Best Online Proofreading and Editing Software & Tools in 2021

Modern AI-powered editing and proofreading software can significantly enhance the quality of articles and sales copy. It's a must-have tool for those who can't afford human proofreaders and editors.

The best one among all products in the market is Grammarly. However, while it offers some unique features, some folks report it's unjustifiably expensive compared to competitors' programs.

The procedure of producing written content is as follows. After putting together all the necessary text, reading it once again will help spot the spell and grammar mistakes. That's how most people do it. But often, this is not enough. Minor errors still slip through and cause damage to the text. The most frequent ones include inappropriate word choices, typos, redundancies, lack of transitional words and phrases, and passive voice. Making sure you don't put out this flawed copy is essential and is really one of the marketing basics that you should learn from the beginning.

Despite the proofreading tools being super-intelligent, taking all the suggestions for granted might be a bad idea. One of the main flaws of these writing assistance programs is that they sometimes miss the points when trying to "understand" the context. It's the feature that most companies are still trying hard to incorporate into their software's brain. An experienced human eye would almost instantly spot such issues. Overall, we are still holding an opinion that AI-powered tools, and Grammarly in the first place, are well worth their role of being at your right hand in all types of writing.

What are the pros and cons of proofreading tools?

The best proofreading and editing software offers far more than basic spell-check. If you are thinking about purchasing any proofreading software, you should first pay attention to the advantages and disadvantages.

Benefits

There is no need to waste your valuable time because the software scans through the text as you write it. So, if there is something wrong, you will get an instant alert. You don't want your business or brand to lose its credibility due to poorly written documents or pages. With a writing assistant tool at your hand, you can feel comfortable knowing that you won't disappoint your audience. No worries about readers having a hard time understanding your written communication. Everything that you communicate to your prospects will remain clear and concise, with practically zero misunderstandings. Imagine how much money you would have to spend for human editors and proofreaders if you deal with tons of text, documents, or pages every month. Alternatively, by investing in proofreading software, you pay a reasonable annual fee, and you can use the service as much as you want.

Drawbacks

At this point, you must be wondering whether it can entirely substitute a human editor. Unfortunately, the answer is no (at least for now). Computer artificial intelligence (AI) has taken huge leaps forward but can still miss the little nuances that may come with a local dialect. Making software understand context is more challenging than you think. Although software is using the most cutting edge technology, some errors can still go unnoticed. However, fatal mistakes are unlikely to occur.

Nowadays, there's quite a lot of competition in the industry. Most writing programs are super affordable, and some are even free. But, if you want to have the best-in-class and feature rich platform, then it is well worth your money to invest in a proofreading tool. Which proofreading software is best for you?

The best proofreading software for writers is Grammarly. You can use it within your browser by installing the extension or integrating it into MS Word. While a free version will effectively cover the basic writing corrections, upgrading to a premium one will let you enjoy some fabulous perks. If you are a casual writer or amateur, you may want to start with the free version. However, for professionals and businesses, we highly suggest investing in the premium plan. One of the biggest perks is Grammarly's writing assistant, which is a true masterpiece.

How accurate and reliable is it?

Although the team behind it updates the program regularly and brings in new advancements every once in a while, we still can't claim it's 100% accurate 100% of the time. However, with the premium version, you can expect brilliant results. In most cases, the accuracy will go beyond 95%. The bottom line is that you shouldn't blindly accept all the suggestions that come up while writing. Instead, always pay attention to what the tool suggests to you and read the short explanations. It will help avoid misunderstandings. Bloggers are the most frequent customers. Currently, they have millions of users across the globe and are still growing. Aside from correcting the common grammatical mistakes, Grammarly will make your content sound more natural to your audience and will be at a fraction of what the human counterpart would be.

What are the types of proofreading tools?

We will mention a few traditional ways to proofread your writings. These are also quite popular alternatives to Grammarly but may not be as powerful. You will get your document analyzed for basic spell and grammar issues. Here are some of the best free software for basic proofreading.

MS Word's Built-in Checker

The red wavy lines that appear as you write are the indicator of misspelled words. They sometimes seem to be annoying and distracting but will help you avoid making awful typos. The spell checker will compare everything you write against the dictionary. Unknown words get a red underline, which means there is a possible misspelling. False alerts frequently occur because the dictionary is limited to the number of words. As a result, brand names, scientific terms, or technical words are likely to appear misspelled. In addition, the tool is not capable of recognizing complex industry-related vocabulary.

To help MS Word only report genuine mistakes, you'll have to make some tweaks. We are talking about adding new words to the dictionary by right-clicking on the selected term. If you want the red line to disappear without changing the database of words, there's an option to ignore it. A grammar checker works similarly. It will search for major grammatical mistakes and underline them in green or blue.

Chrome Spell Check

Right upon installing Google Chrome, you get its built-in spell checker, which you don't have to enable manually. The default dictionary language is the one that your operating system is using. It's possible to switch between different languages as well as adding new ones. There is also an advanced version of the spell checker, but the algorithm automatically sends everything you write to Google's servers. The bottom of the languages list in settings includes options for adding and editing custom spellings.

Google's default dictionary lets you add words that Chrome can't recognize, such as technical terms or terms from names. Along with the basic spell check, there's also an enhanced one, which you can enable manually.

Unlike the default spell-check tool, the enhanced one can help you with grammar. It can detect errors such as a hyphen or extra space between words. Detecting misspelled words with this option is much more efficient because of the large amount of data. Google Docs Autocorrect As part of Google Docs' efforts to improve user productivity, the company recently started to test autocorrection and Smart Compose. As a result, the new features have quickly become widely available.

The autocorrect function is somewhat similar to Gmail's real-time spell and grammar check. So, as you type, a grey underline will appear, warning you about misspelled words. If you hover over the autocorrected part, there will be an option for undo. Look for the "Automatically correct spelling "under the tools and preferences should you wish to disable the autocorrection tool.

Best online proofreading and editing software for writers

We found it to be the most powerful and easy-to-use proofreading tool on the internet. You can sign up for a free version that covers the basics, including grammar and spelling. The premium version is much more advanced and offers many features that you will hardly find anywhere else. With Grammarly, you can improve your social media posts, emails, blog posts, and formal documents. It's most useful for students, copywriters, and bloggers. Despite offering advanced proofreading support, Grammarly's user interface is straightforward. You can use Grammarly in a few different ways including their browser extension, web-based tool, MS Word add-in, desktop app, and phone app. Most proofreading software can handle common writing mistakes, but you are left on your own when it comes to advanced ones. That's not the case with Grammarly. It will guide you even in the most challenging situations.

Even though it's not perfect in understanding an expert level of language, but it's incredible how it copes with nuances. Of course, misunderstandings are possible, so you need to pay attention to the suggestions that you get. Be ready to filter out the bad ones. Unlike other proofreading tools, Grammarly premium won't just point out the issues but will also provide a brief explanation of why something is wrong. We call those reports micro-lessons because they allow you to learn and improve your skills gradually. There is no better tool out there for people whose English is not a mother tongue.

Pricing

It's possible to use Grammarly's free software for proofreading. All you have to do is create an account. No credit card is needed. You can use the free version as long as you want, without any restrictions or a trial period. But to access all the sweet features, consider upgrading to a premium plan. The pricing is as follows: $11.66 a month (annually) $19.98 a month (quarterly) $29.95 a month (monthly)

The free version itself is excellent with no significant limitations. Besides getting super-powerful and free proofreading software, you also get to select the language version based on the location of your audience. The available options include American English, British English, Canadian English, and Australian English. With Grammarly Premium, you get a great deal of full-featured grammar checks, improvements in sentence structure, plagiarism checker, and more. You can also set the writing goals for a new document based on audience, formality, domain, tone, and intent. Grammarly flags or ignores specific issues according to these settings. Based on your goals, you will receive some great insights.

Pros

  • Currently the best proofreading software in the market
  • Extremely accurate and efficient
  • User-friendly interface
  • Plagiarism checker built-in
  • Detailed feedbacks
  • Writing tone detection

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Can't replace a human proofreader

Ginger

Many people consider it to be one of the best proofreading software online. In addition to detecting spelling, grammar, and punctuation problems, the tool can also catch subtle writing issues. Because it can fix a broad spectrum of errors, language learners and non-native writers will benefit the most from using it. In comparison to Microsoft Word's spell checker, it's much more potent with a higher level of accuracy. Another great perk is to keep track of the most frequent mistakes to avoid them in your future work.

The writing coach feature will give you personalized suggestions on how to improve your writing skills. To become a great writer requires more than grammatical correctness. Besides providing synonyms relevant to the context, Ginger will also handle fragmented sentences, detect passive voice, and analyze contextual issues and idioms. Ginger sentence rephraser suggests ways to enhance your writing style and make it more engaging and understandable. The translation function is better than Google translate, though it's far from matching professional translation services. Currently, it works with over 40 different languages. When polishing your writings, you can use Ginger online editor or a mobile app. Unfortunately, Google Docs integration is still missing. Some proofreading software companies are known to share their users' sensitive information with third parties. That's not the case with Ginger. So we can undoubtedly say it's one of the safest in the industry. Everything your write goes to their servers for correction, but they do not store or leak your private data. The information kept is for improving the service, and none of the third parties can access it.

Pricing

A free version comes with limitations, but it's good for newbies to get a feeling of their service. For those who decide to purchase a premium plan, here is the pricing: $6.99 a month (bi-annually) $7.49 a month (annually) $13.99 a month (monthly)

There is a 7-day money-back guarantee for new buyers. During this time, you can try it and decide whether you would like to continue your subscription. The free version is not extraordinary in any way, and one can't rely on it. Unlocking full functionality requires a premium membership. Once you reach the limit for proofreading and translation in the free version, fixing the underlined errors within the platform will be blocked. Correcting mistakes will only be possible by manual editing. Also, there is no access to the learning tools and sentence rephraser.

Pros

  • Highly accurate
  • Language translations
  • Sentence rephraser
  • Easy to install and use
  • Affordable
  • Safe and private

Cons

  • No Google Docs integration
  • No plagiarism detector
  • Poor help center

Hemingway

Even though it's far from matching a human proofreader, Hemingway editor can provide helpful advice on improving the overall writing style. Writers can choose among the suggestions that they want to apply in a sentence.

Apart from being super easy to use, it's doesn't require you to create an account to edit your stuff. The desktop app works offline. Hemingway software wants you to be creative as you write your piece. That's why it lets you create a quick draft before proofreading it. And once you write down your ideas, you can then you the red pen to make everything error-free. Separate editing mode comes as a part of their intelligent writing algorithm. So if you're in the writing mode, there's nothing that can distract your creative flow. The free online version has no upper limit on the word count, but it will not save your work. Once you finish the proofreading and editing, you'll have to copy and paste everything into a different word processor.

There's no option to rewrite sentences. But, the algorithm will calculate the readability level by sentence length and word complexity. The app informs you about the word count, but you also get excellent insights about the number of sentences and paragraphs and the average reading time. Five different colors highlight various writing mistakes. The top of the page contains several text formatting options, including the heading tags, bold, italic, bullets, numbers, quote, and links. All of these can make a significant impact on article writers and bloggers.

Pricing

If your priority is to write a clear and concise document, do not hesitate to use a free version of the Hemingway proofreading tool. Your work will undoubtedly meet the standard writing requirements.

Both free and paid versions don't put any restrictions on the number of words you can edit. Hemingway Editor 3 costs $19.99, and it's available for MAC and Windows. Some of the features are publishing directly to WordPress or Medium, exporting for CMS or a blogging platform, MS Word import and export feature, and saving highlights to a PDF.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • A desktop app that works offline
  • Interesting colorized suggestions
  • No restriction in the number of words
  • Free online version (no account required)

Cons

  • Can't save your work in the online version
  • No in-depth spelling and grammar checks
  • No browser plugin

ProWritingAid

Whether you are a student, casual writer, or professional writer, you can easily avoid spelling and grammar mistakes with ProWritingAid's real-time editing tool. It also helps you with wordy sentences, proper use of words, overused and vague words, duplicates, readability, consistency in writing. You can upload a document directly into their web-based editor. Integration with MS Word and Google Docs is also possible. Unfortunately, a desktop app is only available to Windows users. To use the online editor, you need to create an account. Being a free user, you have the freedom to create, edit, and save your work inside the ProWritingAid platform. However, anything larger than 500 words requires a premium subscription.

The free version is good for someone who is about to test the program. Mac users can't integrate MS Word plugin. The only way to work with office files is directly through the desktop app. One of the significant downsides is that the tool doesn't work offline. The browser extensions of the software are available for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.

ProWritingAid uses several reports that address specific issues. Clicking the summary report button will display a large window on top of your document, analyzing all of its aspects. You are given an overall score based on spelling, grammar, vocabulary, and style. Right below the score, you'll find the suggestions that will improve your writing. Some additional information such as word count and readability level is also visible. All the reports have a link to a web page that describes the grammatical ideas behind the statements. If you want to make your document clean and simple, ProWritingAid reports help a lot. But, if you're aiming for academic or technical writing or prose, then your best bet would be to stay away from this tool.

Pricing

Affordability is one of their best selling points. Unique pricing plans give them an advantage over some of their fierce rivals. $20 a month (monthly) $6.58 a month (yearly) $399 (lifetime)

Here we want to emphasize the lifetime plan with a single payment of $399. It's rare to see a company that offers this particular option to customers nowadays because everyone wants to have you as a recruiting buyer. We highly appreciate the effort to give freedom to users in selecting their best level of commitment. In the end, having a built-in plagiarism detector is an excellent perk because it makes sure that you're publishing only original content.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Impressive writing reports
  • Provides a lifetime purchase option
  • Lightweight and responsive interface
  • Seamless Office and Google Docs integration

Cons

  • Need to pay extra for plagiarism tool
  • Word limit in a free version

PerfectIt

Intelligent proofreading is the phrase that we use to describe PerfectIt. The reason is that it's not an ordinary spell & grammar checker. Instead, once it identifies problematic consistency issues, the tool will highlight them and provide valuable solution options. PerfectIt is one of the best proofreading software that helps copywriters and professionals fine-tune their legal documents, medical reports, academic papers, and more. Their mission is not to replace a human proofreader but to help achieve the results quickly and efficiently. It's the ultimate writing experience that reviews an author's work before submitting it as a finalized document.

The tool is capable of detecting compound words, extra spaces, and hyphenated phrases. Also, it warns you about typos, accent variations, contractions, overused words, inconsistencies in capitalization.

With PerfectIt at your hands, you can clean out your documents from inconsistent abbreviations. In addition, a formatting feature is a good fit for academic and technical pieces. If you accidentally choose to fix a potential issue instead of rejecting a suggestion, there will be an option to reverse your last action. So, you don't lose your time and nerves. To work offline, you will need to download the desktop app, which works fine for Windows users. Mac users can download PerfectIt Cloud. Microsoft Word add-in is also available. Furthermore, the dictionary is well-equipped and can recognize frequent English dialects, including American, British, Australian, and Canadian. You can choose among different house styles, depending on country or organization. Everything you need is in a sidebar. All the valuable resources are there at your fingertips—no need to wander around for anything.

Pricing

The company gives a 14-day free trial to anyone who wants to test the program without providing credit card details. And there are no restrictions during this period. There is a subscription plan of $70 per user (one year) for a maximum of 39 users. On the other hand, enterprises can have 40+ users, and the pay is $25 per user annually.

Pros

  • Impressive features and user-friendly interface
  • Proofreading lengthy manuscripts
  • Supports different language dialects
  • Provide a 14-day free trial with no restrictions
  • It can work offline
  • Nice customer support

Cons

  • Lacks browser extensions
  • No free version
  • Not the best option for bloggers or students

LanguageTool

LanguageTool is suitable for individuals and businesses. It will help you fix grammatical, punctuational, and sentence construction mistakes. It's capable of identifying advanced writing issues in different languages, including English, French, Spanish, German, Portuguese. Not many online proofreading checkers can outweigh the power of LanguageTool.

It offers a wide array of features. For instance, writers who tend to use everyday vocabulary can add unknown words to a conventional dictionary. All the new words you put in a dictionary will be seen as an exception to the software's rules for spell & grammar checks. They have a browser extension for Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and Safari. When checking a text for spelling, grammatical, and stylistic issues, the tool will let you know if there is more than one language dialect present, e.g., U.S English and British English. You can easily integrate it into MS Word or Google Docs. You can open up a popup window by clicking on a marked word or phrase to see detailed reports and suggestions. Should you decide, you can replace your original piece of text with one that the program is suggesting to you. The grammar checker is incredibly accurate and will always raise a flag over tons of the same or similar grammatical mistakes no matter how long the text is. A free version will indeed help you write and proofread with clarity, but with a premium plan, we are confident that you will see many impressive benefits even if you don't intend on using the program every day.

If you're looking for a basic grammar and spell checker tool, then you can sign up for a free-forever plan. Please note there is a limit to 10k characters per document. Whenever you need help with something, you can visit the forum and look for specific topics and keywords. The community is active, and you are likely to find an answer to your concern.

Pricing

For individuals: €4.13 a month (bi-annually) €4.92 a month (annually) €13 a month (quarterly) €19 a month (monthly)

There is a subscription plan for businesses of up to 20 users.

Pros

  • Easy-to-navigate interface
  • Highly accurate
  • Affordable
  • Web-based editor
  • Browser extensions
  • Supporting different languages
  • Forum

Cons

  • Not the most sophisticated one out there
  • No plagiarism checker

WhiteSmoke

Looking at the critical features of WhiteSmoke, we can underline a few things that make this particular tool fall in the list of the best ones. Unlike similar proofreading software, if you make a mistake while working in the desktop app, alternatives are shown without you hovering over the text. By clicking for more, you will get further explanations as a small popup appears.

Even though it demonstrates impressive accuracy, WhiteSmoke doesn't let you dive deeper into the details about your writing style or bad grammatical patterns. The built-in plagiarism detector is superb and will give you the link to the original content in case of duplicates within your document. If you are a student or a non-native English copywriter, you will have a quality translating tool for many languages at your disposal. It handles difficult sentences with great speed and accuracy. There is also a section with writing tutorials where you can learn grammar rules and word usage to improve the quality of your writing. Templates are one of the special and unique features. There are four of them: General, Business, Medical, Legal. You can copy or edit whatever part of the text you want. The user interface is mostly friendly, but there are a few things that the company could tweak a bit to make it work even smoother. But, no worries because it's nothing too serious.

Pricing

WhiteSmoke offers a yearly and a 3-year billing period. The packages include web, premium, and business. Web: $5 a month (yearly) or $3.47 a month (3-years) Premium: $6.66 a month (yearly) or $5.55 a month (3-years) Business: $11.50 a month (yearly) or $8.82 a month (3-years)

To get phone customer support, you need to be subscribed to the business plan. And the web plan comes with certain restrictions. For instance, you can't use their tool on other writing platforms such as MS Word or Google Docs. They have a 7-day refund policy and will give your money back upon your request. The payment methods available are PayPal and credit cards.

Pros

  • Available for Windows, Mac OS, Android, iOS
  • Plagiarism checker
  • Translator
  • Templates
  • Writing tutorials
  • Quality and affordable

Cons

  • No free plan
  • 10k characters limit
  • Poor writing analysis

PaperRater

PaperRater is AI-powered online proofreading software that can scan a document or a text for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors. With all its features, we can say that it's far beyond an average spell checker. The automated and real-time analyzing process is what guarantees a great outcome. It's suitable for students, language learners, copywriters. Many professional editors and proofreaders claim that they are amazed by the accuracy and simplicity of the tool. The team of engineers is continuously updating PaperRater's sophisticated algorithms, which results in a great user experience. All you have to do is write down your text or upload a file directly into their web-based editor. The tool will make corrections depending on the level of education you select before scanning throughout the document. Afterward, it will ask you to classify the type of your document, e.g., article, blog, review, etc. Given that the proofreading process is automated, that doesn't necessarily sacrifice the quality of the content. Comparative tests with similar apps in the industry are witnessing PaperRater's superiority in terms of accuracy, which is why we listed it in the best proofreading software. Everyone can use the product free of charge. And since it's cloud-based, users don't need to download anything. Having a stable internet connection is enough for you to check your documents for writing issues. If you're not familiar with English or would like to improve your vocabulary, you can take advantage of the premium vocabulary builder feature. Not only will it teach you new words, but you will also learn how to use them.

Pricing

The limitations in the free version include the maximum submission length of up to five pages and 50 submissions per month. Besides containing ads, you also can't upload files or get access to the plagiarism checker. The premium version costs $11.21 a month or $71.55 a year. It offers up to 20 pages or 200 submissions per month, as well as 25 plagiarism checks.

Pros

Fast in retrieving results Catches most advanced issues Decent plagiarism checker Vocabulary builder Offering free version

Cons

No browser extensions Restrictions in the premium plan Lacks desktop and mobile apps No Office integrations

Conclusion: Proofreading Software vs. Human Proofreader

Considering the number of proofreading software available today, why would anyone need a full-time human editor or even one at all? All it takes is a small fee to get all of your documents checked for spell and grammar errors. Many online proofreading tools are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and do not require you to install the program on your computer. Some of them are even free to use. What's the point of hiring someone to proofread and edit your stuff? Understanding the analysis reports generated by the program requires knowledge and experience. To fix an issue within a sentence, you have to know why it's wrong. Rather than giving a reasonable explanation, the software will only point out the actual error. Proofreading is more than identifying spell and grammar issues. It also involves recognizing the subtleties of style. And what if you want to use slang in your writing piece? When it comes to industries with a continuously evolving vocabulary, such as fashion or entertainment, you can't count on software's help. A spell-checker can't deal with humor and double meanings. Science and engineering use the expertise level of language, which is hard to find in proofreading programs.

We are not trying to say that editing tools have no place in the industry. On the contrary, the software does an excellent job of handling many proofreading tasks, but humans are still necessary for the job. Modern AI-powered tools can help writers and authors deal with their work's tedious aspects. In addition, Proofreaders and copy editors can improve their productivity and speed up the mechanical part of their work using these tools.


Greg Tucker

Written by

Greg Tucker

Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Oncore

Greg Tucker is the founder of Oncore. With a background in digital marketing and many years of working with small businesses, he is creating and curating content on Oncore to help others build their own startups.


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