How to Use Grammarly: Step-by-Step

In this tutorial, discover how to use Grammarly to improve your writing skills and get the most from its powerful writing tools.

Grammarly is a popular writing assistant for writers and professionals who want to improve their grammar, punctuation, and writing style. I’ve used Grammarly for years for blog posts, papers, academic documents, and books. It helps me press send, submit, or publish much faster. I also use it to vet and edit work by freelance writers.

Using Grammarly is easy. Once set up, it can provide real-time feedback as you write. Aside from catching minor mistakes like spelling and grammar mistakes, Grammarly can also provide writing suggestions that you can accept at a click. In this Grammarly tutorial, I will walk through setting it up set by step. However, if you’re already familiar with it, the below table summarizes how to use Grammarly’s key reports.

Grammarly Report Check

Report TypeDescriptionHow to Use
Overall ScoreProvides a score for the document based on grammar, spelling, punctuation, and style. Aim for over 70
GoalsProvides personalized writing goals based on the document’s context and the writer’s intent. Dictates Grammarly’s suggestions,Select what you’re writing and who it’s for
CorrectnessHighlights grammar, spelling and puntuation errors and proposes fixes. Underlines in red.Start here to fix critical grammatical errors
Clarity Analyzes a piece for clarity and conciseness, and provides suggestions for improvement. Underlines issues in blue. Review rephasing suggestions as part of a copyediting process
EngagementAnalyzes the document for its level of engagement and readability and provides suggestions for improvement. Underlines in green.Review to improve word choice. Optional.
DeliveryAnalyzes the document for its tone and language and provides suggestions for improvement based on the intended audience and purpose. Underlines in purple.Use to determine or change how your writing sounds to readers. Optional.
PlagiarismScans the document for plagiarism and provides a report on any potential matchesScan a document to avoid accidental or deliberate plagiarism
Best Grammar Checker

We tested dozens of grammar checkers, and Grammarly is the best tool on the market today. It'll help you write and edit your work much faster. Grammarly provides a powerful AI writing assistant and plagiarism checker tool. Anyone who works with the written word should use it.

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Watch Our Grammarly Tutorial

In this Grammarly tutorial, I provide an overview of how to set up and use Grammarly to grammar check and edit your work quickly and easily.

YouTube video

Why Is it Important to Use Grammarly?

Grammarly can help professional writers edit their work faster. It can also help new writers learn the finer points of English grammar by improving their work. And it can help professionals write anything for work with confidence. It can also dramatically reduce the time spent editing and revising, thanks to artificial intelligence.

Create a Grammarly Account

How to use Grammarly
Sign up using your best Google, Facebook, Apple, or personal email address

It’s easy to set up your Grammarly account. Simply visit and select Get Grammarly. It’s Free” in the menu bar.

Sign up using your best Google, Facebook, Apple, or personal email address. Later, you can upgrade to the premium version, but you can use the free version of Grammarly to complete many steps in this tutorial. Alternatively, install Grammarly for your browser and follow the sign-up prompts.

Install the Grammarly Browser Extensions

Grammarly automatically provides the right app, depending on what device you use via its homepage. However, you can also install the Grammarly Chrome extension and others via the web app.

  • Visit
  • Select “Get Grammarly. It’s Free” in the menu bar
  • Grammarly automatically provides the right app for your browser. Download it.
  • Install and log in with your Grammarly account.
  • Alternatively, look for Grammarly in the Apple App, Google Play, or Chrome web stores.

The Grammarly desktop app works across all writing apps on a computer, including Microsoft Office and Google Docs. Unfortunately, browsers like Opera or Brave are not supported. If you get stuck at this step, I’ve created separate Grammarly installation instructions below: 

Install the Grammarly Desktop App

Grammarly desktop app
The Grammarly desktop app is powerful and fast

Installing the desktop app is the easiest and best way to use Grammarly. To install it:

  • Log in to
  • Select apps on the left-hand side-bar
  • Grammarly automatically provides the right app for your operating system. Download it.
  • Install and log in with your Grammarly account.

Grammarly Desktop works in the background on Mac and Windows computers. Once installed, you can write in any application as normal without installing additional plugins.

When ready to edit, click the floating Grammarly icon or G. It automatically triggers grammar and spelling suggestions. You can turn this on or off by clicking the cog on the Grammarly icon or opening the Grammarly desktop app. If you get stuck, we’ve provided additional instructions below:

How to Add Grammarly to Google Docs

How to Add Grammarly to Microsoft Word

How to Add Grammarly to Gmail

Install Grammarly Keyboard

Grammar keyboard
The Grammarly keyboard

To install the Grammarly keyboard for iOS or Android, search for it in the Apple App or Google Pay Store. Then, log in with your account. Be sure the grant the app the correct privileges. Now tap the G icon on the bottom of your screen when writing to activate it.

Upgrade to Grammarly Premium

The basic version of Grammarly is free to use. Grammarly Premium costs $30 per month. Prices vary depending on what promotion Grammarly is running. I cover the differences in more detail in this Grammarly Free Vs. Premium article, but some Grammarly Premium benefits include:

  • Advanced grammar, punctuation, and style checks
  • Vocabulary enhancement suggestions
  • Genre-specific writing style checks
  • Plagiarism detection against 16 billion web pages

Grammarly Business is for professional teams. It provides enhanced collaboration tools, centralized billing, and additional functionality for teams. The business plan costs $12.50 per month per user, billed annually.

If you’re a new writer or starting, the free version of Grammarly free is fine. It will help you find and fix more errors than a traditional grammar or spelling checker. The premium version is good if you write professionally or want to improve your professional English writing skills. 

Customize Grammarly’s Settings

Grammarly offers several useful advanced features if you want to tailor this grammar checker to how you write, who you write for, and where you publish your work. If you find Grammarly’s suggestions unhelpful or not relevant or are writing something specific, adjust these settings. They are available via the admin panel in the web app/

Custom Dictionary

If you use specific words or terms that Grammarly flags as an error, add them to your custom dictionary by clicking the Grammarly icon. You can also manage this custom dictionary via the admin panel on the Grammarly web app. Examples of words to add include technical terms or phrases related to your company or business. Fiction writers could add character names, spells, locations, etc. 

Language Preferences

How to change Grammarly language preferences?
Open up a Grammarly document, click on the hamburger menu, and select your relevant language preferences

After installing Grammarly, set whether you’re writing American, British, Canadian, or Australian English. Open up a Grammarly document, click on the hamburger menu, and select your relevant language preferences. You can change between English variations at any time.

There are differences in spellings between these English language variations. For example, in the United States, “I realize I need to improve my grammar skills” is correct. In the United Kingdom, they write, “I realise I need to improve my Grammarly skills,” is correct.

At the time of writing, Grammarly only supports the English language. However, the company plans to support other languages at some point.

Writing Preferences

The writing preferences section of Grammarly is for configuring its suggestions. Grammarly surfaces versus ignoring. Basically, use the settings here to adjust the functionality of Grammarly. It’s accessible via the admin panel or settings in the web app. If you find some suggestion types irrelevant, you can turn these off. For example, you can turn on on our off rules relating to:

  • The usage of the Oxford comma
  • Inserting a full stop between AM and PM, i.e., A.M., P.M.
  • Punctuation mistakes as per your preferred style
  • Spacing
  • Biased language
  • Word variations
  • Gender pronouns 

Grammarly regularly reported I needed to change my straight apostrophes to curly apostrophes. It was always the first error that popped up and was irrelevant to my publishing workflow. So, I turned this writing style rule off. 

If you’re unsure, leave everything turned on. On the other hand, if you need more advanced controls, Grammarly Business supports dedicated style guides. To learn more, read our Grammarly Business Review.

Grammarly Snippets

If you regularly use specific terms or phrases, Grammarly can turn these into snippets. Simply, add the term or phrase to your snippet library and select an abbreviation. Now, Grammarly will expand these for you. Or you can access your snippet library by taping \. For example, I created the snippet BAWT which Grammarly expands to Become a Writer Today.

Set Writing Goals With Grammarly

Grammarly review - writing goals
Setting writing goals in Grammarly

Open the goals section and pick a goal based on your document and audience. If unsure, it’s OK to select: “General,” “Inform,” “Knowledgeable,” and “Neutral.” 

However, changing these goals tailors the number of suggestions Grammarly surfaces in its Clarity and Delivery reports. With a few exceptions, don’t worry about goals at the start of the grammar-checking process. Instead, start using Grammarly.

Suppose you’re writing something academic or technical. Then, select formal, expert, and academic. Also, pick a preferred citation style. That way, Grammarly will provide more relevant suggestions in its reports. However, these are overkill for casual writers.

How Grammarly Works

Grammarly is an intelligent tool that provides writers with valuable feedback and suggestions for their writing. It provides an overall report for your work, four more specific reports, and access to a plagiarism detector:

Write an article, email, blog post, or whatever you’re working on as usual. When ready, click on the floating Grammarly icon, identified with a G or a number, to activate it. That triggers Grammarly and underlines sections of your work in red.

Conversely, you can turn Grammarly off inside a specific app by selecting the gear cog on this icon. Your other option is to write as usual and then upload the file to the Grammarly editor or web app to check for errors. Once activated, Grammarly presents its other writing reports. All are accessible via tooltips or a pop-up. Work through each of the Grammarly reports individually rather than all at once. 

I don’t start with the reports, though. My favorite Grammarly premium feature is the ability to apply multiple fixes at a click. I check these suggestions at the top of the Grammarly sidebar. Often this includes typo fixes and copyediting suggestions from the Grammarly rewrite. Click on it, and Grammarly presents the most critical suggestions in a document. Bin the ones that don’t make sense and apply the rest.

Understanding the Grammarly Scores

The Grammarly score provides writers with a way to evaluate the quality of their writing based on grammar, spelling, punctuation, style, and other issues. It also considers the clarity, engagement, and readability of the piece.

Use this report to find information about how many characters, words, and sentences are in a document. Grammarly reports on speaking time too. A few years ago, I narrated an audiobook. I used the speaking time reports to gauge how long it would take to narrate specific chapters from my book.

It’s best to aim for a score above 70. Aim to get the readability score as high as possible because it’ll make it easier for your readers to understand what you want to say. That said, it’s tough to get a readability score above 80 or 90. Learn more about how the Grammarly Readability report works. If your writing is below 70, work through the below reports.

1. Correctness Report

Grammarly correctness report
By hovering over the underlined word, writers can see the suggested correction and choose to accept or ignore it as part of a more comprehensive grammar check

The spelling and grammar error report is the most critical of all four. Grammarly underlines any misused or misspelled words in red. It also highlights grammar and punctuation errors. By hovering over the underlined word, writers can see the suggested correction and choose to accept or ignore it as part of a more comprehensive grammar check.

This report’s punctuation suggestions can help writers correctly place commas, periods, and other punctuation marks.

Enter a fundamental difference between the free and premium versions of Grammarly. I can click “Learn more” with the premium version to find additional context, information, and examples. So, if you want more confidence writing in English or to improve your grammar skills, it’s great for learning by doing.

2. Clarity Report

Grammarly clarity report
Grammarly’s suggestions vary based on your preferred style and writing goals

Grammarly underlines phrases and sentences that are hard to read in blue. Its suggestions pertain to sentence structure, word usage, and the readability of your work. Writers can accept or ignore the suggestions. Grammarly Premium will propose full-sentence rewrites here too. Grammarly’s suggestions vary based on your preferred style and writing goals. I use this feature daily to rewrite or edit freelance writers’ works for my sites.

3. Engagement Report

Grammarly engagement report
Grammarly highlights overused words, phrases, and terms in green and proposes alternatives

The engagement report is useful for writers who want to improve their word choice. Grammarly highlights overused words, phrases, and terms in green and proposes alternatives. You can also double-click on any word inside the Grammarly web app to access a thesaurus.

4. Delivery Report

Grammarly delivery report
Use this report to fix problems related to slang or informal language

The Grammarly delivery report relates to the tone of your piece. It’s based on goals a writer selects. These suggestions vary by the intended audience and the tone of the piece in question. Use this report to fix problems related to slang or informal language. It’s more suited towards professionals and academics.

To make the most out of Grammarly, users should review each suggestion carefully and consider whether the proposed change would improve the quality of their writing. If in doubt, start with the grammar check report in red and review the other reports if you have more time.

Grammarly Limitations

In a 24-hour period, you can check 100 documents or 50,000 words. In a 30-day period, you can check up to 300 documents or 150,000 words with Grammarly. These limitations also apply to the plagiarism checker. For context, a non-fiction book averages between 50,000-70,000 words a novel averages one hundred thousand words. In my years using Grammarly, I’ve never hit this limitation, and I use it to check my writing and the writing of other team members.

However, the grammar checker can slow down if I paste a lengthy document into Grammarly, say greater than 10,000 words. Instead, check individual chapters or sections of long-form works rather than all at once, say 2,000 words. You’ll find it challenging to work through grammar errors for an entire book or long-form work in one grammar editing session.

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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.