Grammarly is an online spelling and grammar checker for the English language. It is available as a free as a limited version and a premium version. I always wanted to try the paid version of Grammarly. But I found it a little expensive. Grammarly Premium is available as a subscription service.
The lowest price, if you pay annually, is $ 11.66 at this time. That’s $ 139.95 for the spelling and grammar check. You can use Grammarly Discounts or if you are a student use the Grammarly Student Discounts to buy the Paid Subscription.
I found an agreement on Ghacks Deals recently that got me a one-year subscription for $ 69.98 (with options to renew at that price). I made the decision at that time to become a Grammarly Premium user for a year.
How does Grammarly Premium work?
Grammarly is available as a web service as browser extensions for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Safari. As add-ons for Microsoft Word and Outlook, and as software for Windows.
The core functionality is identical for each of the available applications. What happens is the following.
- The installation program includes selecting if you write in US English. UU, Or British English.
- Check your writing grammatically while writing or when you paste it.
- It does this by sending the data to the Grammarly server.
- Errors are highlighted after the checks, and you should review them to accept the correction or ignore it.
Browser extensions work more or less the same way. The extensions add a Grammarly Premium icon to the main web browser toolbar to indicate that Grammarly was installed correctly. You use it to log in to your account and disable functionality in specific sites.
The extension also adds an icon to the active form that highlights spelling or grammar mistakes with yellow and red colors. Red indicates critical problems, advanced problems are in yellow.
Clicking on the Grammarly icon opens a text overlay. All errors are underlined and suggestions are shown next. A click on the arrow icon provides an explanation of the problem. For example, spelling errors, passive use of the voice or that words are used repeatedly. One-click on the suggestion replaces the original text with the suggestion.
You can also ignore any problem so that Grammarly doesn’t show it again.
Grammar stresses spelling or grammar errors directly in some browsers too. He did it in Chrome, but I ran into problems in Firefox. While Grammarly showed the underlines sometimes, he did not expose them under the text.
You must scroll over the underline to see the suggestion. You can accept the correction immediately without having to open the template first. Grammarly replaces the browser’s default spell checker while it is active.
Grammarly Word add-in
The Grammarly Word plugin adds a new tab to the Office application. A click on it opens the interface, but Grammarly is configured to check for problems, even when the tab is not active. You can disable functionality in the options.
The add-on comes with additional functionality where browser extensions are not supported. You can establish a type of document, for example, technical or academic writing.
Use the Grammarly Premium sidebar to go through the document or click on any underlined text in the document to go to Grammarly’s suggestion for it.
The Word plugin runs checks (contextual spelling, grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and style) by default. You can activate the vocabulary improvement check in addition to that, and disable any of the controls as well.
The web version of Grammarly supports a basic editing interface. You can paste the text into it, load text or write instead. Execute grammatically verifications in the text you write or paste. It provides you with the same set of tools to verify, accept or ignore your suggestions.
Documents can be copied or downloaded later. The web version supports virtually the same set of features as the Word add-in. However, there is a difference. The web version of Grammarly supports sending documents to professional reviewers. The test reading starts at $ 1.20 for 60 words and goes up to $ 9.60 for 60 words if you need results within 30 minutes.
Grammarly Free vs. Premium
All versions of Grammarly support grammar and spell checking. Premium users have access to additional checks and suggestions in addition to that.
- Advanced controls of punctuation, grammar, context, and structure.
- Suggestions for vocabulary improvement.
- Gender-specific writing style controls.
- Plagiarism Detector
I encountered a couple of problems immediately. The Firefox extension did not recognize the login at the beginning. I contacted Grammarly support, and the response was quick. I was told that Grammarly needed third-party cookie support and that I should set the handling of cookies to “allow everything” in Firefox.
I did not have time to investigate this further, but I plan to configure it so that the cookies that Grammarly sets are allowed while the rest of the third-party cookies are not.
Grammarly works well in most cases. I tried it as a browser extension, a Word add-in, and a web version.
I like the Word plugin since it doesn’t get in your way as you type. The Grammarly swivel icon added by the browser extensions of the service distracts and cannot be disabled.
The Word add-in and the web version facilitate the correction of grammatically encountered problems as well as being displayed in a sidebar and not in an overlay.
Grammarly Premium finds errors that regular spell checking does not find. That is useful, especially if you are a writer or write regularly.
I don’t really like the nature of the server-side service and the fact that statistics collection cannot be disabled. Grammarly sends weekly reports to users who highlight how productive you are compared to all other users of the service. The options to unsubscribe are only shown in emails, but not on the Grammarly website.
Grammarly Premium is expensive even when it has a discount. It is probably worth it if you are a writer, blogger or student. Keep this in mind.