Content writing can sometimes be challenging, especially if your website or your client’s website requires you to alternate between US and UK English.
Fortunately, there is a range of free online proofreading tools that can make this process much easier, helping you avoid any grammatical errors or spelling mistakes.
In this article, we will run the rule over 10+ of the best free online proofreading tools of 2022, providing you with the pros and cons, and finally revealing which we think is the best overall.
What Is a Proofreading Tool, and Why Would You Need One?
A proofreading tool will check for spelling and grammatical errors, highlighting any issues so they can be quickly edited.
This can ensure any articles or copies you write are free of mistakes while also teaching you to check for these errors in the future, ultimately making you a better, more careful writer.
Even if you are an experienced writer, we still recommend having at least one proofreading tool installed to cast a second pair of eyes on your work.
🔵 What Types of Content May Need Proofreading?
Pretty much any form of content that will be published online requires proofreading to ensure everything is spelled correctly and reads well.
Content may include:
- Blog/ Article Posts
- Copy for Web Pages
- Social Media Posts
- Research Papers
- Informative Studies
- PDF Brochures
Let’s now move to the list!
We have compiled a list of our 10+ favorite online tools for proofreading that are available for free. Some of our picks may have premium versions that offer additional features. However, each tool can complete the job without the need to invest in the premium package.
Number 1 in our list is Grammarly, helping anyone from children to professional writers improve their content.
The free version is more than enough for most writers, while the premium option offers a great range of benefits for regular users.
Grammarly provides all the features you would expect, including checking for spelling, grammar, sentence structure, and plagiarism.
Checks are made in real-time, and the content is given an overall writing score to assess its quality.
Grammarly has established itself as the leading proofreading tool and offers three premium plans – a monthly plan ($30/ month), a quarterly ($20/ month), and an annual one ($12/ month). Business plan starts at $15/month per member.
The premium option provides double the number of corrections and suggestions to create very high-level articles, while plagiarism checking is also much more advanced.
Grammarly is also available as a web browser extension that automatically highlights any errors you make while typing.
This means Grammarly can be active at all times, whether you are editing a WordPress post, or creating a Google Doc.
- Great browser extension that brings proofreading everywhere you write
- Market-leading spelling and grammar checker
- Real-time suggestions
- Useful article reporting features
- Provides a simple list of suggestions, so you don’t have to read through the entire document
- Advanced writing suggestions are only provided in the premium version
Making the top two of our list is Typely, which is a great fit for writers of all levels and disciplines.
This tool has a wide range of features that can be customized based on your requirements.
Typely also provides cool reports that show your overall rating as a writer based on its findings.
Typely is free to use, and as a relatively new tool, development is ongoing, so it is updated and improved regularly to provide a better experience and more accurate checking.
Although it is browser-based, checked content can be downloaded to Google Docs to be saved permanently.
- 100% free
- Regular updates
- Great reporting
- Lacks a plagiarism checker
- Documents cannot be uploaded
- The amount of characters that can be checked is capped at 50,000
3. Slick Write
A very capable proofreading tool that checks the content and copies in real-time, while also providing formatting suggestions. This tool is completely free, but donations (tips) can be given to the developer if you wish.
One of the major benefits of this tool is that you can define the subject of the content before checks are made, creating a more bespoke experience for each article.
Checks will also be saved so you can take a break and come back to the content later.
- Checks can be customized for specific subject matters
- Completely free
- Great functionality
- Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox extensions are available
- Some suggestions provided are a little ambivalent and you may ignore some recommendations.
4. Paper Rater
Paper Rater is a great option for more basic writing, mainly for high school students and perhaps for people who are just starting their writing journey. Despite this, it doesn’t stop it from being a handy tool that has great functionality.
With the free version, users can only check a maximum of 5 pages in a single submission, with 50 submissions a month and 10 plagiarism checks per month. The checks include grammar, spelling, writing suggestions, and an overall scoring of the submission.
The premium version costs $7.95 a month, although there is a 25% discount available occasionally.
The premium version is without ads, files can be uploaded, enhanced plagiarism checking is available, and checking is processed faster.
- Fantastic proofreading capability
- Good plagiarism checking in the premium version
- The free version is more limited compared to the premium equivalent
- Not great for professional or business writers
This free tool is perfect for a range of content creators, from bloggers to non-fiction authors, and even students just checking their latest essays. It is extremely responsive, with a slick user interface, making it very easy to use, and unobtrusive while you are writing.
The free version provides a summary report of all the key issues, with over 20 writing reports available. One drawback is that this version can only edit 500 words at a time and can only be used online, meaning it might not be perfect for everyone.
Besides the free version, there are also two premium versions.
- The $ 79-a-year version has no word limit and can be downloaded to your desktop to be used offline, with integration with Google Docs, MS Word, Chrome, and more.
- The $ 89-a-year package offers 60 plagiarism checks a year, which makes it perfect for students.
We think this is a powerful proofreading tool, but the free version has some restrictions that may put some people off.
- Great for identifying issues relating to sentence construction
- Powerful grammar and spelling checker
- Real-time suggestions to improve readability
- Creates summary reports to rate the content overall
- They limit the free version to just 500 words
- Plagiarism checks are only available in the highest pricing band
Proofreading Tool is predominantly aimed at people writing essays or business (B2B) content.
It checks for many issues, including colloquialisms, poor use of verbs and punctuations, as well as highlighting sentences and phrases that are difficult to read.
This tool is quick and responsive, meaning there is little to no lag when writing, so errors are flagged almost instantaneously. This option isn’t a great fit for creative writers or anyone writing in an informal tone, but if your writing needs to be serious and accurate, this Proofreading Tool is highly recommended.
Writer is a free tool that has a pro version which costs $11/ a month. With this version, you will have access to a range of more advanced suggestion features. Meanwhile, the team version costs $18/ per user, per month and offers fantastic collaboration features.
- Provides excellent sentence suggestions
- In-depth grading and reporting
- The progress of the proofreading can be saved for later
- You can paste or upload large chunks of text to be checked
- It requires registration to use
- Not great for creative or informal writers
The Hemingway Editor is a free online checker that focuses on improving the readability of your text.
It’s especially helpful for writers who want to make their phrasing more impactful or blog writers who want to check the readability of their text as they draft.
The most exciting part about the Hemingway Editor is that it identifies improvement areas in different colors. For example, excessive use of adverbs shows up as a blue highlight, so it’s easy to find and update wording.
While the online Hemingway Editor is free, the Desktop App costs a one-time fee of $19.99.
- Excellent for understanding the building blocks of writing
- Highlights ways to simplify your writing, such as shortening sentences, using less complex words, removing adverbs, and rephrasing passive voice
- Gives you a “readability score” to help gauge your audience
- Less advanced spelling and grammar check
- Documents cannot be uploaded
Grammar Lookup is a free proofreading tool that’s focused on correcting grammar, punctuation, and style. It’s best for writers who want an in-depth grammar review so that they can improve over time.
You can simply hover over underlined mistakes to see a short explanation of the grammar error.
While professional writers may not benefit as much from this platform, it’s ideal for students or those hoping to understand advanced grammar.
- Highlighted suggestions for grammar, punctuation, and style
- In-depth explanations of grammar issues so you can learn from your mistakes
- Supports both US and UK English variants
- May not be convenient for quick proofreading
Trinka is an interesting option for academic or technical writers. This platform offers a suite of tools, including a grammar checker, plagiarism checker and more.
As an AI-powered tool, this platform is great for checking advanced grammar, plus vocabulary, tone, syntax and more. It’s also specifically designed with technical writing in mind and it’s highly trusted by academics.
The free Trinka plan gives you up to 10,000 words/month for free, though you can upgrade to the premium plan of $6.67 per month (billed yearly) for unlimited usage.
- Improves writing beyond basic grammar, with suggestions for word choice, tone, and more
- AI-powered and designed for academic and technical writing
- Chrome extension for real-time grammar check
- May not be right for informal or non-professional writers
Want to perfect copy for your marketing campaign? WordTune is the ideal choice, as it offers suggestions for bold, clear writing.
This platform lets you press a “rewrite” button that offers similar phrases that may be more formal, casual, shorter, or longer. WordTune is also available as an extension for Chrome and Microsoft Word.
You can get 10 free “rewrites” a day with the free plan, or upgrade to premium at $9.99 per month for unlimited features.
- The “rewrite” button gives you similar suggestions, including formal and casual options and ways to shorten or lengthen it
- Great for copywriters or marketers who need precise, striking language
- Extensions for Chrome and Microsoft Word
- Not great for long texts
Although Microsoft Word is not typically considered a proofreading tool, it actually has several features that can be helpful for this purpose.
For example, you can use the grammar and spell checker to quickly identify and correct grammar/spelling errors.
In addition, the "read aloud" feature lets you hear back the text out loud, which can help catch any errors that may have been missed by simply reading it yourself.
Of course, it’s important to remember that Microsoft Word isn’t a proofreading tool on its own and shouldn’t be relied on as a full-blown proofreading tool (like Grammarly, for instance).
However, it can be a helpful tool to use in conjunction with other proofreading platforms.
- Quick and easy to use
- Free (if you already have Microsoft Word)
- Not as comprehensive as dedicated proofreading tools
- No browser extension
12. Google Docs
Source: Google Docs
Google Docs is another popular word processing program that can be used for proofreading purposes.
Like Microsoft Word, it has a grammar and spell checker that flags errors for you.
Additionally, Google Docs has a "suggestions" feature to get alternative ways of writing certain phrases or sentences. This can be helpful in terms of catching errors, as well as finding better ways to phrase things for clarity.
Overall, Google Docs is a great option for those who are looking for a free online proofreading tool.
- Free to use
- Grammar and spell checker
- Read aloud feature
- Suggestions feature
- Not as comprehensive as dedicated proofreading tools
- No browser extension
Summary of Online Proofreading Tools
Each of these free online proofreading tools has its strengths. As you evaluate the options, here is our take on the best uses for these different tools:
Best for in-depth grammar/spelling check: Grammarly or Typely
Best for advanced proofreading features: ProWritingAid
Best for simplifying and clarifying phrasing: Hemingway Editor
Best for fine-tuning marketing copy: WordTune
Best for academic or technical writing: Trinka
Best for understanding your grammar mistakes: Grammar Lookup
Best for uploaded document check: Slick Write
Best for integrated plagiarism check: Paper Rater
Best for quick proofreading scrub: Writer
Best for built-in basic proofreading while drafting: Microsoft Word or Google Docs
Whatever you’re looking for in a proofreading tool, one of our options can meet your needs. Ultimately, you can’t go wrong with any of these professional tools.
The Final Word on Proofreading Tools
With our recommendations above, we hope you’ll find the perfect online proofreading tool to improve your writing and polish your texts. Every tool has its advantages, so be sure to try them out to discover the perfect free proofreader for your needs.
For more useful information relating to handy online tools and content writing, you can browse our blog here.