Update: Glossary Generator for Writers is Online!

glossary book-1850739_640 courtesy of pixabayGuest Post by
James Murdo

If you read my article back in March, you’ll recall that I wrote a software program called Glossary Generator (GG) to generate glossaries for books so we writers didn’t have to do it manually. At that time, was only available as a Microsoft download, however now the tool is available fully online, meaning you don’t need to download it to your computer.

Why did I create GG?

Writers, especially Indie writers, have many constraints on their time. No one can possibly master all the processes of being ‘an author’ in a time-efficient manner. Certain tools exist to help with proof-reading, marketing, and so on, but glossary generation often remains a painstaking, procrastination-worthy task.

Glossaries are very important for certain genres, especially Sci-Fi (my genre). In the past, I searched for online tools to help identify important terms in manuscripts but could not find any beyond help with general formatting. That’s why I decided to create GG.

A quick recap on functionality:

–         Term search: GG will automatically comb your docx manuscript for words and terms that may be useful to include in your glossary.

–         Error check: GG will also help you spot certain errors. For example, you may have inconsistently spelt a main character’s name – GG should find all spelling variants of names and display them alphabetically, allowing you realise and correct this problem.

How to use GG

Simply visit GG’s home, upload your .docx file and click ‘Go’. That’s it! Nothing will happen immediately, don’t worry – you’ll probably need to wait ~1 minute per 100k words. When the program is finished, a .txt file will appear for you to open with the results.

I’m also pasting two important paragraphs (below) about GG from my prior Indies Unlimited article in March:

The Glossary Generator can be used to create a glossary from scratch, although you should sense-check the results. Some words may be incorrectly flagged as glossary terms (i.e. if they are obscure), or you may simply not wish to include them for whatever reason, since determining which terms should be included is subjective. On the other hand, the generator may fail to find some terms you wish to be included (that have no “flaggable” characteristics to alert the Glossary Generator). Personally, I find the glossary generator has a 90-95% hit rate before I use any of its “additional parameters.” An additional benefit of the software is that it can help you to identify errors – for example, if you have a character called “Oberon” and you misspell the name once – as “Oberin”- the Glossary Generator will display both.

Identified terms are displayed in alphabetical order within the program, which can be copied and pasted elsewhere, and there is also the option to export them to a text file. Please note – the Glossary Generator identifies terms, but it does not write their descriptions for you. To complete your glossary, you will then need to write the descriptions for each term.

For those wondering about privacy, I never see your manuscript. The generator uses the manuscript file but there’s no copy saved/stored or anything (by me), it’s simply outputted to the user as a download. For this reason, if the file is too large, the process actually fails (because I opted not to save a copy anywhere and instead just have the file processed in temporary memory for privacy purposes). The only information I receive is an email with a generic message saying the generator has been used, and that doesn’t come from the file itself, it’s a process that’s simply triggered when the generator has completed an iteration.


I hope you find GG useful. If you have any feedback and/or suggestions for improvements, please comment on this article or you can contact me through my website.

author james murdoSci-fi author James Murdo is known as much for his vast, galaxy-spanning and cerebral plots as his satisfying conclusions. Putting the “science” in “science fiction”, the expansion of his six books set in the Wanderer Universe is set to continue. You can connect with him through his website and explore his work on Amazon.

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2 thoughts on “Update: Glossary Generator for Writers is Online!”

  1. I immediately ran my latest novel through your system, James, and in two minutes came up with three spelling errors, three alternate name spellings, and two other words I decided to replace. Oh, yes, and I decided I didn’t need a glossary 🙂
    My only gripe is that the text file, with all the names run together, is very difficult to read.
    Thanks loads.

    1. Glad to hear it helped. Yes, I appreciate the output can sometimes be tricky to read. That’s because many authors format their books/writing differently, and so GG caters as best it can for all these styles. Good luck with your latest novel!

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