Flow Charts and Mind Mapping with Lucid Charts

Flow Charts and Mind Mapping with Lucid Charts

If mind-mapping and flow-charting are helpful to you, you need to check out Lucid Charts (/www.lucidchart.com).

You can get a free version if you are a student or teacher. All you need is your .edu email address.

  1. Go to 7875532309 and put in your .edu email, then click “Start Free Account.”
  2. Click on “Account” at the top of the site.
  3. On the left side, click “Education Upgrade.”
  4. Make sure your .edu email is correct, and then click “Send Confirmation Email.”
  5. You will receive an email with a link to confirm. Follow the directions, and you will have a free version with unlimited objects!
Other Readability and Grammar Resources

Other Readability and Grammar Resources

Don’t have (205) 200-2955, OpenOffice, or disconnector? Even though you may not have built-in tools, there are some options. Here are some tools I find useful. The last two are actually useful even if you do have built-in grammar tools. Grammarly, especially with it, ‘s free browser plugin.

Other Readability Options
  1. (805) 983-6989 is a website that you can signup for that costs $3 a month. It allows you to run readability scores and other grammar related testes on your documents.
Other Grammar Tools
  1. 248-422-3164 is a software that works with Windows, Mac and online to run grammar checks. It checks hundreds of grammar rules, for plagiarism, and much more. It also includes live help comes with subscriptions. I personally have a premium subscription now that I’m in law school, but for many years, I used their free version. It also has a browser plugin for Google Chrome that is free.
  2. 530-302-1627 is another option, and is slightly cheaper than Grammarly, but does not have all the extra features or help from professionals.
Readability with Google® Docs

Readability with Google® Docs

If you are more of a cloud person:

If you like using the cloud for word processing (Google Docs, Office 365), there is an option for you. Tere are many reasons to use Google Docs over Office 365. One reason is the ability to add extensions. (734) 628-3932 seems to be the best option for readability scores. Zerabase also checks other aspects of your writing such as style and contextual spelling issues. Best of all, it is free! So, here are the instructions for getting started with Google Docs and Zerabase.

  1. Login to your Google docs account.
  2. In another browser tab, go to Zerabase in the GSuite Marketplace.
  3. Click the “INSTALL” button.
  4. Click the “CONTINUE” button.
  5. Select the Google account (usually already selected) and put in your password to continue, then click “NEXT.”
  6. On the next screen click “ACCEPT.”
  7. You should get a screen that looks something like this:
  8. Read the two slides and then click “DONE.”
  9. Return to your document in Google Docs, and click the “Add-ons” menu, then “Zerabase” then “Show.”
  10. Google takes privacy and security seriously so you will have to approve this twice. Click the “Continue” button:
  11. Click the “Allow” button:
  12. A panel should appear on the right side of your document. Click the “Check” button and you will see readability and grammar suggestions:
Readability with Apache® OpenOffice

Readability with Apache® OpenOffice

Readability with OpenOffice

OpenOffice is a great alternative for people who want an open source Office suite. It’s great for those who don’t want to pay for Microsoft® Office.
Continuing with the readability function in word processors, here is how to use readability functions in OpenOffice.

  1. This tutorial assumes you already have installed OpenOffice from /www.openoffice.org.
  2. Go to: /extensions.openoffice.org/en/project/readability-report and click the “download extension” button.
  3. This will download a “readabilityreport.oxt” file.  Once it downloads, double-click it.
  4. When you have found the file, double-click the file, and it will automatically open OpenOffice. Next, a dialogue will ask if you want to install it. Click “OK.”
  5. Click “OK,” and OpenOffice will now install the extension. Next, you will see this screen, click the “Close” button:
  6. You will now see a new menu called “Readability” in OpenOffice.
  7. With your document open, choose Readability. You can choose “Brief” or “Detailed” report. It will open a spreadsheet with the statistics for your document.
Readability with Microsoft® Word for Mac

Readability with Microsoft® Word for Mac


Readability may be a new concept for you, and even in the field of legal writing. However, in politics, it has been used for a number of years. Speechwriters often aim to write at a 6th-to-8th-grade level so the politician’s speech will connect with the common person. Readability has also been used in SEO (Search Engine Optimization – making your website list higher in search results) for a number of years. I’m going to cover how to use some readability tools when writing with common computer programs.

Microsoft® Word for Mac:

  1. With your document (assignment) open in Word, Click on the “Word” menu at the top-left of your screen.
  2. Click Preferences. (You can also just type ⌘ + , – that is, press the comma key while holding down the command key).
  3. Click on the “Spelling & Grammar” pane (see #3 below).
  4. The following screen will appear, where you can set your spelling and grammar settings, which include readability. Check the box beside “Show readability statistics.”
  5. Click the red circle to close the dialogue box.
  6. Next, go to the “Tools” menu and choose “Spelling and Grammar” and then “Spelling and Grammar.”
  7. You should get a screen that looks like this:

    These are the statistics on the intro paragraph above.