From literature artists to writers, poets, and even online content writers and media personals, we all need to write a lot for our living. Now, imagine the scenario where all your writing is full of errors, and it goes on to the publishing house!
Quite a dreadful one, isn’t it? For that, one of the most important tasks after completion of our writing is to check it for errors. Mostly known as proofreading in modern times, it has become more critical than ever in deciding the quality of content.
The more grammatically correct and straightforward a content, the more are its chances of getting a good response. To check for all these issues, we either need a personal proofreader, or we can switch to any grammar checking tool.
- Easy to crack UI and supplies a minimalistic approach.
- Better in finding grammar errors than other counter products.
- Multiple English accents like the British, US, Canada, and Australian.
- Real-time grammar correction.
- It comes over multiple platforms like for Web, native Windows, MS Word and as keyboard on mobile phones.
- Good for native English speakers.
- Has inbuilt team management system and so has organizational capacity.
- Provides unique suggestions to improve style and structure of sentences.
- Free for students and cheaper plans for academic or educational institutions.
- Not so good for nonnative English speakers.
- No translate feature in current plans.
- No text to speech or speech to text converter, which many similar products provide.
- Bit Costly subscription plans and fewer features add lesser value to these plans.
- Ad targeting is very high for free users.
- Too many suggestions for comma and articles, which can make the content look very annoying.
- No support for Scrivener, one of the top products used by writers, authors and in another similar field.
- Lacks in providing proper customer support services.
- Needs better UI to replace/skip the errors and needs more color codes for different error types.
In modern times, with so much technology in AI, professionals have utilized its power to design applications that can correct any grammar mistakes in your writings.
There are many big names in the market for English grammar correction. Some of the prominent names are Ginger, Grammarly, ProWritingAid, WhiteSmoke, etc.
In this article, we are going to review the top shark in field of grammar checking, named as Grammarly.
Started in 2009 by two Ukrainian developers, in Kiev, Grammarly has silently swept the floor with its amazing features and good grammar checking tool.
Grammarly uses a backend grammar engine. This is developed in form of Common LISP, a form of LISP programming. They have also used other languages like Python, Erlang, etc. to reinforce logic of the application.
Equipped with tons of resources to check for grammatical as well as other errors in your writing, Grammarly also provides one of the most competitive pricing in market.
Since we are going to review the top contenders in this field, we will make sure to bring out all its features and test them to see if it is really the king of grammar checking tools.
Grab on your seats!
Grammarly comes with some exciting offers in its store. We already had the Grammarly business edition, which is currently the top plan with most features in it.
Before you begin, we’d like to tell you that Grammarly offers a restricted free trial version for all users. However, users cannot get a dedicated free trial using the main website. Users can contact the support team to get their free trial access, especially if you are a student or an academic organization.
Grammarly can be used over a number of platforms as in Windows, MS word, browser extension, MacOS, and iOS. Once you get your subscription ready, we can now move on to check the features that Grammarly has to offer.
Coming in a simple setup across all platforms, you can install it and login into your account. After this, Grammarly automatically begins its work.
The Grammarly tab will scan the entire document automatically and then return whatever errors it finds out. The errors can be corrected by clicking on the suggested word on right pane.
Although you may want to click on all corrections, not every correction is worth doing. This is because the AI may not fully understand the intent of certain articles. Also, the grammar check is not always correct, and that’s why, even Grammarly has not given a correct all button.
We are reviewing a grammar checking tool, and there are many features in it. We will discuss them in the below article and side by side review them and see if they are really as good as Grammarly advertises.
Let’s Look at the Features
Coming on to the features section, checking for errors in grammar is the most critical of them all. The secondary features are plagiarism checking tool, vocabulary corrections, punctuation errors, etc.
As the most elementary task for a grammar checking tool, this feature must be made the best and most advanced before any other feature.
Grammarly has given a list of all the grammar errors its software checks, similar to described in its grammar handbook. The list mostly holds grammar checks for adjectives, adverbs, articles, conjunctions, interjections, nouns/pronouns, verbs, and prepositions.
All these topics are quite familiar to all of us. We have encountered them in daily life, and so these are topics which we probably tend to lease onto and make mistakes.
To test the Grammarly grammar check tool capabilities, we used some sample texts that we had and of all categories as mentioned above. This sample text had many mistakes under several categories, as we had mentioned before.
We started with adjectives and adverbs test. We used our sample text to test the structure. There were advanced as well as intermediate level words in it. Grammarly, like another grammar check, was only able to suggest for correct adjectives if they were used wrong. It did suggest replacing one, but that was very rare.
We compared the results with Ginger and ProWritingAid, in which it was a tie between Ginger and Grammarly. Some errors were displayed by Grammarly, while Ginger displayed some errors.
Not that we expect a full accuracy, but some of the obvious errors and that too of intermediate level were missed by Grammarly. Same thing happened while we were using the MS word self-check.
Same thing was prevalent in conjunctions and interjections tests. Both Grammarly and Ginger were unable to find all the errors in this part. There were some misplaced conjunctions too which were not suggested by any of them.
This was a bit of downer, to be honest as we expected at least a correction and if not a suggestion. Nevertheless, later we scanned the error tool for articles, nouns, prepositions, etc. too.
Grammarly performed better than both Ginger and ProWritingAid in these checks. Strictly speaking, Grammarly offered more amount of space for the use of prepositions like as, for, in, than. In terms of article, the highest amount of suggestion was given for a & the.
“Sometimes, the suggestion for use the article The is too much while checking the paragraphs for the errors using the Grammarly.”
Now, as you have seen in the above sentence, word The is suggested extensively and when you read it, entire tone and expression of article in lost. We want Grammarly to rectify methods to check for articles. Sometimes the percentage of usage of single article goes above 15% if we use up all suggestions of Grammarly.
The verbs and tenses checks were good too. However, we had to edit sentences and lower down the language so that Grammarly can easily detect the flaws. Some prominent verbs were missing, and some were misplaced, of which Grammarly had shown correction for both.
Overall, as we had said earlier, it is very difficult for any AI to give users above 70% accuracy while doing the grammar check. Certain sentences change meaning with the flip of a coin. To give such intellect to AI is as easy as teaching it human emotions, agony, joy of eating ice-cream with your kids, etc., which is currently impossible.
Regardless of this, Grammarly still has the most robust AI logic to figure out grammatical errors and provides the most helpful suggestions. Although, we felt that MS word has better guessing power and had much sophisticated and aligning suggestions.
Other than that, Grammarly provides different layers of checking for grammar based on levels like academics, business, medical, technical, etc. This allows users to have some strict control over the type of strictness they want to adhere in their article.
The grammar checker has also given a grammar dictionary over their main website. This dictionary has all the previously mentioned grammar items like adverbs, adjectives, etc. They have given a brief explanation as well as examples for all these words.
One of the most common and annoying blunders that people make is punctuation mistakes.
“Imagine someone goes on writing words and words and tons of it without use of comma full stop or colons, which can make the readers feel annoying distressed and resentful.”
Felt a bit of that while reading above line? Now you may realize how annoying it can become.
As far as the rule of punctuation goes, a simple rule is that whenever you feel a pause in your speech while reading, thinking, or speaking, you must try to inject punctuation there.
When we talk about punctuations, the most common of them are an apostrophe, colon, period, commas, quotations, exclamations and question marks, and dashes. There are few more viz. ellipsis, hyphens, parentheses, and slashes.
We should be expecting Grammarly to give suggestions on all of them or correct the current ones to aid in getting sound sentences.
In terms of punctuations, Grammarly offered very good results in suggesting commas, periods, hyphens, and colons. There were some inconsistent suggestions for semicolons, parentheses, ellipsis, and exclamations.
Both Ginger and Grammarly had some comparable results. There is still some logic they need to device to suggest correct usage of colons, semi colons, and parenthesis in the sentences.
All in all, Grammarly did a decent job in finding the punctuation mistakes once again and suggested the improvements as per the need.
This is one more area where we make mistakes quite often. Many times, some of the spellings are same for many words, but as the context changes, and meaning changes too. Then there are double meaning, edgy or sarcastic sentences too, which AI will never understand.
Sentences like ”live in my house, or get to the live concert,” may confuse the readers sometimes if the context is not properly used. Other than this, similar words like lose/loose, affect/effect, lie/lay, etc. may also create wrong message in writing.
To avoid these errors and correct the existing ones, Grammarly uses a contextual spelling check feature.
It is very easy to configure one in the sentence. Users need to check mark this tab in the interface directly and then all such errors will be shown to you.
Grammarly did a decent job of finding such words and correcting them. Usually, there is a list of such words in their database, which helps to point out such mistakes very quickly. We did its comparison with Ginger, WhiteSmoke, etc. and found that all of them showed almost equivalent results.
Make sure to use the correct context in instances where there is no difference in spelling. Such errors are hard to point because of dual meaning of the word.
It makes the sentences correct sometimes and you may skip the errors while checking it. These errors can only be best rectified by manual proofreading and with correct knowledge of the context.
We have gone through many grammar rules in our book, but have you heard about Grammar & its Mechanics?
If not, we will tell you about it in brief here. Basically, these mechanics refer to the writing or sentence structures. The most commonly used items to be observed in it are Parts of Speech, Parts of Sentences, Punctuations, Sentence Errors, and Spellings.
Out of these, we often come across issues of sentence structure, contractions, compound words, spelling, wrong capitalization, and meaningless sentences.
So how does Grammarly helps to resolve these issues? Well, Grammarly has this feature inbuilt in its error checking tool itself.
Most important task here is first to derive correct or intended meaning of the sentences that you’ve written. Many times, sentences are grammatically correct but may either sound ridiculous or too much wordy.
For example, try using more than one future perfect progressive tense in a single paragraph, and you are more likely to annoy readers even though the context and grammar will be correct.
Grammarly advises such errors as wordiness. Words like “is capable of, is unable to” can easily be written as “can/could.”
Many more such words exist which makes reading unnecessarily long. Among errors in sentence structure, fragments, run-on lines, misplaced modifiers, dangling modifiers, faulty parallelism, etc. are also part of Grammarly’s sentence mechanics check.
Among these, a dangling modifier is most common mistake shown by Grammarly. We evaluated our model paragraphs for structure errors, and Grammarly suggested good replacements for many phrases.
Among the spelling mistakes, both Grammarly and Ginger had a profound dictionary, and so they reported every wrong spelling. This is the easiest part for the grammar checking tool due to use of a fixed dictionary.
When we are doing creative writing, like stories, poems, comics, etc., we tend to use tacky words, idioms, metaphors, simile, etc.
All these things are very common in literature field and comic writing since there is no way to say what new word a writer comes up with, like Buzzinga from BBT.
Same is the case with idioms and phrases in stories, and metaphors or similes in poems. Still, there are more than enough resources with us to identify whether the given simile, metaphors, etc. are valid or not.
With a sufficient database of such tricky words, Grammarly can suggest some corrections for wrong usage or suggest with some better replacements.
Grammarly did help us to correct some well-known sentences and metaphors, but there is one more thing that was needed to check out.
This was Onomatopoeia. One-mato…what? Most of the people wouldn’t have heard of this word but worry not we’ll tell you about it too.
Now, most of us have read tons of comic books, comedy literature, or other similar story writings. In these writings, we have come across words like Boom, Crunch, Tick-Tok, Munch-munch, Hisss, etc.
All these words are part of Onomatopoeia. These words are rare in traditional writing zones like literature, academics, media publications, etc. But nowadays, they have captured the market in online content writing too.
People are seldom following traditional rules, even the media houses, since along with great content, readers need some spiciness and engaging words, so that they do not get bored with long reports. However, for any tragic events, we avoid such language.
One more thing we need to take care of, is about use of abbreviations. There are literally tons of abbreviations made every day, and it is difficult to keep up with it. And so, writers should see if the abbreviations used by them are correct or not.
Overall, this feature is more advanced than simple grammar checking and involves the use of some complex AI algorithms. Grammarly has done a decent job in implementing it and also offers suggestions on its website, in the grammar handbook.
Another field to dive in, is style correction. Now that we have seen how structure of sentences can affect the writing, we will now check why writing style is important and how does Grammarly help to correct it.
In Grammarly, some style errors are given more importance like passive style usage, parallelism, mixed constructions, wordiness, and redundancy.
Out of these, users will see the usage of passive voice most common among masses. So, is using passive voice a wrong habit?
Technically, it is not. Passive voice is used to emphasize on the subject and action, rather than the doer himself. Because of this, at times, things aren’t pretty direct. This is to be avoided, especially in academia or technical writings.
Grammarly has a knack of showing errors for passive voice usage constantly. However, users can simply avoid it, but it will always show in the list of error corrections.
Another is excessive use of parallelism. It is fine till writers use these words in limit, but once you see so many cushioning words, it can quickly turn into an annoyance.
Another thing that we check for in style correction is Mixed Construction. In this category, writers often use multiple, incompatible words together to form a sentence. Due to this, a sentence’s style and structure become absurd.
Grammarly helps to identify these style mistakes in style correction option. Although it will show many regular errors in style checks, it is still a useful tool for checking your grammar errors. All in all, this is also a good feature by Grammarly, and it is more efficient than in ProWritingAid and Ginger.
Lastly, even though our sentences are correct, redundancy and wordiness are also common in many writings. To avoid them, users can scan it with Grammarly, and it will suggest replacing such errors.
Also, Grammarly has an option to suggest for replacement words. Replacement words are suggestive and allow users to have a more matured way of writing. Words like really, just like that, only, own, etc. are not only redundant but also signify non-serious writing style.
This may affect some readers, and so they can be found out using the Grammarly’s Vocabulary Enhancement scan. It also helps to spread usage of words, minimize overuse, and have matured words in your content.
Concluding to this section, we would say that Grammarly has tried to include every possible method to detect errors in writing, be it grammatical or in structure/style. Nobody should expect 100% accuracy from AI, but in most of the features, Grammarly produced a better solution than other applications.
Also, if you are not satisfied with proofreading done by Grammarly software, you can use the Human Proofreader option from web platform. They charge on per word basis for it.
To be honest, writers should cultivate art of proofreading themselves if possible. This not only helps them observe their own work but also allows them to know mistakes which won’t be repeated in future.
Team Management in Business edition
This is one of the most rarest features among grammar checking tools. It is more related to the business plans that most software products have for organizational capabilities.
This business plan allows adding 3+ members to your team and they get premium access to Grammarly. There is an admin panel given for this purpose.
In the admin panel, users can see three main tabs to customize these settings. The 1st one is the Overview tab. In this tab, admins can view three details of team members added there.
They can see the number of active users, amount of words checked, and alerts reviewed. The number of users indicates members added by admins in the team. The second one lists number of words checked using the scan button, and last one indicates number of reviewed alerts while scanning.
The 2nd tab is Members Tab. In this, admins can add members they want to be in their team. They can be given an invitation to join the team by invite button. Once the user has registered themselves on Grammarly, their account will now show the premium status.
The last tab is admin tab that will display details about admin of the team. The admin can also transfer leadership of the account from here to one of the team members.
As we can see, the team management system is simple and short for a grammar checking tool. One can easily add, modify, or remove someone from it. This is a unique feature in Grammarly.
All in all, Grammarly has done great efforts in improving its features along with a super sleek UI.
One of the tasks that represent soul of error checking, be it for grammar or any other field is accuracy. Accuracy is not only needed for pointing errors in the content, but also for supplying with proper suggestions.
Even you as readers know that complete accuracy is not possible by any grammar checking tool. Therefore, it has become more of a comparative tool to see who points out the most errors.
In case of Grammarly, the accuracy is more of a writer-oriented. This means that for non-native English speakers, accuracy is lower, and suggestions provided may seem vague in many instances. This may be due to writing style itself influencing the grammar check.
For native English speakers, Grammarly is known to give more than 50% accuracy rates. Most of the suggestions for typos, misspelled words, long sentences, etc. are quite accurate.
However, high-level literary work is still out of reach for its AI, which is same for most grammar checking tools.
Compared to other products like Ginger, ProWritingAid, WhiteSmoke, etc., it has given better suggestions and pointed out most deliberate mistakes easily. This show that it is a better alternative than other products.
All in all, this feature is meant to be evolving, and so we can only hope that they increase the dictionary support for grammar and improve this product. Talking about UI and its usage, let us see how it performed in providing hassle-free use of the service.
As we have tested out most of the features of Grammarly, it is now time to evaluate the UI of setup. Some readers may think why we need to review the UI? And we tell you that it is very important.
No matter how much accuracy it may show, if the methods of presentation and correction are not up to the mark, it can lead to bad UI experience for customers. What if the software detects all mistakes but does not use proper color scheme to differentiate between them?
What is the UI is buggy and the application crashes often, or is very slow? Under such condition, people will throw accuracy out along with the product. Remember how much annoyance old Internet Explorer was (and still it is :o)?
In case of Grammarly, they have tried to maximize their reach and have released the product over both desktop and mobile platform. It is our task to test the product over all these platforms and give you verdict whether they have given a better UI than other grammar checking software or not.
The web interface has both browser-based interface and an extension too. The browser-based interface is like a website, while extension is typical browser add-on with auto-check function.
To access grammar checking function on website, go to home page of Grammarly and click the grammar checker. This will redirect to main grammar checker after you have logged in.
The main interface here contains a text field, alert section, assistant menu, and general tabs. The central text area is where users can input the text to be proofread.
The home page of this interface has option to upload documents to be checked. Grammarly supports direct uploading of files like text, rich text, and word format. When it comes to formatting support, Grammarly only allows simple formatting like text, spaces, symbols, etc.
There is no support for bullets, numbering, bold underline, etc. Although it is not needed, but it helps in visualizing the document as we want it to be published. Also, a bit of formatting sometimes helps us differentiate between items that are heading, title, and that are not meant to be corrected.
The users can see All Alerts tab just on the right side of interface. In this tab, they can see errors highlighted by Grammarly. When you click on any of shown error, it will pop out suggested corrections.
When you click on suggested solution, a correction will replace highlighted word. Users can also use undo button just on the side and cancel the corrections. Users can see description of the errors in this menu.
There is a button on top right that is used to either hide or show correction assistant. The correction assistant not only contains error window, but users can also filter errors individually using it.
The list of error correction suggested as per this menu contains spelling errors, grammar, punctuations, fluency, conciseness, confidence, clarity, variety, vocabulary, and consistency.
When you click on any of these items, Grammarly will sort these errors as per selected filter. This comes in handy if you are either short of time, or just want to check about a single error type.
There are two more options on top of this alert menu, Performance and Set Goals. As the name hints, Performance tool is used to check the performance of content as per set standards.
So, how does Grammarly evaluates my article and assign it a score? Well, there are several factors utilized by Grammarly to do this. Few of them are as follows, number of characters, word count, reading time, speaking time, average word length, sentence length, readability score, and writing errors.
They also compare usage of vocabulary. Using more diverse, unique or rare words is encouraged for a better score.
They have also paved the way for getting a more detailed report on your writing. The report has more precise specifics like writing errors, their types, and details, usage data, etc. This report can be downloaded in PDF format, to be checked later as offline usage.
Next thing besides performance check is Goal Setting. What is this setting goal thing, and how will it benefit me? For answer to such questions, we need to see a pattern in which Grammarly’s AI works.
Grammarly has already categorized various writing intent like academic, general, creative, etc. as we have discussed before. The context is very important to filter out words that do not fit in some situations. For example, using words like Hee…ha, hurray, etc. can sound very disrespectful if they are used in serious or tragic situations.
That is why these goals are a marker for Grammarly, using which it will check the context, style, structure, etc. Under goal settings, they have given intent, audience, style, emotion, and domain type. All these sections have different criteria using which the application conducts error checking job.
The intent section has the writing motto, i.e., informal, describe, convince, stories. The Audience can be either dumb, knowledgeable, or experts.
Style and emotion can be formal or informal. The last option ‘domain results’ sets the type of writing domain, e.g., general, business, casual, creative, and technical writings.
This allows the AI of Grammarly to smartly use it for error checking function and gain more expertise in further checks. Other than that, there is no notable feature for web interface. Users can also download the text in PDF format or get it printed.
The general settings offer very basic control over account. Users can add words to their personal dictionary, choose a language preference, and check subscription details there.
Lastly, the web browser interface also includes a browser extension. The browser extension does a live scan of text you are writing and displays the errors. It only works on the text field of the page.
When there is an error while writing, it will underline that word, and when you hover the mouse over it, the suggestions will be revealed. You can click on it to replace the text or add unique words to your dictionary.
There is also an option where double clicking on a word will display the meaning of that word. This feature is similar to one used in Ginger. However, Ginger also shows some synonyms with their meaning, which can be implemented by Grammarly too.
As far as web interface is concerned, they have given almost every feature similar to other platforms. One thing we felt is a lack of zoom function. The font size needs to be adjusted as per user demand, and so zoom in/out button will help in it.
Secondly, they should allow some basic formatting like bold, underline, italics, highlights, etc. in the web interface checking tool. This allows to separate certain section for the readers and also if these formatting are allowed, they can directly send a copy to anyone, if a share button is also given, preserving the original format.
Also, the number of formats supported for writing must be increased along which they are saved or exported. Talking about saving, we need a separate save button for this too.
Overall, the web interface is much better than in Ginger, WhiteSmoke, etc. Few more features here and there and we have an amazing online grammar checker tool.
Let us now see how they have implemented things in desktop interface. As we have generally seen, most grammar checking software also have a dedicated desktop version.
Most probably, majority of people nowadays use desktop applications to write their content, especially due to ease of usage. Due to this, desktop apps with grammar correction tools are quite popular.
Grammarly also uses an app like this. The desktop app has two main versions. One is a simple desktop setup, and other is for MS word.
The desktop app has same setup as the web interface, and we will not be reviewing it again. However, in case of MS word add-on, we will give you a brief report on its working and functions as it is a most used software for writing among Windows users.
The Grammarly add-on can be accessed directly via top navigation bar in MS-Word menu. In this tab, you can find all the options for checking grammar along with a plagiarism tool.
The users need to click on Grammarly tab and start error scanning tool. One thing we noticed here is that while this add-on is enabled, the default error scanner of Word is disabled. This means the users won’t have auto-correction, spell check, or any other error tool given by MS-Word.
One more thing user will notice, is that Grammarly does not perform a slow scan while you are typing the content. Also, the counter in bottom left bar where we can see the page details, number of characters, words, etc. freezes while this add-on is active.
For some reason, these are kind of flaw in implementation of the system. The live scan must be faster to incorporate for mistakes as we go on typing. Also, there is no reason to freeze the word counter. Another thing we noted was a certain lag while using the add-on.
This lag may be a result of a slow system, but we had a pretty great computer system along with minimal background programs.
Nevertheless, let us review what extra features this add-on has. To start with, the main menu of the add-on shows seven main tabs viz. contextual spelling, grammar, punctuations, sentence structures, style, vocabulary enhancements, and plagiarism.
There is a color code system that is common across entire Grammarly interface. Grammarly has divided them based on type of errors, i.e., red for serious errors, and yellow for mild errors.
Generally speaking, red alerts are frequent for wrong spelling mistakes, missing articles, incorrect verb or tense usage, and similar grammar mistakes. These are probably the top priorities to be reviewed.
However, as we have said before, usage of articles is suggested too many times, and in our view, they must realign the logic to reduce its suggestions.
The yellow marker is used for mild errors. These are the ones that are related to sentence structure, style, modifiers, overused words, redundancy or similar errors. However, the punctuations were also caught in yellow zone, which must be alerted in red zone.
Grammarly’s main tab can be used to customize scan results. Unhighlighted tabs will not be used as error criteria while checking. There is also an option to customize theme of the content as given in other interfaces. However, these themes are detailed in this section.
When you click on one of these themes like on academics, you can select multiple options from it, like for general, essays, literature, technical, desertions, etc. There is no info on their site, on how they calculate these criteria, but such detailed filtering is not seen in other grammar checking tools.
One thing which we thought Grammarly lacked was a speech to text converter and vice versa. This is only a suggestion based on what extra perk they can add to improve the value of their subscription.
Another thing is to add accent-based reader system. This means that if you choose British accent or Irish accent as a speaker type, it should speak in that form. This will allow customers to learn various popular accents and improve their knowledge.
Overall, the desktop interface includes the native windows app as well as the add-on in the MS Word application. The UI is designed very novice friendly and has a one-click start functions. We would certainly like to have the text reader feature to be added in it.
The scanning speed is also good, and interaction with the UI is also great. Many top sites use it for their proofreading purposes.
With so much advancements in smartphone tech, people can draft entire books on their phone, make comics, and do any form of writing stuff. This can be a sob story on your Facebook, Instagram, or legend of mighty Ragnar.
If these grammar checking tools are limited to desktop only, they are limiting their reach to current and future customers. The best way to eliminate this, is having other means to check grammar while you continue writing, and that too in portable form.
For this, Grammarly has given a latest app called Grammarly Keyboard. This keyboard, just like web interface scans the documents that you write and point the mistakes all along.
To use the app, go to the app store, download it and then open it. The users need to allow it to overtake the current keyboard that they are using. The app monitors every text you type in it including the passwords, pins, etc.
This data is used to provide correct suggestion for grammar. The keyboard is quite wider than normal keypad. The top left side of this keyboard has Grammarly icon. Whenever there is a mistake in the document, that icon will be highlighted, and the red mistakes will be shown to you.
To start correcting these mistakes, users need to click on the icon. This will open a small tab and you can swipe across the errors shown by Grammarly
Just like the desktop UI, it will suggest users with said corrections. There are options to dismiss as well add words in dictionary.
However, in mobile version, scanning part is limited to typing only. This means that if you want your document to be scanned like PDF, TXT files, etc., you will need to rely on desktop version. Users can use the keyboard only while correcting errors.
When compared to other apps like given by Ginger, WhiteSmoke, ProWritingAid, etc., Grammarly has no extra perks to stand out among these apps. Apart from the normal scanning process, there are some general UI features in it too.
For example, under the keyboard settings, you can configure the color of keyboard, their borders, number rows, height, and give vibrate, sound and popup functions while keypress.
Like usual keyboards in mobile apps, there are certain settings like autocorrect, auto capitalization, predictions, emojis, contact names and language preferences.
They have also given a double tap function where you can press the spacebar twice to insert a period and space. Such a nice feature, isn’t it?
The grammar checking features were similar to the desktop apps but with a minimalist setup. Now, if we compare it to Ginger, it did lack some good features in its mobile interface.
It starts with the keyboard themes. Although not something that can break the tool, it is indeed one of the concerns for many people.
Not everyone can be comfortable with the traditional black and white theme. And so, they need to add more keyboard themes for everyone.
There is also a theme creator in Ginger. Also, Ginger has given translate function in their mobile version too.
This gives them a bit more edge over Grammarly. One thing Grammarly has done amazing is providing an ad-free experience of its mobile app, which most other apps were not giving.
Overall, Grammarly still has an edge over other competitors when it comes about correcting grammar. The mobile app is lightweight and works smoothly.
Certainly, they can add more features to this app like the translator, support to scan documents files directly using the mobile app, and many more.
The Good/Bad & Final Verdict
Going through every feature of Grammarly, we have finally come to the last stop of our train. Now talking of Grammarly, we would say that it has indeed done a great job in easing load of proofreading on many customers.
One of the things we found annoying, was the free version. Although their urge to increase their paying customers is understood, they are into heavy advertisements for free users and this can create a trouble. Most people start with free version, and such restrictions and ads can potentially make a potential customer leave the service once for an all.
Certain features like translator, text reader, speech to text convertor were missing. The subscription plan seemed quite costly given that it has only grammar check and plagiarism tool.
The plagiarism tool is very mediocre and not to be trusted fully. It won’t be able to scan bigger mistakes. For that, use other tools in market, especially ProWritingAid has better plagiarism tool than this.
One more issue was with the UI. Sometimes, the errors won’t get corrected automatically when you click on the corrections. This happened often in very large documents with over 7k word count.
Another thing is the need to expand an error to correct it. This was the most annoying to deal with. The users need to click on an ant sized cross button to close that mistake. Also, there is no provision to stop scanning for particular mistakes, like MS Word’s ‘Don’t check this issue’.
Also, errors shown need to be elaborated under more distinct categories to avoid confusion. Color schemes for error must also be varied, which is restricted to only a couple of colors currently.
They have not given any formatting option in scanning tool itself. But users can use import button if they want to preserve formatting. Once the scanning and correcting of errors is done, users can just use download button to export the document in same format, thereby preserving them.
There is no integration for Scrivener, which is a bit of disappointment. They need to add it as it is one of the most used apps after MS Word, used by many authors and literature artists. Other than that, they have given their support for most of the platforms, be it Windows, Android, or Mac systems.
The mobile interface, although minimal, is good for basic error correction. As we have recommended earlier, it still needs some big features to shine in that market.
Lastly, customer support is very restrictive. They have only ticket submission forms currently. This is very demeaning to high value they charge for subscriptions. This needs to be addressed soon by giving the customers a good and varied services and support.
Concluding to our review, we would say that Grammarly is still a better choice in market compared to other products. If your aim is to get intermediate level grammar correction, Grammarly will do just fine.
Do not expect it to make your content 100% error free out of the blue. And always remember, AI can never give better proofreading than a learned human. You can rely on it for general spelling mistakes and grammar errors, but it will probably not work in high grade literary work, where the vocabulary and English level is very high.