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April 9, 2012

Automated AP style-checking software StyleGuard now widely available

Equiom Linguistic Labs Inc. today announced the general launch of software technology that automates the proofing process for Associated Press style. The plug-in software, AP StyleGuard, powered by Equiom, is similar in functionality to Microsoft Word’s spelling and grammar-proofing tools and checks Word documents for AP Stylebook’s fundamental spelling, language, punctuation, usage and journalistic style guidelines.

“We are excited that many of our beta customers, including writers, editors and a judge, found StyleGuard worthwhile for their daily editing and final documentation checks,” said Peter Mau, co-founder of Equiom Linguistic Labs. “Many customer suggestions have been incorporated into the upcoming release.”

Equiom and The Associated Press launched StyleGuard in a limited beta in December and more than a thousand early adopters helped to dramatically improve the product. For example, Equiom programmed more than 500 new style rules, improved usability with better multidocument support and style-checking information, and enhanced the installation process to make it easier for corporate users with computers behind proxy servers that require authentication.

“We developed AP StyleGuard as a Microsoft Office enhancement, by integrating AP Stylebook to allow authors to interactively validate the quality and consistency of news articles, press releases and documents," said Bassam Saliba, co-founder of Equiom Linguistic Labs and an expert in Microsoft technologies.

The most common request was for a Mac-compatible version of StyleGuard, and Equiom is developing a Macintosh tool for a June beta launch.

“We are so grateful to AP Stylebook fans for their invaluable feedback on StyleGuard,” said Colleen Newvine, product manager of the AP Stylebook. “They took an already good product and made it better by offering suggestions on how StyleGuard could help them more with their writing and editing. Stylebook users are a passionate crowd and that makes them the perfect beta testing audience.”

Equiom Linguistic Labs Inc. will regularly offer free software updates to subscribers who purchase the plug-in software to ensure AP StyleGuard reflects the latest AP Stylebook additions and changes.

“We spent more than a year to implement a user-friendly decision rule engine,” Mau added. “The AP Stylebook collection consists of more than 6,000 decision rules highly tuned to provide the authors with timely and useful information and corrections, with minimal false-positive distractions.”

AP StyleGuard operates on Windows XP and higher and on Microsoft Office 2007 and higher; no additional hardware or software is needed (Internet connection is optional). StyleGuard is currently a PC product and is not compatible with Macs.

Updated regularly since its initial print publication in 1953, The AP Stylebook is a must-have reference for writers, editors, students and professionals. The AP Stylebook is used daily by news organizations and communications professionals around the world and is considered by many to be the definitive resource for journalists.

About Equiom Linguistic Labs Inc. Equiom Linguistic Labs, headquartered in Bellevue, Wash., is a software company dedicated to the creation of “All You Need to Write It Right” language tools. Its flagship product, StyleGuard, allows users to interactively validate the quality and consistency of documents against leading writing styles, including the AP Stylebook. Its patent-holding founders are Microsoft veterans with deep technology knowledge and extensive startup experience. The development team collectively helped ship more than 50 successful commercial products including Microsoft Office, Visual Basic for Applications and Microsoft Speech Server. More about Equiom Linguistic Labs at www.style-guard.com.

About The AP The Associated Press is the essential global news network, delivering fast, unbiased news from every corner of the world to all media platforms and formats. Founded in 1846, AP today is the largest and most trusted source of independent news and information. On any given day, more than half the world’s population sees news from AP. On the Net: www.ap.org

For further information:

For Equiom Linguistic Labs Inc.:
Peter Mau

For AP:
Erin Madigan

AP StyleGuard

  • Helps you avoid using redundant words or over-used words
  • Helps you catch capitalization and punctuation issues
  • Catches issues that escape the spell and grammar checkers in Microsoft Word and Outlook
  • Helps you identify issues such as "Should this be one word, two words, or hyphenated"
  • Provides common unit conversions within the document
  • Provides possible abbreviations and checks for correct abbreviation rules

To purchase AP StyleGuard, visit www.apstylebook.com