Proofreading Content: What’re the Best Grammar Checkers (2019)
Utility • Aug.23, 2019
Taking care of English grammar can be optional most of the time. For instance, your friends are not going to be angry if you write “your” instead of “you’re”. For your boss, however, that might not be the case. In other words, you need to be conscious of grammatical correctness when you are writing an official document, email or perhaps a white-paper.
But, reading an Advanced Grammar textbook from Amazon is not going to help you correct English grammar overnight. We need a subtle method.
This is where grammar checkers come in. Grammar checkers are tools that can analyze a given text for grammatical, syntax and often contextual errors. The tool would then point out these errors with potential corrections. Now, there are a lot of people who need grammar checkers.
Grammar checkers are best for
If you belong to any of the following categories, you must consider getting a grammar checker tool.
- A communications professional who has to compose official documents, emails, memos and white-papers.
- A student who has to submit academic papers as a part of the curriculum. Professors hate to see grammatical errors as much as they hate post-deadline submissions.
- A writer (fiction or non-fiction) who wants to convey their message to the reader without any confusion.
- A journalist/blogger who wants to be clear about the news/article that they are writing.
- An editor who goes through a number of documents every day; a grammar checker would be a companion that can save a lot of hours for you.
- Anyone who was not paying attention to the grammar classes or whose grammar tutor was a tad lazy.
More importantly, if you want to improve how you write, you should start using a grammar checker.
As it happens, there are a lot of grammar checker tools available in the market. And, we wanted to recommend you the best ones.
How we chose the best grammar checker
We had a few criteria in mind while filtering the hundreds of grammar checkers available online and offline. Some of the major things we looked for are:
- Intuitive UI — the grammar checker should be completely easy to use. We prefer minimalistic designs to those vivid windows, you know. So, even if you decide to write the whole text via the grammar checker, there won’t be issues.
- Correction — of course, we paid attention to how well grammar correction takes place. This refers to a number of aspects, such as the contextual nature of errors, concerns for advanced grammatical issues etc.
- Intelligence — yeah, the intelligence part of the grammar checker also matters a lot. We are talking about how useful the recommendations are in real life. That is, you wouldn’t look like an idiot even if you completely trust the tool.
- Compatibility — it’s good to have a grammar checker that works on multiple platforms, say Mac and PC. This makes it easy to correct the documents in real-time, provided you have an internet connection.
After analyzing 20-some grammar checkers based on these criteria, we’ve come down to 7 grammar checker tools out there.
Best grammar checkers
Let’s have a look at the best grammar checkers you should consider right away.
#1 Grammarly — Our favorite pick, overall best
Grammarly has been one of the most popular grammar checkers available online for some years now. Used by students, writers, academicians and other professionals, Grammarly has had so many upgrades in recent years. As of now, it’s not just for grammar correction, but also for improving your overall writing proficiency.
The User Interface of Grammarly is pretty minimalistic, no matter how you use it. Let’s take the case of its web interface. This interface lets you get the job done in seconds. You open a blank document; paste the content you want to correct, choose the targeted audience and wait for a few seconds. Grammarly would analyze each word, phrase and sentence to find errors and correct them.
Once the correction is done, you can either save the document on cloud or download them in a file format of your choice.
Correction part of Grammarly is pretty impressive in that it points out more than grammar errors. It shows you recommendations for making your text even impressive. Readability, tone, intent and a few others. This will make sure that you’re using the right words at the right places. This is a superb way to make sure that you’re using the right vocabulary for official needs.
In addition to this, Grammarly also gives you suggestions regarding aspects like Clarity, Engagement and Delivery. For instance, in Engagement, Grammarly would suggest word replacements that can improve the way you communicate with the readers. You can change the Writing Goals anytime to optimize the alerts.
Some of the additional features in Grammarly include a plagiarism checker and proofreading service from dedicated professionals. You can know if you’re plagiarizing when you are writing the article. The grammar checker also provides you a fully-fledged report of the content. This would show you aspects like Vocabulary, Readability and Performance.
Grammarly is truly an intelligent grammar checker that you can trust. According to our experience, it provides valuable suggestions with respect to grammar, syntax, word usage etc. Because you have an option to see the suggestions before correcting, a kind of supervision will always be available. At least once in a while, though, you have to ignore the corrections.
Compatibility and pricing
It won’t be wrong to say that Grammarly works almost everywhere. You can download the dedicated Grammarly apps for Windows and macOS. They bring the web app to an application interface, also offering you controls like drag-and-drop edit. In addition, Grammarly offers extensions for Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Edge and MS Office. You also get Grammarly Keyboard available for iOS and Android.
Grammarly is a freemium service. You can use the free version for standard editing experience, but a lot of advanced features are available in the Grammarly premium version only. The premium plan costs $29.95 per month, which is pretty reasonable if you ask us.
- Easy-to-use Interface
- Comprehensive Grammar Checking
- Helps Improve Writing Skills
All things considered, Grammarly is indeed the best overall grammar checker you can get as of now. It packs a lot of useful features and the service works on almost all platforms as well.
ProWritingAid is different from other grammar checkers in that it has been designed for writers. It does not matter if you are writing a novel or a journalistic piece, ProWritingAid can help you get rid of grammar errors and other issues. Personally speaking, I use ProWritingAid to make sure that my writing doesn’t get too monotonous.
We find that the UI of ProWritingAid resembles the common word processor tools you have come across. As you can see, there is a distraction-free space where you put your writing and you can find the toolbar on top. Clicking on these buttons would analyze the text for certain type of errors, such as Readability and Grammar.
Once you are done, you can save the document in the format you had selected earlier. It won’t be a replacement for MS Word or anything though.
As we said earlier, ProWritingAid corrects and highlights different aspects of the text, not just syntax and grammar. For instance, ProWritingAid would be looking at the commonly-used expressions and the use of vague or unclear words. You can click on each of the buttons from the top toolbars to see how your text performs.
We wouldn’t say that ProWritingAid is an autonomous grammar checker. It can rather act as a clever assistant for writers. For instance, if you think there are too many clichés in your text, you can use ProWritingAid to analyze that. In that case, ProWritingAid would point out the Potential clichés and then you can edit them. You can also learn as you edit, thanks to the rich snippets.
Just like Grammarly, ProWritingAid can also give you a summary of the text performance. Here, you would find the scores in terms of vocabulary, understanding, readability and more. Compared to the other, ProWritingAid offers a better insight of sentence structures and readability. These play quite an important role in optimizing the final text.
As we said, ProWritingAid is not meant to be an autonomous grammar checker. It, instead, acts like an assistant. Because of this, you cannot completely trust the intelligence of ProWritingAid. You will have to ensure that the chosen words go well with the context. Also, ProWritingAid may often ask you to remove some of the common expressions, saying that they’re clichés.
Compatibility and pricing
Probably the best thing about ProWritingAid is that it works well with other apps like Scrivener. This would make it help you to edit whatever that you’re writing. The dedicated apps are available for both Windows and macOS, but you can get extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, MS Office, OpenOffice, Google Docs etc.
While there is a limited free version, if you want to write lots of content, you should go premium. The premium plans are available for $70, $100, $140 and $240 for 1 Year, 2 Years, 3 Years and Lifetime respectively. ProWritingAid is also available on Setapp as well, a $9.99 per month subscription service for dozens of curated Mac applications.
- Quite suitable for Creative Writers
- Well-integrated with programs like Scrivener
- One-time payment available
- Not many features for boosting Writing skills
Conclusively, ProWritingAid is the best shot for creative writers out there. It may not be as autonomous as Grammarly, but it does a wonderful job in making your text sound awesome.
#3 WhiteSmoke — Made for professionals
WhiteSmoke is a grammar checker that emphasizes the importance of grammar in workplaces that need you to write. Because of this, you will be able to find the different versions of WhiteSmoke via the developer. We would be having a look at the standard version, which is available for desktop as well as browsers like Chrome.
WhiteSmoke has what one would call a rudimentary User Interface, but it gets the job done. Having said that, you would be using WhiteSmoke with other apps, say while you are composing an email for work. By that logic, WhiteSmoke fits in really well with the Chrome system. You would be able to use the tool while composing a Gmail message or posting something on Facebook.
In the desktop versions, however, you get additional features like export options. It does not have a MS-Office-based version though.
The grammar correction procedure with WhiteSmoke is pretty intuitive. We should remember that the program works on almost every text field, such as Gmail and Facebook. Given that you have one good internet connection, you can keep writing and WhiteSmoke would highlight the errors as you make them.
Hovering over the highlighted areas would also show you the potential correction. In a click, you can replace the content. At least when you are using the Chrome extension, WhiteSmoke cannot give you that Grammar-assistant feel. That having said, if you are trying to avoid common errors while composing an email, you can’t go wrong with WhiteSmoke.
On the bright side, WhiteSmoke checks the text for style and syntax errors as well. That’s great since you won’t find punctuation errors in a work email that you’re sending out. When it comes to desktop versions, however, you have more kinds of corrections to depend on. The algorithms in question are playing an awesome role here.
Intelligent is not the term that we would use for WhiteSmoke. Instead, the grammar checker works through intuition. While the service is powered by some of the most superb AI algorithms, it cannot be taken for granted. On the bright side, the suggestions are pretty on-point. In a glance, you would know what you’re looking at.
Compatibility and pricing
Because it’s a program made for professionals, WhiteSmoke is available almost everywhere. As we said, the Chrome extension allows you to use the grammar checker while you are writing an email or sending out a Slack message. At the same time, you can find dedicated versions for Web, Desktop, Android and iOS. However, only the Chrome extension is available for free.
Chrome extension is the only free option you have. If you want advanced editing features and more control over how WhiteSmoke corrects your text, you can have a look at the premium options, the Essential plan of which starts at $5 per month.
- Professional-quality Grammar checking
- Wider compatibility
- Intuitive grammar algorithms
At the end of the day, WhiteSmoke is a great option if you are looking for a grammar checker that works almost everywhere and offers features as required.
#4 Ginger — a potential alternative
Ginger software is probably the only direct competitor Grammarly has had when it comes to the big world of grammar checking. Not that it’s a complete copy or anything, but Ginger takes more than a few inspirations from some of the other tools we discussed above. At the end of the day, we take it that it deserves a place in this list of best grammar checker tools.
Before talking about the User Interface, we should mention that the Chrome extension is the major way for Ginger. From that perspective, we’d say everything is intuitive as we had imagined. As you type your words, Ginger would analyze the grammar and syntax. The best part is that Ginger shows you how the corrected word changes the whole view of the sentence in question.
We think the UI is pretty straightforward and the Chrome extension is not intrusive at all. As with all other tools, you have to log in before you can use the grammar checker service.
Once again, the experience with Ginger was pretty standard. The program is able to correct grammar and syntax errors with ease, and the suggestions are pretty cool. As we said earlier, it’s good to know how the single correction can changes the meaning. Once again, there are a few features that you can have if you decide to go for the Premium plan.
For instance, Ginger comes with a rephrasing element, which would rearrange the sentence without making big changes to the meaning. This is a great feature when you’re writing a lengthier piece and you want to ensure uniqueness everywhere. There’s also a built-in translator element in Ginger, and it supports more than 50 languages.
Once again, what we lack is a fully-fledged grammar assistant for helping you. While Ginger makes a few corrections, there is little options to analyze your language performance if you are using the Chrome extension-based interface. For instance, you can use Ginger to find synonyms and words of translation, but that’s it.
Ginger is intelligent, to the extent that you can count it in when it comes to emails and a few other documents you may send overnight. That having said, we would not recommend this tool if you’re looking for a way to improve your grammar knowledge and language in the best manner possible. It just so happens that the lack of assistant is a big problem.
Compatibility and pricing
There isn’t much to talk about compatibility here. Just like the most of tools we have here, Ginger is working on almost all platforms. You can use the Chrome extensions to bring the grammar checker to various text fields. At the same time, the dedicated desktop apps for Mac and Windows are great if you need a calmer place to write.
Chrome extension is free. However, if you need the full set of features that Ginger advertises, you have to follow the premium plans. Its premium plans start at $7.49 per month if you are willing to purchase the service for a full year. As we said, you get translation features as well.
- Offers advanced features like Rephrasing
- Suitable for lengthier pieces of texts
- Offers translation services
- UI isn’t that intuitive
- Lacks options for performance analysis
Keeping with what we said in the beginning, Ginger is a great choice when you want an easy-to-use grammar checker with additional features.
A few online options
You can count on the following options if you need a way to check your grammar online.
Hemingway helps you make you a good writer, who writes in such a way that people understand. It is not a complete alternative to Grammarly or Ginger, but a great companion for your writing. As you can see on the screen, the tool would tell you what is wrong with the text that you have given. It, however, isn’t really strict when it comes to grammar.
More importantly, Hemingway is a great way to understand if your text is readable to the common person. You will be able to know if the text consists of unreadable sentences, thereby making it cool. It’s completely free to use as well.
Check Out Hemingway
LanguageTool is another simple online grammar checker that we came across. One thing to be noted is that the suggestions are also simple. If you need advanced grammar analysis, you should upgrade to the premium version. That having said, you can count on LanguageTool when you need to get the text clear of blunt errors.
One thing we loved is that LanguageTool can check the language according to different dialects, not just American and British. In case you are interested, you can get the Chrome extension as well. It’s free to use.
Check Out LanguageTool
If you are looking for a simple-enough grammar checker that can check your sentences, you should take a look at NounPlus. The tool doesn’t do anything awesome, but simply points out grammar and spelling errors as you type. Compared to other tools we have tested, NounPlus is pretty limited. For instance, you cannot use it to check grammar in lengthier pieces.
While NounPlus is not the most advanced grammar checker, it requires a place in the list, and we do love the simplicity for one.
Check Out NounPlus
The bottom line
These are the best grammar checkers we have found after pondering over some of the most popular ones in town. Our favorite is Grammarly, because it offers everything you expect from a grammar-checker tool with ways to improve writing. That having said, you should go for other choices such as ProWritingAid if you need assistance with what you write and how you write.