In-depth ProWritingAid Review (2020) & Comparison with Grammarly

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In-depth ProWritingAid Review (2020) & Comparison with Grammarly 8
In-depth ProWritingAid Review (2020) & Comparison with Grammarly 11

The Pro Writing Aid

This article is an in-depth ProWritingAid review. I will compare both – Free & the Premium versions of this grammar checker to see if it is worth spending money on a Premium subscription.

More importantly, I will also compare ProWritingAid with other free and paid Grammar Checkers available in the marketplace. Specifically –  I will compare ProWritingAid with Grammarly, which is, in fact, more popular in comparison to ProWritingAid.

I feel I am in a better position to compare them as I’ve been a long-time user of both the services.

The primary aim of this review will be to answer 3 basic questions –

  1. Who should be ok with a Free grammar checker and who needs a Premium version?
  2. What are the benefits of ProWritingAid and how it compares to Grammarly?
  3. Should you invest in Grammarly Premium or ProWritingAid Premium?

Lastly, I will also put some light on ProWritingAid Premium Plus.

Do you need a “free” online proofreader or a “premium” one?

Do a Google search for “free grammar checker online” and you will get a gazillion results of free tools and services available online to check grammar and spelling mistakes!!

Of course, I haven’t tried all the free online proofreading services because I don’t have time to do so! No one has time, actually – no one has FREE time! That’s why I only tried a few, popular and well-reviewed grammar checkers for our benefit!

Back to the question..

Free or Premium?

Free proofreaders are free for a reason. All of them are stripped-down versions of a premium offering by the same brand.

Free grammar checkers will only correct a few basic grammatical errors and offer you a premium upgrade to uncover advanced grammatical mistakes.

Regardless, I found LanguageTool Free edition to be better, in comparison with most of the other free grammar checkers available on the internet. I am trying Sampling.AI chrome extension as I am writing this. Will report back with a mini-review once I try it thoroughly.

Update – I would not recommend Sampling.AI at this stage. It needs a lot of improvement in almost all critical areas.

I know… even web browsers and document editors have built-in spelling and grammar checker. But a free third party grammar checker with limited functionality still easily beats the grammar correction of the likes of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox & Microsoft Word.

Now the straight answer.

For casual communication with friends, family, or even colleagues who cannot pick on advanced grammatical errors – a free grammar checker should be fine.

And….

If your grammar is first class, proofread the writing yourself. NOTHING beats a human proofreader, and I am serious. Once you make corrections yourself, a free grammar checker should be good enough to point out those rare slip-ups.

The two reasons I can think of, to opt for a premium grammar checker are…

  1. You want your writings, even casual conversations on social media to be error free
  2. You earn money through your writings. Or if error-free writing is an integral part of your job role.

Take my example, to find that perfect grammar checker; I’ve ended up paying for two of them!

Not really…

I am a freelance writer, and I use both tools to speed up the proofreading process.

Now that we know who needs Free version and who needs a premium one, let’s dive into more details about the tool I am reviewing today – ProWritingAid.

ProWritingAid Review: Features & Benefits compared; Find out which version to use – ProWritingAid Free vs. Premium vs. Premium Plus?

Size matters! The critical deciding factor when choosing between a Premium & Free version will be – how long are your writings (in words). Because the ProWritingAid free version only checks the first 500 words and it shamelessly ignores the mistakes in the rest of the document.

If you write short articles, blog posts, emails, etc.. then ProWritingAid Free is the best fit. In fact, when comparing Grammarly Free vs ProWritingAid Free, the latter is a better choice. Grammarly free will provide basic level checks for the entire document – irrespective of words, compared to ProWritingAid’s comprehensive checks – for a small 500 words document.

“If you write small articles, blog posts, emails, etc.. of less than 500 words then ProWritingAid Free is the best fit, even better than Grammarly Free.”Me

Comparison table (Free vs Premium vs Premium Plus):

ProWritingAid FeatureFreePremiumPremium Plus
Number of words checkedFirst 500 words onlyUnlimited* - Till their server crashesUnlimited* - Till their server crashes
Spell checkerYesYesYes
Basic Grammar CheckYesYesYes
Advanced Grammar CheckYesYesYes
Detailed Explanations of Grammatical errorsYesYesYes
Contextual Thesaurus (synonyms)YesYesYes
Word ExplorerLimited informationYesYes
Wordiness checkYesYesYes
Visualize Sentence Lengths and VariationYesYesYes
Overused Words CheckYesYesYes
Writing Style CheckYesYesYes
Grammar CheckYesYesYes
Sentence Length CheckYesYesYes
Diction, Vague, and Abstract Words CheckYesYesYes
Cliches and Redundancies CheckYesYesYes
Corporate Wording CheckYesYesYes
Pronoun CheckYesYesYes
Repeats CheckYesYesYes
Sticky Sentences CheckYesYesYes
Complex Words CheckYesYesYes
Alliteration CheckYesYesYes
House Style CheckYesYesYes
Transitions ReportYesYesYes
Eloquence CheckYesYesYes
Repeated Phrases SummaryYesYesYes
Paragraph Length CheckYesYesYes
Consistency CheckYesYesYes
NLP Predicates CheckYesYesYes
Pacing CheckYesYesYes
Dialogue Tags CheckYesYesYes
Acronym CheckYesYesYes
Personal Dictionary and Style guidesNoYesYes
Homonym CheckYesYesYes
Writer's resources (a collection of paid e-books for writers in various genres)NoYesYes
Human Proofreading/ EditingAt extra costAt extra costAt extra cost
Grammar GuideYesYesYes
Plagiarism CheckNoNo50 checks/ year
Option to purchase standalone Plagiarism ChecksYes, Plagiarism only checks available in packs of 10, 100, 500 & 1000Yes, Plagiarism only checks available in packs of 10, 100, 500 & 1000Yes, Extra checks available in packs of 10, 100, 500 & 1000
ProWritingAid Free vs Premium Comparison Table

 

As you will notice in the above table – Free version is almost all green Yes’s but that’s only applicable for first 500 words of a document.

ProWritingAid Free:

It includes almost all basic & advanced grammar checks for the first 500 words.

image of ProWritingAid suggesting to upgrade to premium version if the content is more than 500 words

If you write long content, get ready to pay!

It lacks a personal dictionary. So if you deal with a lot of names and words absent from the dictionary, you will have to ignore spell check suggestions for those words – every time.

Word Explorer feature in the free version provides synonyms, antonyms, rhymes, pronunciations, etc. But some advanced information like hyphenated adjectives, nouns before, nouns after will output limited results.

Word Explorer Free Word Explorer Free Limitations

As a free user, you will still get access to the fantastic Grammar Guide, which is a comprehensive guide covering Grammar topics in and out. 

There is also a resource library with e-books on topics ranging from business writing to fiction writing. Free users do not get access to this library but can purchase individual books from Amazon.

Lastly, the free version lacks a plagiarism checker – which shouldn’t be a surprise.

ProWritingAid Premium:

It includes all basic & advanced grammar checks for the entire document.

Premium version comes with a personal dictionary and a personal “style guide” too. This feature is really handy, consider it to be like a personal dictionary but for multiple words together.

Example – Mumbai University is officially called as the University of Mumbai, but I have a habit of writing the former.

Technically – the words Mumbai University aren’t misspelt, but they are not the correct way of referring to that place.

I can feed this in the style guide to correct Mumbai University to the University of Mumbai, and highlight this error in real-time.

You can read more about it here – Why you need a style guide?

Word Explorer feature in the Premium version is full-fledged with no limitations.

An animated GIF of Word Explorer Feature in ProWritingAid

Word Explorer Feature in ProWritingAid in action

 

Just like a free user, you will still get access to the comprehensive Grammar Guide.

Words & Phrases suggestions feature is very helpful when having a bad day with “brain fog”, when you can’t even recollect common words or names. It gives a ton of suggestions on all the relevant words which you may not find in a standard dictionary. Where else will you find hyphenated adjectives, cliches, word possessions, and a lot more…

screenshot image of words and phrases suggestion feature of prowritingaid

Phrases…When I searched for “Stitch” for the sake of an easy example

There is also a resource library with e-books on topics ranging from business writing to fiction writing. Premium users get access to all the e-books in the resource library.

A Short E-Book with a list of 20 Time Saving, Editing Tips From Professional Writers

This e-book contains the most important writing tips and techniques from a wide range of professional writers. Some focus on the minutiae of specific word selection; others focus on the more complex ideas like finding the right metaphor, policing your work for Purple Prose, or figuring out when it’s time to send it off to potential publishers.

Lastly, Premium version too lacks a plagiarism checker, which is surprising.

ProWritingAid Premium Plus:

Premium Plus is nothing but ProWritingAid Premium with Plagiarism checks included.

It comes with 50 checks per year included, and you can buy additional plagiarism checks in packs of 10, 100, 500 & 1000.

Plagiarism Checker in ProWritingAid (all versions)

ProWritingAid’s plagiarism checker checks your work against multiple online databases of thousands of periodicals & articles. It also checks billions of web pages on the world wide web.

Plagiarism check is available on all plans as a la carte. You can purchase 10 checks pack for $10 – which means each check will cost $1. Higher packages offer additional discounts; the 1000 checks pack is available for $200, which reduces the cost per check to 20c.

What platforms is ProWritingAid available on?

It is available as a browser extension on Chrome, and Firefox on Windows & macOS. Apple Safari extension on macOS only.

ProWritingAid also has a Desktop app, which works on Windows & MacOS.

Word Explorer Free Limitations

Desktop app supports various fonts, but lacks text formatting (H1, H2, Bold, Italics, etc…) which makes it pretty.

Pretty useless.

image of prowritingaid desktop app for Windows

ProWritingAid Desktop App – you can select fonts but no formatting options available

For editing software – Google Docs addon is the best choice and works on all desktop operating systems. The Microsoft Word add-in is available too, but it only works with Microsoft Word on Windows. It is not compatible with Word on macOS.

For Linux users – there is Chrome, Firefox extensions, Google Docs add-in, and the online editor.

ProWritingAid online grammar checker/ editor works on any device with a modern web browser and an internet connection.

To summarize –

ProWritingAid PlatformsWindowsMacLinuxMobile
Desktop AppYesYesNoNo
Chrome ExtensionYesYesYesNo
Firefox AddonYesYesYesNo
Safari AddonNoYesNoNo
Google Docs AddonYesYesYesNo
Microsoft Word Add-inYesNoNoNo
Online EditorYesYesYesYes, difficult to use
ProWritingAid Addons, Extensions & Apps availability on popular platforms

 

There is no Android/ iPhone app yet. But the online editor works on both iOS and Android. The only issue with the online editing tool is – too small text and buttons. The editing tool is not mobile-friendly, and the desktop version loads on mobile browsers making the text too tiny but yet readable. It’s still usable if you have a fast phone, but the experience will be cumbersome.

Does it work with Scrivener and Ulysses?

Yes, ProWritingAid’s Desktop App works with both – Scrivener and Ulysses (Mac only)..

The desktop app allows you to open, edit, and save your Scrivener projects without losing formatting. It can also edit the Markdown file format of Ulysses with ease.

It also works with other formats such as Microsoft Word, Open Office, Rich Text, and HTML.

The Writing & Proofreading Process with ProWritingAid –

You write a grammatically incorrect document through Google Docs (my favorite editing software); you run a check through ProWritingAid Google Docs addon/ online editor. ProwritingAid will point out your mistakes and provide suggestions to improve the text. You implement recommendations and viola! You have an error-free version!

There are over 10 online grammar checkers available today. What makes ProWritingAid different is the in-depth analysis and microscopic dissection of the text!

ProWritingAid is a feature-rich tool with at least a dozen different proofreading checks and analysis.

The various checks by ProWritingAid are not less than a professional proofreader. Maybe even more.

Are there any ProWritingAid alternatives?

LanguageTool vs ProWritingAid: LanguageTool is not as feature-rich as ProWritingAid or Grammarly, but the best part is that it also works with LibreOffice (a free, open-source Office Suite). The free version of LanguageTool checks first 10000 characters (Note – not words but characters). The paid version can check up to 40000 characters.

Free version checks basic grammar as expected, and will prompt you to upgrade if it finds complicated grammatical issues/ suggestions in your text.

Plagiarism checker is absent, and there is no option to buy it as an additional service.

USP of LanguageTool is – apart from English, it also works with German, French, and Dutch. Both Grammarly and ProWritingAid can only handle English.

They also offer an API service through which you can create your own online grammar checker (which in the background will get the checks done through LanguageTool’s servers.

Cost: $19 per month, $39 per 3 months or $59 per year in US & ₹ 1,099.00/ year in India. Check pricing in your country.

If you are in India, this is the cheapest available premium grammar checking service.

StyleWriter 4 vs ProWritingAid: StyleWriter 4 is a feature-rich grammar checker which hasn’t been updated since ages. User Interface reminds me of the dreaded Windows Vista days, and they do not offer browser extension.

Cost: Starter edition is for $90 one time, later $30 per year for the software updates.

Hemingway Editor vs ProWritingAid: Hemingway Editor is a readability checker, and it is unbeatable at it. It is an integral part of my writing workflow to point out difficult to understand sentences and paragraphs. Neither Grammarly nor ProWritingAid can beat Hemingway in suggesting readability improvements to make your writings accessible to broader masses.

For Grammar checks, Hemingway Editor is irrelevant. The only reason I mentioned this tool is that search engines suggestion Hemingway editor when we search for online grammar checkers.

Cost: Free for online editing, a desktop app for Windows & Mac cost $19.99

Ginger vs ProWritingAid: There’s a striking resemblance between Ginger & Grammarly. When compared to ProWritingAid, Ginger grammar checker is more oriented towards casual writers. Unlike ProWritingAid, Ginger comes with a dedicated writing app for Android & iOS users and also a keyboard app for Android users. Cost-wise, Ginger is a lot more expensive compared to ProWritingAid, and I would recommend Grammarly over Ginger if you are a casual user.

Cost: Free version available with limited functionality, Ginger Premium is roughly $90 per year.

All in all, there are alternatives to ProWritingAid – and the one which is a fierce competitor is Grammarly.

Next – let’s compare Grammarly with ProWritingAid.

ProWritingAid vs Grammarly; which is better?

Well, it…. DEPENDS!!

Let’s talk about the difference between ProWritingAid vs Grammarly –

ProWritingAid is more in-depth and technical and targets professional writers. Grammarly, on the other hand, is very user-friendly and suitable for everyday writing.

image of prowritingaid toolbar menu

ProWritingAid offers dozens of checks & analysis

In fact, the name itself explains a lot – Professional Writing Aid.

Further reading: Check my Grammarly Review for an in-depth review of Grammarly Free, Premium & Business.

Comparison table (Grammarly Free vs ProWritingAid Free):

FeatureGrammarly FreeProWritingAid Free
Word count limitNo LimitFirst 500 words
Basic Grammar ChecksYesYes
Advanced Grammar ChecksNoYes
Personal DictionaryYesNo
Vocabulary EnhancementNoNo
Double-Click to show definitionsYesNo
Desktop AppNoYes
Mobile App (iOS & Android)YesNo
Grammarly Free vs ProWritingAid Free Comparison Table

Comparison table (Grammarly Premium vs ProWritingAid Premium vs ProWritingAid Premium Plus):

FeatureGrammarly PremiumProWritingAid PremiumProWritingAid Premium Plus
Comprehensive Grammar Check (Basic+Advanced)YesYesYes
Detailed Explanations of Grammatical errorsYesYesYes
Vocabulary Enhancement SuggestionsYesYesYes
Double Click to Show Definitions of difficult words (while reading)YesNoNo
Readability Enhancement Suggestions (to make the text easier to understand)YesYesYes
Style Guide to standardize writing styleNoYesYes
Detailed analysis and dissection of textNoYesYes
Advanced reports on writing styleNoYesYes
Plagiarism checksUnlimitedNo, can be purchased separately50 per year
Desktop Apps for Windows & MacYesYesYes
Word/ Outlook Add-insYesYesYes
OpenOffice (.odt) compatibilityYesYesYes
Scrivener projects & Markdown documents compatibilityNoYesYes
Mobile Keyboard (for iOS & Android)YesNoNo
Yearly Cost$139$70$80
Grammarly Premium vs ProWritingAid Premium vs ProWritingAid Premium Plus Comparison Table

 

Both offer a human proofreader for an extra fee. ProWritingAid has tied up with https://www.firstediting.com/ for the service.

Image with "human proof reader" service button

A human editor is just a button and a few dollars away!

ProWritingAid vs Grammarly; Tested with a sample document!

To find out how each grammar checker performs, I wrote 2 small paragraphs with deliberate spelling and grammatical errors.

Of course, mistakes had to be deliberate. Otherwise, my writing is as error-free as that of Her Highness, the Queen of England :p

The task of creating 2 paragraphs with basic to advanced grammatical errors was not an easy one. I had to include some contextual and advanced grammatical errors to test how good these Artificial Intelligence-based grammar checkers are at proofreading text.

Here is the sample –

Testing online proofreaders/ grammar checkers with a text full of spelling and grammatical mistakes

Video:

Final output – Grammarly Premium vs. ProWritingAid Premium side by side comparison:

Grammarly Premium Vs ProWritingAid Premium Side by Side Comparison

For non-professional purposes like personal emails, personal blogging, posting on social media, etc.., the corrected documents are way better than the original one.

However, if you are a professional writer, you will still require proofreading the document or get a professional human proof-reader to get the remaining grammatical errors fixed.

Yet, they both did a great job in correcting most of the errors.

ProWritingAid did better in fixing wordiness, e.g. It suggested the word “Suddenly”, while Grammarly thinks “All of a sudden” is good enough. ProWritingAid suggested: “Improve your Writing” in place of “Make your writing better” in the last paragraph.

ProWritingAid also suggested me to replace “ProWritingAid” with “them” to avoid repetition in the last para. Word choices of ProWritingAid were also better in my opinion  – Grammarly’s “like” vs ProWritingAid’s “Enjoy”.

Grammarly won in one place and failed in the other while suggesting contextually relevant words.

ProWritingAid suggested – “great aspect”, while Grammarly’s suggestion – “distinctive aspect” fits the context more.

What took me by surprise was Grammarly’s inability to pick up contextually incorrect statement – “The marble statue hed a big hed.” ProWritingAid could fix it easily.

Overall, I feel the final document of ProWritingAid is better vs Grammarly.

All about ProWritingAid Pricing, Trial & Discounts

How much does ProWritingAid cost?

$70 for 1 year, $100 for 2 years, $140 for 3 years, and $240 for a lifetime.

Use the code 36MPMIBXKU for a 20% discount.

What is ProWritingAid’s Refund Policy?

ProWritingAid offers a 14-day full refund policy. You can read this document on how to claim a refund:

https://help.prowritingaid.com/article/58-how-do-i-get-a-refund

Does ProWritingAid provide a free trial?

No, ProWritingAid does not offer a free trial for Premium version. You can try out the free version, which is almost as feature-rich as the premium version with 500 words check limitation.

Does ProWritingAid offer a lifetime licence?

Yes, you can get lifetime access to ProWritingAid for $240.

Use the code 36MPMIBXKU for a 20% discount on $240 ($48 savings).

Can you get ProWritingAid Student Discount if you are studying?

Yes, students get a 20% discount through Student App Center.

https://www.studentappcentre.com/discounts/prowritingaid?rq=prowritingaid

How to get ProWritingAid Discount if you are not a student?

Use the code 36MPMIBXKU for a 20% discount if you are not a student.

Is ProWritingAid Safe?

ProWritingAid is GDPR compliant.

Data is processed in the United States and is transmitted securely via an encrypted connection.

They mention that the data is discarded immediately after processing, unless, of course, you save it in their web-based editor for future editing. (1), (2)

Do I use ProWritingAid?

Yes, I do. I use ProWritingAid Premium. For plagiarism checks, I use Grammarly Premium because it includes unlimited checks.

Is ProWritingAid Premium worth the money?

Yes & No. Well, it…

Well, read the next section for an answer.

Conclusion – Should you buy ProWritingAid Premium?

The answer is…

Buy ProWritingAid Premium if –

  • You are a professional writer (novelist/ blogger/ editor) and need in-depth technical analysis of your writings
  • You are learning to be a professional writer and need a critical analysis of your writing without a human critic
  • You are a lawyer, teacher, professor, lecturer, or from any other profession requiring error-free writing
  • You are studying English grammar/ advanced English in college

Buy ProWritingAid Premium Plus if –

  • You need all the Premium features of ProWritingAid but also need a plagiarism checker to ensure your writing is free from unintentional similarity with other writings
  • You are writing a research paper and need citation resources with just a click

If you don’t fit in any of the above categories, use Grammarly Free.

Buying ProWritingAid Premium/ Premium Plus now?

I recommend ProWritingAid Premium for Professional Writers, Students, Lawyers, Teachers and anyone who needs an AI-assisted proofreader considering cost benefits. If you liked my review and want to support me & at the same time get an additional 20% discount - buy after clicking the button on the left. A pricing page will open with discount pre-applied. P.S - You are covered by ProWritingAid's unconditional 14-days money-back guarantee.

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