. If you’re thinking of migrating to Google Docs, don’t forget to check out our article on the best Chrome extensions to save journalists time.
Remember, now you can get the most out of LOYAL within both Google Docs and Word, as well as content management systems (CMS) and across the web. Take a look at what LOYAL can offer you as a content creator.