By Laura Powers: Writer, Entertainer, and Coach, and host of Write Hot Podcast, Behind the Scenes Podcast, and Powers Hour Podcast.
Whether you are writing a book, an email or a Facebook post, chances are you want it to be error free. There are some great tools that I have recently learned about that I wanted to share with you. They will help you avoid typos or other grammar mistakes as well as improve the quality of your writing. The best aspect of each tool is that they are easy to use.
I have been using Grammarly and I have found it very useful. There is a plugin that allows it to check any webpage including emails, blog posts, facebook posts, etc. When there are possible errors, they are highlighted in red and you can click on them and see what it suggests as a fix. It is like spell check and grammar check included for word but way more comprehensive and works on web pages which is really useful. No more accidental Facebook or email typos. It also works in Microsoft Word and is fairly comprehensive. It does use AI and it isn’t always correct but in many cases, it has helped me catch simple errors that I have overlooked. There is a free version and a premium version. I have found that the free version works well enough for me in most cases but if you are working on a more significant project like a book and want to save some time and money in the editing stage then premium may be a good option. The premium version may also be good for you in are not a native English speaker.
This service has some crossover with Grammarly in terms of grammar and spell-checking but it does offer some of the premium services that Grammarly does, such as plagiarism checking, at a lower price point (just $50/year). One of the features I really like is that it looks for overuse of certain words or phrases and readability. There is also a web browser plugin like Grammarly. Another benefit for serious writers is that Pro-Writing Aid also works for Google Docs and Scrivner. You can also copy and paste anything into their website and it will find errors that way.
Between Grammarly and Pro-Writing Aid, you can catch a lot of errors. One of the interesting things I have found for myself is that when I see a common error that I have made in my writing through these programs, I am less likely to continue to make the error. So these programs have improved my writing in ways wouldn’t have expected.
This site is pretty simple, think of it as a quick reference for synonyms. Back when I had a lot of print books, I would use a thesaurus but now with just a click, you get similar information here. Another great advantage of this site is that you can search phrases in addition to works. This is a great tool if you find that you are overusing certain words and want variety.
This service offers some of the same features that Grammarly and Pro-Writing Aid though one of the things I like about this particular service is that it gives you details about why something is incorrect. This can make it easier to fix errors in the future. You can cut and paste text directly into the browser or download the software for mac or pc for $19.99.