Best Grammar Checker 2018: Whitesmoke vs Ginger vs Grammarly vs Prowriting Aid

Best grammar checker 2018

What's the best grammar checker you can use in 2018?

As a writer who loves tools, I've had the opportunity to thoroughly test some of the most popular proofreading tools and best online grammar checkers for writers, bloggers and authors.

Online grammar check tools are also useful for those who just want to write error-free emails, reports, presentations or even social media posts.

Or are you looking for a review of the best grammar checker software?

As a writer who loves tools, I've tested some of the most popular proofreading tools and best grammar checkers for writers, bloggers and authors.

In this post, I'll explain what's the best proofreading software and grammar checker software in 2018 and what you need to know about each one of these tools.

What this article will cover:

In this post, I'll explain what the best proofreading software and online grammar checker software are in 2018.

  • Rather than give you a long list of tools to experiment with, I have carefully handpicked four of the best software for you.
  • I will review the most important aspects about each grammar checker tool.
  • I will also compare these tools with each other.

The Best Grammar Checker Software

The top handpicked grammar tools you should try out are:

  1. Grammarly
  2. Ginger
  3. Whitesmoke
  4. Prowriting Aid

Are you looking for Free Grammar Checker Tools Only?

That’s ok.

Most of these tools have free versions. Although they have limited features, they will correct the most common grammatical errors.

However, I do recommend that you go for a premium tool to ensure that you detect advanced passive voice, subject-verb agreement and other tricky errors that a free version might skip and are hard to spot manually.

Research Process: How I Tested Tools for This Best Grammar Checker Review

I ran a small experiment to test different tools in this best grammar checker review. I wrote a 600-word nonfiction article on the go in MS Word. It contained a number of grammatical errors and spelling mistakes.

The Microsoft Word online grammar checker found most of my errors, but it missed a few grammar mistakes, including a missing word in a sentence.

I purchased the premium version of each tool I reviewed and pasted the text of the article into the relevant app for Mac or Chrome. Then, I compared how each grammar checking tool treated the text.

Best grammar checker tools


I've used the free and premium versions of Grammarly since 2015, and I'm most familiar with this tool. I use the Grammarly tool to proofread and check for grammatical errors and spelling mistakes in social media updates, emails, blog posts, articles and even early drafts of book chapters.

This online grammar, punctuation and spell checker tool works via a Chrome plugin, a Chrome web app, a desktop app for Windows and Mac and various mobile apps.

The free grammar checker version of Grammarly is ideal if you're a writer on a tight budget. You can install a plugin for your browser and use Grammarly to immediately check your emails, social media updates and anything you write online for errors.

Since Grammarly is available as a browser add-on, it works as a punctuation checker and grammar checker within your WordPress editor too. You can do an online grammar check and spell check on your blog post as you write it. Grammarly Premium online grammar checker and punctuation checker is useful if you want to improve your knowledge of English grammar as it provides more writing insights and the reasons behind common grammar mistakes.

How Much Does Grammarly Premium Cost?

You can also send extracts of your work straight to a human proofreader within Grammarly for between 0.02 and 0.12 of a cent a word depending on how quickly you want the document returned.

Grammarly pricing at time of writing this best grammar checker review
Grammarly pricing at time of writing this best grammar checker review

Grammarly Test: The Results

The Grammarly editor identified the grammar, punctuation and spelling errors in my text in a sidebar.

I fixed them one by one by scrolling down. It also caught and fixed the grammar issues that Microsoft Word ignored like text written in passive voice.

Grammarly provided context to each mistake, which is useful from the point of view of improving your writing skills. The premium version of Grammarly editor also indicates errors in sentence structure.

It also recommended adding some commas in the text that Whitesmoke and Ginger ignored.

The tool also has a plagiarism checker tab which allows you to check your article against billions of web pages for unoriginal text. If you don’t want to pay to check the originality of your content, try Dupli Checker – it is an efficient and free plagiarism checker tool.

However, Dupli Checker and every free plagiarism places a limit on the number of words you can check. So using Grammarly is a lot quicker, besides being more accurate!

I've reviewed the Grammarly tool at length. If you're interested, read my full Grammarly review.

Grammarly writing insights
Grammarly writing insights are useful for self-editing


  • Easy to use thanks to a great user interface
  • Features a powerful online grammar checker
  • Great writing insights


Ease-of-use: 4.5/5

Accuracy: 5/5

Affordability: 4.5/5

Total: 5/5

Ginger Software Review

Ginger pricing at time of writing this best grammar checker review
Ginger pricing at time of writing this best grammar checker review

An Israeli startup created Ginger in 2007, making it one of the more established grammar checkers on the market.

Like Grammarly, Ginger offers free grammar and spell check as well as premium online proofreading software.

The quickest way to get started is by installing the Chrome plugin. You can use this plugin to check as you write your text in Gmail and so on.

Fear not, you can install a plugin for almost any browser and even for more advanced tools like Slack.

Ginger software also offers apps for Windows and iOS. Additionally, you can use a keyboard for Android.

Alternatively, you can paste extracts of your text into their web app.

Ginger reveals the character count, word count and number of sentences for your text. The tool also helps you find and fix synonyms for commonly overused words like make.

Ginger identifies grammatical errors and spelling errors by highlighting them in blue.

Like Grammarly, Ginger Premium offers more context for grammatical mistakes and identifies more issues than the free version. For instance, it has advanced features to check for grammar rules like subject-verb agreement.


How Much Does Ginger Software Cost?

At the time of writing this best grammar checker review, Ginger was offering a discount of up to 40% on its premium plans. You can also avail of a 7-day, 100% money-back guarantee.

Grammarly vs Ginger

Ginger and Grammarly are relatively similar grammar checker tools. There’s little difference in the pricing and both are accurate. The features of both products are consistent too, apart from the Grammarly Mac desktop app and Word plugin.

However, Ginger is useful if you write in more languages than just english. It’s also a good grammar checker if you want to learn more about english grammar by taking the various lessons inside of Ginger.

These days, I use Grammarly more than Ginger as prefer the Grammarly user interface and Mac desktop app.

Ginger Review: The Results

For the purposes of this Ginger review, I used the Chrome grammar checker tool. Unlike Grammarly, Ginger doesn't offer a Mac desktop app yet.

When I pasted my 600-word article into the Ginger web app, it copied the formatting of my document, putting headings in bold and so on. Grammarly and Whitesmoke don't do this.

So kudos to Ginger!

Like the Grammarly tool, Ginger identified all of my grammatical errors, spelling errors and punctuation mistakes as well as the ones MS Word missed. However, Ginger was less insistent about fixing my inconsistent comma usage in the text.

Interestingly, Ginger Premium missed a spelling mistake in one of my headings, although this was because of a formatting issue, which I explain in my video review.I also had to hover over all grammatical errors with my mouse rather than reviewing them in a sidebar. This meant I spent more time correcting my grammar errors.

It's a small gripe, but I'm a little obsessed with workflows.

The Ginger grammar checker
The Ginger grammar checker

Other Useful Ginger Features

Interestingly, Ginger can translate extracts of your writing into 60 other languages including Spanish, German and even Yiddish.

Sure Google Translate also does this, but being able to check a document for grammar issues and translate from within one app is useful.

A Ginger Premium subscription also includes a virtual writing tutor who provides video grammar lessons and tests for improving your English language.

Again, this feature should appeal to those learning or writing in English for the first time.

This makes Ginger online grammar corrector ideal for non-English native writers—you could write in Yiddish, translate to English language and then grammar check your writing all within Ginger.

You can also add words that you don't want to identify as mistakes to a personal dictionary within the Ginger grammar checking tool. I could see this appealing to fiction writers with unusual character names for their stories. I wish Grammarly would add this feature.


  • Free version of Ginger is relatively powerful
  • Useful for non-English native speakers thanks to a virtual writing tutor and translation features
  • Personal dictionary a nice addition


  • Hovering over grammar errors slows self-editing somewhat
  • Some accuracy issues depending on how a document is formatted

Ease-of-use: 4.5/5

Accuracy: 4.5/5

Affordability: 4.5/5

Total: 4/5

Grammarly vs Ginger

Ginger and Grammarly are relatively similar online grammar and spell checker tools.

There’s little difference in the pricing and both the online grammar checkers are accurate and they find your spelling errors easily. The features of both products are consistent too, apart from the Grammarly Mac desktop app and MS Word plugin.

However, Ginger is useful if you write in more languages than just English. It’s also a good grammar checker tool if you want to learn more about English grammar by taking the various lessons inside of Ginger.

These days, I use Grammarly more than Ginger as I prefer the Grammarly user interface and Mac desktop app.

Whitesmoke Review

Whitesmoke grammar checker in action
Whitesmoke grammar checker in action

The company Whitesmoke was set up in 2002, and they sell affordable online proofreading software by the same name for Mac and Windows.

You can use Whitesmoke to check your articles for spelling and grammar mistakes, punctuation mistakes and more. It's useful for writers and non-English speakers on a tight budget. It also identifies errors in sentence structure.

Whitesmoke works in almost all browsers including Chrome, Safari, Opera and Firefox, depending on what version you subscribe to.

Whitesmoke also offers online grammar check apps for iOS and Android. You will need internet access for it to work.

Whitesmoke Essential is a type of online grammar corrector software that's compatible with your web browser only.

Similarly, Whitesmoke Premium (what I tested) offers additional support and apps for Mac, Windows, Gmail and MS Office.

Whitesmoke is the cheapest of the online proofreading software that I've featured in this review. In 2018, like Grammarly, the company updated its user interface.

Other Useful Whitesmoke Features

Whitesmoke pricing at time of writing this best grammar checker review
Whitesmoke pricing

The version of Whitesmoke I tested for this best grammar checker review features a translator, although it supports eight languages rather than 64 (no Yiddish!).

Whitesmoke also offers a number of templates for writing projects like cover letters, grant proposals, thank you messages and so on.

How Much Does Whitesmoke Cost

Unusually, Whitesmoke doesn't offer monthly subscriptions.

You can save more money if you buy a three-year subscription, at the time of writing this best grammar checker review.

Whitesmoke results

Whitesmoke is more affordable than Grammarly. It's accurate too (as you can see in my video comparison review).

However, Whitesmoke isn't as fast or as easy to use as Grammarly. Making changes to your documents also involves an extra step compared to Grammarly in that you must export the final version to text document. Like Prowriting Aid, it's cheaper than Grammarly and, unlike ProWriting Aid, they offer mobile apps

Whitesmoke vs Grammarly

Whitesmoke is cheaper than includes support for more languages than Grammarly. I also didn’t notice any huge differences in accuracy between the two tools while writing this Whitesmoke review.

However, while Whitesmoke will check your grammatical mistakes and improve your sentence structure, it isn’t as fast or intuitive as Grammarly. The Whitesmoke mobile and desktop apps don’t look as good as Grammarly’s either.

So in short, you can trade speed and looks to save a little money on your grammar checker of choice.


  • Affordable, provided you don't mind paying yearly
  • Accurate
  • Relatively easy to use
  • Suitable for businesses


  • User interface lags behind Grammarly and Ginger
  • Slightly slower than Ginger and Grammarly

Ease-of-use: 3.75/5

Accuracy: 4.5/5

Affordability: 4.5/5

Total Score: 4/5

Prowriting Aid Review

Since writing this grammar checker review and recording the above video, I received several questions from readers and commenters about Prowriting Aid.

So I tested this spelling and grammar checker for this review well.

Like the other Grammar checkers featured in this review, you can download a desktop app for Mac and Windows or install a plugin for your browser. Prowriting Aid also offers Word and Google Docs plugins.

There's even a Scrivener integration! Prowriting Aid also features a web editor where you can paste text and check for grammar and spelling mistakes. Alternatively, you can upload a document containing your writing.

How Much Does Prowriting Aid Cost?

Prowriting Aid offers a two-week free trial. Thereafter, prices start at $50 per year. This makes Prowriting aid the cheapest grammar checker in this review.

Prowriting Aid: The Results

Prowriting Aid report - review 2018


When I pasted my text into Prowriting Aid web app, it kept the source formatting including my choice of colours and fonts. The grammar checker underlined grammar mistakes, spelling issues and other suggestions.

At first, I found the various types of reports overwhelming, but they quickly made sense once I clicked through each suggestion or mistake.

I particularly liked a feature called Echoes. This feature identified places where I overused turns of phrase and other words. This is a useful feature for improving your writing skills. It also identified some clichés in my writing. This struck me as particularly useful for fiction writers who want to improve the quality of their sentences.

The version I tested only supports British and American english, so it's less ideal if you write in more than one language or you're learning english.

Prowriting Aid also took longer than Grammarly and Ginger to identify these mistakes and the user interface wasn't as polished.

Anyone who wants to write for the web like a blog post should try and write for eight or ninth grade audience (a Flesch reading score of above 70%).

The good news is, apart from specifying grammar rules, Prowriting Aid will also help you figure out the readability of your articles based on the Flesch Reading Score. This is great for improving you web writing skills.

Why is this talk of readability and Flesch scores important?

Well, web readers have a shorter attention-span than those consuming print (look squirrel!). Tailoring your blog post for this audience is easy to achieve with Prowriting Aid because you can simplify i

Although the WordPress plugin Yoast also contains this feature, it's useful if you write outside of WordPress.

Say What About Scrivener?

The desktop version enables you to open Scrivener files directly in Prowriting Aid, fix typos and other grammar issues and then save back to Scrivener.

This is a clever feature, but I prefer to run the final exported books file from Scrivener through a grammar checker before moving to Vellum for self-publishing. I also only use Scrivener these days for long-form writing and instead rely on IA writer for producing articles like these.

In short: your mileage may vary depending on your writing workflow.

Still, if you're are on tight budget and can't afford the other premium grammar checkers in this review, Prowriting Aid represents a good choice. It's also useful for fiction writers and those who use Scrivener a lot.


  • The most affordable grammar and spelling checker I reviewed
  • Relatively accurate
  • Lots of nice features for self-editing
  • Suitable for fiction writers and Scrivener fans


  • Slower than Grammarly and Ginger
  • User interface lags behind other grammar checkers
  • Less useful for with english as a second language
  • No mobile version

Ease-of-use: 3.5/5

Accuracy: 4.5/5

Affordability: 5/5

Total: 4/5

Prowriting Aid vs Grammarly

I've used Grammarly for years because it's fast and accurate. That said, some new writers don't like paying the monthly subscription free, which I totally understand. If you want to use a more affordable tool than Grammarly, consider Prowriting Aid. It's not as fast or as easy to use as Grammarly. They also don't have mobile grammar checker apps. However, Prowriting Aid is relatively accurate and more affordable. It's also particularly useful if you like Scrivener or write fiction.

What's the Best Grammar Checker in 2018?

Please remember, always work with a human proofreader for longer pieces of writing like a book chapter or long article.

Having worked on a translation project for a large company, I'd also caution against solely relying on software to translate your writing from your language of choice to English.

Grammar checker software, much like book editing tools, is useful, but I don't consider them a replacement for common sense or a set of human eyes. Instead, these products are just one of many that belong in your toolbox.

That said…

All of these grammar checkers will help you get the job done and fix issues in your writing.

Now, I use Grammarly the most out of these proofreading tools. I prefer its applications and user interface—but that's down to my tastes only. I also don't need to learn English.

I was impressed by the translation features of Ginger and would recommend this to writers who want to learn English. I also found its personal dictionary useful.

Whitesmoke and Prowriting Aid both appealed to me as they are very affordable types of online proofreading software, which are suitable for writers on a tight budget.


Well, many new writers email me to say they can't afford to pay for Grammarly Premium. It's hard to fault useful proofreading software that costs less than $7 a month.

In short, test the free versions of these tools and then decide which fits best with the way you work—or write.

Have you got questions about this best grammar checker review? Please let me know in the comments section below.

9 thoughts on “Best Grammar Checker 2018: Whitesmoke vs Ginger vs Grammarly vs Prowriting Aid”

  1. Never even heard of Ginger or Whitesmoke. How in the world wasn’t ProWritingAid included in this? I’ve used it and Grammarly, and ProWritingAid beats it hands down. And from what I see of the other two from your review, it’d probably top those as well.

    Pricing’s better as well. The cost of a yearly membership for Grammarly is the equivilant of the one-time lifetime subscription from ProWritingAid. And if you sign up for ProWritingAid’s free newsletter, eventually they send you a half-off coupon for the lifetime subscription (I’ve known this to happen for at least half a dozen other writers).

    Grammarly isn’t bad, though I found it to be a bit glitchy if using the desktop app. Best of all, it will natively open all the major file formats (including Scrivener projects) so there’s none of this “copy-and-paste-oh-wait-which-version-is-the-new-one-and-hey-did-I-copy-my-changes-back-over-the-original?” stuff.

  2. How do we get a discount on Ginger? This is a great article, as someone who is just stating to delve into Grammar checkers for short articles I found this very insightful and helped me narrow things down!

  3. I appreciate the review. I used Grammarly for over a year. When I first signed up, I got a nice discount, but that was only available to new customers. when my auto-renewal came up, they would not negotiate on the price.

    I had become accustomed to the Grammarly sidebar, so it was hard to adjust to ProWriting Aid, but I am stils searching. I appreciate your review.c

  4. Ginger is fairly close to Grammarly. I actually prefer the highlighting of possible corrections in Ginger to the Grammarly sidebar because I often wasted time locating the small changes noted in the Grammarly sidebar. Ginger highlights in blue so it’s harder to miss. Also easy to add to the personal dictionary of Ginger.

    1. I don’t think so, however you could always copy your writing into your grammar checker of choice when you’ve finished editing in Libre Office.

  5. First, hello Bryan and thanks for the useful comparisons. I just happened on the site while checking out why I keep hearing about Grammrly. Now I see C.L. (hi CL) has said exactly what I was going to say. I have ProWritingAid and love it. Like another comment below if I had tried Grammarly first I might not be as content. But now that I’ve seen the pricing structure of other tools my view that ProWritingAid is great value (once off reasonable payment) is reinforced.
    By the way I use it mainly for short stories, and like you said it also teaches a lot about good writing practice. (I’m sure the others also do that). I know you reviewed it since CL commented, but I’m just throwing in my tuppence worth because articles and comment sections like this have been a great help to me.

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