ProWritingAid Review: Is It Worth It?

Can a grammar checking service like ProWritingAid help you become a better writer?

In this ProWritingAid review, I’ll explain in detail how this checker software and style editor can help you, how well it improves your writing and whether ProWritingAid is worth it.

Ideal for Fiction Writers
ProWritingAid
$79

ProWritingAid is a powerful, accurate grammar checker and style editor. It's suitable for fiction writers and doesn't require a monthly subscription.

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

I'll also explain how ProWritingAid differs from some of the other premium grammar checker software available today.

I've also got details at the end of the post about a free book from their team that will help you become a better author. And you can claim a discount on this grammar and spell checker.

Whether you're an author, editor, copywriter, student or professional, this ProWritingAid review explains if this editing software can help.

Ready? Let's dive in.

What is ProWritingAid?

ProWritingAid is a premium grammar checker and style editor for bloggers, novelists and business writers.  This editing software helps users eliminate errors,  optimize word choice and edit grammar and punctuation faster.

It aids in checking blog posts, articles books, an editor’s note, and any other content you can think of!

ProWritingAid editing software is available via web browsers on both Windows and Mac. It also supports Microsoft Word, Google Docs and, interestingly, the popular book writing app Scrivener.

At the time of writing this review, the company didn’t offer dedicated apps for iOS or Android.

Although anyone can use this tool for proofreading and grammar checking their content, it's particularly suitable for fiction writers.

Amusingly, the ProWritingAid team notes on its site:

We've even been told that Stephen King uses ProWritingAid, but we haven’t been able to confirm this. (If you happen to meet him at a party, please ask.) We do know that he, like us, is not a fan of adverbs!

I will explain more about why fiction writers will find this grammar check software or ProWritingAid (no pun intended) particularly useful later in this ProWritingAid review.

Who Is ProWritingAid For?

ProWritingAid is aimed at writers of all types, business people, and bloggers. It's useful for anyone who spends a lot of time writing books, articles or reports.

Unlike other grammar checkers, it doesn't require a monthly subscription. Instead, you buy the app for a yearly fee. However, you still have to pay extra for plagiarism checker reports.

The lack of a monthly fee makes ProWritingAid a good choice for those who are particularly budget-conscious or dislike monthly fees.

What Does ProWritingAid Do?

You can use ProWritingAid as both a grammar and spell checker. It will also help improve the readability of anything you write.

You can use ProWritingAid to check for:

  • Incorrect spelling and grammar
  • Sticky and run-on sentences
  • Poor word choice including vague, abstract and duplicated words
  • Inconsistent tenses
  • Poor readability

I tested the desktop and web app extensively for this ProWritingAid review. I'll explain in more detail how ProWritingAid works toward the end of this review. However, here is the basic workflow:

  • Open the ProWritingAid desktop app
  • Upload your document to ProWritingAid (supports Word, Scrivener, Markdown, text files and more)
  • It scans your document
  • It opens up an editing tool panel with text from your blog posts or other content that you uploaded for grammar checking
  • The spell checker feature underlines spelling mistakes in red
  • It underlines style issues, incorrect sentence structure and weak writing like passive voice, in yellow
  • It underlines grammar mistakes in blue
  • Hover over any underlined word like the spelling and grammar mistakes in the editing tool to see a suggested fix

ProWritingAid features will help you check a story or article for:

  • Clichés
  • Overused words
  • Sentences that slow your reader down (sticky sentences)
  • Vague and abstract words
  • Incorrect tense
  • Duplicated words and phrases
  • Sentence length
  • Overall readability of your content

This online editing tool generates reports on all these different aspects of your text and gives suggestions on how to improve each area of your writing process.

What’s more?

This writing aid tool does more than just grammar check. It works as a writing mentor and evaluates your writing against the best writers in your genre.

These reports operate as part of ProWritingAid and appear at the top of the editing toolbar. The free version of ProWritingAid offers 22 reports which are sufficient for the everyday writer (25 in the paid version).  

I've tested several other grammar and spell checkers, and they rarely provide this amount of information for writers.

Is Your Content Safe from Plagiarism?

Many of my readers want to know whether the content that they upload on ProWritingAid can get stolen or plagiarized.

Here’s my answer: ProWritingAid is safe.

The tool does not store or save any text that you submit after the analysis ends. This is true for both the free and paid versions.

ProWritingAid Premium

Prowritingaid premium
You can buy ProWritingAid Premium Plus, which includes 50 checks per year
  • $0 per year (free version)
  • $20 monthly
  • $79 annually (that works out to $6.60/month)
  • $399 for lifetime access (inlcudes all future updates)

You can claim a 25% discount on these prices if you sign up here.

Unlike other grammar checkers, you don't have to pay a monthly subscription. It's also more affordable than other premium grammar checkers which typically cost €20-30 per month.

The plagiarism checker costs extra. Ten checks cost $10 or $10 per month and 100 cost €40.

Alternatively, you can buy ProWritingAid Premium Plus, which includes 50 checks per year. That costs an extra $10 or €10.

Prowritingaid premium plus
ProWritingAid pricing in Europe

Is ProWritingAid Free?

There is a free version of ProWritingAid, though it is quite limited.

ProWritingAid Free ($0 per year):

  • Summary Report of Key Issues
  • 19 Writing Reports
  • Edit 500 words at a time
  • Available as an online editing tool only (no access to the desktop version)

ProWritingAid Premium ($60 per year):

  • $0 per year (free version)
  • $20 monthly
  • $79 annually (that works out to $6.60/month)
  • $399 for lifetime access (inlcudes all future updates)

ProWriitngAid Premium Plus (includes 60 plagiarism checks per year)

  • $0 per year (free version)
  • $24 monthly
  • $89 annually (that works out to $6.60/month)
  • $499 for lifetime access (inlcudes all future updates)

If you are interested in one of the premium packages, you can request a 14-day trial and decide if it's right for you. You can also claim a 25% discount.

ProWritingAid Refund Policy

If you're unsure about ProWritingAid, but still want to try it, they offer a 14-day refund policy.

ProWritingAid Review: Video

How I Reviewed ProWritingAid

I write a lot of nonfiction articles for publications like Forbes.

My typical workflow for using a grammar checker on these articles involves:

  • Write the article in IA Writer or Scrivener
  • Copy and paste a draft from IA Writer or Scrivener into my editing tool of choice
  • Scan it for errors
  • Fix these directly in my source document that is in IA Writer or Scrivener
  • Publish or send to an editor

While writing this ProWritingAid review, I changed my writing workflow and saved time.

I opened my source file in the desktop app and edited my documents directly using the pro writing aid editing tool, without any copying and pasting.

Writing nerd alert!

I write my articles in Markdown using IA Writer as the writing aid. This process simplifies adding basic HTML to reviews and articles like this one.

I was pleased to see I could import Markdown documents like my blog posts into ProWritingAid.

However, it doesn't convert a Markdown file to a publishable format or enable a live preview. It's also not possible to create a library within ProWritingAid of your documents.

ProWritingAid Review: My Impressions

This grammar checker struck me as a tool ideal for fiction writers and novelists.

Why?

Well, premium grammar checkers like Grammarly and Ginger restrict the number of words you can scan at once. This means you can only check an entire book on a chapter by chapter basis.

However, ProWritingAid allows you to open up documents of any size, like your book, and check it all at once.

Similarly, its ability to check a piece of writing for clichés, readability, passive voice is a useful feature for writers who want to create more readable stories.

Please note, the desktop app only works while connected to the internet. So if you like to write offline, you must reconnect while using this tool.

Grammar Checking a Book

I tested ProWritingAid in two different ways for my new book. Firstly, I uploaded a 45,000+ draft of my new book to ProWritingAid as a Microsoft Word document.

Grammar Checking A Book
ProWritingAid found some errors in my book

If I wanted to do this with another tool, I'd have to upload individual chapters into ProWritingAid.

After a few minutes, the app completed a scan and identified 261 mistakes to fix. It also provided a report with other suggestions. These even included issues of style.

ProWritingAid checks style issues
You can use ProWritingAid to check for style issues

ProWritingAid also prompted me to scan individual sections of my book rather than the entire manuscript.

Unfortunately, the various ProWritingAid reports slowed down with a manuscript of this size, compared to when I checked individual chapters or articles. I guess it takes a while to analyze longer pieces of writing.

Checking an entire manuscript at once wasn't faster than checking chapters on an individual basis.

Secondly, I opened my new book's Scrivener project with the desktop app. I enjoyed more success with this method.

It didn't slow down and provided lots of useful suggestions for improving my manuscript.

I also liked that I could save changes directly back into my Scrivener project. I intend to use ProWritingAid on any future Scrivener projects.

Your key scores
A ProWritingAid Report about my book

How to Use ProWritingAid – In-depth

ProWritingAid is easy to use. As proofreading tool and grammar checkers go, it's pretty powerful too. To get the most from it, take out a premium subscription and use the desktop app.

(You can get a ProWriting discount by joining my email list)

Now, you can use this writing tool in several different ways.

Getting Started 

  • Download the desktop app to your computer.
  • If you haven't already done so, enter your license code to activate the desktop app.
  • Alternatively, log into ProWritingAid and open the web editor.
  • Create or open a project file in ProWritingAid. Choose opening a project file if you want to check a Scrivener, MS Word document or another file for grammar errors.
  • If you picked “Create”, give your file a name and save it.
Getting with started ProWritingAid
Getting with started ProWritingAid – this is from the desktop app

Grammar Checking With ProWritingAid

The ProWritingAid premium version provides grammar and style checking score in real-time. Look for a score in the upper left corner of the editing screen that updates as you edit.

Why is this useful? You’ll know instantly if your edits are making your article better or worse!

  • Click the “Real-Time” button to check your file for common grammar errors, spelling mistakes and style issues and other mistakes.
  • Review each issue. ProWritingAid will underline grammar errors in blue, spelling mistakes in red, and style issues in yellow.
  • Click on an underlined word to see the suggestion.
  • If it's a custom word or character name, click add to dictionary.
  • If it's a style issue, like an overused word, either accept the suggestion or click ignore depending on your subject matter.
  • If it's a grammar issue, review the ProWritingAid suggestion and implement if you agree.
  • For more context on a given suggestion, click the top of the box and ProWritingAid will provide a basic grammar or style rule.
  • Check each highlighted sentence in your document until you're happy with it.
  • Click save when done. ProWritingAid will publish the changes back to your MS Word file or Scrivener project.
Grammar checking with ProWritingAid
ProWritingAid real-time report

How to Develop a Good Writing Style With ProWritingAid

Follow the steps above, except this time click on the Overused button in the top menu of the desktop app or web editor.

  • Use the All Repeats report to find words you overuse and replace them with alternatives. This improves your writing style immensely.
  • Use the clichés report to check your dialogue and polish your sentences.
  • Use the inbuilt dictionary and thesaurus to improve your word choice. The tool automatically analyzes your work to find the most appropriate word to convey your precise meaning.
  • Use spelling consistencies to check when you alternate between the US and UK English.
  • Use the readability report to see how long it takes readers to finish your document and how hard it is to understand.
  • Use the same button to find hard to understand paragraph and evaluate the Flesch score of your document. (The Flesch Reading Ease Score, the world's most well-known readability test for English.)
Readability check
The style report

Sticky sentences report

The sticky sentences report also deserves special mention. It helps you see how many of your sentences contain glue words, that is words that take up space before a reader can get to your idea e.g.

Original:

“We do know that he, like us, is not a fan of adverbs!” Glue index: 61.5%

vs

Redraft:

“Like us, he isn't a fan of adverbs!” Glue index: 42.8% – Sentence length

As you can see, ProWritingAid contains lots of insights like these that you can use while editing your articles or book. It's up to you to choose what you want to accept or ignore.

If you're unsure,  it offers a helpful guide to each type of report and the context behind identified errors.

How to Check for Plagiarism With ProWritingAid

This app also has a plagiarism checker, a feature that will appeal to students and nonfiction writers. However, you must buy credits to use this tool.

  • Select More and then click on the plagiarism report.
  • ProWritingAid will use a credit, purchase one if you've none left.
  • Review anything underlined in blue. ProWritingAid will highlight these as instances of inadvertent plagiarism. Fix, edit, cite or address.
  • Review the links in this report as well, this represents instances where this text was used online.

For this ProWritingAid review, I purchased a ten pack and used it with the ProWritingAid desktop app. Then, I checked several book chapters. In case you're worried, I didn't plagiarise while working on my book!

However, some chapters in my book are based on articles I wrote for Forbes or published on Medium.

I often write articles and then refine my ideas later for a different audience, provided I have the editor‘s permission. I was curious to see if ProWritingAid would recognise where which book chapters were based on Forbes articles.

I was pleased to find it passed the test and it presented me with links to my Medium and Forbes articles.

This plagiarism checker will appeal to anyone who writes academic essays and also to those who want to scan their content and check it's not being misused elsewhere.

It could even help you find citations for non-fiction works if you've forgotten a link or source.

Plagiarism check
The ProwritingAid plagiarism report

That covers the basics of how to use ProWritingAid. If you need more help, their support team is usually on hand to walk you through common issues. Now, let's cover some of the ways ProWritingAid works with the tools and editing software you already use.

ProWritingAid Integrations with Online Writing Tools

ProWritingAid can be used with dedicated online tools for writing, including Google Docs, Scrivener and word processor.

Here’s how these integrations work:

How to Use ProWritingAid With Chrome and Google Docs

ProWritingAid offers a browser extension for Chrome.

Once installed, the ProWritingAid this plugin checks your writing on the go. Use it to scan emails, social media posts and more for grammar errors.

You must install a separate add-in to scan Google documents. This presents summary reports about your writing. This add-on works best if you're writing in Google docs. You won't get access to the full-editor, instead hover over spelling mistakes and other grammar issues

ProWritingAid Google docs
ProWritingAid works great with Google docs

How to Use ProWritingAid With Scrivener

Many indie authors use Scrivener to write their novels. This may explain why ProWritingAid supports Scrivener projects, unlike other tools.

First, open up a Scrivener document in ProWritingAid. Then, it presents the folder structure of your file. Now, navigate to each folder or file within your Scrivener document and fix errors on the go.

I haven't come across this feature in other free or premium grammar checkers.

If you use Scrivener extensively, you'll find it a real time-saver.

ScrivenerScreenShot1
This is what a Scrivener project looks like in ProWritingAid

How to Add ProWritingAid to Word

You can use ProWritingAid for Microsoft Word or Outlook by downloading add-ins. Unfortunately, I couldn't test this add-in properly as its Windows only.

However, I found a workaround while researching this ProWritingAid review. To use it for Word, simply open a Word document with ProWritingAid. It scans your document for errors and grammar mistakes.

You can fix these directly in the app and save your changes to the Word document.

Ideal for Fiction Writers
ProWritingAid
$79

ProWritingAid is a powerful, accurate grammar checker and style editor. It's suitable for fiction writers and doesn't require a monthly subscription.

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

ProWritingAid Alternatives

The most common writing software alternatives are Grammarly, Ginger and WhiteSmoke. I compared all three (and several other tools) to ProWritingAid in this review of the best grammar checker.

In short:  ProWritingAid is ideal if you write fiction or use Scrivener. Moreover, if you want to use a more affordable tool than Grammarly, consider ProWritingAid.

If you are interested in a review, check out Grammarly Review.

If you're writing a book, I still recommend working with a human editor as well.

ProWritingAid Vs Grammarly

I found ProWritingAid slightly slower to use than other grammar checkers like Grammarly.

Rather than presenting information in text boxes to the right of my writing, I had to click on individual errors within a document to review the issue.

It also doesn't offer a mobile app like Grammarly which may put off those who enjoy writing using an iPad or tablet.

I particularly enjoyed the extensive writing reports. These are more detailed than those offered by other grammar checkers. I'm sure they'll appeal to anyone who is editing a draft of an article or book.

For example, understanding the length of your sentences and your usage of vague and abstract words will help you learn to self-edit.

If you'd like to learn more, read our ProWritingAid vs Grammarly comparison.

ProWritingAid Vs. Other Grammar Checkers

ProWritingAid finds more errors than the inbuilt grammar checker in Word or Google docs, but you still must decide about acting on its suggestions. I also always recommend working with a proofreader before publishing a longer piece of writing like a book.

ProWritingAid holds its own compared to other tools in terms of accuracy and ease of use. You won't regret using it to check your writing.

Why You Can Trust Us

I’ve written and published dozens of articles for newspapers, magazines and online publications including Forbes and Lifehacker. I'm also a best-selling non-fiction author, a trained journalist and copywriter.

Software like ProWritingAid forms a key part of my writing workflow for non-fiction. I use these types of software regularly to improve my own work and also to check work by freelance writers who publish content on this site.

Our Testing Criteria

We regularly update this ProWritingAid review, as the product evolves. We test new features by checking book chapters and longer articles written in Scrivener. Typically, we test using the ProWritingAid desktop app. These articles and chapters range from several hundred to several thousand words in length.

FAQs

Can I use ProWritingAid Offline?

You need an internet connection to use ProWritingAid. It installs an app onto your computer to connects to an online algorithm.

Is ProWritingAid Safe?

This grammar checker doesn’t store or save your work after you submit an analysis. So yes, it’s safe. You don't need to worry about plagiarism.

How do I get a ProWritingAid refund?

You can try ProWritingAid risk-free for 14-days. The support team will happily refund you if you're unhappy.

How Good is ProWritingAid?

ProWritingAid is a reliable and accurate spelling and grammar checker. Anyone can use it to improve their writing and find and fix mistakes and typos. It also includes a useful plagiarism checker.

Does ProWritingAid have a Chrome extension?

Yes, you can install a Chrome extension and grammar check your writing online, including Tweets, blog posts and emails.

How do I get the ProWritingAid discount?

You can claim a 20% ProWritingAid discount using the link in this review.

Is ProWritingAid better than Grammarly?

ProWritingAid is a good alternative to Grammarly. It’s just as accurate and is particularly useful for fiction writers.

What integrations are available for prowritingAid?

ProWritingAid integrates with MS Word and Outlook, Google Docs and Final Draft. It also works well with Scrivener and it can open and edit these files directly.

Ideal for Fiction Writers
ProWritingAid
$79

ProWritingAid is a powerful, accurate grammar checker and style editor. It's suitable for fiction writers and doesn't require a monthly subscription.

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Author

ProWritingAid Review: Is It Worth It?
  • Accuracy
  • Ease of Use
  • Affordability
4.5

ProWritingAid Review

This tool is worth it if you write fiction extensively. It's the best grammar checker I've tested for fiction writers because of its native support for Scrivener and additional writing reports which other grammar checkers don't offer. It's also worth it if you value additional insights about your writing, for example word-choice, alliteration etc.

If you don't write fiction extensively, it is still a useful grammar checker provided it fits around your writing workflow. Yes it has some quirks, but it's an affordable and accurate grammar checker for most writers.

Any writer who edits for a living will also find it a useful addition to their toolbox.

Pros

  • Ideal for fiction writers
  • Helps with self-editing
  • Insightful writing reports
  • No word-count limit
  • Supports Scrivener files!
  • Cheaper than other grammar checkers
  • No monthly free

Cons

  • No library of documents 
  • Slightly slower than other grammar checkers
  • No Safari plugin or mobile apps
  • No Mac integration for Word
  • Free version is limited
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