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ProWritingAid Review 2021: Should You Use It?

As far as Grammarly alternatives go, ProWritingAid is the best. 

“This noble software, sire, is more than a worthy adversary to our insuperable Grammarly.”

If you are using text to communicate (blog posts, business emails, newsletters, etc.), it is essential that you use writing which is readable, typo-free, and consistent.

Otherwise, the reader will assume that the message comes from an unprofessional writer, hence not legit.

If you are serious about your writing, then you need a proper grammar checking tool like ProWritingAid.

If all you have is a simple, common question about ProWritingAid, skip to the ProWritingAid FAQs section.

prowritingaid review should you use it (1)

ProWritingAid Overview  

prowritingaid

For conciseness’s sake, ProWritingAid is a grammar checker software and style editor. This tool analyzes your writing and checks it for incorrectness, inconsistencies, and comprehensibility. It then comes up with appropriate reports and suggestions.

ProWritingAid can be used with Microsoft Word, Scrivener, and other programs that you use to churn out your masterpieces.

For thoroughness sake, the rest of the ProWritingAid review won’t be as economical as the overview. 

ProWritingAid Pros

  • Affordable
  • In-depth, insightful understandable reports
  • Highly Accurate
  • Easy to use interfaces 

ProWritingAid Cons 

  • Slower than Grammarly
  • Very limited free version

What Is It, And Who Is It for?

If you are serious about your writing, this is a tool made for you.

Whether you are a blogger, academician, novelist, online magazine editor, or whatever requires writing a serious page or two, you need ProWritingAid, or something similar.

ProWritingAid is also a must-have if you send out a lot of professional emails or do a lot of presentations. 

ProWritingAid: Free vs Premium

A lot of these paid grammar checkers offer free versions. But ultimately, what they want you to do is subscribe to their premium versions.

So, not surprisingly, ProWritingAid has a free version. It gives you access to the web-based grammar checker but limits the text to 500 words at a time. You can also use a web extension that is expectedly limited in its capabilities, if I might add.

You can play around with the free version and try out some of ProWritingAid’s basic features.

But if you want to eat at the bigger table, with the best sellers and Google page 1 bloggers, fork out those dollars for the premium version.  

Features Exclusive to the premium version includes:

  • MS Word, Google Docs, and Scrivener integration
  • Unlimited web-based app
  • A Desktop App
  • More robust browser extensions

Whilst ProWritingAid gives a week-long trial of ProWritingAid Premium; they also offer a 14-day refund policy when you purchase it.

How much does Pro Writing Aid cost?

So, ProWritingAid has 3 plans: the free package, Premium, and Premium Plus.  

Depending on how long you intend to use the tool or (to a less extent) your pockets, you can purchase a Monthly, Annual, or Lifetime subscription. 

prowritingaid premium price

ProWritingAid Premium

  • Monthly Subscription: $20
  • Annual Subscription: $79
  • Lifetime Subscription: $399

ProWritingAid Premium Plus:

  • Monthly Subscription: $24
  • Annual Subscription: $89
  • Lifetime Subscription: $499

How to use ProWritingAid

The premium version of ProWritingAid offers multiple ways of using the tool. You can download the desktop app, add a browser extension, or download an MS plugin.

You can experiment with all these methods and find one that suits your preferences.

ProWritingAid Web Editor

ProWritingAid’s web-based editor is available to both free and premium subscribers and accessible on any device with a web browser.  When you go to the ProWritingAid site, you need to sign in and use the web editor. 

You can type into the blank page or upload an existing document from your computer. ProWritingAid supports the following file formats: Word (Docx), Rich Text (.rtf), Open Document (.odt), or Final Draft (.fdx). 

Once there’s text, the tool will analyze it and show reports with suggestions.

For free users, ProWritingAid won’t let you work on a document with more than 500 words.

Microsoft Word

prowritingaid for ms

There’s a plugin that only works for Microsoft Word that you can download.

The plugin excellently integrates ProWritingAid into MS Word and seamlessly finds some space among the tabs. The tab can be used to access ProWritingAid’s premium features. 

Your word suddenly becomes Popeye on spinach. Yeah!

If you use a Mac, I’m sorry; currently, there is no stable word add-in for Mac. But not to worry, ProWritingAid is testing a Word for Mac add-in, so you will be able to use a stable add-in in no time.

Moreover, you can still use ProWritingAid off the web, using the desktop app.

ProWritingAid Desktop App

prowritingaid desktop app

So yeah, Mac users, here’s a way to use the tool in the meantime. You can edit your docs in the desktop app.

With the ProWritingAid desktop app, you can edit as you go, by choosing to create a new project file— HTML, Markdown, or Text file. When you opt to open an existing project file, you can edit Scrivener, RTF, open office, MS Word files from your computer library. 

The web-based editor doesn’t have an option for uploading and working on a Scrivener project, so you need the desktop if you have any scrivener project that you want to edit.

The desktop app is available for Premium subscribers only.

Browser Extensions

prowritingaid extensions

If you want ProWritingAid to help you edit your writing directly on the sites that you use, then what you do is add an extension compatible with your browser. 

When you install the extension, ProWritingAid will reflexively analyze the text and underline the incorrect words, sentences, or paragraphs. 

Maybe you want to publish stories on Wattpad or sell gigs on Upwork, or you want professional-looking posts on LinkedIn; ProWritingAid will highlight the errors and suggest contextual solutions. 

What you have to do is hover over the marked text and read the explanation.

ProWritingAid supports Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Edge web browsers.

Google Docs Add-On

prowritingaid for google docs

Google docs have given MS word a run for its money, and many writers prefer it to our long-lived ally.

I think it’s a no-brainer to prefer an app that will instantly save your work, but I love my MS word.

Anyways, Premium users can install an add-on for Google Docs. The add-on seamlessly gets added to the ‘add-ons’ menu.

If you haven’t subscribed to the Premium package yet, you can give it a try for free with a week-long trial. 

Can I Use ProWritingAid Offline?

No. You have to be connected to the internet at all times to use ProWritingAid. The only content you can use offline are the downloadable reports. 

This, for me, is a very small sore spot, not that relevant. Other grammar checkers that have android keyboard integrations that still work when the device’s data is off.

But as I said, this is an irrelevant con.

How Good Is ProWritingAid?

It’s super good. It has an intuitive user interface, in-depth checks, reports, and summaries. And has a lifetime subscription (it’s the only grammar that I have encountered that has this).

 It is the full package.

How ProWritingAid Fares Against the Competition

Is ProWritingAid better than Grammarly?

grammarly free 2

Grammarly Pros

Pros

  • Easy-to-use interfaces 
  • Seamless integrations with web browsers.
  • Desktop and mobile apps.
  • Efficient Word integration
  • Has very comprehensive (better than its competitors, including ProWritingAid)
  • Faster than its Competitors

Cons

  • Unlike ProWritingAid, Grammarly does not offer a lifetime membership.
  • Grammarly has very aggressive marketing campaigns
  • Grammarly’s Premium Package is relatively expensive

This is the biggest question. Is it the ‘elephant in the room’?

NO.

Everyone who has gotten across the two tools has heard or had this argument. Some writers make it seem like a subjective thing?

But Grammarly beats ProWritingAid by a mile; hmm… make that inches.

Unlike Grammarly, ProWritingAid doesn’t have a mobile app. Your iPad, Android, or tablet are not welcome to the editing party.

grammarly works everywhere

There are more areas in which Grammarly outperforms ProWritingAid.

If you have tried both, I’m pretty sure that ProWritingAid is a tad slower than Grammarly.

It’s not a shut-and-close case though; when you consider all its great features, ProWritingAid only costs about $79 for a whole year, you might decide to forget Grammarly and shell out that $79 and save some coin. Moreover, ProWritingAid offers a lifetime subscription that Grammarly doesn’t currently offer.

Verdict: ProWritingAid is an excellent Grammar checker with great payment plans, but Grammarly is the best there is.


ProWritingAid Vs. Other Dedicated Grammar Checkers

Now look, it might not be the number one grammar checker, but ProWritingAid beats any other Grammar checker that isn’t Grammarly.

Facts!

Compared to other grammar checking tools, ProWritingAid has higher accuracy and is easier to use.

WhiteSmoke

whitesmoke

Pros

  • Whitesmoke web browser integrations go beyond Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. It integrates more browsers—including Opera—than its competitors. 
  • It’s great for non-native English speakers. 
  • Has plenty of professional templates that ease the task of setting new documents for specific professional projects.

Cons

  • It has a user interface that fails to live up to Grammarly and ProWritingAid standards.
  • WhiteSmoke has no free version. 
  • The Premium version is more expensive than ProWritingAid but is not as good as ProWritingAid Premium or Premium Plus. 

Ginger Software

ginger

Pros

  • An excellent free version
  • Can translate up to 40 different languages
  • Has a text reader: Acts like a buddy reading your rhubarb so you can hear how awful it sounds.
  • Makes suggestions for rewriting sticky passages
  • Can be used using a desktop app, a browser extension, iOS, and Android keyboard integration.
  • Has a personal library. You can make up words and add them to the dictionary.

Cons

  • Ginger offers no Firefox support. No extension for Firefox browser.
  • It’s relatively pricey. Costs close to $20 more than ProWritingAid per year
  • The user interface falls short of ProWritingAid’s standard 

ProWritingAid vs MS Word

When you compare the two tools, ProWritingAid is way better than its counterpart.

But…

Microsoft Word is free. So, it’s only fair that I compare the free version ProWritingAid. 

Both the Word and ProWritingAid have proofing tools, but the latter has more comprehensive checks and in-depth writing reports (about 19). 

Two things would affect ProWritingAid’s free version ratings: the word limit and the zero versatility.

You can only edit 500 words at a time and on the web only (doesn’t have any integration options). On the other hand, MS word has no word limits and has a skype integration which you can use to engage a human editor.

Verdict: If you have bulk work, both ProWritingAid free and MS Word (with no grammar checking integration) are useless, but the ProWritingAid Premium (which includes MS word extensions) is more than effective.   

ProWritingAid Review

I have talked about the other things, a lot of which aren’t directly useful in the writing and editing process; now, let’s look at the essential editing features.

ProWritingAid Features

Of course, ProWritingAid can be used as a grammar and spell checker.

But its functions go beyond that.

To sum it up, ProWritingAid checks for:

  • Wrong spellings and grammar
  • Sticky sentences
  • Vague and abstract words
  • Inconsistency
  • text readability
  • Clichés and Redundancies
  • Overused Words
  • Etc.

ProWritingAid produces about 20 reports that identify these issues.

Grammar Checking

The grammar checking feature looks at things like sentence fragments, the use of apostrophes, tenses, etc.

Plagiarism Checker

ProWritingAid has a plagiarism checking tool that checks both online sources and offline databases.

The tool compares your text with other files on billions of online sources and offline databases. You can access this feature through the web-based editing tool or using the Microsoft Word Add-In.

Check your work against over a billion web pages, published works, and academic papers to ensure its originality. Run the plagiarism report through the online editing tool or the Microsoft Word Add-In.

The Premium Plus package comes with 50 plagiarism checks per year, but you can separately purchase exclusive plagiarism packages:

  • 10 Checks: $10
  • 100 Checks: $40
  • 500 Checks: $120
  • 1000 Checks: $200

Writing Style

prowritingaid writing reports

This writing style reports themes such as passive voice, passive and hidden verbs, weak adverbs, boring recurrent sentence starts, etc.

These reports make your texts more readable.

The House Style Check

Writing is appealing when it is fluid and context-tailored. If you are a political commentator, your text needs to ooze socio-political jargon. 

Likewise, if you have a sports blog, you need to use correct names and terms specific to the sport you are writing about.

ProWritingAid helps you identify these aberrances for you.  

Sticky Sentences

A writer needs to be efficient with their words. Readers are not looking for a merry-go-round; they want sentences that will get the point across quicker than a bullet train.

ProWritingAid checks for supernumerary, unnecessary words which it terms, glue words.

Contextual Thesaurus

ProWritingAid has a Contextual Thesaurus. It affords the writer a multitude of synonyms when you double-click a word.

The replacement words are tailored to the specific sentence.

Overused Words

prowritingaid overused words reports

Writing needs to pack a punch. Plus, it needs to be convincing in a few words used. The use of intensifiers (whether innocently or deliberately to increase word count) weakens your writing. 

Then there are words like “perhaps” or “just”. These words make the writer seem indecisive. The Overused Words Report marks these words and suggests that you remove some.

Clichés and Redundancies

Some redundancies just make a writer sound stupid.

He nodded his head.

The imagery used here is foolish and should be used by day-one writers and those that don’t have ProWritingAid. ProWritingAid marks these redundancies and suggests that you remove them.

Readability

prowritingaid readability reports

ProWritingAid also helps make your paragraphs easy to read. It identifies those sentences that are going to make it hard for the reader to comprehend your text.

It also gives a Flesch Reading Ease Score to tell you how readable the text is.

Repeats

Using the same word over and over again in the same paragraph is off-putting for the reader. 

Again, ProWritingAid catches these repeated words so that you remove some and make your writing more attractive.

Transition

Your sentences make “turns” and “transitions” into a new direction or assume a new tone. 

During these “turns” transitions (like “moreover”,  “similarly”,  or “however”) tell the reader whether the succeeding point is in support of the antecedent or a change in direction.

ProWritingAid refers to these as “road signs”.

ProWritingAid gives a transition percentage score. The report suggests that if your text gets a score that is lower than 25%, you should add more “road signs”.  

Consistency

This feature arrests inconsistencies in spelling, hyphenation, capitalization, and punctuation.

It checks whether you are writing consistently in American English or British English.

Pacing

Again, variety is important. Good writing needs to contain both fast-paced and slow-paced sections. Too many slow-paced passages drain the reader’s energy.

ProWritingAid identifies the slow-paced paragraphs for you to consider reducing them, effectively making your text more dynamic. 

Sentence Length

prowritingaid sentence length reports

You ought to vary your sentence lengths. Some sentences need to be concise and short, while others need to be comprehensive and have a lot of meat.

It’s like you are painting a fresco; you need to vary the intensity and amounts of the different paints used. 

ProWritingAid gives you an analytic tool which categorizes sentences by word count.

Pronouns

Stuffing your writing with pronouns is amateurish.

ProWritingAid helps you use pronouns sparingly so that your passages look dynamic.

Dialogue Tags

ProWritingAid recognizes the most fundamental but subtle rule of writing.

Show don’t tell.

Instead of using dialogue tags to express emotions and other actions, you can sketch an image using words to give the reader an imagination of what or how the scene was.

ProWritingAid catches all the dialogue tags to help you write in line with the “Golden Rule”.

Diction

This feature helps the writer to simplify long-winded phrases with efficient words.

Instead of focusing on increasing the word count, try to make every word count.

Alliterations

ProWritingAid identifies all alliterations in your paragraphs. 

Homonyms

prowritingaid homonym check

There’s an amusing meme that goes like this:

“A good writer is the one that knows the difference between there, their, and they’re.”

“There, their, and they’re” are Homonyms— words that sound the same but have different meanings.  The ProWritingAid tool highlights every word that has a homonym for you to see whether you have used the correct spelling or not.

Acronyms

The ProWritingAid tool creates a list of recognizable acronyms used in your text. It also acts as a spell-checker for the acronyms used.

ProWritingAid FAQs

Is ProWritingAid better than Grammarly?

No. Some would say that’s subjective. But it’s a big NO from me. ProWritingAid is an excellent alternative to Grammarly. But, Grammarly is faster and more seamless to use, of course. ProWritingAid is cheaper with features that are close enough to Grammarly.

What is ProWritingAid?

In a nutshell, it’s an online grammar, style, and plagiarism checker for editors, bloggers, academicians, novelists, and other writers. It provides a real-time editing tool which helps writers to edit grammar, spellings, eliminate errors, and optimize word choice. In effect, it aids you in bettering your writing skills.

Is ProWritingAid free?

Yes. ProWritingAid has a free version. But, the free version is expectedly too basic compared to the Premium versions. It’s a let-down, the fact that the free version has a 500-word limit. What did we expect?

How much is ProWritingAid?

ProWritingAid Premium costs about $20 monthly, $79 per year, and the Lifetime subscription costs about $399. The ProWritingAid Premium Plus package costs $24 per month, $89 per year, and the Lifetime Subscription costs about $499.

Does ProWritingAid have a plagiarism checker?

ProWritingAid has plagiarism checking features that are only available on the Premium and Premium Plus versions.

How Do I Try It Out?

ProWritingAid Premium has a week-long trial week that you can use to see if the tool is for you.

What are ProWritingAid’s Essential features?

The main features of ProWritingAid are: it’s a robust spelling and grammar checker, its suggestions will help improve the quality of your writing, its reports dig deep into your writing style, and it’s probably the best value grammar software available right now.

Is ProWritingAid safe?

ProWritingAid is absolutely safe. It does not store or save any of your text within its system. Therefore, your work cannot be stolen or plagiarized in any way.

Is ProWritingAid Better Than a Human editor?

No. A resounding NO. A well-trained human editor is way too good for an online grammar checker. The English language (and many other languages) is too complex, intricate, and fluid for an AI to grasp every corner taken and condiment added in your writing. 

Can I use ProWritingAid offline?

NO. Real-time editing using ProWritingAid requires you to be connected to the internet throughout the entire editing process. 

Is ProWritingAid Worth the money?

Yes. Every penny. As I said, ProWritingAid is only second to Grammarly when it comes to the best online grammar checkers.

Do You Need ProWritingAid and Is It Right for You?

prowritingaid features

Let me rephrase that, are you serious about your writing?

You might say, “Heck yeah, but I’m pretty sure I don’t need ProWritingAid.”

You are right, you don’t “need” it. But if you hire a proofreader or editor, they’re probably going to use ProWritingAid or an alternative tool.

So, indirectly, you do need it. 

Or, you might hire an editor that isn’t good enough with the rules of the Queen’s language.

You need a grammar checker like ProWritingAid to double-check the editor’s work (sort of edit the editor’s edits, hmm).

It is the right tool if you need to consistently polish your texts. 

My Winding Remarks

Out of all the grammar checkers that I have come across, I would say that ProWritingAid comes closest to Grammarly.

However, I have noted that it’s not a race that Grammarly is completely winning.

Depending on your needs, likes, and dislikes, you might find out that ProWritingAid is way better than Grammarly for you.

Whether it’s ProWritingAid or any other grammar checker, you must try out the tool first before buying the Premium plans. An ad hoc decision will only leave you frustrated, with a lot of poorly edited documents.  

About Jessica Majewski

Jessica started off as an avid book reader. After reading one too many romance novels (really... is it ever really enough?), she decided to jump to the other side and started writing her own stories.

She now shares what she has learned (the good and the not so good) here at When You Write, hoping she can inspire more up and coming wordsmiths to take the leap and share their own stories with the world.