The Top 3 Free Grammar Checkers Available Online
Unlike some writers, I love revising. When I get deep into a piece of writing, I’m always amazed by what reveals itself as needing to be weeded out or reworked — and by the dramatic improvements that can result from just a few minutes of focused editing.
It’s a good thing I enjoy revising, because my day job has me doing just that. From eight to five most weekdays, you can find me proofreading all manner of marketing materials, from emails and postcards to website pages, brochures, and video storyboards.
But what if you love to write and hate revising?
What if you know your writing needs to be cleaned up but don’t know where to start? Luckily multiple free online grammar checkers are available to you. Over the past decade, there has been an incredible increase in the number of such tools online that are not only fast and accurate but offer free versions. But which ones are best?
While searching for detailed reviews of free grammar checkers, I came across “The 13 Best Free Grammar Check And Grammar Corrector Apps” on the site Just Publishing Advice, which recommends the following top contenders:
I’ve used Grammarly in the past and can vouch for how handy it is. It checks not only for simple things such as misspellings and misplaced punctuation marks but for more complicated issues such as run-on sentences or inconsistencies related to subjects and verbs or pronouns. On top of all that, it analyzes your writing related to tone to help ensure even that is consistent. You can use Grammarly as a desktop tool or a browser extension, which allows it to check your writing even when you’re posting quickly on social media platforms.
If you’re a Mac user, Grammarly states that it “does not offer an add-in for MS Word or Pages for macOS users. However, you can go to the Apps section in your Grammarly editor and download a native desktop app for Mac. Also, you can use Grammarly’s browser extension for Safari, Chrome, or Firefox on a Mac.”
If you tend to write longer pieces more often than short social media or blog posts (and especially if you use Scrivener), you might prefer ProWritingAid for its extensive integration options. ProWritingAid works not only with Word but with Google Docs, Scrivener, Open Office, and other writing platforms that other grammar checkers are less likely to cover. And if you write on a Mac, ProWritingAid is probably your best bet.
ProWritingAid is currently available as a browser extension on Chrome and Firefox.
A nifty advantage offered by the Ginger grammar checker is that it considers the context of a sentence to determine the correct choice between two homophones such as “bear” and “bare” or “scene” and “seen.” The free version also provides definitions as well as translations so you can quickly look up how to write a certain very French phrase such as “c’est la vie” correctly.
On the downside, Ginger is not currently compatible with Google Docs, and its browser extension is not available on Firefox.
Another great post on this subject, “Best Proofreading Software for 2019” on Kindlepreneur, compares the above tools (plus another) and highly recommends one (ProWritingAid), but with a focus on the benefits of the premium/paid versions.
Whatever type of online proofreading assistant you opt to use, be sure to use at least one! Even the most detail-oriented writers among us occasionally slip up, and nothing looks worse than when someone who purports to be a reliable resource — especially a reliable writer or editor — lets a typo go uncorrected.
If you liked this, you might also like:
Or get both posts plus much more in my ebook, Not Nearly Everything You Need to Know About Writing: Tips, Tricks, and Insights for Writers of All Types (Vol. 1).
I write fiction, poetry, and nonfiction when I’m not working as a copy editor. Author of the novel One Sister’s Song.