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Edit Like a Pro With the Best Video Editing Software

editing paper software

Looking to improve your videos and make them look their best? Check out some of the best video editing software on the market today! By using these programs, you’ll be able to fix mistakes, add effects, and simply do more — all without having to learn a lot of complex editing techniques to get your videos polished for publishing. Ready to learn how to get started? Here’s what you need to know.

What Are Some of the Best Video Editing Software Options Available?

When it comes to video editing software programs, there’s a variety of options available. Some of the most popular programs include Adobe Premiere, Adobe Final Cut Pro, and Avid Media Composer. Each of these programs has its own unique features, but they all share one common goal: to help you improve your videos and make them look their best.

Adobe Premiere is known for its high-quality editing tools and abilities. It can help you fix mistakes, add effects, and more. It’s also very user friendly, so you’ll be able to learn how to use it quickly.

Adobe Final Cut Pro is another great option. It offers amazing versatility and is perfect for creating professional videos. It also has great editing tools, including a timeline, multicam editing, and more.

Avid Media Composer is another well-known option. It’s used by many professional filmmakers and video editors. It has a wide range of features, including ability to create complex projects. However, it does require a higher level of experience with editing software if you want to use it effectively.

How Do These Programs Help You Fix Mistakes and Improve Your Videos?

When you use video editing software, you can easily fix mistakes and improve your videos. This is because these programs have a variety of features that can help you edit your footage more effectively. For example, some of these programs have tools that can help you fix blemishes or sharpen blurry footage, while others can add effects like filters to make your videos look better overall. Additionally, these programs offer easy ways to merge multiple clips together into a single video, which makes it easier to create a cohesive and professional output.

What Are Some of the Most Common Effects That These Programs Can Add?

One of the most popular effects that these video editing software can add is titles. By adding a title, you help your videos stand out and become more memorable. Additionally, titles can be used to transition between different scenes in your videos. Title effects ultimately make your videos more interesting and engaging.

Another common effect that these programs can add is a transition. Transitions can help move your viewers from one scene to the next, or between different parts of your video. They also create a more fluid and pleasing viewing experience.

Along with transitions, background music can also be a great addition to your videos. Adding background music can help set the mood and increase the overall quality of your videos. In some cases, background music can also highlight certain scenes or moments in your videos to make them stand out to viewers.

In addition to effects, some of the best video editing software programs also include tools for sharpening footage and adjusting color. These tools can help you fix mistakes and improve the quality of your videos quickly and easily.

Overall, by using video editing software, you’ll be able to improve the quality of your videos and make them look their best. By using effects, transitions, and background music, you’ll be able to create a unique viewing experience for each individual video. If you’re looking to improve your videos and make them look their best, then you’ll want to check out some of the best video editing software out there. By using these programs, you’ll be able to fix mistakes, add effects, and more — all without having to learn a lot of complicated editing techniques.

This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.


editing paper software

Table of Contents

What Is Proofreading Software?

The 5 types of proofreading tools.

  • The Best Proofreading Tools & Editing Software

Final Thoughts

The best free & paid proofreading & editing software (to use in 2023).

editing paper software

If you’re looking for the best proofreading tool on the market, I’ll tell you what it is:

The best proofreading software out there is Grammarly .

But even in 2022, it still has severe limitations.

We at Scribe tested the 8 most popular editing apps on the market in 2022, and none of them could hold a candle to a human proofreader .

But that doesn’t mean proofreading tools are worthless. Not at all.

I highly recommend Grammarly for :

  • Flagging possible grammar mistakes
  • Finding repetitive words and phrases
  • Noticing “picky” details like spacing
  • Highlighting basic style issues
  • Cleaning up your writing before it goes to an editor
  • “Last looks” for typos

I do not recommend Grammarly for :

  • Accepting every suggestion
  • Blindly altering your writing style
  • Skipping a human editor

Why not? Because of writing like this:

“Our team has reviewed and requested our Chrome product team to review the GingerChrome store page again and fix any necessary correction.”

This was an actual comment from the team of the Ginger editing app (not Grammarly), on a negative review of the Ginger Chrome Extension.

As part of our test, we ran their comments through the Ginger app itself, and the app found nothing wrong with it .

Then we ran it through another app. And another. Of all the proofreading apps we tested, most found 0 errors in that sentence.

Even Grammarly, the top performer, only found 2, and one of its suggestions was arguably worse. (I’ll show you those suggestions in the Grammarly review.)

So, before you start using Grammarly , make sure you understand what it is and isn’t good for—in 2022 and beyond.

True editing apps, like Grammarly, apply artificial intelligence (AI) to proofreading.

AI is the science (and art) of programming computers to think and behave like human beings. It’s at the cutting edge of technology, but it has a long way to go.

You might think that Microsoft Word’s spell checker is pretty good—and it is—but it isn’t artificial intelligence. MS Word just checks each word you type against a dictionary.

That’s pretty basic stuff.

Editing apps are far more than spell checkers; they’re true grammar checkers. They’re even style checkers. And those kinds of mistakes are a lot harder to find than spelling errors.

Why? Because grammatical errors depend on context.

Here’s an example:

If I write, “It was the best of time, it was the worst of time,” you know right away that “time” is missing an “s.”

A spell checker wouldn’t flag it because “time” is in the dictionary. The word exists, it’s just being used incorrectly

editing paper software

Human beings see issues like that immediately because our brains are wired for language. But teaching a computer to do the same thing is far more complicated than you might imagine.

In fact, it’s so complicated that even the best proofreading app doesn’t do it very well.

That’s why a good proofreading app needs to explain each flagged issue, simply and clearly, to help you decide how (or even whether) to follow the suggestion.

There are 5 different types of proofreading tools, most of which can be useful to professional Authors. All 5 of them check for spelling mistakes, grammar errors, and style choices, but they’re used in different places.

1. Chrome Extensions

Proofreading extensions for Chrome or other browsers (like Firefox or Safari), evaluate your writing no matter where you go on the web. If you’re typing online, they watch what you type and offer suggestions.

You can install these like any other browser extension, and they add writing tools to your browser that check spelling, grammar, and style.

If you write in Google Docs, you’ll need more than a Chrome extension. You’ll need a grammar tool that integrates directly with the Google Docs app.

2. Online Proofreading Tools

Website apps.

Free online proofreading apps are websites that offer a simple text box where you can paste limited amounts of text to check it for spelling, grammar, and style.

They’re free, but you get what you pay for. The ones we tested ranged from bad to terrible.

Full-service online apps

Some services (like Grammarly) offer true web apps, akin to Google Docs, that let you write and save documents in your own cloud space.

They include a full range of built-in proofreading tools, but their formatting tools are limited. For professional manuscript formatting , I recommend writing in MS Word with a Grammarly addon.

3. Mobile Apps

These are keyboard extensions for phones and tablets that automatically check your writing on every text and tweet.

If you write on an iOS or Android tablet in a mobile word processor, you’ll want a mobile proofreading app.

4. MS Word Add-ons

For writers who compose on MS Word, proofreading addons provide grammar and style suggestions right in your Word documents as you type.

If you write in MS Word, this will be your best choice, but these add-ons only work on MS Office for Windows. Apple users will need to use a desktop app.

5. Desktop Apps for Mac and Windows

Desktop proofreading software provides a native word processor that’s designed for proofreading and editing .

Most of these apps don’t have great formatting options, so I recommend writing in MS Word even if you use a desktop app for editing.

If you don’t have access to an MS Office add-on, you can open any .docx file in a desktop proofreading app to check it.

The Best Proofreading Tools & Editing Software

1. grammarly.

Grammarly is far and away the best proofreading and editing tool on the market. It offers:

  • Browser extensions
  • A full-service online app
  • Mobile apps
  • An MS Office add-on for Windows
  • Desktop apps for Mac and Windows

It even has a Google Docs integration, but this is a newer offering that seems less robust than the others. It let me type “I eats the pudding” without any complaints, even though the browser extension flagged it correctly.

The MS Office add-on doesn’t work on a Mac, but the desktop app lets you drag and drop a .docx file to open it in the app and check your writing.

The Chrome extension and desktop app were extremely easy to install, and Grammarly’s features (which work the same way across every version) made it the clear winner:

  • It has the smartest AI (and best proofreading flags) of every app we tested
  • One-click suggestions make it easy to accept good changes
  • The clean, intuitive interface requires almost no learning time
  • You can filter the suggestions by category with one click
  • There’s even a “Change-all” option for pervasive errors

Basic suggestions are free, with advanced grammar suggestions (including tone) in paid plans:

  • Premium Version: $139.95 per year
  • Business Version: plans starting at $150 per member, per year

Caveat of Grammarly

1. internet requirement.

Grammarly has to be connected to the Internet to work, even with the desktop app. That’s because the AI “lives” in the cloud, not in the app that sits on your desktop.

If the app can’t communicate with the AI, it can’t understand what you’re typing.

2. The AI is still learning

Grammarly was the smartest app we tested, but that only says so much.

For our sample text:

The Grammarly desktop app suggested:

“Our team has reviewed and requested our Chrome product team to discuss the GingerChrome store page again and fix any necessary corrections .”

This isn’t much better. But I’ll let you in on a secret: this is a very hard test for any proofreading AI system.

Why? Because it probably wasn’t written by a native English speaker. “Fix any necessary correction”? Nobody would say that. The construction is just too strange.

Which is exactly the problem.

AI systems get smarter with feedback. They learn which suggestions people did or didn’t accept, and they adjust future suggestions based on that information.

But mistakes that native speakers would never make are, by definition, very rare, so the system doesn’t see them often enough to learn from them.

That’s why we chose this as a test: to push the proofreading AI’s to the limit of their capability.

The fact that Grammarly made any sense of it was impressive.

2. ProWriting Aid

ProWriting Aid was the only other app we tested that had a chance against Grammarly. It works with:

  • Google Docs
  • MS Office (in Windows)
  • Desktop app

Not surprisingly, it also needs an internet connection to work. Powerful AIs need powerful computers. They live in the cloud on fast, dedicated servers and work with your computer (or phone) remotely.

It also doesn’t work with MS Office on Apple, just like Grammarly.

But in the battle of ProwritingAid vs. Grammarly, this one lost because:

  • It offered fewer one-click fixes
  • The interface was not as clean
  • Navigation was not as intuitive
  • The suggestions were not presented as well
  • Extra features, like reports, cluttered the screen without being useful

3. Hemingway App

We included the Hemingway App in our test because it appeared in other articles on grammar checking software, but it was designed more for bloggers than professional Authors.

And it wasn’t very smart.

The one feature it did have was the ability to work offline, but that’s the tradeoff. If you want an AI that’s smarter than a word processor, you’ll need an Internet connection.

The Hemingway App failed our test because:

  • It does not offer one-click fixes
  • It gives general writing guidance but no specifics
  • It’s designed for WordPress and Medium, not book Authors

It does have a free online tool, but the tool doesn’t save your work. If you get disconnected or you close the tab by accident, you can kiss your work goodbye.

The Hemingway App is good for helping you see things that need to be fixed, but that’s about it.

4. Ginger Software

We loaded the Ginger Chrome extension to give it a try, but the AI didn’t even come close to Grammarly.

These are the folks who wrote our bad test copy, and their own software didn’t correct it.

They did a nice job designing their sales page, but the app doesn’t stand up to the hype.

5. WhiteSmoke

WhiteSmoke is the used car lot of proofreading services.

The sales page extols the virtues of proofreading apps in general, hoping you won’t notice that the “demo” video doesn’t show the product and that they hardly offer any screenshots of the app.

There’s no free version or trial version, and what little you can see of the app doesn’t look great.

This is not the app you’re looking for.

6. PaperRater

PaperRater is a website that’s supposedly designed to help students write papers (not books), but it doesn’t even do that.

  • It doesn’t offer any fixes
  • The “report” is terrible
  • If you click on “advanced analysis,” it takes you to Grammarly

Enough said.

7. LanguageTool

LanguageTool offers add-ons and/or extensions for several browsers and word processors, but the AI just isn’t up to par.

You can try it for yourself for free using the online tool, which does offer one-click changes, but if you hit “undo,” you’ll have to run the check all over again.

It found no errors in our horrible test copy, and it tags people’s names as misspellings.

8. SlickWrite

The free online version of SlickWrite is reasonably smart when it comes to finding issues, but it’s lousy at fixing them.

It doesn’t offer any suggestions, and the explanations it does offer are far too technical. You won’t understand them unless you already have a solid command of sentence structure, grammar, and style, which largely defeats the purpose of the app.

Although it’s far from perfect, Grammarly has a solid place in the professional Author’s arsenal.

It offers a ton of useful features in a simple, clean interface, and it’s the smartest proofreading AI by far when it comes to writing skills.

Authors who want to self-publish ( and 99.99% of them should ), will still need to hire an editor . But that editing will be faster, smoother, and a lot cheaper if you’ve done everything you can to clean up your writing before you get there.

The Scribe Crew

Read this next.

10 of the Most Common Grammar Mistakes to Avoid (& How to Fix Them)

What are Beta Readers? (& How Authors Can Find Them)

How To Find & Vet Professional Book Editors

Become a Writer Today

17 Best Proofreading Software Options (2023)

Discover the best proofreading software for checking and fixing your writing or the work of other writers in our software guide.

In the late 2000s, I worked as a sub-editor for a national newspaper. We often printed out news stories and proofread them line by line, marking them with proofreading notes using a red pen. Even when proofreading on screen, sub-editors working for the newspaper didn’t rely on special software beyond inline comments and a standard spelling and grammar checker. 

The experience was slow and frustrating. Proofreading is much easier today, thanks to the many free and premium tools available. I’ve tested some of the best. These proofreading apps can help independent proofreaders, those working within a company, and writers who simply want to learn the basics of this discipline. 

1. Grammarly

2. prowritingaid, 3. antidote, 4. quillbot, 5. ginger software, 6. whitesmoke, 9. hemingway editor, 10. copyscape, 11. paperrater, 12. slickwrite, 13. language tool, 14. autocrit, 16. wordtune, 17. correctenglish (ce), proofreading software vs. human proofreader, what is the best proofreading software, why you can trust me, selection criteria, faqs on the best proofreading software.

YouTube video


Use for: General proofreading Pricing: Free/$30 per month 


Grammarly excels as proofreading software. It’s ideal for most writers, editors, and anyone working with the written word. Grammarly’s strength works well across platforms and devices, including Windows and Mac, as well as browsers like Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. Its artificial intelligence writing assistant enables reviewing, accepting, and rejecting mistakes at a click in real-time. I regularly use the Gmail, Chrome extension, and Google Docs plugin to proofread blog posts and the desktop plugin for Mac to proofread articles. You can use it to proofread anything from articles to emails. 

If you’re a professional proofreader, chances are the writer or client already uses or has access to the free version of Grammarly. Using Grammarly Premium, you can create a custom style guide and download reports for them to check. At some point, we’d love to see Grammarly roll out version control for proofreaders.

To learn more, read our Grammarly review .

  • Quick and easy to use
  • Accurate and insightful proofreading reports
  • Best-in-class grammar and plagiarism checker
  • Works on most popular devices
  • Grammarly’s price is higher than other proofreading tools
  • English-only proofreading is available

Use for: Proofreading fiction, long-form proofreading Pricing: $70 per year


ProWritingAid is an excellent alternative to Grammarly. It works on almost as many devices as Grammarly. It offers dozens of high-quality writing and proofreading reports. Some of these are designed to catch common grammar mistakes and other issues. Others relate to questions of writing style and the overall sentence structure of an article, blog post or essay. We particularly like its reports for addressing word choice and repetitiveness issues. 

As a proofreader, you can review and act on these reports or send them to a writer as part of your checks. Many professional writers and authors use Scrivener for long-form works. ProWritingAid is unique because it is purpose-built to work directly with Scrivener files. 

This professional editing software is cheaper than Grammarly too. As for downsides? The sheer number of reports can become overwhelming for new users. Mobile support is somewhat lagging, although no serious proofreading works on mobile. 

To learn more, read our ProWritingAid review .

  • Excellent proofreading reports
  • Affordable pricing 
  • Supports long-form documents 
  • The volume of reports may overwhelm new users
  • The free version limited to 500 words

Use for: Proofreading, without internet access Pricing: From $59.95 per year

Antidote web app

Antidote is a lesser-known type of proofreading software. However, don’t let that deter you. Antidote is rock-solid and has been around for over 25 years, making it the oldest proofreading tool on this list. Proofreaders can pick from three versions: Antidote web, Antidote mobile, and Antidote 11. The web version operates via a browser like Chrome or Safari, while the mobile version works on iOS devices. However, it lacks the same number of browser extensions as Grammarly.

Antidote 11 is installed straight on your computer. It scans and identifies grammar mistakes and other issues using local software rather than sending a piece of writing to the cloud. As such, it’s a good choice for those concerned about privacy and data security and proofreaders with poor internet access. Unlike many proofreading tools, Antidote supports French. It also offers custom dictionaries and a version for schools.

  • Works online and locally
  • Excellent reports
  • Supports English and French
  • Reasonably priced
  • No plagiarism checker
  • Requires some configuration

Use for: proofreading academic works and essays  Pricing: $19.95 per month


Quillbot is a proofreading tool, amongst other things, released in 2017, with over 50 million users. However, the way it presents errors and reports doesn’t compete with Grammarly and ProWritingAid. Quillbot still functions as a grammar checker, and in our tests, it found and fixed more spelling mistakes, grammar errors, and other issues than our word processor’s built-in software.

We particularly liked the citation generator as it’s time-consuming to proofread these for a these or an essay. This generator automatically formats any link, document, or reference based on a user’s preferred style and generates the correct citation. It’s a good choice for proofreading or editing academic works and essays. Quillbot customers also access other premium tools for rewriting content and checking for plagiarism.

To learn more, read our Quillbot review .

  • A plethora of valuable tools beyond proofreading
  • Excellent citation generation
  • Reports lag behind Grammarly
  • No collaboration features

Use for: A cheap proofreading software Pricing : $7.49 per month


At one point, Ginger Software was a fair competitor to Grammarly in terms of functionality, accuracy, price, and ease of use. Unfortunately, the development of Ginger has lagged behind Grammarly and ProWritingAid. Proofreaders often need more insights than a basic grammar and spell check. 

Our tests found it slower and clunkier than these proofreading tools. It also lacks many of the additional proofreading reports and checks they possess and has no customer dictionary. However, it’s still cheap, and it supports 60 languages. 

To learn more, read our Ginger vs. Grammarly comparison.

  • The pricing is cheap and affordable
  • Works on most devices 
  • Supports 60 languages
  • Out-of-date user interface
  • Less accurate than other proofreading tools
  • Less actively developed and upgraded

Use for: A cheap proofreading software Pricing: $59.99 per year

WhiteSmoke proofreader

In 2002, Itay Meroz founded Whitesmoke in Tel Aviv, Israel. It’s an older type of proofreading software that at one point competed with Grammarly and ProWritingAid in terms of features and accuracy. When we first reviewed WhiteSmoke in 2018, it was slower to use than those tools. 

However, it caught more typos and other mistakes in our work without issue. Today, its user interface and reports lag farther behind more popular competitors. It also supports 55 languages.

To learn more, read our Whitesmoke vs. Grammarly comparison .

  • The pricing is affordable
  • Better than a basic, free grammar checker
  • Supports 55 languages
  • Works with most browsers and operating systems
  • The user interface is clunky
  • Comparatively slow functionality
  • No free version or trial is available

Use for: Proofreading and collaboration within a larger company Pricing: ProofHQ isn’t cheap. Expect to pay several hundred dollars per month

ProofHQ notes

If you’re a business and or work with multiple teams, ProofHQ is a good choice for proofreading. ProofHQ doesn’t spot and fix mistakes itself; that’s up to the proofreader. A proofreader uploads documents, for example, PDFs, Microsoft Word documents, etc., into ProofHQ and adds proofreading marks . They can also import URLs and mark up live web pages with proofreading notes. 

I used this software extensively while working as an editor for a SaaS company. I reviewed web pages, marked them with changes for the writer, and sent them back as proof that they could review them. It was ideal for collaborating with other writers in different countries. Unfortunately, Adobe acquired ProofHQ, and it’s now sold via Workfront (a project management tool for larger companies). That puts it beyond reach for most proofreaders.

  • Built for collaboration
  • Supports version control 
  • Beyond the budget of most users 
  • Only available as part of Adobe Workfront 
  • No grammar or plagiarism checker

Use for: Collaboration and proofs in a small business Pricing: $20 per user per month


ProofHQ and Workfront aren’t cheap and are also not suitable for many businesses. Enter Zilflow , it offers similar features and functionality to ProofHQ but at a lower price point. Like ProofHQ, you can import documents, URLs, and videos and mark them up with amends for the original creator. In addition, it supports version control and enables users to compare changes between documents. 

It’s a good choice if you work with team members or more than basic Word or Google Docs. It’ll help proofreaders collaborate with those who must agree to or approve a document, web page, video, or other assets before publication. That said, it’s up to the proofreader, not the software, to spot mistakes.

  • More affordable than ProofHQ
  • Built for collaboration 
  • Ideal for small businesses, brands, and agencies
  • Supports video
  • No way to edit uploaded content
  • It may be overkill for most proofreaders

Use for: general copy edits Pricing: free/$19.99

Hemingway Editor

Writers cite Hemingway Editor as an excellent tool for copy editing a piece of writing. A writer or proofreader can copy and paste their work into the app or upload a Microsoft Word document, text, HTML, or Markdown file. We love Hemingway Writer for improving sentence structure and writing style. It helps us find and fix instances of weak writing and overused adverbs and adjectives. In addition, it’s great for avoiding wordy writing and improving the general readability of a piece.

However, Hemingway Editor isn’t classic proofreading software. It won’t spot or fix spelling and grammar or classic punctuation errors. It also doesn’t generate reports that a proofreader can use or share. And you can’t use it with Google Chrome or other browsers via a plugin. That said, it’s free. You can buy a version that works locally, without internet access.

To learn more, read our Hemingway App review .

  • The software is free
  • No reports available
  • Great for line edits
  • It doesn’t fix grammar errors directly

Use for: plagiarism checks as part of a proofreading process Pricing: 3 cents per search, up to 200 words


Copyscape isn’t classic proofreading software. It won’t fix common grammar mistakes, spelling errors, and other issues. However, it belongs on this list as it will scan an article for instances of plagiarism, accidental or otherwise. This scan is an essential step for any proofreader checking another writer’s work. 

It can help the proofreader protect that writer’s reputation (or the reputation of their company) and also avoid accidental plagiarism. Although ProWritingAid, Grammarly, and Quillbot also include plagiarism reports, Copyscape is better for scanning content at scale, i.e., an entire website or blog.

To learn more, read our Copyscape review .

  • Protects content from plagiarism
  • Supports collaboration
  • Doesn’t fix grammar errors and other issues 
  • Small learning curve

Use for: checking essays and college submissions Pricing: $7.95 per month


PaperRater is a software that helps students write better essays and articles. It was founded in 2009 and is owned by Barnes and Noble Education. PaperRater uses artificial intelligence to check for spelling mistakes and plagiarism issues. 

PaperRater missed some mistakes and other issues that Grammarly caught in our tests during testing. So, don’t expect proofreading reports or collaboration features. However, the pricing is relatively affordable.

To learn more, read our Paperrater vs. Grammarly comparison.

  • Free plagiarism checker
  • Affordable premium version
  • No collaboration tools 

Use for: Proofreading if you’ve no budget Pricing: Free


SlickWrite is a free online proofreading tool that’s entirely free. No premium version exists. Instead, this software utilizes monetized ads. Paste your text into a web browser. SlickWrite then scans it for writing issues and generates a report with lots of statistics, including readability insights. 

Unfortunately, we found the user interface cluttered and distracting versus competitors. If you’re looking for free software, it’s probably easier to use either the basic version of Grammarly or the Hemingway App.

  • Useful proofreading statistics
  • No mobile app
  • Not accurate vs. competitors
  • No spell check
  • Distracting user-interface

Use for: Proofreading in multiple languages Pricing: From $5 per month

Language Tool

Language Tool is an interesting choice for those who want to proofread content in multiple languages. Unfortunately, few tools support 25 languages, including Arabic, Chinese, Danish, French, and more . 

However, proofreaders shouldn’t expect the same level of writing reports as competitors. Users can try the free version and check up to 10,000 characters. The premium version includes add-ins for Microsoft Word and Google Docs. 

  • The free version doesn’t require signing up
  • Supports 25 languages
  • No plagiarism detection
  • No proofreading reports

Use for: editing fiction and novels Pricing: from $30


AutoCrit differs from other proofreading tools in that it’s built explicitly for authors and fiction writers. Customers take out a membership and gain access to a community. The communities contain premium content, guides, and information for fiction writers. 

They also get access to the AutoCrit editing platform. It provides recommendations for improving a manuscript paced on word choice, repetition, pacing, dialogue, and even emotional tone.  

These insights are more suited for development editors rather than classic proofreaders. However, if you write fiction, it’s an interesting tool. To learn more, read our Autocrit review

  • Comparatively expensive
  • 30 plus editing reports
  • 14-day free trial available
  • For fiction writers only
  • No plugins or apps for Chrome, Safari, Firefox, etc

Use for: Rewriting content, Journalism Pricing: From $40 per month

Jasper AI

Jasper is a copywriting assistant powered by artificial intelligence. It was created by Dave Rogenmoser in 2015 and was previously known as Jarvis. Jasper will not find and fix grammar errors and other mistakes. And proofreaders shouldn’t expect it to generate reports. 

However, proofreaders can use it to take clunky copy provided by clients and rewrite or rephrase it quickly and easily. It also helps with time-consuming types of writing that editors and proofreaders are often lumbered with, like meta descriptions and headline variations.

To learn more, read our Jasper AI review .

  • Great for copywriters
  • It saves time rewriting and revising
  • Not suitable for basic proofreading and editing
  • Can get expensive

Use for: Rephrasing copy Pricing: From $9.99 per month


Wordtune is an AI-powered writing tool that works much like Jasper. Again, a proofreader won’t use this tool to fix basic grammar and punctuation mistakes or other readability issues. 

However, they can use it to generate, rephrase and edit short blocks of copy quickly and easily. It’s cheaper than Jasper, although it contains fewer AI writing templates. To learn more, read our Wordtune review .

Use for: Checking essays, applying style guides Pricing: $24 per month

CorrectEnglish (CE)

Correct English is lesser-known proofreading focusing on the English academic market and those learning English as a second language. It’s an excellent choice for essayists and proofreaders who work on academic texts. We were able to upload work from Google Docs and Microsoft Word and also copy and paste.

Correct English supports various writing style guides, including APA and MLA. Unfortunately, we’ve yet to find another proofreading tool with a similar feature.

Proofreaders can try the free version and check up to 250 words. The premium version also includes a plagiarism check and access to Lexipedia. Proofreaders can use the latter to look up definitions, synonyms, and antonyms.

  • Supports nine languages
  • Supports academic style guides
  • Supports sharing and collaboration
  • Insightful writing stats
  • Lacks plugins and apps for browsers
  • No mobile version
  • No proofreading reports or collaboration features
  • Clunky user-interface

Proofreading software is a tool writers and professional proofreaders can use to find and fix errors faster. These tools help get something ready to publish faster. 

For longer pieces of work, they are not a replacement for a human proofreader. Professional authors employ multiple proofreaders to check their works for mistakes rather than simply relying on software. 

For example, a human proofreader decides when to break a grammar or spelling rule because of a question of style or tone. A serious writer should budget for this type of service.

After testing proofreading software extensively, we found that most independent proofreaders will get the most value from Grammarly. This is because it works everywhere and has a best-in-class writing assistant. 

Those editing long-form works should consider ProWritingAid due to the volume of reports. Antidote is a good alternative for proofreaders who dislike these tools. Professional proofreaders in small businesses can also improve their ability to collaborate by using dedicated software like Ziflow. 

I worked as a professional sub-editor for several national newspapers and completed several proofreading courses. 

On Become a Writer Today, I’ve worked with writing software reviewers to profile many of the best tools and apps, including the proofreading tools features here.

We regularly update this roundup as proofreading tools. We test new features by checking articles, book chapters, and blog posts for grammatical mistakes and other issues. These articles and other writing samples range from several hundred to several thousand words. Typically, we test them using the web, desktop, and browser apps and plugins.

Our selection criteria include assessing pricing, ease of use, app integration, functionality, and accuracy. We carefully consider each of these aspects when rating software.

What software do professional proofreaders use?

Up until recently, many professional proofreaders worked in Microsoft Word. Therefore, they rely on their attention to detail and knowledge of English grammar. They also regularly refer to the dictionary, thesaurus, and writing style books. However, professional proofreaders rely on premium software like Grammarly and other tools.

While proofreading, they usually change the formatting of an article to Courier and one and a half or two times spacing and scan it for errors and mistakes manually. Sometimes, they print out a piece of writing, check for issues and mark it up with a red pen. 

Is Grammarly better than a proofreader?

Grammarly is a helpful tool for any writer and proofreader. However, best not to accept every suggestion and recommendation without question. A good proofreader understands when to apply and breaks grammar rules, and edits a piece of writing based on style and not only AI. For longer-form works and near 100% error-free writing, it’s worth hiring a professional human proofreader or commissioning proofreading services.

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Bryan Collins is the owner of Become a Writer Today. He's an author from Ireland who helps writers build authority and earn a living from their creative work. He's also a former Forbes columnist and his work has appeared in publications like Lifehacker and Fast Company.

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Posted on Jan 13, 2023

The 7 Best Proofreading Software to Level Up Your Writing

After spending hours writing an article or a novel, it’s good practice to check for grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes in a process known as proofreading . Clean and accurate text immeasurably improves the reader’s experience, making proofreading a fundamental type of editing . 

For many writers, re-reading their writing and searching for tiny errors can be tedious and time-consuming, especially since it’s easy to become blind to one’s own text. Fortunately, several pieces of proofreading software are available to help you catch major errors in record time. 

The 7 best proofreading software: 

1. Grammarly

2. prowritingaid, 3. antidote, 4. languagetool, 5. quillbot, 6. scribens.

Whether you're a student, an author, or a casual writer, these tools can help you polish your output, so let’s dive in. 

A screenshot of Grammarly's app

💰 Price: Free | Starts at $12/month. ✅ Best for: Students, casual writers. 🖇︎ Compatibility: macOS/Windows desktop app, web app, browser extension, mobile app.

Grammarly is probably the web’s best-known proofreading tool, with a free plan that allows you to quickly correct mistakes and get tailored suggestions based on your goals (for instance, informal vs. formal tone, general vs. knowledgeable audience). That said, the tool is not foolproof and should not be fully trusted for major projects, like self-publishing a book , for example. 

Conveniently, Grammarly’s browser extension is compatible with most writing and publishing apps, including the Reedsy Book Editor , which allows you to write, edit, proof, and publish in the same place.

🤓 For a more thorough analysis of the tool, check out our in-depth Grammarly review .

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A screenshot of ProWritingAid's app

💰 Price: Free | Starts at $20/month. ✅ Best for: Students, authors. 🖇︎ Compatibility: macOS/Windows desktop app, web app, browser extension, Scrivener. No mobile app.

Perhaps Grammarly's closest competitor, ProWritingAid has a similarly accessible interface, and its free option also provides basic proofreading features. However, its premium version sets itself apart, which takes the editing a step further by offering tips for better story structure and suggestions for improving transitions, vocabulary, and overall readability. This makes it more suitable for fiction writers than Grammarly.

While more expensive on a monthly basis, ProWritingAid’s yearly billing saves you 67% 一 making it a strong contender for “best value for money.” Read our ProWritingAid review for a more detailed analysis (and a 20% discount!).

✋ While these tools are extremely helpful, they are no substitute for professional (human!) proofreaders, who have a more nuanced understanding and mastery of language. If you’re aiming to write for professional purposes, consider hiring a proofreader 一 you can find many on Reedsy’s marketplace.

Hire a professional to proof your work!

And make sure your book is ready to hit the presses.

Learn how Reedsy can help you craft a beautiful book.

A screenshot of Antidote's app

💰 Price: $59/year | $119 lifetime deal. ✅ Best for: Academics, authors. 🖇︎ Compatibility: macOS/Windows desktop app, web app, mobile app. 

Despite having been in the business for the past 25 years, Antidote has flown under the radar compared to some of the options we’ve already mentioned. Aimed more at professionals and academic writers, it does an excellent job of checking both grammatical and typographical errors while giving suggestions on style, vocabulary, readability, and even gender neutrality. Without a free trial, you sadly cannot take it for a spin before committing, but if you do, you’ll find its annual subscription rate rather competitive. 

What kind of editing does your book need?

Takes one minute!

A screenshot of LanguageTool's app

💰 Price: Free | Starts from $5/month. ✅ Best for: Students, casual writers. 🖇︎ Compatibility: macOS, Windows, all browser extensions, Google Docs/Word plugin.  

LanguageTool is a user-friendly proofreading tool that offers many of the same basic features as Grammarly and ProWritingAid, but at a fraction of the cost. With a focus on helping casual everyday writers, its premium editing suite can feel lacking compared to its rivals. But if you’re not looking for too much guidance (or are simply looking to improve how you draft your emails and essays), you may appreciate LanguageTool’s relatively lean subscription price.

A screenshot of Quillbo's app

💰 Price: Free | $19.95/month. ✅ Best for: Any writer. 🖇︎ Compatibility: Web app, Chrome and Word extension. 

QuillBot is a sort of Swiss army knife for writers. It offers tools to help with paraphrasing, summarizing, generating citations (for nonfiction or academic work), and checking grammar. In this regard, its proofreading capabilities are on par with those of Grammarly and ProWritingAid. However, it offers significantly fewer features (like spotting overused or repeated words, for example). Overall, its free version (especially as a browser extension) can be helpful to any kind of writer and a great starting tool for proofreading.

Which writing app is right for you?

A screenshot of Scribens' app

💰 Price: Free | Starts at $9.90/month. ✅ Best for: Students. 🖇︎ Compatibility: Web app, browser extension, Office, mobile app.

Scribens is a basic proofreading web app that does a good job of spotting grammatical and typographical errors and word repetition. Its free package and handy browser extension make it a nice proofreading option, especially for students, but the premium version might not be worth the bucks compared to more feature-rich options like Grammarly.   

A screenshot of Ginger's app

💰 Price: Free | Starts at $13.99/month. ✅ Best for: Casual writers. 🖇︎ Compatibility: Desktop/web app on Windows, Chrome extension, mobile app.

Ginger is a basic spelling, translating, and rephrasing tool 一 with the latter being perhaps its strongest feature. As a proofreading tool, it’s not the most thorough option, as it doesn’t seem to spot simple mistakes like possessives or double spaces. However, you can still use it to correct some mistakes or rephrase poorly written sentences.

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned author, this list should help you find the right proofreading software. But remember, while they’re quite helpful in polishing your writing, they’re not a substitute for professional proofreaders 一 so consider hiring one for your more ambitious projects.

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Home / Book Editing / The Best Proofreading Software To Use: 2023 Edition

The Best Proofreading Software To Use: 2023 Edition

As a prolific author and online content writer, I’ve found the best proofreading software is a toss-up between Grammarly’s free version or ProWritingAid’s premium version.

However, each proofreading tool has its own pros and cons. To see which one works best for your unique situation, I’ve compiled a list of pros and cons for 12 different proofreading tools.

Proofreading tools give you an edge over your competition. They help you work faster and write better.

Built-in spell checkers can catch some mistakes, but they’re nothing compared to modern alternatives, such as ProWritingAid, Grammarly, Ginger, and Hemingway.

Poking around the internet, I noticed that most online reviews of these tools are woefully outdated. So I decided to do my homework and write recommendations of my own.

This article will compare and contrast what’s available to help you find the best proofreading software for your unique situation.

Spoiler alert: ProWritingAid is my top choice for long-form writing, i.e. what most authors would need, although Grammarly is extremely powerful and works as well. But we give the edge to ProWritingAid because it has a lifetime subscription option. And if you use the code KINDLEPRENEUR20 in your checkout process, you'll get 20% off with this link:

Want to know more about editing besides software? You can learn all about editing yourself, hiring an editor, or more on the software, at this link .

  • ProWritingAid
  • Tell you which ones to avoid

Table of contents

  • What is proofreading in writing?
  • Best Proofreading Software to Use for Writing
  • Pros of ProWritingAid
  • Cons of ProWritingAid
  • Pros of Grammarly
  • Cons of Grammarly
  • Pros of Ginger
  • Cons of Ginger
  • Pros of Hemingway
  • Cons of Hemingway
  • Pros of Quillbot
  • Cons of Quillbot
  • Pros of Autocrit
  • Cons of Autocrit
  • Others You May Have Heard Of
  • Pros of Fictionary
  • Cons of Fictionary
  • Proofreading Software vs. Human Proofreader

I’ll also tell you if proofreading software can replace a human editor. (Spoiler: It can’t.)

Links in this article may give me a small commission if you use them to purchase any proofreading software. There’s NO extra cost to you.

Proofreading in writing means making sure that your spelling and grammar are correct. This may be in an essay, a novel, a manual, a website, or any other medium.

It is crucial to proofread your writing. Proper spelling and grammar give off a professional air and ensure your reader understands you. Poor proofreading may lead to embarrassment, miscommunication, and even fewer job opportunities.

The best proofreading software to use for writing novels is a combination of ProWritingAid and Hemingway, which check different things. For blogs, emails, memos, social media posts, and shorter projects, Grammarly is a robust proofreading tool — even the free version.

Bottom line: These proofreading tools work better than the native spell checkers in word processors like MS Word.

Also be sure to check out my comparison between the top two options: Grammarly and ProWritingAid:

In this table are the 5 leading proofreading apps/software (because they’re the best). After the table, I’ll talk about the pros and cons of these plus 3 additional proofreading tools.

Ultimately for me, ProWritingAid comes out on top. But I'll let you come to your own conclusions…

1. ProWritingAid

ProWritingAid looks for grammatical and punctuation mistakes while also checking for structural issues like repetition, cliches, and a lack of variety in sentence length.

It is also my #1 recommended tool for proofreading long-form work like novels. And it's pretty good with short-form too.

Its browser extensions are free. You can use ProWritingAid’s limited online editor for free. Also, their premium versions come with a 30-day free trial and 14-day money-back guarantee.

How much does ProWritingAid Premium cost? If you use my Kindlepreneur link to buy ProWritingAid Premium, you can get 20% off the prices below!

  • $79/year ($6.58/month value)
  • $399 one-time payment

There is another premium version: ProWritingAid Premium Plus, which includes 50 plagiarism checks a year.

How much ProWritingAid Premium Plus cost?

  • $89/year ($7.42/month value)
  • $499 one-time payment

For businesses and groups, ProWritingAid offers bulk discounts.

A truly powerful editing software, ProWritingAid creates a detailed report for every piece you evaluate in its online editor.

  • Big-picture feedback
  • A graph of sentence lengths
  • Vocabulary comparison
  • A list of most used words to help you avoid unnecessary repetition

ProWritingAid offers browser extensions for:

The premium version of ProWritingAid comes with desktop apps for Mac and Windows, which allow you to work offline and are great for writers working in Scrivener or Microsoft Office.

ProWritingAid is best suited for writers seeking detailed feedback on longer pieces, like mystery novels , lengthy blog posts, memoirs , and academic essays. Using ProWritingAid’s browser extension for Facebook posts or casual emails may help but may feel like overkill.

Is there anything better than Grammarly? Yes, ProWritingAid is better than Grammarly to a lot of writers and proofreaders. ProWritingAid offers a more detailed, data-driven approach to online proofreading that appeals to many professionals. Plus, its free version is far more robust than Grammarly’s.

Read my full review of ProWritingAid .

  • Features more writing reports than any other proofreading service
  • Has a contextual thesaurus and style suggestions to strengthen your writing
  • Available in different forms of English (American, Australian, British, etc.)
  • Encourages you to vary sentence lengths to maintain reader interest
  • Lets you know how dynamic your vocabulary is compared to other PWA users
  • Shows you phrases you use multiple times, so you can decide if they are overused
  • Compatible with most browsers, Google Docs, Scrivener, and Microsoft Office
  • Works with Mac and Windows
  • Premium Plus version comes with a robust plagiarism checker, or you could purchase plagiarism checks separately
  • Catered to writers, not ordinary people just writing social media posts and emails
  • No mobile app
  • Premium version can get expensive
  • Premium Plus version (that includes plagiarism detection) is costly and much less extensive than Grammarly’s plagiarism checker
  • Steeper learning curve than other proofreading tools

2. Grammarly

With over 10 million users, Grammarly is one of the most popular online proofreading softwares on the market. It’s easy to use, beautifully designed, and widely considered one of the best tools for catching spelling and grammar mistakes.

Whether you’re writing a book, a blog article, an email, or a social media post ( Facebook , Instagram , LinkedIn, etc.), this handy tool has you covered.

Grammarly offers free browser extensions for:

  • Google Chrome

You can also install the Grammarly desktop app for Windows and Mac. There’s even a mobile app to improve your writing on the go!

How much does Grammarly cost?

  • The free version offers a massive number of features
  • $29.95 per month
  • $59.94 per 3 months ($19.98/month value)
  • $139.95 per year ($11.66/month value)
  • $12.50/month per member (minimum 3 members) with Grammarly Business

If you encounter a program or website Grammarly is not compatible with, you can simply paste your writing into Grammarly’s online editor, correct it there, and paste it back.

Grammarly’s premium version comes with double the suggestions (often more than double), a sentence structure checker, a plagiarism detector (great if you hire ghostwriters ), and genre-specific feedback.

Read my full review of Grammarly for more info, as well as my list of Grammarly alternatives .

  • Free version has a robust suite of features
  • Conforms to your writing style (academic, casual, creative, etc.)
  • Adjustable formality levels: formal, neutral, and informal
  • Grammarly works great for everyone, not just professional writers
  • Premium version has a plagiarism checker
  • Easy to use with a variety of browsers and websites
  • Integrates with MS Word (and MS Outlook on Windows only)
  • App available on iOS and Android
  • Only works with English, not other languages
  • Still in beta with Google Docs (works well, but not perfectly)
  • Doesn’t offer much feedback on big picture writing
  • Website editor only allows documents up to 4 MB and 100,000 characters
  • Premium version charges a monthly fee (no one-time purchase option)
  • Doesn’t integrate with most writing softwares, like Scrivener, yWriter, or Apple Pages
  • Their marketing pushes you to buy the premium version (you can unsubscribe from their emails)

Ginger has been a proofreading powerhouse since 2007. Recent updates have made Ginger one of the best proofreading softwares on the market.

How much does Ginger cost?

  • Its free version has a few useful features
  • $29.96/month
  • $59.88/year ($12.48/month value)
  • $95.76/24 months ($9.99/month value)

Ginger occasionally runs sales that save you up to 60%, so watch for those special deals.

What really sets Ginger apart are the cool advanced features that come with its premium version.

The most useful is Ginger’s text reader, which reads text aloud from Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Outlook emails, and some websites opened with Google Chrome, Firefox, or Edge.

This lets you hear how your writing sounds and helps you find opportunities to strengthen your syntax and word choice. It’s a handy productivity tool, allowing you to listen to articles or blog posts while you fold the laundry or walk on the treadmill.

Ginger Premium also includes a translator that will easily translate your writing into over 60 languages. This can be great for day-to-day communication but has many more applications for fiction writers.

Want the character in your novel to overhear a secret phone call in French? To discover a scandalous old letter written by the hero’s Russian grandmother? Ginger can help you make it happen!

Grammarly is probably a more robust option over Ginger for general grammar and spell check use. For a more measurable comparison, Ginger’s free Chrome extension has a 3.72 star-rating after 1,388 reviews, while Grammarly’s free Chrome extension has a 4.62-star rating with 29,650 total reviews.

In the example below, you’ll notice Grammarly suggesting I change “more good” to better. That’s a smart catch that Ginger seems to be missing.

  • Great for catching spelling and grammar errors
  • Easy to use with multiple browsers (but not Firefox)
  • Offers a lot of value in its free version
  • Available on Windows , Mac , iOS , and Android
  • Premium version can translate into more than 60 languages
  • Free version is not as robust and user-friendly as Grammarly
  • Doesn’t offer much big-picture feedback on writing
  • Premium version charges a monthly fee

4. Hemingway

Hemingway stands apart from the other tools on this list in that its goal isn’t to catch misspelled words or grammar mistakes. Instead, it’s designed to make your writing “bold and clear,” more like the writing of Ernest Hemingway.

How much does Hemingway cost?

  • Hemingway’s online editor is a free online proofreading tool
  • Hemingway’s desktop app costs $19.99 for Windows or macOS

Hemingway will strengthen your writing by helping you avoid too many adverbs, slipping into passive voice, being overly wordy, or writing complicated sentences that are hard to read.

Unlike Grammarly or Ginger, the Hemingway editor generally doesn’t make specific suggestions. It just points out problematic areas in your writing and nudges you in the direction of stronger alternatives.

To be clear, Hemingway won’t magically turn terrible writing into the work of Ernest Hemingway. And it’s worth noting that good writing is more than a set of rules.

In fact, The New Yorker has a great piece where it shows that even Hemingway himself doesn’t always pass the Hemingway test (sometimes the best writing comes from breaking the rules).

However, while this software won’t make your writing perfect, it can make your writing more effective. It’s a smart tool to have in your arsenal.

Hemingway does not come with any browser extensions. You simply copy and paste into the online editor, which is free, easy to use, and requires no signup or installation.

Admittedly, this is a hassle for longer pieces. If you’re writing a book or plan to use this tool frequently, you might want to purchase the desktop app, available for Mac and Windows.

The app allows you to import your writing, perform edits , then export to text, PDF, or DOC. If you’re a blogger, the app can also export as HTML or Markdown — it even lets you publish directly to WordPress or Medium.

  • Big-picture feedback, including style and formatting
  • Easily identifiable color-coded errors
  • Online editor is free
  • Desktop app is a one-time fee: an affordable $19.99
  • Can export from desktop app to TXT, PDF, DOC, HTML, or Markdown
  • Makes more indirect suggestions, allowing you to maintain a feeling of control over your writing
  • Does not catch spelling errors
  • Does not make specific suggestions
  • No browser extension
  • Not meant for Gmail or Facebook , like other proofreading apps on this list
  • Even Hemingway doesn’t always pass the Hemingway test, showing that following the many rules of writing shouldn’t ever be a hard-and-fast rule

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5. Quillbot

Quillbot is unique as a proofreading software, in that it uses AI for many of it's tools.

And it has a lot of different tools, some of which you won't find on other items on this list. For instance, you can use Quillbot to paraphrase short phrases so you're not plagiarizing, or if you just want to say something a different way.

You will find the following with Quillbot:

  • Paraphraser
  • Grammar Checker
  • Plagiarism Checker
  • Citation Generator

How much does Quillbot cost?

  • $19.95/month
  • $13.33/month, billed semi-annually
  • $8.33/month, billed annually

Is there a free version of Quillbot?

Yes, there is a free version of Quillbot, and it comes with the following:

  • up to 125 words in the Paraphraser
  • Limited modes for the grammar checker
  • 3 synonym options
  • 1,200 words on the Summarizer

Note that the premium version offers much more for each of these, and also includes faster processing speed, advanced grammar rewrites, and the plagiarism checker.

Quillbot has an excellent grammar checker , and while I think the program caters better to students and academic papers, it still has some nifty AI tools that come in handy.

  • A paraphraser
  • A summarizer
  • A plagiarism checker
  • A citation generator
  • Affordable pricing
  • There is a free version
  • Limited options in the free version
  • No lifetime purchase option
  • Better at short documents and academic papers than long-form writing

6. Autocrit

Autocrit is a editing software built specifically for authors of fiction. It is unique in that it digests millions of fiction books to help Autocrit's algorithm analyze your book to see how it compares.

You will find the following critiques with Autocrit:

  • Pacing and Momentum
  • Strong Writing
  • Word Choice
  • Compare to Fiction

How much does Autocrit cost?

  • Basic plan: $10/month
  • Professional plan: $30/month
  • Elite plan: $80/month

Is there a free version of Autocrit?

No, there is not a free version of Autocrit. However, you can get a 14-day trial of the Professional or Elite plans for $1, after which it will revert to the $10 basic plan.

  • Reasonably priced
  • Excellent for fiction authors
  • Focuses on fiction-specific editing that you can't get anywhere else
  • Not as good at grammar when compared to ProWritingAid
  • No lifetime price

You may have heard of some of the following. While some have their good sides, most of these we don't recommend. Here is a bit about each of them and links to our reviews.

  • WhiteSmoke: WhiteSmoke is a highly-rated Natural Language Processing proofreader with one-click correction, translation, and plagiarism detection, but has a 10,000 character limit, inaccurate suggestions, no free trial, slow support, and high yearly cost with no monthly billing. See our review .
  • LanguageTool: LanguageTool is an affordable proofreading tool for teams with grammar, style, and number checks, but has strict character limits, no Safari support, and limitations for long-form writing. See our review.
  • PaperRater: PaperRater is a proofreading software emphasizing its free plagiarism checker, and also offers spelling, grammar, style, and readability checks, along with premium document upload options, but it's not the best because of its English-only limitation, outdated website, slow online editor, ad-filled free version, and restrictive word count checks (1,500 for free users, 6,000 for premium). See our review.
  • Slick Write: Slick Write is a free but limited proofreading tool with useful features but subpar usability compared to premium alternatives like Hemingway Editor and ProWritingAid. See our review.
  • PerfectIt: PerfectIt is a proofreading program designed specifically for professional editors with useful formatting consistency checks but limited to Microsoft Word with no grammar or spelling checks, best for editing technical documents rather than book manuscripts. See our review.
  • Wordtune: Wordtune is an AI-powered sentence rewriting tool with a free version and useful suggestions to improve clarity and concision, but an unintuitive interface, nonsensical recommendations, and expensive premium version limit its value. See our review.

BONUS: Fictionary

Fictionary is another platform that I highly recommend, but for different reasons than other options on this list. Fictionary is a web-based editing software designed to simplify the developmental editing process for writers and editors.

Did you catch that? It's a “developmental” editing program, not a grammar/spelling editing program. That's why I'm including it as a bonus here instead of a true competitor with the rest. It's in a league of its own.

How much does Fictionary cost?

  • Storyteller:  $19/month or $14/month with annual billing
  • Storyteller Premium:  $29/month or $21.58/month with annual billing
  • StoryCoach:  $49/month or $33.25/month with annual billing (editors only)

Is there a free version of Fictionary?

There is not a free version of Fictionary, but you can try the tool out for a 14-day free trial.

  • Unique take on editing
  • Ease of use and design
  • Good documentation
  • Great visual tools
  • A lot of legwork required of the author
  • Not subplot tracking
  • Limited sentence-level editing

Can proofreading software replace a human proofreader? No, a proofreading checker cannot replace a human editor.

When you use Grammarly or ProWritingAid or any of the proofreading tools we’ve talked about, your writing may improve. But this does not mean you should skip hiring an editor before publishing.

Every author needs to have their work professionally edited by a qualified human editor before it is released to the public, bar none. Stephen King, George R.R. Martin, Nora Roberts — they all use editors, and for good reason.

If you don’t think a proofreading tool can meet your unique needs, then hiring a professional proofreader is a viable option. It will cost a pretty penny (about $0.01 per word, which adds up quickly). But if this is what works for you, then great!

How do you become a certified proofreader? You can become a professional proofreader by earning a certificate in Editing and/or Proofreading through various institutions. There are long-distance learning opportunities for at-home learners.

What software do professional proofreaders use? Professional proofreaders use various softwares to check their clients’ work. Many use native spell checkers and grammar checkers alongside their own skills. Others may use Grammarly, Hemingway, or PerfectIt to catch any mistakes they might miss.

Which online proofreading software is best for you?

The results of my hunt for the best proofreading software are ProWritingAid vs. Grammarly vs. Ginger vs. Hemingway . Each tool has its strengths and weaknesses, and some authors will want to invest in more than one.

  • ProWritingAid proofreads grammatical errors and spelling mistakes in real-time, as well as big picture feedback for strengthening your writing. It also comes with a one-time payment option, which can help you save money in the long run.
  • Grammarly is an excellent tool for everyday life (think emails, Facebook posts, comments on a blog). And it can also help people writing books, blogs, or essays catch spelling and grammar mistakes in their writing — more so than a default text editor.
  • Ginger is a reliable alternative to Grammarly, with some cool extra features such as the text reader and translator.
  • Hemingway is a handy software for people writing longer or persuasive pieces, like a nonfiction book or essay. Although Hemingway is by no means a magic wand, using a combination of this tool and your own brain can make you a stronger writer.

If I had to pick one tool from the list, it would be ProWritingAid. That's because it does better with long-form content, and has a lifetime subscription option.

And one of the cool things about that lifetime subscription is that you can get a 20% discount when you buy ProWritingAid through my link and with the code KINDLEPRENEUR20.

When I’m not sipping tea with princesses or lightsaber dueling with little Jedi, I’m a book marketing nut. Having consulted multiple publishing companies and NYT best-selling authors, I created Kindlepreneur to help authors sell more books. I’ve even been called “The Kindlepreneur” by Amazon publicly, and I’m here to help you with your author journey.

Related Posts

Author coaches: the ultimate guide to 10x your book’s potential, how to become a copyeditor: credentials and how to get your first gig, words to avoid in writing: weak words to find, cut, and replace, sell more books on amazon, standardized editorial test.

Picking the right editor for your book can be hard. We authors don’t really know how to compare two editors and see which one is better…until now. When you go to hire an editor, have them take this test sample article. Then look at our answer key and see which editor scored the best. That way you know their level of quality.

11 thoughts on “ The Best Proofreading Software To Use: 2023 Edition ”

This review was extremely helpful. I am a medical writer and have used the free version of Grammarly. I found the premium version was recommending their style of writing as opposed to a style that is more commonly used and acceptable in creating science-related articles. So I do use Grammarly free version. I did not find PerfectIt to be sympatico with my writing style and I did not purchase it after the 14-day free trial.

I am sufficiently curious about the quality of translation from English into other languages to try Ginger or ProWritingAid. I have shared this URL with colleagues because it is very complete and easy to read. Thank you so much. Stephen

Thanks Stephen. That means a lot to hear, and if you get any info back, let me know.

It’s interesting to paste your post “best meal delivery services for one person” to ProWritingAid and see the report.

Interestingly for the following sentence, “Finding recipes and high-quality ingredients for these popular diets can be time consuming, but Factor 75 makes it simple by sending out delicious, fully prepared, single-serving meals every week.”

It says “Possible missing a hyphen” in “time consuming”. Then you click on “Realtime” twice to force it off and on and do a recheck, it then says “Don’t use a hyphen when this follows a verb”. This is really confusing.

That is interesting. I haven’t encountered this before. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. I’ll look for ways to address this the next time I update the article!

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SCI Journal

Best Proof-reading Software for Academic Excellence

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editing paper software

  • The best proof-reading software can help you reduce errors and achieve academic excellence. 
  • Read online reviews but test the tool – take advantage of trial periods to find the best proofreading software for yourself
  • Run the experiment like a science project – start with clear hypotheses. Define your success criteria

Proofreading is an integral part of the research process. It can mean the difference between a paper that is accepted and one that is rejected.

But proofreading can be difficult, especially when working on your manuscript, checking the experiment/survey results, and taking care of your newborn baby.

That’s where proofreading software comes in. These programs can help you find mistakes in your writing and correct them quickly and easily.

There are many different types of proofreading software available, each with its own set of features. As a result, it can be challenging to know which program is right for you.

That’s why we have created this guide to the best proofreading software for academic professionals. 

The best part? We have tested it with this very article, so you can see it for yourself. 

Table of Contents

How to choose the best proofreading software?

In recent years, there has been a proliferation of proofreading tools available online. These programs can help you detect plagiarism in your work, fix grammar mistakes and punctuation errors, and even make suggestions for changes in your writing style.

But which proofreading tool is best? Which one should you use? And how can you decide which proofreader is best for you when each one has a slightly different set of features?

Here, we will compare the most popular proofreaders available today. Then, we’ll discuss their key features and help you decide which one is best for your needs.

  • The first thing to look out for when choosing a proofreader is what it can do .
  • Some tools check for common mistakes in grammar, punctuation, and style, and many of them also assist you in checking for plagiarism.
  • Another critical aspect to consider is how accessible the proofreader is. For example, is it available only online, or can you download it? How easy is it to use? And what tools does it offer?
  • Finally, keep your own needs in mind when choosing a proofreading tool.

For example, if you plan to submit your manuscript for peer review, will the proofreader help you identify potential plagiarism issues? Or does it work best as a general proofreader that allows you to fix spelling and grammar mistakes?

Limitation of Proof-reading Tools

Although proofreading tools can be a great help in improving your writing, they do have some limitations.

  • First, proofreaders can only detect errors that are already in your text. They cannot help you to come up with ideas or to come up with better sentences.
  • Second, proofreaders can only correct certain types of errors. For example, many proofreaders are not very good at detecting grammar mistakes in scientific papers.
  • Finally, proofreaders can be time-consuming. It can take a lot of time to go through your text and fix all the errors that the proofreader finds.

Consider using a writing tool to improve your writing fundamentally. We review the best one as of today here, including some less-known secret weapon AI tool.

Best Proofreading Software & Tools in 2022 (Free & Paid)

Hemmingway editor app – best proofreading software that is basic, free, and works offline.

Proof-Reading Software

Hemmingway Editor is one of those great tools that people don’t talk about it first because it doesn’t have a strong affiliate incentive program. But, we like to use it to make sure our readability is around Grade 6. And, that is the primary use for us editors at scijournal.org.

It handles the basic stuff like spelling errors. We ask our writers to use the free version for self-editing. 

It is not a Chrome extension, so it doesn’t work with Google Docs. 

  • We like the readability as a guideline to keep our writing accessible to read.
  • It helps us to run a sample check to quickly check someone’s work in terms of wording and content structure.
  • It has a clean interface that’s easy to use with no log-in needed.
  • It is one of the free online proofreading tools that are reliable.
  • It can work offline as a desktop app.
  • It’s not an automated solution as it requires you to fix grammar errors yourself. 
  • It doesn’t have a Chrome Extension that works with Google Docs.
  • Its writing advice is quite broad, without any specifics.
  • It’s not made for book authors or scholars with a considerable volume to flip through (best hire an editing service for those…)
  • There is a free online tool, but it does not save your work . You can lose your work if you are disconnected or accidentally close the tab.
  • It doesn’t offer you customization , e.g., if you want to sound professional, causal, or funny.
  • Not connected to any AI that offers things like plagiarism checker
  • There could be lots of formatting issues with exporting. 

Hemmingway is probably the best choice as a free online editor that checks writing style. But as you scale up and produce more writing, you might need something that can work more efficiently. 

We love this tool for its basic writing style and spelling mistakes checker. But, it has no plagiarism checker, which adds to our editing process.

Grammarly – Best Proofreading Software (for now)

I don’t intend to write yet another article about Grammarly being the best tool. Our research process started with a hypothesis that other online proofreading tools are better than Grammarly. However, if there is enough interest, we will publish that single review of Grammarly. 

For now, our conclusion, sadly, is that Grammarly does a great job of being an editing software.

Grammarly is considered the best proofreading tool for many reasons. 

  • We emphasize Google Docs integration, but Grammarly works with most platforms such as Word Outlook; Windows and iOS, mobile and iPads.
  • Offers browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge.
  • Its free version offers powerful basic functions such as spelling, grammar, punctuation, conciseness.
  • Automated solution “Change-all” option (use it with care…).
  • Its AI-powered function learns from and grows with you as you give it feedback. It will adapt to your style and adjust the algorithms behind that suggestion to make it more accurate and helpful.
  • Its premium goes beyond just checking typos but also big picture feedback, clarify-focused sentence rewrites, tone adjustments, word choices, formality level, fluency, and consistency (such I’m vs. I am).
  • It makes your editing process easy with a sleek interface – clean and intuitive that requires no learning time.
  • It allows you to set goals and customize them for different purposes.

editing paper software

  • Customer service seems to be a common reason for complaints.
  • Experienced writers will agree that you can’t trust any tool and rely on it to do your job – the same with Grammarly.
  • In our experience both as authors and editors, we don’t trust its reports from others who use Grammarly.
  • In our experience, you will need to click and check to get the best results. You simply cannot blindly follow its suggestions. 
  • As the best tool in the market, Grammarly is not cheap.

editing paper software

It has a free plan with a basic function that rivals most free editing apps. Its premium plan is $30/month and drops to $12/month if paid annually.

WhiteSmoke’s Proofreading Software

editing paper software

WhiteSmoke is an excellent spell check software that also checks the spelling and word choices. 

Is White Smoke a cheap product? The price is lower with the three-year plan. Education companies have named White Smoke the top proofreading tool on the Internet.

White smoke can simplify the workflow and improve the performance and efficiency of your research assistant. The WhiteSmoke platform also uses artificial intelligence and algorithms to enhance your writing skills.

WhiteSmoke’s proofreading software is available for the PC, Mac, and iPad. The latter makes it easier than ever to work on your texts anywhere, at any time. Moreover, WhiteSmoke also offers a free online plugin compatible with Microsoft Office 2007 and 2010. A simple installation process and the program’s intuitive design make it very easy to use.

The software is available in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Chinese (traditional).

  • Easy to use and could teach you how to better at academic writing, e.g., style errors, help you catch spelling errors or grammatical errors.
  • Proofreading software designed with professional editors in mind.
  • Detects more than 90% of all grammatical, spelling, and punctuation errors.
  • Predictive text suggestions help you get the right word or phrase within seconds.
  • Available for PC, Mac, and iPad.
  • Free online plugin compatible with Microsoft Office 2007 and 2010.
  • WhiteSmoke comes with a Grammar Checker, Plagiarism Checker, and Translator.
  • It does not catch all errors.
  • The interface may be confusing to some users.
  • People complain about the lack of updates available.
  • Its service seems to be a big problem and could take days to respond.
  • Stability is an issue, e.g., crashes in mac IOS sometimes.
  • $59.95/year ($5/month value) for browser extension.
  • $79.95/year ($6.66/month value) for desktop app and more.
  • $137.95/year ($11.50/month value) for business suite — includes phone customer support.

Slick Write – A free editor tool great for non-native English writer/speaker

Slick Write is like an improved version of Hemmingway Editor. It’s a tool that features several useful functions to help you write better content.

Slick Write is a free web-based application, so it’s easy to use, and there is no need to install the software on your computer.

Slick Write allows you to check to spell, highlight passive sentences, and identify long and short sentences.

Slick Write’s features are A word count, a readability score based on the Flesch Reading Ease and the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level equations, a passive voice analyzer, and an advanced grammar checker.

Besides this, it highlights a list of hard-to-read words, which is great for writers who don’t know all the vocabulary.

  • Slick Write is easy to use.
  • The spell checker is accurate enough.
  • It highlights long and short sentences.
  • You can check the readability of your text.
  • It comes with a free editor and a grammar checker (with ads).
  • There is no need to install the software, but this also means that it can be difficult to find if you don’t know what you’re looking for.
  • The word count is not always accurate.
  • It doesn’t work correctly on mobile devices.
  • The advanced grammar checker is difficult to use.
  • You can’t customize it to suit your own needs.

Pricing: free

Slick Write is a great tool, but it also has some flaws. Still, we can conclude that it is a handy tool, especially for non-native English speakers.

Ginger – reads aloud and translates.

Ginger is a great proofreading software because it can read aloud, which is helpful. Your ears can help you catch mistakes when your eyes are exhausted while typing. Additionally, Ginger also offers a grammar checker and a spell checker, so you can ensure that your text is perfect before you publish it. Overall, Ginger is an excellent tool for ensuring your writing is flawless.

Ginger’s online proofreading service does a great job checking your mistakes in the document you submit. It checks for various errors (like misused words correction, consecutive nouns, phonetic spelling mistakes, etc.). 

Ginger’s translation capability makes it an excellent tool for researchers who need to write in multiple languages.

editing paper software

  • Most comprehensive out of all Grammarly alternatives.
  • It has a free Chrome extension that proves its value before charging.
  • It has a floating device (G icon) that shows up when it’s working.
  • It could double as a Grammar Checker and Sentence Rephraser.
  • Ginger’s free version is limited to 300 words.
  • The translation service is not always accurate, and the grammar checker is not always reliable.

ProWriting Aid

ProWriting Aid is a great editing tool that integrates into many different platforms. It is brilliant and catches most errors. One-click suggestions make it easy to accept good changes, and the interface is clean and intuitive. It requires almost no learning time, and basic suggestions are free. Advanced grammar suggestions (including tone) are available in paid plans.

  • The ProWritingAid software is a fantastic editing program that works with various platforms, such as Chrome, Google Docs, MS Office (in Windows), Scrivener.
  • It is extremely smart and catches most errors.
  • One-click suggestions make it easy to accept good changes, and the interface is clean and intuitive.
  • It requires almost no learning time, and basic suggestions are free. Advanced grammar suggestions (including tone) are available in paid plans.
  • It also requires an internet connection, as you probably guessed. Powerful AIs need high-performance PCs. They operate in the cloud on fast,
  • It also doesn’t work with Microsoft Office on iOS, as it does with Grammarly.
  • In terms of ProwritingAid vs. Grammarly, ProwritingAid is not as sleek, e.g., it offered fewer one-click fixes, the interface was not as clean, navigation was not as intuitive, and suggestions were not as well-presented
  • Extra features, like reports, cluttered the screen without being useful.

ProWritingAid offers a free version. In addition, there are two premium plans, ProWritingAid Premium ($79 per year) and ProWritingAid Premium+ ($89 per year). Its monthly, yearly, and Lifetime subscription plans are also available.

Paperrater – Free Proofreading Tools 

editing paper software

Paperrater is a free online proofreader that allows you to check your writing for spelling and grammatical errors. 

The basic option allows you to check 50 documents of max five pages per month, but for a minimum discounted fee of $7.95/month, you can check up to 200 papers of max 20 pages per month and have access to its premium features.

Another fantastic online proofreading solution employs Linux-based operating systems with artificial intelligence to deliver you the most excellent possible outcomes.

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  • Free to use without log-in like Hemmingway Editor
  • Premium version costs $7.95/month (25% discounted) and has a free trial period.

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  • You need to set the education level of the author (Hemmingway wins)
  • You need to select the type of paper (Hemmingway wins)
  • Lots of ads as a free tool (Hemmingway wins)
  • The report is badly presented (see below; Hemmingway wins)
  • In terms of paid tool, Paper Rater vs. Grammarly is not a fair comparison; it is kind of like comparing Nokia with Apple

editing paper software

Paperrater could be an excellent tool to experiment and form the basis for comparison with other online proofreading tools. 

CorrectEnglish (CE)

editing paper software

CorrectEnglish is an editing tool that helps writers improve the accuracy and clarity of their writing. It does this by identifying grammar, punctuation, and style errors and providing feedback on how to fix them.

CorrectEnglish is available as a desktop app, a web app, and a mobile app. It can be used to write essays, articles, reports, etc., and is suitable for all writing proficiency levels.

Since its launch in 2014, CorrectEnglish has helped thousands of writers improve their writing skills.

  • Its free tool captures images when you copy and paste the whole thing (CE wins).
  • Check spelling and grammar with unmistakable explanations on why corrections are needed.
  • Accessibility: Works wherever you do, providing you with instant feedback.
  • It offers a quick stat that measures your writing.
  • Format documents for APA and MLA automatically.
  • Ensure all of your work is completely original with a plagiarism check.
  • Check spelling and grammar with detailed explanations on why corrections are needed.
  • Requires a sign-up for trial (Hemmingway wins)
  • The free version only works for 250 words (Hemmingway wins)
  • Its suggestions are not highlighted and not actionable; you need to search for them (same as Hemmingway)
  • Pricing is hard to justify at $24.00 monthly (Grammarly wins)

CE charges $24 per month or <$12 paid annually. I would suggest you test its tool with other premium tools like Grammarly. 

Proofread Bot – A limited free tool

editing paper software

Proofread Bot is an online proofreading tool that helps students and professionals achieve academic excellence. It scans through essays, papers, and other documents for grammar mistakes, typos, and other errors, helping users produce polished and error-free writing. 

  • Easy and free to use like Hemmingway Editor
  • It can only check 600 words, which is not very useful as a free tool (Hemmingway wins)
  • There is some weird message that comes up when we test it with this article (Hemmingway wins)

As one of the free proofreading software programs, Proofread Bot is not as useful as Hemmingway at this writing. But, you are free to test and prove us wrong. 

After the Deadline – not an easy tool

editing paper software

After the Deadline is a free, open-source web proofreader created by Automattic, which created WordPress. It will take longer than a week to complete if there are no other applications. 

As the Deadline is open-sourced, developers can incorporate it into their software. 

As you can see, this tool is not very easy to use. We like to focus on the content, not the tech or the tool. So, this tool is not for us.


editing paper software

LanguageTool can easily read multiple languages for blogs and email. LanguageTool is very affordable, streamlined, and has handy integration. The main drawback is the limitation on the free version to 10k characters. 

Final thoughts

Grammarly can be a good tool for a professional writer even with its lack of perfection. It has many useful functionalities in a simple, clean interface and is probably the most intelligent proofreading AI. 

Those wishing to self-publish or have a high stake academic paper should still hire a publisher. 

But, using a proofreading tool as part of your writing process will help you become more professional, authoritative, and trustworthy. 

Did we miss anything? What are tools that we miss? What features do you like the most or less about the tools we discussed?

Proofreading Software vs. Human Proofreader

Why can’t I just proofread myself? You can. And, most of us do that. And, most of us can use a tool to make our writing better.

True, most proofreading tools cannot take over the work done by a human. Not completely. Our judgment and understanding of a content’s intent still beat most AI tools. 

Using Grammarly or Pro WritingAid or other writing software will make you a better writer. Like proofreaders, these tools can help us see what our eyes can’t due to long hours of working on the same document.

Is Grammarly better than a proofreader?

People use Grammarly to check their writing for mistakes. It’s an online app that acts as your editor, giving tips on the errors you might have missed. With the Grammarly Premium account, you can upload all of your work into a cloud-based platform and never worry about finding sentence reversals again!

Whether it can replace a good proofreader, we think not. Simply because we assume the proofreader knows your objectives and context better than an AI tool can.

We will talk about academic proofreading services in our next issue.

Can I use ProWritingAid offline?

Yes, you can use ProWritingAid offline. You will need to download the app, and then you can use it without an internet connection.

There is more.

Check out our other articles on the Best Academic Tools Series for Research below.

  • Learn how to get more done with these Academic Writing Tools  
  • Learn how to proofread your work with these Proofreading Tools
  • Learn how to broaden your research landscape with these Academic Search Engines
  • Learn how to manage multiple research projects with these Project Management Tools
  • Learn how to run effective survey research with these Survey Tools for Research
  • Learn how get more insights from important conversations and interviews with Transcription Tools
  • Learn how to manage the ever-growing list of references with these Reference Management Software
  • Learn how to double your productivity with literature reviews with these AI-Based Summary Generators
  • Learn how to build and develop your audience with these Academic Social Network Sites
  • Learn how to make sure your content is original and trustworthy with these Plagiarism Checkers
  • Learn how to talk about your work effectively with these Science Communication Tools

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Thank you for sharing, this is really helpful! I also want to know more about the pros&cons and premium program of Wordvice AI.

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Turner Proofreading

Proofreading Tools Every Proofreader and Editor Should Use

This content may contain affiliate links. If you purchase through these links I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. However, I only recommend products or services that I genuinely like and trust.

When it comes to proofreading and editing, efficiency is everything. Proofreaders and editors need to work as efficiently as possible to produce the best content for their clients within a reasonable timeframe that allows them to earn a decent income. And online proofreading tools can help with that.

In this article, we’ll explore these proofreading and editing tools so you can pick which ones suit your needs best. You can use all of these tools when editing books, blog posts, articles, social media posts, etc. Not only will they help you find grammatical errors and spelling errors they will also help you edit faster.

Table of Contents

What proofreading tools are available for proofreaders and editors?

There are a number of proofreading tools available for proofreaders and editors alike that will help you become more efficient at what you do every day. These include PerfectIt, MyBib, Capitalize My Title, ProWritingAid, Grammarly, and macros, among many others.

Let’s start with the most obvious tools you will need to proofread or edit; that is, how you will actually make your suggestions.

Microsoft Word

This is one piece of proofreading software you won’t be able to do without. Almost every editor out there uses Microsoft Word to annotate the files they’re editing. I probably do 90% of my editing in Word. 

Using the Track Changes feature , you can mark up a document to show where you added or deleted words or characters or where you changed the formatting. You can also use the New Comment feature to ask your clients questions or explain why you changed something.

Although it may be overwhelming to see so many red marks on their work, it’s relatively easy for your clients to see what changes you’ve made. Your clients can go through each change and decide whether to accept or reject it. 

You can use Microsoft Word for free; however, the free version has limitations, so if you want to work as a professional editor, it’s better to get the paid version, which, in 2022, costs about $69.99 a year or $6.99 a month. You can offset this cost against your taxes as a business expense. 

Google Docs

You can also use the Suggesting function in Google Docs , which is linked to your Gmail account, to annotate files and make many of the same changes you would in Microsoft Word including adding or deleting content, changing the formatting, and making comments. 

Google Docs is a useful tool for editing shorter documents like blog posts, emails, or letters. Many editors don’t feel it has the same capabilities as Word when it comes to longer book-length documents as it tends to slow down the more changes you make. It can also be difficult to see which changes relate to which words as they all appear on the side of the page.

At the moment, it’s not possible to link Google Docs to PerfectIt, run macros, or use some other helpful add-ons, so it doesn’t let you take advantage of many tools that help you become a more efficient proofreader.

However, Google Docs is completely free, so it’s an affordable way to start working with clients.  

Adobe Acrobat

Another basic software option for proofreaders is Adobe Acrobat , which allows you to annotate PDF documents. 

If you are proofreading already typeset documents , then you will need to be familiar with how to use Adobe Acrobat or another PDF mark-up tool. Traditional publishing houses would expect their proofreaders to be proficient in annotating using a PDF markup tool.

With Adobe, you can make comments, highlight content and add notes, and add proofreading symbols. These proofreading symbols tell the designer/typesetter what changes to make on the file.

There is a free version called Adobe Acrobat Reader DC, which has limited features, and two paid versions called Adobe Acrobat Standard DC and Adobe Acrobat Pro DC, which cost about $15 to $18 per month if you pay upfront annually.

PerfectIt is a Microsoft Word add-on that proofreaders and editors can install on their office or home computers. It focuses on consistency checks and other difficult-to-find errors, saving your hours of searching manually. 

PerfectIt checks for inconsistencies in the following:

  • Hyphenation
  • Capitalization
  • List punctuation and capitalization
  • Abbreviations
  • And much more

PerfectIt can also help you enforce the rules of different style manuals in various English dialects including Australian, British, Canadian, and US English.

The best part is that it now links directly with the Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) and highlights CMOS rules so you can read the rules and decide if you need to apply them or not. (Note: You need to have a CMOS subscription to be able to link PerfectIt and CMOS.)

Here’s an example of PerfectIt in action. The image below shows that PerfectIt is highlighting rule 9.18 from CMOS, which states that it’s better to use “percent” instead of “%” unless the context is scientific or technical.

Screenshot of PerfectIt highlighting a potential error.

Daniel Heuman, a proofreader and editor, created PerfectIt in 2009, and it thousands of editors around the world use it every day. It’s compatible with PCs and Macs; however, I believe it runs more smoothly on PCs. 

At the time of writing, PerfectIt costs $70.00 for a year’s subscription. You can get a discount on your subscription if you’re a member of some editing societies such as the Chartered Institute of Editors and Proofreaders and the Editorial Freelancers Association among other institutions . 

There is also a 14-day free trial that you can make use of before you commit to signing up.

If you want some help figuring out how to use PerfectIt, check out Louise Harnby’s blog post .


TextExpander is a nifty little tool that allows you to save time by saving canned responses to questions you get asked all the time or comments you make frequently while you edit. You just set up a shortcut that you type, which then populates the entire message you wanted to write. You can then leave that message as is or tweak it to meet your needs. 

When I get inquiries from potential clients, I tend to respond with the same kind of answer every single time (e.g., what services I offer, my fees, my availability, whether I need a sample), so TextExpander helps me avoid having to type the whole thing out again.

TextExpander offers a free 30-day trial so you can get a good feel for it before you commit, then it’s pretty affordable at $3.33 per month (as of April 2022).

You can save 20% with this link!

MyBib is a tool that allows you to generate citations in different styles like Chicago, MLA, or APA . 

You can generate citations for a variety of different content types like journals, books, websites, magazine articles, newspaper articles, and more.

Ideally, your client will create the citations themselves, especially if they are academics. However, sometimes you may need to create them or at least check them to make sure they’re in the correct format . It can be extremely time-consuming to create citations, so MyBib is a useful tool for editors and writers alike. It’s a particularly useful tool for academic writers.

I will say that even when I use MyBib to generate a bibliography reference or a footnote, I always do a quick check online to make sure that the details are correct.

MyBib is currently free for proofreaders, editors, and writers to use.

Grammarly is an editing and proofreading tool that you can use online or as a Microsoft Word add-on . You can use it to check documents in Word and Google Docs; check social media posts on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn using the Chrome extension; and check email messages in Gmail and Outlook.

There is a premium version and a free version of Grammarly. You may find that the free version is sufficient for your needs.

Warning: Artificial intelligence (AI) grammar checkers like Grammarly often struggle to pick up on context, so they sometimes miss when words are being used incorrectly. I personally would not recommend that you use Grammarly unless you have had grammar and punctuation training and are very familiar with the rules. I recommend using Grammarly as a final step where you run it to pick up errors like repeated or transposed words or spelling mistakes that you may have missed. Personally, I find that I ignore 90 percent of Grammarly’s suggestions, but it always finds a few little errors that I missed, so I do find it to be a useful final step.

I wrote a review of Grammarly a few years ago that you might find helpful. I covered what I liked and what I didn’t like about it!

Capitalize My Title

Capitalize My Title is a proofreading tool that proofreaders and editors use to catch missing or erroneous capital letters in chapter headings and subheadings and the titles of books, journal articles, etc. 

There are several different settings so you can use it to make sure titles conform to whatever heading style you’re using (e.g., title case, sentence case, uppercase, lowercase, and first letter capitalized). You can also choose which style manual you’re using to ensure that you’re following its rules (e.g., APA, CMOS, AP, MLA, and AMA).

One thing you need to consider is which part of speech certain words are being used as in the title. Many words can function as more than one part of speech (e.g., prepositions, adverbs, adjectives). You will need to analyze the context of the sentence to figure out which part of speech is applicable and capitalize accordingly. This is another instance where you need to be familiar with the rules of the style manual you’re using.

Capitalize My Title is a free tool. 


ProWritingAid is a popular writing tool, but proofreaders and editors can use it to proofread more efficiently. You can use it to check for grammar mistakes, sentence structure issues, and spelling mistakes among many other things.

Like some of the other tools, ProWritingAid integrates with other software like Microsoft Word, Google Docs, Scrivener, and several different browser extensions so you can use it in tandem with these tools.

ProWritingAid checks for issues like passive voice, emotion tells, unusual dialogue tags, and sentence variety. It also gives you a readability score. It helps writers improve their writing skills. 

You can choose from several price tiers ranging from the free version, which has limited capabilities, to $120/year for ProWritingAidPremium, which allows you to integrate with other software. You can also purchase plagiarism checks separately starting at $10 for 10 checks.. 

A macro is a tool that allows you to prerecord and automate formatting settings in Microsoft Word. You can also use macros to search for and fix common errors. 

Macros use computer code, but you don’t have to be familiar with this to use them. All you need to know how to do is cut and paste because Paul Beverley has already created most of the macros an editor or proofreader would ever need to use, and he very generously gives them away for free , but you can buy him a coffee on Ko-Fi to thank him if you’d like to!

Some of the most useful macros I’ve used are

  • ProperNounAlyse : Creates a list of possibly misspelled proper nouns, including how often they appear.
  • HyphenAlyse : Shows you the frequencies of all hyphenated words and of all words with certain prefixes (anti-, non-, post-, pre-, etc.).
  • SpellAyse : Generates an alphabetic list of “spelling errors,” according to Microsoft Word’s spellchecker.

If you’ve never used macros before, it can be overwhelming to start. Paul has created thousands of macros over the years, many of which are in his e-book, but he recently created a lighter version of his e-book called Macros by the Tourist Route to help newbies to get started with macros.

Check out his YouTube channel for help with getting started. 

Paul occasionally hosts Zoom meetings to help people get started as well. He usually posts the details in the Editors’ Backroom Facebook group, so keep an eye out there if you’re interested.

The benefits of using proofreading tools to become more efficient

Purchasing proofreading software or using free options like those mentioned above will help you proofread faster by taking care of some of the tedious work for you like checking if words are hyphenated consistently.

It will also lead to better accuracy as we proofreaders are still human. We miss things, so it’s good to have a backup. That being said, AI tools miss things too, even more than humans do because they often can’t pick up on context. So it’s not a good idea to let these tools do your work for you. You should only use them in conjunction with your skills and knowledge.

Proofreading tools will help you earn more money. You’ll be able to work faster, which in turn will allow you to take on more clients and earn more money.

Should proofreaders and editors use proofreading tools?

There’s nothing wrong with proofreaders and editors using tools to help them become more efficient. Many proofreading tools allow proofreaders and editors to proofread longer documents faster than they otherwise would be able to. However, it’s not advisable to use the tools to do all of the work for you; it would be clear from the end result that the editor didn’t do the work themselves as these tools often introduce mistakes!

Instead, it’s critical that editors invest time and energy in honing their skills first. They can use these tools to speed up some of the more routine checks so they can focus on bigger issues. Then when running the tools, they can choose which suggestions to accept and which to ignore based on their own extensive knowledge of grammar and punctuation rules.

Using proofreading and editing tools is common in the industry, and experienced editors often encourage newbies to use tools on a regular basis to work more efficiently.

Will AI tools replace human proofreaders and editors?

AI proofreading tools will never replace human proofreaders and editors because these tools will never be able to proofread as accurately as humans can.

Proofreading is a skill that human proofreaders and editors develop over time, and proofreading tools often make mistakes if they’re not used properly or when used by someone who doesn’t have extensive knowledge of the English language including punctuation, grammar, and spelling rules.

Many proofreading tools struggle to understand context; for example, sometimes they don’t flag a word that is spelled correctly but isn’t the correct word to use in the sentence.

The PerfectIt team believes that “humans make the best editing decisions and that they always will.” They build technology to help people edit faster and better, not to replace them.

Final thoughts on using proofreading tools to become more efficient

Proofreading tools make proofreaders and editors more efficient by catching mistakes, improving efficiency, and reducing the time spent proofreading. If you’re not sure which proofreading or editing software to use for your needs, take advantage of the free tools and the trial periods for the paid tools. 

It’s important for proofreaders and editors to remember that while these tools can be very helpful, you should never completely rely on them but instead use these tools as a backup and to help you edit faster.

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