Best Proofreading & Editing Software

All writers want their text to stand out for accuracy and good readability. That’s the reason why proofreading is fundamental at any level of composition – being a student, a journalist, or a blogger. It’s not only about typos. It is about clarity, easiness to read, and smoothing the message to make it more effective.

We usually rely on standard built-in editors to fix common mistakes, but what about finding the best proofreading tool that can help us fasten the process and add that final touch to our compositions?

Grammarly

Top-of-mind proofreading software, with more than 20 million daily users. It will guide you through grammar revision, spelling check, punctuation, and more, suggesting a broad range of synonyms and highlighting each mistake on the right side of the screen for faster identification. The best part? Its free version has no restrictions, only limited features.

Grammarly also comes with a Pro version.

Pros:

  • Well-integrated: works across multiple platforms, including a web extension, web editor, and a desktop app. It offers a Word add-on and a mobile keyboard; plus, it will save your documents on the cloud for easier cross-device interaction. It’s integrated into Google Docs, social media, Salesforce, and more.
  • Free version: even if limited, it’s more than enough, especially vs. the competitors.
  • Mistakes explanation: Grammarly does not only correct your errors: it explains why you are incorrect. In short, it teaches you how to enhance your writing skills.

Cons:

  • No offline editing mode: being an online application, it will need a stable Internet connection to work, unlike integrated editors (e.g., MS Word).
  • No free trial: there is no free trial for Grammarly premium. A pity, as the Pro plan really stands out from the competition.
  • Prices: prices are high for the general public. You should consider it an investment in your writing career; however, in our opinion, it’s definitely worth the price.
    • Single month, one-time billing: $29.95;
    • Quarterly: $19.98 a month, billed as one payment of $59.95;
    • Annually: $11.66 a month, billed as one payment of $139.95. There is also the Grammarly Business option for teams: $15 per user.

We tried it first-person, and tested out the suggestions based on formality, domain, tone, and intent. The premium plan supports four main areas: correctness, clarity, engagement, and delivery. It integrates checks for plagiarism, consistent capitalization, fluency, and insensitive language, to name a few. Highly recommended and a strong contender for the best proofreading and editing software.

Ginger Software

Award-winning software with very distinctive features. It grants a free version by web extension as well as a premium option. Additionally, it’s available as a desktop and mobile app, and as a keyboard for Android. What makes Ginger different is the focus to non-English speakers and people with learning disabilities, such as dyslexia, their main target groups since the foundation.

Pros

  • Translation: Ginger translates your text between 40 different languages. Quite useful for translation-related jobs and for a broader public of non-English speakers. The best part? It’s included in the free version.
  • Text Reader: the text-to-speech option will read the text back to you, which comes in handy to speed up drafts’ editing and learn the proper pronunciation of words. It reads Word docs, PPT, mail, and browser texts.
  • Ginger English Personal Trainer: this Premium feature will identify the grammar topics that need improvement by analyzing your writing mistakes. It identifies a common pattern of errors and engages with quick explanations and exercises, making it perfect as a study tool.

Cons

  • Limited free version: the free version has limited grammar checks, while other proofreading and editing tools are way more flexible.
  • Hover over errors: you need to hover over all errors using your mouse, as there is no sidebar to review them at first glance. This affects the timing effort in proofreading.
  • No support on Gdocs: Ginger doesn’t support GDocs – a standard nowadays.

Prices are quite average for this product, with temporary discounts.

  • Monthly: $29.96, currently $20.97;
  • Annual: $12.48/month, one payment of $89.88. Currently $7.49month;
  • Two Years: $9.99/month, one payment of $159.84. Currently $6.66/month.

Ginger for business offers a customizable plan for teams.

We highly appreciated the translation feature and the document style formatting preservation when copying a text. We also recommend its useful “personal dictionary” creation, which lets you avoid certain words, especially jargon, to be identified as errors. Not the best proofreading and editing software out there, but surely worth a try. 

ProWritingAid

Chosen by over a million users, this software goes beyond simple checking, as it offers contextual spelling, writing style suggestions, and detailed explanations on mistakes to support writing improvement. It generates detailed reports on critical issues, both within the free and premium versions.

Pros

  • Well integrated: it works smoothly with MS, GDocs, Open Office, and tools like Final Draft or Scrivener. The browser extension reads text from social media and several platforms; it also offers a dedicated web editor and a desktop app.
  • Free trial: We suggest to try it, as the free version comes with several limited options.
  • Price: probably the most convenient software in terms of price/quality relation. Consider this tool as the best proofreading and editing software in terms of budget-saving, depending on your needs.

Cons

  • UI and ease of use: UI does not look as polished as with some other tools; additionally, ProWritingAid can be slower in error identification, both on the desktop version and web integration.
  • Too much info: with 25 different reports available, the average user can quickly feel overwhelmed by information, especially while working on easy tasks. Thus, academics may find this to be the best proofreading tool for them. 

After a two-week free trial, you can choose among different plans and integrate these with a plagiarism check (up to 60/year: PremiumPlus):

  • Monthly: €20; €24/month for Plus;
  • Yearly: €79, €6.58/month; €89/year, €7.42/month for Plus;
  • Lifetime: €399, one-time payment + €100 for Plus.

The business version ranges from an Individual license of €6.58/month to teams’ one at €8 per seat.

We particularly appreciated the report on common writing errors, or the style suggestions, focusing, for example, on repeated phrases or overused words. Data lovers will particularly enjoy this feature.

Hemingway App

Easy to access, well-known in the industry, it’s available online or as a desktop app. Probably among the most intuitive tools out there, it offers a highly useful free version, as it focuses on a more practical side of the composition. Hemingway won’t focus on grammatical explanation but will improve the readability and clarity of the text instead.

Pros:

  • Publishing from the app: publish to WordPress or Medium directly from the app. You can also import text from Word, HTML, and more to post on any platform or download the edited document.
  • Color-Codes: issues are highlighted with a color code, so users can easily catch the problem. E.g., violet for complex words, green for passive voices.
  • Offline mode: no internet connection required with the desktop (paid) version, which is a big bonus for every writer.

Cons:

  • Limited functions: Hemingway keeps it simple and cannot compete with its competitors’ functionalities and insights.
  • Check-only: the tool suggests the changes to make, but does not explain the reasons why, limiting learning in writing skills.
  • No saving option: the free version won’t allow saving, except by copy-pasting the text to another support.

Hemingway Editor 3 is the Pro desktop version, priced $19.99 for lifetime access, which allows the export/import functionality.

We appreciated the online interface’s simplicity: a writing mode to express yourself freely and an editing mode to proofread and sharpen your content, with a formatting tab in the editor’s upper section. In our opinion, Hemingway may be the best editing tool for bloggers or students, both in terms of functionalities and pricing.

WhiteSmoke

Available on web, mobile, and as desktop software (premium), WhiteSmoke is intuitive and updated continuously. Beyond grammar and word corrections, it offers writing tutorials and a few interesting, distinctive features.

Pros:

  • Templates: something you don’t find often. Over a hundred templates for documents and compositions, from thank you notes to letters – a great perk for time-formatting.
  • Features: all plans and versions include (limited) plagiarism checker and translation tool. The translation feature works with more than 50 different languages in the premium version.
  • Prices: very competitive, also due to the choice of relying on annual subscriptions only.

Cons:

  • Limited checking: there is a very annoying 10,000 characters (not words) limitation at a time that slows down the editing. Luckily enough, this is only the case with the desktop app.
  • UI: extremely simple, cannot really compete with Grammarly or Ginger, neither in UI, speed or ease-to-use.
  • Online only: a pity, in our opinion, at least considering the desktop version.

Prices range as follows, with no monthly options: it goes instead for yearly and 3-years plans.

  • Web: $5/month, annual billing of $59.95 (web only);
  • Premium: $6.66/month, $79.95/annual billing;
  • Business: $11.50/month, $137.95/annual billing.

No free trial, but big names as Forbes or The Observer rated it five stars – among the best proofreading tools. We appreciated the template series and the videos on the most common mistakes – one for all, the use of passive forms. We did not explore the translation feature in-depth, which looks quite interesting.

LanguageTool

Speaking of translations, LanguageTool (open-source) is a multi-language grammar checker, a rarity in an English-dominated field. This makes it remarkably useful, besides the easy-to-use UI and its algorithms’ accuracy in checking mistakes.

Pros:

  • Multi-language: LanguageTool detects errors in Spanish, French, German, and Russian, among others, as it checks mistakes in more than 20 different languages, plus variations.
  • Offline: the desktop app can be used offline, which is always a bonus in this field.
  • Dictionary integration: you can add words to your personal dictionaries.

Cons:

  • No plagiarism option: this makes LanguageTool a simple integration for your writer’s toolkit.
  • Not all devices supported: has a browser extension, a desktop app, it’s integrated into GDoc, Word, OpenOffice, and LibreOffice, among others, but, you should always check the compatibility list to be sure of your purchase.

Prices are, again, in the average range for the market, offering a well-known free, online, multi-language editor, with 2500 characters per check. Other plans:

  • Premium: €19/month; €39.00/3 months; €59.00/year;
  • Enterprise/Developer: customization and API integration.

LanguageTool can be downloaded for offline use. However, we already knew it in the online version. We tested it out as a proofreader in English and Spanish, and we didn’t find it to be the best proofreading software out there, although still quite reliable.

PaperRater

Another web, cloud-only based tool. The free version is interesting as it allows, beyond grammar and spelling checks, 10 plagiarism checks per month, and a maximum submission length of 5 pages. The Premium version includes extra.

Pro

  • Robust database: the plagiarism check uses Google and Bing as databases for the queries. This means more material to check against, making PaperRater quite advanced.
  • Automated scoring: a student-oriented feature that will score the document to give you an idea of the one you may get in real life.
  • Levels of text analysis, plus additional filters such as vocabularies or e-Submission directly to your teacher.

Cons

  • Below-average accuracy: in our opinion, it needs to improve its accuracy in detecting errors and plagiarism itself.
  • No cross-platform: we can access PaperRater only through the website, as it doesn’t have a web extension.
  • Student only: considering its features, this tool can’t be a fit for professional writers, but should be handy for students who handle short papers. However, costs must be considered, given the overall checking performance.

Prices: a premium offer has been recently added to offer extended document submission and a more accurate plagiarism check.

  • Premium: $11.21/months or $71.55/yearly.

We would suggest it as an additional tool for plagiarism check, which is a feature any writer would want to have in their toolkit. However, it needs integration with a more accurate proofreader software.

Slick Write

Either try the free trial or start writing online, you can have a taste of this cloud-based solution most quickly, using your browser. This simple editor has a settings area to organize every function and provides useful data insights about your text.

Pros:

  • The “associator”: a feature that suggests a list of associations to help users overcome the writer’s block.
  • Statistics: an interesting view of the document with stats like reading time, vocabulary variety, or sentence types, among many others.
  • Features: it integrates suggestions regarding slang, profanity, etc., as well as an honesty and objectivity check.

Cons:

  • Basic UI: efficient for the user, but it looks a little out-of-date. It could gain from an update.
  • Statistics again: average users may not need some insights – however, you can disable them from the settings panel.
  • Accuracy: needs improvement, as it misses basic mistakes, thus, requiring additional manual reviews.

Slick Write comes with a free trial that you can try immediately on the browser. You can tip the authors directly on the webpage, and no price info as such is available.

In our opinion, this is an essential tool that offers some cool features. We suggest you give it a try, especially when looking at bias language, cliché, or weasel words suggestions – features, among others, that can become quite useful in crafting a modern and original composition.

Accuracy is the first thing to notice in a document: the first impression does matter. However, the best proofreading and editing software goes way beyond misspelled words. It improves your writing skills, saves you a significant amount of time and stress, and guides you in sharpening the tone, the word choice, even the formality of your text. Not to mention how these tools can be beneficial in case of specific needs: learning difficulties, translations, academic writing, email composition, etc. You don’t need to be a professional to use these; you may want to try one of the many available options, instead.

MS Word add-ons

Add-ons are installed directly onto your Microsoft Word. After a manual install to create a shortcut on the app menu, the feature will operate on the background every time you run the program.

Chrome/Browser extensions

Browser extensions work while navigating on the web. These need to be manually activated by searching for these in the webstore. Add and authorize these to run in the browser; they will usually appear as small icons on the web browser’s upper side.

Online proofreading tools

Everything you can access online: let’s explore the four main categories here.

Website apps

Webpages with functionalities: these look like an app, but with browser access. Think of Whatsapp Web: you access online software through a web browser (therefore, using web technologies, like HTTP). The content and functions with the web tool are similar to the mobile version.

Full-service online apps

Entirely online. Similar to website apps, these are accessible only through browsers – usually, it doesn’t matter which one, as they work by moving data over the internet. These may require login or signing up in order to work, though.

Mobile apps

Like every other app, download it from your device’s store – App Store or Play Store. Once the download is complete, you must log in to the app to start using it.

Desktop apps

Software that requires a download on your PC. A setup.exe file will start the installation, and it will set up a program that you can access anytime, anywhere, possibly with additional features vs the online version.

It is now clear that proofreading does not only mean checking for typos and punctuation, as writers want to focus on much more – and possibly learn while doing it.

However, keep in mind that there is no software nor AI (yet!) able to replace a human editor. You will still need to manually review any suggestions, as software cannot always grasp the exact meaning of something as complex as the human language, even if it’s the best editing tool. There is no such thing as a perfect proofreading system or a perfect human editor. However, they can work together to achieve the best possible results.