Proofreading Tools That Can Help You Elevate Your Writing

November 17, 2021
Proofreading Tools That Can Help You Elevate Your Writing

There is no substitute for a human proofreader. Let us repeat that, there is no substitute for a human proofreader reading every line and trying to comprehend it from the perspective of the writer, and editing and rearranging the piece accordingly. But when there are multiple copies to edit, day after day, every month, and probably a hundred “typos” to fix – you might want to take the help of a proofreading tool to make your job a little easier. However, note that these tools have their own perks and limitations, and we are here to help you decide which one might work for you! So follow through!

Understanding How Proofreading Software Works

Proofreading tools are software driven by artificial intelligence.

Before we share a list of tools that might work for your writing needs, let’s just understand how these tools work. This will help you get a better insight into what they may or may not be good at. Proofreading tools are software driven by artificial intelligence (AI). They don’t only check your copy for spelling mistakes but also run a full-fledged grammar checker. Checking for repetitive works, grammatical mistakes, wordy sentences, and so on. What’s more? You can also use some of them to conduct customized checks as per a specific writing style. Moreover, they are also available as both browser extensions and mobile and desktop apps.

These tools also tell you what’s the tone of your writing – friendly, formal, optimistic, informal, etc. However, as we just mentioned, these tools are no competition to human editors. They can’t always understand the headspace of a writer and therefore, they are best used for what they are fit to do – proofread. For example, consider the sentence, “It was a miss communication.” While running a proofreading check, many tools might not flag this sentence as wrong because the words “miss” and “communication” are both spelled accurately and exist in the dictionary as individual entries. However, we all know that the word in question here is “miscommunication”. So use these tools to make your text close to error-free, but don’t be oblivious to the fact that it is still AI, a technique that helps perform tasks according to the commands fed.

Suggested Read: Improve Readability Of Your Blogs With These 6 Writing Tips

Top Proofreading Tools

1. Grammarly

Grammarly can help you do plagiarism checks, tone adjustments, and fix inconsistencies.

No surprises here, but Grammarly is one of the top choices when it comes to editing and proofreading. Some of the reasons that make it one of the best proofreading tools are smart AI suggestions, ease of using, intuitive interface, browser extensions and desktop apps, Google Doc integration, etc. Grammarly offers both a free and a fully paid service. In the free version, the tool runs a check to flag spelling, punctuation, and grammar errors. It gives pretty basic writing suggestions and is best suited for individuals who write but might not do it professionally. 

The second one is the Premium plan that in addition to providing the basic suggestions also offers clarity-focused sentence rewrites, plagiarism check, tone adjustments, solutions to fix inconsistencies, appropriate word choice, etc. There is also a third package called the Business plan that is best suited for a team of business professionals. This particular plan gives you more control over the customization aspect of your business writing style. With it, you can create a style guide, detect brand tone, and analyze team writing trends at ease. However, one major shortcoming of Grammarly could be its constant need for internet connectivity. It has to be connected to the internet in order to operate. 

2. Hemingway Editor

Hemingway Editor is a free proofreading tool that can edit offline.

If you are a blogger and that’s mostly what your writing requirements are confined to, then Hemingway Editor makes for a good free application for proofreading. It uses color codes to highlight different grammatical errors. And mainly checks a copy for the ease of readability, adverb and passive voice usage, spelling errors, and other basic grammatical mistakes. One of the biggest perks of using this tool could be its ability to work offline. However, that also limits its possibilities to gain access to a smarter AI system that might provide smarter and customized feedback. But if that’s all you need for your work, then go ahead and install this tool to address all your proofreading needs.

3. ProWritingAid

ProWritingAid is compatible with desktop apps, Google docs, MS Office in Windows, and also has Chrome extensions – therefore, making it almost as flexible as Grammarly when it comes to the ease of using it. One of its key features is that it provides in-depth reports that can be used to improve your writing. These reports also include videos, suggestions, and articles to help you extensively understand different issues. Moreover, using this app, you can check your copy for the different writing requirements such as creative, business, and also academic. From basic grammar, spelling, and style check to transition usage, sentence variety check, and style guide compliance, it offers you pretty much everything. Just as Grammarly, this proofreading tool too comes in three versions – free, Premium, and Premium+. In the free version, there is a word limitation of 500 words at a time; however, the paid versions have no such caps.

4. Slick Write

Slick Write is another free application that can help you steer clear of grammatical mistakes and write impactful copies. With this tool, you can easily keep a check on your structural flow and sentence and word length flow. Moreover, it offers a very statistical overview of your passive voice usage, adverb usage, sentence structure, and vocabulary variety. Therefore, providing more clarity on how you use these in your writing style. It is available as a free online tool and also has Chrome and Firefox extensions.

Don’t Blindly Follow, Be Mindful

Proofreading tools are no substitute for a human proofreader.

Remember that not everything flagged by a tool is wrong, and not every suggestion needs to be incorporated. One of the best ways to use the proofreading tools to your advantage is by being mindful of the writer’s thought process. There could be times when you deliberately add a word or construct a sentence in a certain way to convey a specific meaning or create the desired impact. And these software, though vigilant, might be oblivious to that fact and make suggestions that don’t fit the situation. Depending on how advanced your tool is, it might be correct in suggesting “your” or “you’re”! But it is up to you to make the final call. So before you accept every suggestion that the tool throws your way, it is important that you use your judgment and also rely on your understanding of the language and grammar. After all, only you – or a trained professional – can shape your writing in a way you want it to be conveyed.

Further Read: Why Is Blogging Important For Your Business?

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