Text Complexity Tool
"Magic Characters" Guide
TEXT COMPLEXITY TOOL has several reserved ("magic") characters that you can use to fine-tune the final appearance your CBA Probes or to increase the accuracy of the selected reading formula. These are described below
Asterisk ("*"): Tag Words to Be Ignored in Readability Analysis
Put an asterisk just in front of any word that you want to be counted automatically as an 'easy word' in the Spache or Dale-Chall Readability Formula. (Do not leave a space between the asterisk and the target word.) For Spache formula, You need to tag a word only once and TEXT COMPLEXITY TOOL will 'remember' that 'easy word' no matter how many additional times it should appear in the passage.
For example, you would tag the name Eddie as *Eddie, that this word is to be automatically counted as an 'easy word'. (Note: For the Spache Formula, you should mark any person's name with an asterisk to exempt it from analysis. For the Dale-Chall Formula, you should mark with an asterisk any names of individual people, as well as the names of places. )
Backslash ("\"): Force Additional Sentence Breaks
Place this character just before any point in the text where you want to force TEXT COMPLEXITY TOOL to break up a longer sentence and count it as 2 shorter sentences. (Do not leave a space between the symbol and the target text.) TEXT COMPLEXITY TOOL will interpret this symbol as an additional sentence break, helping to reduce the average number of words per sentence in the final readability calculation.
Right Bracket (">"): Force Paragraph Breaks
By default, TEXT COMPLEXITY TOOL formats all passages as single paragraphs, regardless of the formatting of the text that you originally typed or pasted in to the Text to Be Analyzed box. If you want to break your text sample into multiple paragraphs, place a right-bracket (">") just in front of any text that you want to appear indented on a new line. (Do not leave a space between the symbol and the target text.) You can insert as many forced-paragraph breaks into the text as you like.
Underscore ("_"): Ignore End-Of-Sentence Punctuation in a Word
Sometimes your text sample may contain a word that includes periods (e.g., Y.W.C.A.). Or your text sample may include a quoted clause (with its own end punctuation) that is embedded within a larger sentence (e.g., "I am running out of time!", he said.). TEXT COMPLEXITY TOOL permits you to place an underscore before any word to indicate that the program should ignore any end-of-sentence punctuation that might appear in that word. (Do not leave a space between the symbol and the target word.) If you wished to tag the word time in the example above so that TEXT COMPLEXITY TOOL ignores the exclamation point that appears with it, you would place an underscore character directly in front of the targe word: e.g., "I am running out of _time!", he said.)