As the name says on the box, ProWritingAid really is a pro writing aid.
For more and more writers, online grammar checkers and editing software are becoming must-have writing tools. Any tool that finds common grammar and spelling mistakes and offers quick and easy corrections is going to help you improve your writing skills.
There are a lot of free writing and grammar checking tools available online now. Most of them can offer you basic help with spelling and grammar.
But do you want to get really useful, in-depth analysis of your grammar and a comprehensive writing style check? For this, you will need to consider using a premium version editing tool. ProWritingAid is my choice for all of my long-form writing projects.
Choosing Prowritingaid as your writing checker
Do you need an online grammar and writing style assistant? The biggest factor in your decision will be how well a tool suits your specific needs.
The choices will be different for every writer depending on what platforms, writing software and applications you are using.
For some, a fully functional desktop editor might be the only top priority.
For others, mobility and portability might be necessities. Do you want to work with multiple browsers and smartphone integration?
Do you want Word, Google Docs and Scrivener integration?
Of course, price is a big consideration for many writers. Before I even start on my review, this one is a winner already.
There is a very good free version available. But the pro version of Prowritingaid is around one-third of the price of comparable premium writing and grammar checkers. This makes it extremely good value for money.
Now let’s gets started on my hands-on review of ProWritingAid to help you in your decision-making process.
From the outset, I have to say that it only takes a few minutes to discover that ProWritingAid really has a lot going for it.
The toolbar at the top of the ProWritingAid desktop editor lets you know immediately that there is a lot on offer to analyse your writing.
I am using the premium edition for my ProWritingAid review. But even if you try the free version or free trial you will be able to discover how helpful it is.
Start by opening the desktop web editor. The graphical menu at the top of the screen gives you access to so many ways to analyse, check and improve your writing.
I spent my first half an hour clicking all the menu buttons. I immediately discovered that the text from my work-in-progress novel really needed a lot more work.
ProWritingAid certainly checks your grammar. But the web editor gives you access to more than twenty checks, reports and tools. That’s a lot of grunt under the hood for a grammar and spell checker application.
The real-time check is a very handy tool to give you an overall running account of your writing as you make your corrections.
It sits in the top left-hand corner and works like a running scoreboard telling you how many possible errors or issues you have left to work on.
You can see that there is a lot of work left for me to do with my text.
Once you get into analyzing your writing, it uses different coloured underlines beneath words and phrases to guide you to suggested corrections. One click and you have the correction or suggestion.
Here are a few examples of the way the editor works when highlighting quotation marks, redundancy and passive voice.
It was a surprise to discover that it finds unmatched quotation marks. I have not seen this function in any other applications before. It is so useful, especially for fiction writers.
There are similar pop-ups for many other suggested corrections or recommending better word choices.
However, the editor has more in store when you use some of the reporting tools available in the toolbar.
You can see below some examples of reports for repeated words, clichés and an overall reading report.
These reports are very detailed and are interactive with your text, which makes using the information to make corrections very easy.
You’ll find tools and reports in ProWritingAid for stickiness, sentence length and overused words. But there are many, many more. It’s a very long list!
There is no doubt that the web editor is feature-rich and user-friendly. Above all else, it is extremely helpful in improving your writing.
What about outside the web editor?
ProWriting Aid has apps and plugins for a whole host of software applications.
There is a Chrome extension, MS Word plugin and a Google Docs extension.
But more importantly, for a lot of authors, Prowritingaid integrates with Scrivener.
As with similar premium apps, there is no Word integration for Mac users. This is a Microsoft and Apple problem, so no blame on the program developers here.
However, the web editor works extremely well on a Mac. You can quickly upload a Word file or work with documents using the familiar File, Save and Open menu commands.
However, on all other fronts, the news is very good, even for Mac users.
On social media, you are protected from making silly little typos and spelling errors. In the posting text box, you will see that it is at work by the abbreviated toolbar that you use in the web editor.
For me, one of the most common uses of an online checker is when I am writing a blog post in WordPress. With the Chrome extension, it works like a charm and there is no lag or hesitation.
So how good is ProWritingAid overall?
It is very good, I have to say. Every tool you could possibly need is included in ProWritingAid.
The interface is clean and is easy to understand and learn how to use.
You are probably familiar with online writing tools. So it will only take you a few minutes to be underway and using the available tools and reports.
If you have never used an online grammar checker before, it will still only take you a very short time to feel comfortable using the web editor and Chrome extension.
The depth of analysis is the standout positive of ProWritingAid. There are just so many layers of corrections, improvements and reports to help you make your writing so much better and more readable.
The pros and cons of ProWritingAid
If you are looking for an online writing coach, then you should really consider this application.
I use the word, coach because unlike other correction tools, it really does act like one.
There is so much advice you are offered, it really does feel like you have someone in your corner helping you along the way with your writing.
So, what are the good and the not so good points?
It has every conceivable writing check you could ever need or want, especially within the desktop editor.
Easy to get started and learn how to use
Every part of the application is intuitive and makes sense. Even if you have never used an online writing assistant before, you will be up and running and productive with this pro writing aid tool in only a few minutes.
ProWritingaid really is inexpensive and affordable for most writers.
The paid version of other premium grammar checkers can cost you well over $120 per year.
But ProWritingAid starts at only $70.00 a year and even less for longer subscriptions.
If you are a student or work in education, there is a 20% discount available for you. Scroll to the bottom of the pricing page for details about how to claim your discount.
Scrivener and Google Docs integration
This will be a big winning point for many authors and writers.
ProWritingAid can integrate with Scrivener. It is a great combination for authors.
There is also Google Docs integration, which is a practical advantage for many writers.
No Safari and iOS
ProWritingAid doesn’t have Safari or Firefox extensions or iOS integration, which are available on some other apps. Like other grammar checkers, there is no plugin for Mac users with Microsoft Word.
Update: New Prowritingaid editor interface
There is now a new version of the editor that improves the ease of navigation. In my testing, it also seems faster and more responsive.
All the same reports and analysis are within the editor, but they are a little easier to find and view.
One of the new features I really like is the summary report. It lists all of the issues you have in your test.
Because it is quite a long report, I have created a gif below to show you how much information it contains.
To work on an issue, all you need to do is click on the link to take you to your text.
If you like the old version, there is a link in the main menu so you can switch back.
ProWritingAid is certainly a great writing app, and for the price, it really is a bargain.
The best performance is in the desktop editor where it wins hands down over the rest. You can read more about how to use ProWritingAid as your writing editor.
For a more detailed look at what you can do with ProWritingAid, you might like to watch this short video highlighting the features of the desktop app.
I started my working life as a lithographer and spent over 30 years in the printing and publishing business.
Originally from Australia, I moved to Switzerland 20 years ago. My days are spent teaching English, writing and wrestling with technology while enjoying my glorious view of Lake Geneva and the Alps.
Latest posts by Derek Haines (see all)
- Writing Apps That Every Working Writer Needs Today - January 19, 2020
- What Are The Best Grammarly Alternatives For A New Writer? - January 13, 2020
- When Do You Capitalize Mom And Dad And Other Family Names? - January 14, 2020