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Thomson Elite DealProof

By Brett Burney

January/February 2007 Table of Contents


Proofreading is a tedious task, especially when you are in a rush to file or send a large document. Wouldn’t it be nice if you had a little help checking your defined terms, looking for missing punctuation and ensuring your phrasing is consistent? Deal Proof from Thomson Elite does exactly that — it reads through and analyzes your document, then assembles a list of flagged issues for you to review.

As you might surmise, Deal Proof is no substitute for a human proofreader, but it certainly can help when staff is short-handed or time is limited. Once installed, Deal Proof integrates with both Microsoft Word and Corel Word­Perfect. When you are ready to have Deal Proof analyze a document, you can launch it from within your word processing program. Deal Proof opens at the bottom of your document as a small window containing a menu bar and a row of buttons.

First is the “Analyze” button, which starts the process. Deal Proof checks for any numeration discrepancies in the organizational structure of your document and for certain missing punctuation. It also makes sure every key term you use is defined somewhere in the document. These items might seem trivial, but Deal Proof helps make sure your document looks consistent and professional when it leaves your office.

Once Deal Proof has generated a list of issues, you can click on the tiny flag button to walk through each item one by one. You might be surprised at how many issues are flagged by Deal Proof until you realize that a computer application errs on the side of caution. In other words, you will find that many issues are harmless, but at least Deal Proof provides another opportunity to check everything.

If you would like to view a list of all your flagged items rather than jump through them one by one, Deal Proof offers a “Reports” feature that nicely lists your flagged items in table format.

Once you review and correct any outstanding flagged items, you can use Deal Proof’s other tools to see a list of referenced case law and statutes, double check the pagination of your table of contents and review a catalog of the key phrases used in the document to make sure they are consistent throughout the document. Deal Proof also allows you to analyze related documents that are linked or referenced from your main document. This helps provide a consistent flow across a whole collection of related documents.

Deal Proof only works on Word (.doc) or WordPerfect (.wpd) documents, and it can’t read a Rich Text Format (.rtf) document. This should not be a problem, though, because Word is the default word processing program these days, and WordPerfect is a close second.

While Deal Proof will work on any type of legal document, I don’t see as much of a use for it to review litigation documents or office memos. Those documents usually are short enough to proofread manually and usually don’t include a long list of defined terms or key phrases that need to be checked repeatedly.

However, if you regularly find yourself reviewing large transactional documents such as contracts, corporate bylaws, leases or financial reports, then I can truly see a use for Deal Proof. There is so much information in those documents and Deal Proof can at least provide another method of review to ensure consistency and accuracy.



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