Spelling and grammar—some hate it, others love it, but we all need it. I write for a living, so it is vital that I am able to write quickly – and correctly. It’s my name on the finished product, and I want my writing to be the best. You might be a writer, or a student looking to improve your writing skills – but either way, you need to write correctly.
It’s delightful that we live in a time where software can really help the entire writing process. Grammar checker software helps find those embarrassing typos, and for some individuals (like me), it also defuses the grammar check frustration. I wrote this extensive review article to help others find the right software to “up their writing game” in 2021. Let’s make this the year you unleash your Twain on the world!
I took over 8 weeks – working with a variety of different software tools – to come up with a shortlist of the best proofreading software you can buy. You’ll find my top picks below.
Why Proofreading Software Is So Useful
Whether you are a seasoned writer, a student, business writer, lawyer, or housewife, we all make spelling and grammar mistakes. A spell checker may pick up the spelling errors – but most will miss grammatical errors and unclear readability mistakes in your writing. Ask seasoned professionals, and they will agree that proofreading your own work is challenging. You will often read what you want to say and not what you have written.
A proofreading service is one option, but there’s not always the time, inclination, or budget to send all your content to proofreaders. An alternative solution is using an excellent proofreading tool as a desktop app or on the web. It is always at hand for quick grammar and spelling checks or more in-depth correcting of spelling, grammar, sentence structure, and other writing mistakes.
I’ve been using Grammarly for a while now. As a writer, I am always looking for ways to improve my texts using writing tools and proofreading software programs. In this article, I looked at various grammar checker software and proofreading detection writing tools. The reviews are based primarily on my experience with these proofreading software programs.
We start the list with my long-time personal choice—Grammarly. I am comfortable using it, but familiarity alone isn’t a good reason to stay with a computer-based editor. I want to know – is there something better out there than Grammarly’s artificial intelligence proofreading solution and editing features? Will a better grammar editor prove more alluring?
Let’s find out!
Top Proofreading Software Products
Grammarly – Overall Best Proofreading Software
Grammarly is my choice for the overall best proofreading software because…
- it is conveniently available on all devices
- easy to use
- gives meaningful suggestions
- works with different English dialects
- has a built-in plagiarism detector
- frankly, this tool works to help you create better content.
Bloggers, lawyers, students, authors, business users, and copywriters can use Grammarly’s proofreading detecting and grammar checking tool.
Grammarly is Available EVERYWHERE
Grammarly is everywhere! Whether you want to proofread a document on your laptop, send a quick email to a client, teacher, or boss, or write a social media post, Grammarly is there to help you find spelling mistakes, punctuation errors and enhance your vocabulary. It is even on WhatsApp!
Its extensive range of products includes apps for the desktop, phone keyboards, Google Chrome extension, and Google Docs integration. Yes, Grammarly is one of the few proofreading apps that integrate with Google Docs.
If you do come across a platform that doesn’t support Grammarly, you can copy-paste the document into the web application to check grammar and spelling mistakes. I like this feature because sometimes you just want to check a paragraph and not upload the complete document.
Keep Your Tone and Writing Style Constant
Grammarly, available on all devices and platforms, allows you to keep your tone and even your writing style constant. Readers will recognize your unique writing voice in your blog posts, emails, social media posts, and text messages.
The free version does an excellent job in correcting mistakes and suggesting grammar, spelling, and punctuation alternatives. As a writer who works with global clients – I need to write flawlessly in American, British, Australian, or Canadian English – it’s challenging to remember when and where to add a comma, semicolon, or whether the localized spelling of a word is with a z or s. Grammarly’s AI proofreader makes these punctuation, spelling, and grammar decisions almost foolproof. I just need to start by selecting my preferred English dialect. Change the language settings once, and it reflects across all the apps and Chrome extensions.
Extra Features Makes the Price Worth It
The free program is robust, but the premium version with the advanced checks is worth it! It is not just for business users. Using Grammarly Premium will help you write concise, explicit content that is easy to read and engage your readers.
- You can set your proofreading tool at the formality level you write.
- Grammarly provides suggestions for tone adjustments, word choice, fluency, and clarity-focus sentence rewrites to make content more readable.
- Grammarly suggestions include the explanation of why the word, phrase, or rewrite is suggested.
- The plagiarism detection feature is another benefit of Grammarly. It checks your content against 16 billion web pages for plagiarism.
- The emoji icons make me smile every time it pops up to indicate the tone of my prose.
Save Time With The User-Friendly Features
Grammarly AI apps are readily available and easy to find on any platform. If you write in Microsoft Word or Google Docs, Grammarly appears in the right sidebar. The grammar checking suggestions scroll alongside your document making it easy to see where grammar, spelling, and other changes are needed.
Speed counts when writing for a deadline, but quality and accuracy are crucial. With one-click, you can accept and reject the grammar checking suggestions; this feature alone makes Grammarly a valuable and useful tool. The recommendations are practical; even if I don’t accept the suggested solution, it makes me think about my sentence structure, context, and how readable it is to the audience.
You can save time by accepting the one-click Change-all options for consistency; sometimes, you write a hyphenated word and somewhere else without hyphens. Grammarly gives you the option to change all to be the same.
Grammarly is user-friendly and easy to use; despite its robust AI suggestions. You remain in control; you decide if you want to accept the changes or not.
Grammarly’s Weekly Report Gives You Valuable Insight
I love reading the weekly insight report. Grammarly sends a weekly report giving you an update on your weekly word count, a mastery analysis, how many unique words you’ve used, and your top three grammar issues.
The latter is the most valuable piece of information; most everyone tends to make the same grammar, spelling, and writing style errors repeatedly. This eye-opening report helps identify your personal blind spots. Once you know your recurring grammatical errors you can learn to avoid them.
Free Version: Yes
Subscriptions: 1 month / 1 year
Platforms: Windows, Mac, Chrome Extension, Firefox Extensions
Integrations: MS Word, Microsoft Outlook, and other MS Office products, Google Docs, Gmail, Google Chrome, Other text editors, WordPress, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, GitHub
ProWritingAid – Best for Professional Writers
Attention Authors! ProWritingAid is the proofreading software for professional writers; it is a grammar checker, style manager, AND writing mentor. The software competes well with other grammar checkers, and its writing style guidelines should help you write better.
Scrivener, Google Docs, Integrations
ProWritingAid’s unique integration features with Scrivener, HTML, rich text, and Markdown is convenient for authors, bloggers, and academic writers. Many authors write their manuscripts in Scrivener, and some prefer Google docs or MS Word as their go-to word processor.
The integration feature doesn’t interfere with the text format, which means I can edit and send the manuscript to an agent or publisher in their preferred format. Integration with HTML and Markdown lets bloggers write and edit in WordPress.
Detailed Reports to Improve Writing Style
With over 20 writing reports, it’s impossible not to pay attention and learn from my writing mistakes. The writing reports are like a writing mentor highlighting where I can improve my writing skills.
Each report focuses on a specific area, some more detailed than others. The writing style report is excellent for authors, and the AI-algorithms in the grammar reports have you covered with grammar and spelling errors. Everyone should focus on text readability, overused words, pronouns, and repeats. However, authors and academic writers will view clichés, pacing, and dialogue tags differently.
Initially, the reports overwhelmed me with all the information and learning opportunities. I soon found my rhythm and realized some reports are more important to certain writing types than others. Quality content is always important, but writing styles vary. Used correctly, these writing reports are valuable treasures to all.
Editing Large Files
This may seem unimportant until you want to edit a book, a white paper, or a business report of a couple of thousand words. The ProWritingAid premium version supports editing large documents. It runs slower because of the volume, but you can edit chapter by chapter or your entire book at once.
The free version limits proofreading to 500 words. The multiple writing reports, unlimited content upload, training videos, and competitive prices make ProWritingAid premium an excellent option for professional writers.
Free Version: Yes
Subscription: 1 year for Single/Team or Enterprise
Platforms: Windows, Mac, Chrome Extension, Safari Extension, Firefox Extension, Edge Extension
Integrations: MS Office, Scrivener, Open Office, Google Docs, Rich Text, HTML, Markdown, Gmail, Facebook, WordPress
Gingersoftware.com – Best Audio and Translation Proofreading Tools
Innovative & Unique Features
While Ginger has all the normal features you’d expect from a top-tier grammar checker, the additional audio features are a LIFESAVER for dyslexics and others that work phonetically.
According to the Ginger Software website, their proofreading software is trusted by 10 million users. Ginger is more than comparing a word’s spelling with a dictionary. It checks spelling, grammar, and offers complimentary writing tools like sentence rephrasing, language translations, contextual synonyms, and definitions.
The Ginger Software proofreading solution is available on various platforms. It’s a great choice for native and non-native English speakers, business writers, proposal managers, or translators. Freelancers will enjoy the software when writing a blog post, website page, or article as a service. The proofreading software helps enhance writing in business correspondence, academic documents, and social media posts.
Proofread by Listening To What You Wrote
If you want to make sure your audience experiences your character the way you intended, use the Ginger Software text reader to hear what you have written. Listening to your book, chapters, or texts gives you an idea of how the content may sound to someone reading it for the first time.
Reading your work aloud is an excellent grammar check solution because you hear what is written, not what you thought you wrote. The Ginger Software text reader can only read the words you typed, which means you hear the actual words and not what you meant to type.
It helps you hear where your sentences are not making sense, are too complicated to understand, or so long that the audience loses the thread. After all, you want your audience to form a picture that propels them somewhere, not get lost in a maze of texts.
Translate Your Content Into Multiple Languages
The Ginger language feature can translate your article into over 40 languages. It is a handy tool when you work with international clients where English is not their primary language, live in a country with multiple languages, or would like to write a post or message in another language.
Extra Features in Paid Version
The Ginger Chrome extension is a free spelling and grammar checker; it also offers alternative phrase suggestions to improve readability. Users can choose from various phrase suggestions to replace their sentences. Robust proofreading tools are available in the Ginger premium subscription:
- Spelling, grammar, and proofreading corrections are available in longer text than the free Chrome browser extension.
- Artificial intelligence-based synonym suggestions help you express yourself in different ways.
- Alternative sentence suggestions help you rephrase your text to read better, be more concise and clearer.
- Instant translation of the text into other languages is only available in the paid version.
Free Version: Yes
Subscriptions: Monthly, yearly, two years
Platforms: Chrome Browser Extension, Safari, Windows, Mac, iOS, MS Office
Integrations: Mac OS, iOS, Chrome, Android, Facebook, LinkedIn, Gmail, Twitter
Hemingway Editor – Eas-to-Use Writing And Editing Software
Great For Occasional Writing
A minimalist user interface lets you concentrate on writing. While missing some features of the competitors, it does the things it does very well.
Hemingway Editor is one of the best proofreading software tools that will help you improve your writing skills. The proofreading solution focuses on writing bold and clear text. It allows novices and experienced writers to avoid common writing mistakes like using too many adverbs, writing complicated long sentences, or writing in the passive voice.
According to Stephen King, adverbs are not a writer’s friend. In his book On Writing: A Memoir on the Craft, he compares them to dandelions on a lawn. One of the Hemingway Editor’s features is to catch those nasty adverbs.
Writing Without Distractions
Focused writing requires writing without distractions. Whether it’s academic writing, novel writing, business writing, or writing essays, clear thoughts and concentration are necessary to produce quality content.
Removing all distractions may help in completing the writing project, especially if it is a tough assignment. The Hemingway Editor’s writing tool gives writers that distraction-free writing environment.
The writing app offers standard formatting options you may expect from a word processor. With a click of a button, you can select bold, italics, bullets, and headlines to enrich and differentiate your text for the reader.
Learn By Editing Your Work
When you finished writing, switch to the text editor window to check if the content is bold and clear. Grammarly and other proofreading software let you edit with one click; the Hemingway Editor highlights the text and offers the grammar checking solution in a sidebar.
You need to select the highlighted text to edit it, giving you time to think about the changes.
Take Your Editor Anywhere
The Hemingway Editor 3 is available for Mac OSX and Windows as a one-time purchase. By downloading the proofreading software on your computer, it is always accessible. You can write and edit anywhere in the world; you don’t need to be online like other grammar checkers and proofreading tools.
If you aren’t sure if you want to purchase the desktop app, try the free web application. It limits the quantity of text you can enter at a time, whereas the paid version has no limitations.
Free Version: Yes
Subscriptions: Once-off price
Platforms: Windows, Mac, Web
Integrations: Microsoft Word, HTML, PDF, Markdown, Text formats
Slick Write – Great Writing Aid Solution
Solid Free Option
Created as a side-project in the early teens, this writing editor is still holding it’s own.
Slick Write is a free proofreading tool for writers, bloggers, teachers, students, and novel-writers. Comparing the proofreading software programs, Slick Write is the best free tool on the list for proofreading and analyzing someone’s written content. Teachers can use it for essay scoring, and students can score their content to help them become better writers. I like the key statistics Slick Write offers and the word association game.
Slick Write is Easy To Use
The Slick Write Proofreading software is probably one of the easiest software programs to use. There is no desktop app or software to download. Select the file on your desktop and open it in the Slick Write web application. It reads the documents and, within seconds, is ready to critique, provide statistics or allow writers authors, students, or novelists to edit the documents.
Analyze Your Work Fast
Key statistics give you relevant information about the content like the word count, average word length, paragraph length, reading time, number of long sentences, and more. As a grammar checker, it mentions the number of adverbs and passive voice index. The readability index score helps you see how easily the audience will read what you have written.
A further breakdown provides you with meaningful information on improving the essay, academic paper, or a chapter in your latest novel.
Unlike Grammarly and other proofreading software programs, Slick Write does not have a one-click option to change the content. Like the Hemingway Editor software, the Slick Write proofreading software tells you about the grammar mistakes but, does not offer automatic improvement suggestions.
Associator Game For Writer’s Block Remedy
The Associator is a wonderful tool that works like a game for those who have writer’s block or need some ideas to spark their imagination. Type a single text, and the Associator gives you a series of words connected to what you have typed. For example, if you type books, it feeds back clever, second, manuscript, pocket, closed. The plus symbol offers more associations for you to ponder on.
Free Version: Yes
Subscriptions: No paid options.
Platforms: Chrome Extension, Firefox Extension, Windows, Linux, Mac
Integrations: WordPress, Open Office, MS Office, Libre Office, MS Word
PerfectIt -Best Proofreading Software for Professionals
The PerfectIt Software proofreading program is one of the best grammar checkers for business professionals, irrespective of the subject matter. The software tool is designed to help writers avoid submitting articles, books, documents, contracts, reports, and academic writing with an obvious error staring at the reader.
According to PerfectIt’s website, the proofreading software program is used in 72 countries by lawyers, proposal managers, medical writers, and other writers worldwide.
Stay Consistent With Writing Style And Tone
Imagine presenting a new contract proposal, a resume to get a job interview or marketing material for your client’s business with spelling mistakes or grammar errors. Like the other proofreading software in the article list, PerfectIt is designed to help you avoid that kind of embarrassing situation.
The grammar checker searches for inconsistent word usage like spelling favor and favour in the same text or using eBooks with and without hyphenation. These are not necessarily spelling errors; favor and favour are acceptable in different English dialects across the world, and some words are correct with or without hyphenation.
Customize for Your House Style
An excellent benefit is a customization for a business or company’s house style. Spelling and grammar checks are done in line with the preferred style to keep the branding consistent and in-house preferences of word usage and abbreviations.
By customizing, according to the business’ tone and style preferences, brand names are written correctly. The business’ style is portrayed with unique bullet list punctuation, labeling graphics, and capital letters in titles.
Easy To Use Timesaver Grammar Checker
Checking consistency and proofreading according to house-style rules are two useful features that save time for freelance writers, students, copywriters, and business writers—the software checks for inconsistency quicker than any person could. Secondly, writing according to a brief that includes business preferences saves time; you do not have to change your written work to comply with the brand; the grammar checker takes the choices into account when searching for grammar, spelling, and style errors.
Free Version: Free Trial for 14 days
Subscription: 1 year for Single/Team or Enterprise
Platforms: Windows 7, 8, 10, Mac, iPads, Word Online
Integrations: MS Office
White Smoke – Mystery Grammar Check Solution
I’ve included WhiteSmoke on the list because it’s a well-known software package. It was first published in 2002 and was an innovator at the time.
Today, I honestly can’t give you an opinion of this software. We at Fractus didn’t trust their website enough to give them payment information.
We started by clicking through the search results to try their free trial. They show up as having a free version at the link: https://www.whitesmoke.com/free-online-checker. However, neither my editor nor I were able to find any usable free version. All roads eventually lead to the subscription page. There might be a free version hidden behind a popup somewhere, but we didn’t find it.
We aren’t against paid software – we at Fractus use plenty – but if there is no free version anymore come out and state it. It’s even more important to build trust when you are asking for a minimum year commitment upfront – software unseen. The product may be great – but I have no way of knowing that. Combined with dormant social media accounts there’s a picture that no one is currently behind the curtain. There’s really no way to know what’s happening with the software.
For that reason, we have no opinion on WhiteSmoke at this time. If the situation changes, we will gladly review the software.
What Is Proofreading Software?
A spell checker compares what you type against a dictionary, whereas proofreading software uses AI (artificial intelligence) technology. Editing and proofreading products also detect spelling mistakes, but its power lies in finding grammar errors that are not always that obvious and offering suggestions for writing style improvement. Some proofreading tools also come with a plagiarism checker.
Can I Use Grammarly Offline?
If you want to benefit from Grammarly’s robust artificial intelligence assistant, you need to be online for it to function. Offline proofreading tools do not utilize artificial intelligence to that extent; without the AI functionality, it is no better than a word processor’s spelling and grammar checker that checks your text against a dictionary.
Grammarly does not limit you with platforms and integrations; you can use it on all devices, as a desktop app, browser extensions, or web application.
What Are The Types Of Proofreading Tools?
- Firefox/Chrome Extensions
- Desktop Apps
- Full-service online applications
- Mobile Apps
- Website Apps
- MS Word Add-ons/Google Doc Add-ons
Each of these proofreading software programs has its unique functions and benefits. Each of the six products has novel proofreading detection features that can benefit users who write articles for a business, themselves, school, or just for fun. What is the best proofreading software, and why would users want to use each of these products? I wrote this article to answer these questions. If you want to know more about a product, check out our in-depth reviews above. The best proofreading tool is the one that works for you.
Which of these proofreading software solutions do you consider as being the best? Let us know in the comments below!