The G post for #26Tech A-Z Challenge will preview some of the helpful grammar or proof-editing tools available to a writer.
Nothing will ever alter the requirement for a writer to proof-read and check their own writing work (or hire a fresh set of professional eyes to do so) but there are a few tools which automate grammar checks and provide some data fly-throughs to give a writer a view of the readability of their work.
Find the listly list of these apps here, and please add your own.
- This is a long post, designed for comparative browsing.
- I’ve not used any of these apps fully, so am only listing the most discussed apps and services.
Grammarly (webapp service)
Grammarly promises to identify over 250 text errors, improve word choices with vocabulary suggestions and check for plagiarism.
Autocrit (webapp service)
Autocrit is a similar web-based offering specifically targeting writers with promises of being an instant book editor.
The free trial webpage requires at least 200 words to use and like Grammarly, you need to register to get the free analysis report. Guest registrations entitle a reasonable usage of the site.
PaperRater targets the educational student paper market, so requires title, education level and type of paper inputs.
If you get through the dreaded Captcha the free webapp (there may be payment options at a later date) does grammar, spell checking and checks for plagiarism.
Ginger (Windows plugin, Android and Browser extensions)
Ginger provides a grammar and spellchecker. The software (for Windows PC only) adds proofreading functionality to a Microsoft Word, Outlook, PowerPoint and browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Safari and IE.
There is also a Personal Trainer feature designed for English language training, an Android App, and a premium feature of text-to-speech.
You can play around with the 600 character limited Ginger webapp and download the software. Monthly and yearly plan options, ranging from $4 – $10 per month.
After the Deadline (plugin)
With contextual spell and style checking, the plugin is also in WordPress.com – activate After the Deadline by following the proofreading instructions.
The software is also available as extensions/plugins for a variety of message boards and browsers including Chrome and Firefox, and for OpenOffice and Windows Live Writer.
Pro Writing Aid (Webapp and Word Plugin)
ProWriting Aid is a free online writing editor and personal writing coach with grammar, spelling and plagiarism checks. Once you input the text, you are returned a screen which includes some reports on findings, but the plagiarism check must be purchased as a bundle.
The Premium upgrade from free provides additional and faster checking features, and ranges from $35, includes a Microsoft Word plugin download.
Terminology and Phraseology (iOS App)
Terminology is one of the best dictionary and thesaurus apps available. The app is integrated into Drafts, making it easy to explore the English language and your word choices through many web-based systems. Terminology can be extended by custom or templated actions. Available for around $4.
What makes it great is the “Inspect” mode which breaks out commonly used (overused) words and provides stats on readability levels.
Text Analyzer (Mac and iOS App)
Text Analyzer provides text analysis – wordcount, character count, parts of speech (nouns or verbs used, adverbs, determiners etc). Find overused words or phrases and patterns in your writing.
It is available for $2 for the iOS app, $3 for the Mac app.
StyleWriter4 (Plugin and Software)
StyleWriter4 has a 14 day free trial. After this choose from three packages – ranging from $90-$190.
The install plugs in to your text editors (such as Word) providing a toolbar button. StyleWriter provides statistical reports and readability reports through the more expensive packages.
SmartEdit (Plugin Software, Windows)
SmartEdit is a popular writing package by the makers of PageFour. Similar to the above, SmartEdit has a 10 day free trial, then must be purchased for $57. The software works with files from MS Word or OpenOffice, running over 20 tests for readability, word choice, spellcheck and misused words.
WhiteSmoke (Plugin Software, Windows, Webapp)
WhiteSmoke Writer claims to be the leading writing correction software on the market, and that it works through anywhere you type – MS Word, Outlook, or any other text-editing software or web browsers. Providing grammar, spelling and writing style checks, you use it via the F2 function button on your PC.
There is no trial version to download, but various pricing plans – starting at one year for $80 with a Premium version offering access to the WhiteSmoke Anywhere webapp. Each package comes with a free add-on of a WhiteSmoke keyboard for Android.
- MS Word, admittedly the one piece of software you are best bets going to find on a writer’s desktop – has some functioning spell and grammar check options. In fact, in this writer’s test of Grammarly, After the Deadline, Ginger and MS Word (plus his wife) Word came out top in tools.
- GrammarCheck.me is a free online grammar and spellchecker.
- SpellCheckPlus.com is another free grammar and spellchecker, with some text editing functions thrown in.
- Word Counter – online counter – paste in a scene and it will tell you how many sentences and paragraphs there are, average sentence length and top ten words used.
- If you are writing on mobile devices, then there are many popular online dictionaries (Merium-Webster, Dictionary.com, et el) with good apps to install. Here’s the App Advice (for iOS) list of good Dictionary apps.
You will find the other posts under tag: #26Tech or an index post will be provided on May 1st.
A to Z: in April you will find other bloggers providing A to Z posts on many topics, through the 2014 Blogging from A to Z Challenge.