Interesting Things WCopyfind Can Do

Here are some uses for WCopyfind that I’ve either heard about or played with on my own. If you have other interesting ideas, please let me know.

1. WCopyfind can compare news services for shared headlines or content.

To do this comparison, create a new folder and fill it with internet shortcuts to the news services you want to compare. Now run WCopyfind and drag all those internet shortcuts into its “New Documents” window. Set the comparison criteria and press “Run.” You’ll see how often the same phrases or headlines appear in the news services.

Note: now that so many news services generate their pages dynamically, those pages change every time you load them. If a page changes between the time WCopyfind reads the page for comparison purposes and the time WCopyfind reads it to generate a report, the report will be scrambled. Fixing this problem is on my To Do List

2. WCopyfind can find which words are most common in the news.

Follow the instructions above for comparing news services, but press “Make Vocab” instead of “Run.” The vocabulary that it builds will be a list of all the words used on those news services and how often they are used. Use a spreadsheet program or word processor to sort this list into order of usage and see which people are mentioned most often.

3. WCopyfind can look for lobbyist language appearing directly in finished legislation

4. WCopyfind can find duplicate communications coming from a war zone

5. WCopyfind can list and count the matching words between two documents

Drag both documents into the “New Documents” window of WCopyfind, set the minimum phrase length to 1 word, choose “Brief Report” and press “Run.” WCopyfind will create two report files that list only the words that the two documents have in common. Now restart WCopyfind and drag both reports into the “New Documents” window. Yes, WCopyfind is going to analyze its own output. This time, press “Make Vocab.” WCopyfind will create a vocabulary listing the shared words and the number of times each of those shared words appears in the two documents. Expect even counts because WCopyfind counts a word’s appearance once for each of the two documents.

6. WCopyfind can check your own writing for bad habits, such as reusing pet phrases.

Create a document that has your pet phrases in it. Repeat each phrase a couple of times so that WCopyfind will be on the lookout for more than just a single use. Then drag that pet-phrase-document into the “New Documents” window of WCopyfind and the documents you want to check into the “Old Documents” window. Set the reporting limit to a low number of words so that you’ll see even a single use of a pet phrase. And run WCopyfind.

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