Grammar checker tools have come a long way from simple spell-checks integrated into word processing programs like Microsoft Word. Today’s programs audit everything from passive voice to off-brand tone.
While all these bells and whistles might seem extraneous, grammar checkers should be an integral part of your workflow. It’s easy to make mistakes or send unclear text when communicating through emails, chat applications like Slack, and written documents. Let these programs save your workday.
What’s a grammar checker tool?
Grammar check tools are software applications that use a combination of algorithms and rule-based systems to analyze written content, then identify and correct your text’s grammar, punctuation, spelling, and syntax errors.
Many popular grammar checkers, like Grammarly and Notion AI, rely on branches of AI technology like machine learning (ML) and natural language processing (NLP) to understand the meaning of words and their context in a sentence and suggest improvements based on tone of voice, writing style, and formality.
Why you should use a grammar checker tool
As teams become increasingly distributed or remote, effective written communication is all the more important. Poor grammar and spelling errors certainly look unprofessional, but what’s worse, striking the wrong tone of voice or delivering something a coworker or client can’t understand can create confusion and misunderstandings.
Whether you’re a project manager putting together a roadmap or a content creator managing your content calendar, grammar checker tools save you the time it takes to ensure copy is professional and understandable.
While functionalities differ between tools, here are six ways that grammar checkers can help you craft your text:
Correcting typos — even if you’re a writing professional, you’re no match for a robot when it comes to catching typos and spelling errors that slip into your text despite your best efforts.
Improving punctuation — grammar-checking software analyzes your punctuation and makes suggestions based on the content type you want to produce. Exclamation points are exciting!!! But whether or not they’re appropriate depends on your content’s context. In some cases, extra exclamations present as rude and abrasive, as though the reader is being yelled at or scolded. Checkers also catch incorrect punctuation, like missing Oxford commas or em-dashes (—) used where there should be en-dashes (–).
Removing passive voice — active voice (I ride my bike) creates a sense of immediacy, confidence, and action. And passive voice (the bike is ridden by me) often presents as vague and indirect. While many prefer the latter for certain writing styles, like technical and academic, most writers prioritize active voice to keep content concise and readers engaged. Grammar checkers can identify passive voice and offer alternative phrasing to clarify your writing.
Reducing repetition — repetition that’s not for stylistic purposes dulls and clutters a document, burying your main point in all the extra verbiage. Grammar tools identify instances of overuse and suggest synonyms or alternate phrasing.
Matching style, tone, and voice — some grammar checkers, like Notion AI, check whether your writing maintains a consistent tone, style, and voice. This is particularly important if you’re creating branded content or drafting formal documents for external stakeholders.
Enhancing readability — through fixing your sentence structure, grammatical errors, subject-verb agreement, and word choice, grammar checkers improve your text’s flow and readability.
Who can benefit from grammar checkers?
Grammar checkers benefit anyone who writes frequently, regardless of their profession or level of experience. But you’ll especially benefit from a grammar checker if you:
Work in a corporate environment and have to maintain a certain level of professionalism
Send frequent communications and want to avoid misunderstandings
Collaborate on written documentation for meetings, process, and workflows
Disadvantages of grammar checkers
While human writers might miss typos and grammatical errors, they’re not replaceable. Sometimes, grammar checkers fall short because they:
Lack context — grammar checkers can miss errors and make incorrect suggestions if they misunderstand a word or sentence’s context.
Are unable to handle complex sentences — heavily stylized or complex sentences can trip up grammar checkers. This is a limitation of a grammar checker tool because if a tool can’t parse the sentence, it might dismiss it as an error and suggest you reword it.
Have limited language support — designers usually train grammar checkers on a limited set of languages. This restricts their usefulness for writers who work in multiple languages.
Come at a cost — many advanced grammar checkers require a subscription or one-time payment. This can be a barrier for smaller teams or individuals without a content editing or proofreading budget.
The 5 best grammar checker tools
Whether you’re writing an email, creating a social media post, or drafting a report, the quality of your writing can make a big difference in how it’s received by your audience. Here are five of the best grammar checker tools worth adding to your workflow:
One of the most widely used on the market, Grammarly offers real-time suggestions for grammar errors, spelling mistakes, and style issues and works as a browser extension, desktop application, or online platform.
Price: Free for individuals, $12.50/month for teams
A writing app that focuses on improving your writing’s readability, Hemingway is an English online grammar checker that’s free to try. It’s also available for download as a desktop app for MacOS or Windows.
This tool offers real-time suggestions for improving grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes and includes translation and personal trainer features to help you improve your writing skills over time.
Price: Free for basic, $13.99/month for premium
This comprehensive writing tool provides grammar and spelling suggestions. It also checks content for plagiarism and analyzes sentence structure, word choice, and style.
Price: Free for basic, $20/month for premium
5. Notion AI
A newer grammar checker tool and writing assistant, Notion AI uses artificial intelligence to provide suggestions for improving grammar, spelling, and sentence structure. It also offers feedback on tone and style.
Price: Free trial, starting at $10/month after trial ends
Make grammar checkers part of your workflow
While grammar checkers aren’t a complete replacement for editing your own content, they can be an integral part of your content creation workflow. Despite their drawbacks, grammar checkers provide powerful proofreading, content editing, and style support.
To check your content as you type, try a grammar checker tool like Notion AI. Write error-free today.