There’s no doubt that editing software can help you improve your documents. Your writing goal is to present your information clearly in the most accessible way for your reader. Whether you are writing a paper, explaining products or services to customers, or expressing your opinion, you want your writing to have an impact.
Hemingway Editor, Grammarly, and ProWritingAid are three powerful editing tools that can help you achieve your writing communication goals. We’ll look at all three in depth to help you decide which grammar checker is the best for you.
ProWritingAid inspects your document in 25 different categories for improvement and offers hundreds of actionable suggestions so you can keep everything you need to improve close at hand.
Hemingway Editor scans your document for readability improvements. It doesn’t offer suggestions to help you replace complex language or rephrase sentences, but it will show you where to focus.
Grammarly searches your document for correctness, clarity, engagement, and delivery. You’ll see suggestions relating to each of these areas.
Let’s take an in-depth look at each editing tool to see which will give you the most comprehensive edit.
All three tools provide basic suggestions for improvements to your writing. Hemingway focuses on readability. Grammarly compares your writing to industry standards through personalized goals. ProWritingAid takes a tailored approach to each transcript, understanding that every writer is unique, providing suggestions that not only help to improve the writing but also the writer.
Let’s start with grammar, spelling, and style suggestions.
Realtime Editing in ProWritingAid
ProWritingAid is a comprehensive writing tool: a grammar checker, style editor, and writing mentor. The tool has over 20 free reports as well as a host of other helpful features.
ProWritingAid’s Realtime Report scans your writing for spelling mistakes, misplaced punctuation, potential readability enhancements, passive voice, repeated sentence starts, and more. With just one report, you can make quick progress towards making your writing accessible for your reader.
The suggestions appear both as highlights in your text and in a side panel for quick review. Hovering over a highlight brings up the suggested correction as well as options to ignore, accept, and move next, or to find out more.
With the Realtime Report, you can make quick work of fixing embarrassing errors in just a few clicks.
Editing in Hemingway
Hemingway Editor is a distraction-free writing application with editing checks to create highly readable text. You can use it online or install the app on your device. The online version is free.
Once you’ve written your text, the editing mode guides you through places in the text that you can improve for clarity.
Hemingway calculates the readability grade level (based on the US school grading system), which is the lowest education level needed to understand your prose. The grade level indicates how understandable your text is. The average American reads at the tenth-grade level, so that should be a suitable target for your text.
Hemingway helps you to improve your readability—but it won’t help you check your grammar, spelling, and punctuation. When you enter text into Hemingway, it highlights hard-to-read sentences, adverbs, complex or wordy phrasing, and where you could use simpler words.
This is the key difference between ProWritingAid and Grammarly, compared with Hemingway. If you’re looking for a tool to help catch typos, sentence fragments, missed capitalization, spelling inconsistency, and poor sentence structure, Hemingway won’t fit your needs.
Informed writers are powerful writers. While Hemingway does help you identify places where you could improve, when it comes to making those improvements, you’re on your own.
Although your text may be clearer to read after using the Hemingway editor, you won’t have finished your comprehensive edit.
You will still need to check for:
- Spelling mistakes
- Grammatical errors
- Punctuation inaccuracies
- Repeated and overused words
- Sentence variety
…and more. See what you should include in your editing process here.
These essentials of writing are important for readability. Plus, search engines use spelling, grammar, and punctuation as guidelines for ranking—important to remember if you’re writing online content.
We recommend taking more editing steps before you publish.
With ProWritingAid, you get all of the readability highlights Hemingway offers with suggested replacements and in-tool educational resources to help you make those changes. You can also check readability and your spelling and grammar at the same time, saving you time switching between tools.
Grammar, Spelling, and Style Editing in Grammarly
Grammarly is an editing application designed to catch spelling, grammar, and punctuation mistakes before publishing your writing. Grammarly groups those checks under a category called correctness.
Like ProWritingAid, Grammarly will correct your grammar, spelling, and style as you write. So what’s the difference?
Grammarly’s interface also includes both in-text highlights and a side-panel for editing—though you can’t use both simultaneously. If you want more information about a suggestion, you’ll need to open the side panel and accept the change there.
When you edit using in-text suggestions, you can more easily re-read the sentence you’re changing as you edit it. You’ll be more likely to make changes that really work for that sentence.
By keeping everything you need in the in-text suggestion boxes, ProWritingAid keeps key information and tools closer to your editing space.
Unlike Hemingway, both ProWritingAid and Grammarly give you the option to see your overall progress towards writing goals as you edit. However, again, you can only see this when editing your writing with Grammarly’s assistant, not when using the in-text highlights.
As you can see, Grammarly and ProWritingAid both help you check your writing in more areas than Hemingway. But which is more comprehensive?
Grammarly shows your progress towards four goals as you edit:
However, on the free version you’ll only see suggestions for clarity and correctness. That means that you’re missing out on potential improvements.
ProWritingAid shows you how you score for over 20 goals. This might sound overwhelming, but when you select your document type you’ll see the most useful goals for your purpose first.
This also helps you break down vague aims like “clarity” into clearer, more actionable steps. Instead of “engagement,” you’re working towards improved sentence length variety, a low glue index, and precise language.
With the goals side panel, you can see how each edit you make affects your progress.
Here’s a comparison:
All three editors will offer useful insights to help you improve your readability and clarity. But ProWritingAid helps you break those insights down to give you an idea of the bigger picture.
Its reports work together to help you create a customizable editing process that you can adapt to the document you’re working on and to your writing habits.
ProWritingAid’s Summary Report
ProWritingAid’s Summary Report lets you get an overview of your document’s score before you start editing so you know where to start.
When you launch the Summary Report, you’ll be able to see at a glance where your document looks good and where it might need improvement. You’ll see how your writing shapes up across a variety of categories, with your progress towards each goal being displayed as a progress bar.
The benefit of the report is that, rather than working piecemeal, you can concentrate your improvement efforts where they are most needed. You’ll also see visualizations of k