The HAYR Method


HAYR: Highlight as You Read

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve seen “communication” cited as one of the reasons a candidate is hired. Clear and effective written communication is essential for any career. Being a developer does not make me exempt. Over the past six months I’ve been trying out a new technique to reduce the number of typos and grammatical mistakes in my writing. I even went so far as to collect data on how my new technique compares with my old method of proofreading. Unfortunately I soon realized I was skewing the data, so I won’t include any of that nonsense.

My new proofreading technique uses a simple word highlighting trick along with reading aloud in my head to find more mistakes. I’ll bet a lot of people don’t know that if they put their text cursor at the beginning of a paragraph and press “shift-alt-right-arrow” (Mac) or “ctrl-shift-right-arrow” (Windows) repeatedly, it will highlight a single word at a time. Perhaps it’s better to illustrate this with a GIF:

The HAYR method in action

There’s really not much more to say. I’ve found the HAYR method dramatically decreases the number of typos in my writing. Give it a shot and let me know if it helps!

P.S. I’m feeling pretty insecure about typos in this post, which is part of the reason it’s so short.