Antidote - writer's aid

Who has experience using Antidote? It seems like it has been around a long time but I’d never heard of it until Ulysses announced their integration with it:

Here’s the product website. $130 and no trial version. It’s also not clear if it requires an Internet connection to use it.

I emailed them a few weeks ago and asked them if they had a demo version.

They said no.

They emailed back about a week later and said “Look! We have a demo version almost ready for the public. Would you like to try it?”

I downloaded the demo version and it immediately crashed.

I sent them the crashlog(s) and they said they would be back in touch with a version with debugging enabled to try to see what was happening.

Unfortunately, right around that time, COVID-19 happened.

So I would suggest hanging tight for the time being, as there will most likely be a trial version made available to the public once things settle down a bit.

If you wanted to do something in the meantime, you might contact them though their website as I did. Perhaps they will make the demo available to you as well.

Fascinating. I can’t believe this is at version 10 and I’ve never even heard of it.

I keep meaning to review Grammarly, which I’ve subscribed to for a while now. It’s annoyingly helpful. Helpful because it finds mistakes like double spaces, doubled words, typos that are still words, and so on. Annoying because I’m annoyed when I make or fail to catch such mistakes. And because I disagree with it on a fair number of things that are open questions.


Grammarly is super helpful, but the app is absolute trash and makes me irrationally angry.

FWIW - I’ve never heard of Antidote either.

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I never use the Grammarly app because, as you say, it’s worthless. I can’t see how you’d integrate it into any kind of a workflow.

All our writing for TidBITS is done in Google Docs, where Grammarly’s Chrome extension sort of works, so you can see corrections it suggests inline as red underlines, but you can’t open open the Grammarly window to see everything.

I also think it misses stuff in Google Docs, and I say that because after we’re done editing an article, we always paste it into a text area in the WordPress editor, where the Chrome extension works fine. So I always take another pass through Grammarly once we’re in WordPress.

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Personally, I can’t use any tool that sends the text to a server for analysis. I have the impression that Grammarly does that (?), and if Antidote does, that’s a non-starter for me. (And all of this reminds me of the late, great Thunder7 utility.)

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Yes, Grammarly is an online-only tool, so it wouldn’t be acceptable for HIPPA, FERPA, or anything else that has privacy requirements. Happily, TidBITS articles are all destined to be public anyway.

I usually discourage people from using programs like Grammarly or the built in “grammar checker” in word processing programs. As far as I know, grammar is still taught in school.

The utility of Grammarly for many is not about knowing the rules, it’s about catching typos and editing mistakes. I hate the fact that occasional mistakes slip through my editing passes, but at least Grammarly catches many of them.

Exactly, I usually don’t need the grammar advice, but catching double-words, bad punctuation, and other typos is invaluable.

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An additional tool that can help with those kinds of errors is Text-to-Speech. Hearing a robotic voice recite exactly what you typed is excellent for catching double words, missing words, clumsy phrasing and many other unexpected goofs.

In fact I just checked the above paragraph, and discovered I had typed “phasing” rather than “phrasing”.

In most applications, Text-to-Speech can be invoked for a selection by Option-Esc.

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Lots of things are taught in school that people don’t necessarily remember perfectly after graduation.

I was an English major in college, and I have used Grammarly and Antidote. Because all of the education in the world doesn’t make someone immune from making mistakes.

In my case it did.

Bold words from someone who’s profile says that they use an “imac” computer. :slight_smile:

PS: my mistake is intentional, and ironic. Hold your fire.

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and “MacOs Sierra”…


I have had many macs and a few PCs over the years. I don’t understand the negative comments, but if I made a mistake it’s because:

  1. I’m over the hill.
  2. I don’t give a shit.
  3. Communicating over the internet is the worst form of communication. I don’t even like the phone. I prefer carrier pigeon.
  4. I type like shit.
  5. My Ducky One 2 keyboard is not bad, but it has intermittently unresponsive keys.
  6. I’m not as careful with writing on the internet due to some or all of the above reasons.

Put simply, in internet forums I’m not as careful because I find most internet forums to be a waste of time. I’m beginning to find most of the internet a waste of time. I’m not alone in this. I wonder where the trend will lead.

Ulysses 20 has added built-in support for grammar (et al) proofing using LanguageTool Plus. Alas, this still requires you to submit your text to a server to get results. (Blech!) But reading over their privacy policy seems to indicate it’s a double-blind situation. That is, Ulysses acts as a middleman between you and LanguageTool’s servers. Given that both companies are in the UK I trust their privacy laws a bit more than a US company. Which leaves me on the fence about it. It’s a new feature, and I’ve only tried it on very mundane text, but so far it is fast and the UI is nice.

I found that the Antidote demo downloaded fine and ran fine, a bit of a palaver having to set up an account and sorting out the various permissions but once running it seems solid. Thanks for the steer, quite impressive I have to say at least on first run through. Quite interesting editing in the Antidote app and seeing the edits appear live in Pages. Considering a purchase for sure.

Allô, I’ve been using Antidote since 2015. If any questions, feel free to ask. I use it first and foremost to correct my written French. Merci, et bonjour.

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