Best Grammar Checker 2020: Whitesmoke vs Ginger vs Grammarly vs ProWritingAid

Best grammar checker 2020

What’s the best grammar checker you can use in 2020?

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.

  • Easy to use thanks to a great user interface
  • Features a powerful online grammar checker
  • Great writing insights
  • Free version of Ginger is relatively powerful
  • Useful for non-English native speakers
  • Personal dictionary a nice addition
  • Accurate
  • Relatively easy to use
  • Suitable for businesses
  • Relatively accurate
  • Lots of nice features for self-editing
  • Suitable for fiction writers and Scrivener fans

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

What this article will cover:

In this post, I’ll explain what the best proofreading software and online grammar checker software are in 2020.

Rather than give you a long list of tools to experiment with, I have carefully handpicked ten 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.

I will also offer proofreading tips that will help you get more from these tools.

Please note, this post contains affiliate links meaning I earn a small commission if you sign up. I only ever recommend tools I’ve used or tested myself.

The Best Grammar Checker Software

The top handpicked grammar tools that I tested for this 2020 review:

  1. Grammarly
  2. Ginger
  3. WhiteSmoke
  4. ProWritingAid
  5. After The Deadline
  6. Word or Google Docs
  7. Hemingway Editor
  8. SentenceCheckerPlus
  9. GrammarChecker
  10. Reverso
  11. Proofreading Tips
  12. FAQ
  13. The Best Grammar Checker for 2020

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 instances of the 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 started by using the four most popular grammar checker tools today: Grammarly. Ginger, Whitesmoke and ProWriting.

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.

Later on, I experimented with the other tools referenced towards the end of this review e.g. Reverso, SpellCheckPlus and so on.

Best grammar checker tools - 2019

Grammarly Review

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?

    • Grammarly Premium quarterly subscription costs $19.98 per month, billed as one payment of $59.95.
    • Grammarly Premium annual subscription costs $11.66 per month, billed as one payment of $139.95.

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. You can, of course, write in the passive voice but it’s less engaging to read.

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

Try Grammarly

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 I 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: 4.5/5

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.

Try Ginger

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

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 ProwritingAid, 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

Try Whitesmoke

ProWritingAid Review

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

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. ProWritingAid also offers Word and Google Docs plugins.

There’s even a Scrivener integration! ProWritingAid 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 ProWritingAid Cost?

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

ProWriting Aid: The Results

Prowriting Aid report - review 2018

When I pasted my text into ProWritingAid 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.

ProWritingAid 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, ProWritingAid will also help you figure out the readability of your articles based on the Flesch Reading Score. This is great for improving your 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 ProWritingAid because you can simplify it.

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

ProWriting Aid Works With Scrivener

The desktop version enables you to open Scrivener files directly in ProWritingAid, 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, ProWritingAid 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

Try ProWritingAid

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 ProWritingAid.

It’s not as fast or as easy to use as Grammarly. They also don’t have mobile grammar checker apps.

However, ProWritingAid is relatively accurate and more affordable. It’s also particularly useful if you like Scrivener or write fiction.

After the Deadline

After the Deadline -grammar checker review
After the Deadline

I’ve used After the Deadline on and off for years for checking blog posts.

This online grammar checker is built into Jetpack, a pack of recommended plugins for WordPress.

After the Deadline is easy to use and ideal for bloggers and anyone who publishes articles on their website.

Alternatively, you can install a free browser plugin for Chrome.

After the Deadline uses artificial technology to check your posts and articles. It highlights misused words in red, grammar mistakes in green and style suggestions in blue. It’s also free for personal use.

It catches more errors than Word and is free! This grammar checker will also help you identify clichés, redundant words and so on.

If you’re a blogger, I recommend using After the Deadline to check your posts before you hit publish via the WordPress plugin.

However, I had trouble getting the Chrome plugin to work properly while writing this review and preferred the Grammarly plugin for checking my writing outside of WordPress.


  • Works great with WordPress
  • Fast and easy to use
  • Free


  • Less useful outside of WordPress
  • Barebones

Ease-of-use: 3.5/5

Accuracy: 4.5/5

Affordability: 5/5

Total: 4/5

Word or Google Docs

Nothing is wrong with the grammar checker software built-into Word and Google Docs.

Use both tools to catch typos and other mistakes before hitting publish or sending your writing to someone else.

If you’re a writer on a budget, don’t worry about the premium grammar checker tools in this review for now.

Word and Google Docs work just fine. You can check shorter articles using these tools.

I recommend printing out longer articles and reading them aloud as another line of defence. You should also always hire a proofreader if you’re an author.

That said…

These in-built grammar checkers won’t help you find and fix clichés, redundant writing and so on.


  • Free
  • Anyone can do it
  • No new software required


  • Less accurate than using a dedicated tool
  • Slower than using a dedicated grammar checker


SpellCheckPlus -grammar checker review

This is a useful and affordable grammar checker if english isn’t your first language.

Like Ginger, SpellCheckPlus will help you learn more about writing in a second language and also the intricacies of english grammar.

Paste extracts of your work (up to 2000 characters) into a web-browser and it will get to work.

SpellCheckPlus scans your extracts for complicated language, redundant words and so on.

I liked how SpellCheckPlus summaries errors and also provides context.

Unlike the other grammar checker tools in this post, it’s a barebones grammar checker for finding and fixing errors on the go.

You can’t add custom words to a dictionary, specify writing styles and so on. So, it’s less useful for fiction writers. You also can’t use it outside of a web-browser.

Personally, I prefer using dedicated apps to checking longer pieces of writing as I get distracted easily.

Still, this grammar checker is free and effective if you want to check shorter pieces of writing.

If you want to check extracts longer than 2,000 characters, it costs $14.99 for a year. That’s an affordable price for most new writers.


  • Free
  • Easy to use


  • Works via a web-browser only
  • Feature-lite

Hemingway Editor

Hemingway Editor -grammar checker review
Hemingway Editor

The American author Ernest Hemingway famously said:

“All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.”

Hemingway Editor is built to help you write that true sentence and discard everything else.

Today, I rely on this tool and Grammarly the most for editing my work.

I use Grammarly to check my articles and book chapters for mistakes. I also paste second and third drafts into Hemingway Editor while self-editing.

Hemingway Editor highlights complex sentences in red, instances of the passive voice in green and adverbs and blue. Deciding what to fix or ignore is down to your taste and writing style.

I use these highlights to identify what to find and fix while self-editing.

Hemingway Editor doesn’t offer suggestions or provide context like the other grammar checker tools in this post. It does, however, help me write more clearly.

It’s fast and efficient too.

You can use the web app for free or download a desktop app for Windows or Mac for USD19.99.

The desktop app doesn’t have any additional features. That said, I like using it as I get distracted when writing within a web-browser.


  • Ideal for self-editing
  • Ideal for fiction and non-fiction writing
  • Complements Grammarly (or whatever tool you prefer)


  • Not a replacement for a dedicated grammar checker
  • Less features than other grammar checkers in this post

Ease-of-use: 5/5

Accuracy: 4/5

Affordability: 4/5

Total: 4.5/5


I came across this tool while researching this post and tried using it to check my writing. It works similarly to SpellCheckPlus via a web-browser.

Unfortunately, the site contained many different ads and pop-ups and I couldn’t check my writing property.

Ease-of-use: 1/5

Accuracy: Unknown

Affordability: Free

Total: 2/5

GrammarChecker -grammar checker review

GrammarChecker rewrites shorter pieces of writing automatically.

Ideally, it finds suitable synonyms, swaps out words and so on. The result is supposed to be SEO-friendly, plagiarism-free text.

It supports many different languages including French, Spanish, German and Arabic.

Again, this tool works via a browser only.

I was uncomfortable with this tool as I like to review and reject edits manually.

I also found the accuracy off-putting. It didn’t catch some grammar mistakes and errors in my work and inserted some odd words

To be honest, I’m not sure what type of writer would consider a paraphrasing tool like this useful.

Ease-of-use: 2/5

Accuracy: 1/5

Affordability: Free

Total: 1/5


Reverso -grammar checker review

Writers can use Reverso to check multiple languages for spelling, grammar mistakes and other common issues.

You can also use these tool to translate your text into different languages including German, Italian, Arabic, Hebrew, Spanish and more.

Reverso works via a web-browser, a Google Chrome plugin and a Google Play and iPhone app. It works offline and you can speak words into the app if typing isn’t for you.

Reverso provides corrections and suggestions and more information via an in-built dictionary.

As it has a word-count limit of 600 characters, it’s useful for checking or translating shorter pieces of writing. Examples include a brief email or a social media post.

I liked how I could check the definition of certain words and their synonyms via one or two clicks within Reverso. This is a useful method for self-editing. Reverso also provides lots of context that will help you learn english.

After some digging, I found out the tool is powered by Ginger software, which explains its support for non-english languages. It’s a good tool, that works much like Ginger.

Ease-of-use: 3/5

Accuracy: 4/5

Affordability: Free

Total: 4/5


  • Works much like Ginger
  • Nice mobile app
  • Useful for non-english writers


  • Less features than other grammar checkers in this post
  • Grammarly is a little faster

Proofreading Tips

Proofreading is a different skill set to writing.

It’s difficult to spend hours working on a draft and then find and catch errors by yourself. Much like the hiker who spends hours inside a forest, you won’t be able to see the woods from the trees.

These days, I use grammar checkers like the ones in this review to find and find errors fast. I also work with an editor who checks my articles and book chapters for errors.

You can proofread your writing using an old journalist trick!

Here’s how:

  1. Change the font to Courier or Courier New
  2. Change the spacing to double
  3. Print your writing out
  4. Get a red pen and mark it up
  5. Read aloud, listening for clunky language
  6. Edited as needed

Thanks to this mono-spaced font and the extra white space, your eagle-eye will spot issues easier and your ear will catch them.

If it’s a shorter piece of writing, you can read aloud from the screen.

Ideally, you should:

  • Let your manuscript rest for a few hours or even days before you proofread it so you can approach with fresh eyes
  • Proofread in a quiet place with minimal noise and away from your computer
  • Mark up your manuscript with a pen rather than fixing as you read
  • Read your manuscript backwards (This pattern interrupt will help you find more errors)
  • Read your manuscript several times, each time looking for a different type of error e.g. punctuation, numeracy, clumsy sentences etc.
  • Ask a colleague to proofread more important documents
  • Accept when you make a mistake: nobody is perfect, even newspapers print retractions and corrections


Who needs a spelling or grammar checker?
Everyone can use a spelling or grammar checker. They will teach new writers more about english and grammar.

Any writer who takes their craft seriously should use a premium grammar checker as another line of defence. They will help you find and fix errors faster. As good as they are, please remember to hire a proofreader if you’re an author.

Is there any good English grammar checker that doesn’t require a monthly fee?
Consider the free versions of Grammarly or Ginger. You don’t need to pay a monthly fee to use them. Alternatively, try SpellCheck Plus or WhiteSmoke.

Why aren’t there any grammar checkers that works offline?
Grammar checkers rely on software that works online or in the cloud. If you want an offline grammar checker, use Word or Hemingway Editor.

Alternatively, write your earlier drafts offline. When you’re finished, go back online and paste your draft into a grammar checker of choice.

WhiteSmoke is also useful if you writing articles, essays or early book drafts offline.

Is this grammar checker safe to use?
Unless you’re writing something legally or commercially sensitive, then yes. A good grammar checker won’t monitor your content. As an example, check out Grammarly’s Privacy Policy.

If your document is legally sensitive, a grammar checker is unlikely to help you.

I’m worried about plagiarism, what should I do?
A grammar checker like Grammarly can help you find instances of plagiarism online. Simply paste your work into it to find out if you’ve been plagiarised.

A good grammar checker will also scan your draft and tell you if it’s too much like another well-known piece of writing. That’s useful for college students who are new to research and writing essays.

If you’re worried about being plagiarised, it’s highly unlikely that anything you paste into a grammar checker will be used elsewhere.

Which are some good punctuation checker apps?
Grammarly, Ginger or Hemingway Editor are all good.

What’s the best grammar checker for writers?
Personally, I use Grammarly and Hemingway Editor regularly. I write non-fiction and these serve my needs as they are affordable, accurate and fast.

Ginger is also good for non-fiction and non-english writers.

Fiction writers should also consider ProWriting Aid.

Is Microsoft Word grammar checker accurate?
Yes! It does the job if you’re on a budget. That said, I always recommend printing out longer pieces of writing (more than 1,000 words) and hiring a proofreader for books.

What’s the best free grammar checker on the internet?
Consider SpellCheckPlus for checking writing on the go. If you’re a blogger or use WordPress, install the Jetpack plugin and turn on After the Deadline.

Is Grammarly a reliable grammar checker?
It’s my tool of choice. Check out my Grammarly review and claim a discount.

I’m looking for an online grammar checker that’s not Grammarly. What should I pick?
Ginger is the most comparable. Alternatively, consider WhiteSmoke.

What are some other websites like Grammarly?
Ginger is the most similar to Grammarly. It offers more support for non-english writers. Reverso is also comparable.

What are the grammar checker apps on a mobile?
Grammarly, Ginger and Reverse all work on a mobile. Ginger and Reverso will help if you write in other languages. You can also use the dictionary built into your smart phone, although it’s less accurate.

What are the best online English grammar checker website for blogging?
Please install Jetpack and then After the Deadline if you edit directly in WordPress. If you’re pasting final drafts into WordPress, use any of the tools in this review. Alternatively, install the Grammarly or Ginger plugins.

What grammar checkers work with Word?
WhiteSmoke works quite well with Word. It provides options not available in Word such as templates and a detailed thesaurus.

What’s the Best Grammar Checker in 2020?

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. That said, my top picks are:

  1. Grammarly
  2. Ginger
  3. WhiteSmoke
  4. ProWritingAid
  5. Hemingway Editor (for self-editing)

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 ProWritingAid 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.

53 thoughts on “Best Grammar Checker 2020: Whitesmoke vs Ginger vs Grammarly vs ProWritingAid”

  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.

  6. I am wondering if you used any of these tools on this post. If so, did none of them notice that the second and fifth sentences are nearly identical?

    Otherwise, thank you for the useful comparison.

  7. Hi! My name is Joe and I’m a freelance writer who has a passion for writing and I believe I can add value to your audience. I know that you accept guest posts on your site/blog, so I’d really like to write on these topics:

    – 10 Incredible Content Writing Tools For Amazing Marketing;
    – 9 Content Strategies You Need For Your Business;
    – 11 Top-Notch Proofreading Tools for Content Writers.

    I’m sure it can be a good fit for your website.

    Thanks and looking forward to hearing from you 🙂

    Best regards,

    Joseph McLean.

  8. Hi Bryan,

    thanks for taking the trouble to do this comparison, but I’m afraid I have many problems with this blog post.

    First of all, it’s not a great advert for any of the products since so many glaring mistakes made it through.
    * “english” without a capital E (multiple times)
    * missing words (several times)
    * wrong words
    * missing punctuation
    * odd phrasing

    I also watched your video. I’m afraid that there’s a mistake in Grammarly’s correction of the sentence “Today Ohno known as…” Grammarly’s correction is “Today Ohno was known as…” but it should be “is known as”.

    Which leads me to another problem with the post. You write “…grammar issues that Microsoft Word ignored like text written in passive voice.” Passive voice is not a grammar issue for any variant of English apart from American English. In fact, it’s not an issue in most languages apart from American English. It has a variety of legitimate uses, all of which Grammarly ignores. While it may be true that American publications frown upon its use, it is perfectly legitimate in British (and I imagine Irish) publications. Can you imagine a scientist writing up an experiment NOT using passive structures?! (I’ll gloss over the lack of punctuation)

    Am I correct in thinking that none of the products caught the lack of punctuation in the sentence after “Today Ohno…” ? There are three sets of inverted commas rather than four.

    To be honest, I’m a little worried when you mention in the video that it can simplify your writing. Why does everything have to be simplified these days? Can people no longer think for themselves?

    Finally, I feel you could have mentioned that Word for Windows has a plugin, so there’s no need to upload a text, and thus you can preserve any formatting.

    It was an interesting blog post and certainly gave me food for thought.

    Thanks again,


    1. Thanks for the feedback Mark. I am planning on updating this post later in 2019 and will factor in your feedback. I always recommend using a human proofreader for longer pieces of work. These tools are useful but they don’t catch everything.

  9. Interesting review.
    I haven’t shopped for a spellchecker for years but have been hearing a lot of Grammarly commercials lately so I thought I would do some research.
    Could you add TinySpell to your comparison for those of us who haven’t looked at this field for a while and still use that?


  10. Hi, I use Grammarly and ProwritingAid. I found ProwritingAid to be a more thorough editor because of all the filters you can run it through. Both extensions when I added them to Chrome seriously screwed up my computer, so I took them off. It was not worth it!!! However, I appreciate the article, it’s very helpful.

    1. 100% agree. WhiteSmoke is junk and waste of money. This is because I found it with serious errors. Don’t recommend WhiteSmoke at all.

  11. I use word on my Mac and I want to make sure ProWritingAid Premium can work with that. I write full length novels and I want something that can work without pasting it to other programs. Also, I don’t use scrivener but may start using Vellum.

    I need a good editing tool that does more than spelling and grammar. I need more along the lines of an editor and that program that seems to give me that is ProWritingAid Premium.

    Do you concur? and thank you for the reviews.


  12. I use both Grammarly and Whitesmoke. I prefer grammarly becaus user friendly and easily to use. PROS: Synonym function that help to choose the proper word. However, it is not user friendly. Desktop version did not function properly such as translator, it also cannot be reinstall with the window version updated after some function of Whitesmoke cannot work properly. The web log in is error so often, it keeps showing username and password wrong, while the support team take too long to reply the issue, and not follow or provide the possible solution. CONS: The billing department for cancellation did not response the related issue about the refund. The customer service did not offer any helps and solutions. And finally they lose your contact without any responses or responsibility. I decide to get the refund, but I have not any response from the billing department, just only automated responses sent back. Hope this helps before subscription.

  13. “You can, of course, writing in the passive voice but it’s less engaging to read.” You meant “write”/”be writing”?

  14. What about I think it’s better than 5 of the listed in your post, It’s a free online Spell and grammar checker, uses AI to improve style and structure of your sentence.

  15. Hi Bryan,

    Thanks for writing this helpful article.

    Have you tried out Sapling? (

    We’ve developed it to learn from data so it catches many more mistakes than any other tool out there. Here’s a funny example we encountered recently:

    “We plan to cut homeless people in half by 2025.”
    Sapling suggests: “We plan to cut *the number of* homeless people *by* half by 2025.”

    It supports most websites and there’s a Google Docs plugin as well.

  16. Hi,
    I have used the premium versions of Grammarly, ProWritingAid and White Smoke.
    As an all-round resource for creative writing, I found ProWritingAid to be very good, but its detection of common grammatical errors is inferior to both White Smoke and Grammarly. Grammarly is the most accurate, but it is expensive. If ProWritingAid could improve their accuracy in detecting common errors, then I would stay with that product.

  17. Thanks for sharing the valuable information. Writing correct spellings is one of the most important things whether you are a student or a professional, if you write wrong spellings with the wrong grammar, it will make you feel ashamed and put your self-esteem down in front of others. So, you should take help of grammar checker tool. I always prefer NOUNPLUS to check my English writing.

  18. I recently purchased ProWritingAid premium at half price after having tried it for a one year fee previously. So much more has been added since my first trial and i am looking forward to familiarising myself with all new additions.
    I have tried the free version of Grammarly and found it helpful. however, I cannot afford to buy too many of these checkers, being a senior citizen and lacking the necessary to do so, so will stick with my PWA and their very helpful monthly blog posts explaining so much.
    May i wish everyone here the best of luck with all future projects, too?

  19. Thank you, Mark! I came on your website after looking for alternatives to Grammarly.
    I’m looking for a grammar and spell checker to review all my posts over at . I’ve never used a checker before. Since I’m not native English, I’m sure there are a lot of errors to be corrected

  20. Thanks for the valuable information and in-depth review I would ask that for a future (or amended) head-to-head, to include LanguageTool. It’s open-source, with a paid option. I have no affiliation with any grammar applications/extensions. I generally search for open source alternatives to freemium, abandoned, discontinued software.

  21. Bryan,

    I sent you a note via your Contact page but wanted to also add another tool to this list that just may surpass what’s listed in comparison.

    Please see Antidote

    With over 1.2 M users worldwide…. used by professional writers, business writers, students and more – it’s worth the review.

    Very best and thanks for the informative piece.

    1. I was going to suggest Antidote as well. I started using it many years ago when it only supported French. It has supported English for many years now and I have yet to find something better.

  22. Гульнара Самигулина

    Hi! It is a great app! Thank you! But I have a problem to login into my account. I recovered my password, but they write that there is no matching between password and e-mail. How can I solve this problem?

  23. In any case, I recommend you not to install Ginger! It requires to make an account with no option to delete it. I tried to uninstall and delete it, but unsuccessfully again. It’s continuously spamming me and now I have to reinstall my Windows…

  24. Nicely written, Bryan.
    I still love Ginger. As far as I remember Ginger was the first ‘Popular’ Grammer checker and Grammarly followed the footsteps of Ginger. Finally Grammarly won 😀

    Now I’m using Grammarly on a daily basis.
    Since I’m not a native speaker, Grammarly is helping me a lot when communicating with my clients and coworkers. Yup, I’m a freelance social media marketer and I’m sending at least 15 emails a day. So yeah, it is quite a bit of writing and Grammarly is saving my day.

  25. You have shared a very informative post which is really very helpful. Writing with perfect grammar is hard to do unless if you’re a grammar expert. Many peoples have problems with grammar and spelling. I always prefer NOUNPLUS.

  26. Hi Bryan
    I have dyslexia and need to write grants mostly on the internet. I have problems with transposing words such as my/by, but/put, man or/manner punctuation, and run on sentences. I’m tired of having to have someone go over my work. I own a non-profit organization which has a website that I need to write up, would like to have a newsletter, use Facebook, other social media. Can you suggest one of your reviewed grammar programs that would work best for me?

  27. As a security professional, I have to disagree with your statements about these applications being “safe.” For the applications that send your text to the cloud for processing, you are basically installing a keylogger. The browser extensions are capturing everything you type, not just the things you want checked. Consider whether you really trust Grammarly not to lose all the text that you’ve typed in your browser.

    1. I’ve never lost text, I’ll don’t write legally sensitive materials. That said, I recently came across Antidote which works entirely on a desktop without internet access.

    2. I was going to ask the same thing. Grammarly is amazing at checking your writing…it is also fantastic at logging EVERYTHING YOU TYPE! Passwords, credit card numbers, personal info, everything. I wrote to ask about this and they broke off communication with me. I complete uninstalled and changed all passwords, BEWARE!!!! How about a list of non-cloud editors???

  28. Totally missing from the post is a suggestion with respect to the most appropriate choice if the writer prefers to write in real English rather than Yankish.

    While the English may have difficulty teaching their children to speak and write in their lingua franca, as we are reminded in Pygmalion, the Yanks never did learn to spell or speak in English and have always preferred to employ a patois slang

    Murricans (who are actually no more American than any of the other residents of the two continents) believe their bastardisation of real English is in accord with their “rugged individualism”. For this reason I would prefer to use a program based on the Queen’s English rather than U.S. slang.

  29. As a non english writer, I usually use grammarly. But since I write fictions, seems ProWritingAid is a good choice also. Thanks for the list.

  30. Grammarly is very glitchy to the point of annoying. Even with the ability to set writing goals, Grammarly’s algorithm makes suggestions that are not always appropriate. Grammarly acts as if I should never use the passive voice, which is one of the many irritating features for me. Grammarly makes it seem as if every piece I write, middle-schoolers and highschoolers should be able to understand.

    Another feature that causes premature baldness was using Grammarly to check my WordPress blogs. Grammarly makes a suggestion, but as you start to correct the mistake, Grammarly jumps to the next issue before you have a chance to finish your correction. You have to surf through your post to find where Grammarly interrupted your efforts to make the necessary corrections. Grammarly is packed with all kinds of bugs!

    I found this article looking for better grammar checking software. I’m disheartened to find Grammarly at the top of your list. I think I will have to shell out some money for a super, high-end grammar checker if Grammarly is considered the best by so many.

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