7 Best Proofreading Software Programs For Writers In 2020 | Authority Self-Publishing

7 Best Proofreading Software Programs For Writers In 2020

You just found a mistake in something you’ve published — something you swore you’d double-, triple-, and even quadruple-checked. And it hurts. 

But aside from your own careful self-editing (eyes on the page), what tools can help you eliminate those errors in the next piece of writing you put out there?

Or, in other words, what’s the best proofreading software for writers? And what proofreading and editing app has everything you need at an affordable price? 

What you learn might surprise you.

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grammarly-logoGrammarly
Hemingway-editor-logoHemingway App
Pro writing aid logoProWritingAid
Ginger
WhiteSmoke
Language-Tool-LogoLanguageTool
PerfectIt

The Best Proofreading Software for Writers in 2020

Only you know whether you want an app that focuses on spelling and grammar errors or one that can help you write with more clarity and elegance. 

For quite a while, Grammarly has been the gold standard for proofreading software.

But some of the Grammarly alternatives are well worth a try. So, I hope you’ll check them out for yourself and see how well they serve you. 

Only you know whether you want an app that focuses on spelling and grammar errors or one that can help you write with more clarity and elegance.

A comparison of Hemingway vs. Grammarly can help you decide on the right software for your needs.

But the best way to sort that out is to try them both yourself. Think of his post as your launchpad. The links are there for a reason.

Grammarly

This is probably the easiest tool to use with every bit of writing you do on your computer or smartphone.

It doesn’t provide detailed feedback, but it catches plenty of mistakes that most word processor spell-checkers miss. And it can follow you just about everywhere.

Just don’t expect to use it with Google Docs. Grammarly gets along with Google Chrome but not with Google Drive’s flagship word processor.

Here’s hoping they fix that. 

Features:

Free version
Premium costs $29.95/month 

c

Pros:

Robust free version
Easy to use with a variety of browsers, websites, and writing software

c

Cons:

Incompatible with Google Docs
No feedback on style or big picture writing

c

Hemingway App

Hemingway-editor-logo

For those who want a proofreading app that can help them become a better writer, the Hemingway app is definitely worth a look. 

For now, there’s no browser extension and, as far as we know, it’s not in the works, but fingers crossed.

But you can still copy and paste text into the Hemingway Editor to get detailed feedback and a helpful overview of your writing style or someone else’s.

Hemingway vs. Grammarly is like apples vs. oranges. Hemingway doesn’t check for spelling, nor does Grammarly check for style issues. So, if you want both, you’ll need both Hemingway and either Grammarly or a comparable alternative (Ginger, etc.). 

The real competition is between that combo and ProWritingAid. 

Features:

Identifies stylistic problems using color-coded highlight
Calls out passive voice, overuse of adverbs, run-on sentences, and over-complicated wording and terms
Has a desktop app (download) and a mobile app
You can purchase the download for $19.99

c

Pros: 

The color-coded highlights are easy to recognize
Advanced style checker and big-picture feedback
Free to use online

c

Cons:

No browser extension
Does not catch spelling errors

c

ProWritingAid

Pro writing aid logo

The software you choose may depend on your computer. The best proofreading software for Mac isn’t always the best option for a PC.

But in this case, ProWritingAid delivers for both major platforms

If we look at ProWritingAid vs. Grammarly, it doesn’t even look like a fair fight. 

ProWritingAid is less expensive than Grammarly.

And it combines an efficient grammar and spelling checker with stylistic tools to help you become more aware of your writing peccadillos (passive voice, overuse of adverbs, run-on sentences, etc.) — so you can write with more clarity and power.

This might be overkill for social media posts, but it’s a huge help for more substantial pieces like books and long blog posts.

Features:

Catches complex stylistic issues (passive voice, incomplete sentences, repetitiveness, wordiness, and jargon)
Has a browser extension, mobile app, and desktop client
Provides in-depth reports and suggestions for 20 common areas.
Plagiarism checker
Free version
Premium version is $60/year ($5/month, paid annually)

b

Pros:

Compatible with Google Docs, as well as MS Word and Scrivener
Of all the free proofreading software, this one gives the most information.
Provides detailed feedback on all the important details of any writing project
The premium version comes with desktop apps for Mac and Windows

c

Cons:

Only has a browser extension for Google Chrome (but it rocks)
No mobile app
No pay-per-month option 

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c

Ginger

Ginger-logo-2

Similar to Grammarly in both function and price, this one differentiates itself with a read-aloud feature and translation feature none of the other proofreading apps have.

Of all the Grammarly alternatives, this one may be the most comprehensive. 

The Chrome extension allows you to use the free version immediately. And the tiny Ginger logo (small white G in a blue circle) shows up when you’re writing to let you know Ginger is on the job.

Features:

Text-to-speech feature reads text aloud from Microsoft applications or from any website open on Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge.
Has Chrome extension and mobile app
Robust free version (with Chrome extension) — but less robust than Grammarly
Premium version costs $29.96/month. 

c

Pros:

  • Great for catching spelling and grammar mistakes in Word, Facebook, Gmail, LinkedIn, etc. 
  • Easy to use with multiple browsers (but not Firefox)
  • Robust free version
  • Ginger Premium can translate your writing into over 60 languages.
  • Occasionally runs sales that can save you up to 60% off the price

Cons:

Incompatible with Google Docs 

c

WhiteSmoke 

This Grammarly alternative comes with a smaller price tag and checks style as well as spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

If you want an app that works on your smartphone as well as on your PC/laptop, this is a viable option. 

Features:

Checks spelling, punctuation, grammar, and style
Has browser extension, mobile app, and desktop client
Starts at $4.16 a month

c

Pros:

Compatible with various browsers and mobile platforms
Checks for style (like Hemingway app)
Has a built-in plagiarism checker

c

Cons:

Makes some inaccurate suggestions (much like Grammarly)
No free version with this one

c

LanguageTool

Language-Tool-Logo

I include this one partly because of my soft spot for open source software. Unlike the previous app, this one has a free version.

And unlike most of the apps in this post, LanguageTool supports multiple languages. 

That said, its free version isn’t as robust as Grammarly’s, Ginger’s, or ProWritingAid’s. And it doesn’t have a browser extension.

You basically copy and paste your text into its editor (like the Hemingway app). 

But in its defense, the premium version is still one of the cheapest on the list. 

Features:

Catches spelling, punctuation, grammar, and style errors
Has a browser extension, mobile app, and desktop client
Has a free version
Premium costs $4.92/month.

c

Pros:

Supports multiple languages
Add-ons for MS Word, Google Drive, etc.

x

Cons:

Free version has limited functionality

x

PerfectIt

perfectit-logo

Lauded as the “leading software among professional proofreaders and editors,” this app can even enforce the rules of the particular stylebook you use.

It also checks consistency, locates undefined abbreviations, and works for US, UK, CA and AU English. 

Check out the free trial and see if this program has what you need to up your self-editing game — or even to earn some income as a professional editor or proofreader. 

Features:

  • Customizable to enforce house stylebook
  • Advanced checks that enforce consistency of spelling, hyphenation, numbering, list formatting, etc.
  • Costs $70/year (annual license)

c

Pros:

Thorough and customizable proofreading
14-day free trial with all features
Runs on all devices: PCs with any version of Windows and Word and Macs/iPads with Office 365. 

c

Cons:

No free version (beyond the free trial)

c

Did you find the best proofreading software for your needs?

So, now that you’ve had a chance to look over the features, pros, and cons of seven different proofreading apps, which ones stand out as the ones most likely to serve you well with your writing?

What do you look for in proofreading software? And what are your deal-breakers?

Keep in mind that you can try all of these to get a better sense of what they do and what it’s like to use them.

Give them all a look and a test-drive. Read some customer reviews to see what other users have said. 

Then see what each can do to a sample of your own writing. Find out which is the most helpful for you. 

And don’t forget to share what you’ve learned with your fellow writers. 

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