If you write, and especially if you are a new writer, correct punctuation and grammar are vital for you.
Using free grammar and online punctuation checker tools is the first step in preparing a text to make sure it is as error-free as possible.
Every writer knows that there is no replacement for meticulous proofreading, but that is the last stage in the writing process.
The role of an online grammar corrector, punctuation checks, and a spell-checking tool are to find suggested corrections.
How to check your punctuation and grammar
When an automated tool checks your text, it is up to you to make decisions about each corrected word or highlighted sentence structures.
English grammar is open to interpretation. Its application can vary between different forms of the English language such as US, UK, Australian, Canadian, or Indian English.
As a writer, no free grammar checker can replace your judgment and knowledge.
You can save a lot of time by putting your text through a free spelling and grammar check. It will quickly find grammar mistakes, spelling errors, and misused words.
But punctuation issues are not always recognized very well by some free online checkers.
An excellent online grammar checker will help you find possible punctuation errors, which are often difficult to notice.
Is a comma necessary, or should you omit it? Should you use a colon or semicolon? A good comma checker can help you decide.
When you run a free check, it should quickly help you find comma errors like missing question marks, colon errors, and inconsistent quotation marks.
These types of punctuation corrections are much easier to make if you can rely on your grammar checking software to find them for you.
But it is not always the case. So I always use two checks, just to be sure.
Why do I use two grammar checker tools?
I have tried and used a lot of online writing correction tools.
But two stand out as being far superior to the rest for the best free punctuation checker.
Most writers have heard of Grammarly but perhaps not of Prowritingaid.
Both tools do all the basic checks extremely well.
They help in finding grammar errors, spelling mistakes, and punctuation errors.
Both work with Microsoft Word and Google Docs and have extensions to work online in browsers.
But Grammarly shines when it comes to the online writing of articles or blog posts because of its speed and range of browser extensions.
The red underlined spelling error tool alone is worth its weight in gold.
For long-form writing, and in particular, a manuscript, the Prowritingaid editor is by far the best option available.
If you only want the basics as a quick essay checker, both have free punctuation checker tools, a spell checker, and a grammar check tool.
The free versions of Grammarly and Prowritingaid will do the job for you.
But of course, both offer premium versions. The pro versions provide a lot more tools, including a plagiarism checker, and have no restrictions. These are the versions I use.
Here is a quick look at both tools in action for grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
Prowritingaid and its superb editor
When I have a long text to check, I open Prowritingaid and get to work.
The free version works very well to check your punctuation. All you need to do is click on an underlined word, and a hint box will help you.
But if you think it is only a grammar and punctuation checker, you will be in for a few surprises.
A quick look at the menu tells you how many tools are available to analyze a text in depth.
There are over 20 reports to work with to polish your writing.
Once you complete the initial checks, you can dig much further into your writing and look for ways to improve it.
Each menu button opens a new report and gives you a list of suggestions you can decide to act on if you think it will help your text.
It is the little things that count when it comes to looking for ways to improve your writing. One small style suggestion can make all the difference.
In the three example reports below, you can see how much detail there is to work on when you analyze a text.
The reading ease summary is a huge help, and getting advice on repetition and overuse of words is invaluable.
Isolating long sentences, and possibly run-on sentences are so much easier when you have a clickable list of potential problems.
If you are an author or writer of short stories or even long-form articles, the editor in Prowritingaid is an extremely powerful tool that you will find indispensable.
It takes online writing analysis to a much higher level. Yes, it checks grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes.
But more importantly, it will help you analyze your writing and guide you towards making many more improvements.
Grammarly is the king of fast and accurate
Whenever I write online, I have Grammarly turned on. It is a bit like my writing insurance policy.
There are Grammarly extensions for Chrome, Safari, and Firefox, which are the browsers I use all day long.
The free Chrome extension will help you find punctuation problems very quickly. It is then a one-click fix.
It doesn’t matter if I’m writing a quick post on Facebook or Twitter, replying to comments on my blog, or writing a new blog post.
Grammarly helps me with my writing accuracy.
There are a lot of free online checkers, but very few are as fast and as accurate.
There is no lag time with Grammarly, so any error is quick and easy to correct with one click.
If I make an error or a typo, a red line pops up immediately to warn me.
To make a correction, all I need to do is hover over the red line for a popup to give me a one-click correction.
In the image below, I can instantly correct the wrong verb and missing comma.
Then I can carry on writing without leaving my blog editor.
When I want to dig deeper into my text for a more complex grammar and punctuation check, all I have to do is click the yellow circle.
The online editor opens in a new popup window.
In the editor, I can accept corrections with one click, or make edits to the text.
Here is an example of a punctuation suggestion for a sentence.
You can see the alternatives between a semicolon, comma or capital letter.
I can do all this without leaving my browser page, or my WordPress editor.
If your job is writing, all day long, nothing beats the speed and efficiency of Grammarly.
If you are new to writing, either as an author or a content writer, these two free grammar, spelling, and punctuation checking online tools will become indispensable for you.
Try them both, and I am sure you will see why they can help you quickly improve your writing skills.
Even if a free grammar check finds just one error, it is worth it.
You should certainly try using the free version of both tools.
But after a while, you might decide that one is better suited to your writing needs and you would like to upgrade to the premium version.
I use both because I write both long and short form. But the decision about which one you should choose will depend on your needs.
For an author, I would always suggest Prowritingaid as the best premium option because it offers a much more in-depth analysis of long texts such as a manuscript.
Another big plus for Prowritingaid is the price. It is very affordable.
If you are a blogger, article, or content writer, Grammarly is the most logical option because it works with you on any platform or browser.
We live in a fast-paced world, and writing quickly but accurately is becoming standard practice. But we all know that is not an easy task.
But with a little help, it is possible to produce relatively clean texts in a short period of time. Then you can get down to the meticulous proofreading stage.