grammarly vs prowritingaid weighing the pros and cons

Grammarly vs ProWritingAid – Weighing the Pros and Cons

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Grammarly vs ProWritingAid – which writing assistance tool should I use? 

Writing assistance tools are designed to aid writers in improving the quality of their written content. These tools typically offer features such as grammar and spell checking, punctuation correction, and tone recommendations. Many of these tools can be used directly in the writing programs or websites you’re currently using, like Microsoft Word and Gmail. 

In the world of writing assistance tools, Grammarly and ProWritingAid stand out as popular choices among writers. By providing real-time suggestions, these tools help writers enhance the clarity, professionalism, and overall impact of their written work.

Whether you’re looking for a tool to help with your next book, research paper, presentation, or blog article, we’ll cover some of the pros and cons of Grammarly and ProWritingAid to help you decide which tool is best for your writing goals.  

While we will briefly touch on the premium services offered by these two platforms, the majority of this article will focus on the Grammarly vs ProWritingAid Free Plans. This includes an assessment of:

  • setting up a free account
  • how to use each platform
  • free features offered 
  • pros and cons for each tool

Let’s get started!

Grammarly vs ProWritingAid – Sign Up and Install Process

What does it take to sign up for Grammarly vs ProWritingAid? Do I need to download these writing tools before I can start using them? 

For those who are new to the idea of writing assistance tools, it is common to have questions about the sign up and installation process. I found signing up for each platform to be fairly simple and only took a few minutes to complete. However, deciding to install either the “Browser Extension,” or “Windows/Mac,” version of each tool was somewhat challenging to navigate. 

In this section, we’ll look at the basic steps to sign up for Grammarly and ProWritingAid. In addition, we’ll go over the different free installation options for each platform. 

Steps to Sign Up and Install Grammarly’s Free Plan

  1. Go to Grammarly.com/signup.
  2. Fill in the required fields: email address, password, name.
  3. Review the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.
  4. Click Agree and Sign up.
Screenshot of Grammarly sign up page. 3 empty fields to enter email, password and name. 1 green agree and sign up button.
  1. Check your email for a 6-digit verification code and enter it in the field.
  2. Answer questions related to your writing needs (most questions are optional).
  3. Select the Free plan option.
  4. Choose “Get Grammarly for Browser Extension” or “Get Grammarly for Windows/Mac.”
  5. Continue to follow the prompts to complete the 3-step installation process.

Once the installation is complete, you should be able to open Microsoft Word or your preferred application and begin using Grammarly.  

What is the difference between Grammarly for Browser Extension and Grammarly for Windows/Mac? 

Screenshot list of desktop apps and websites in the left column. 2 columns with green checkmarks showing which apps work in browser extension or Windows.

Grammarly for Windows/Mac works on your desktop and in your browser. If you’re looking for writing assistance in Microsoft Office, Scrivener, or other desktop applications downloading the Windows/Mac version is the one to go with.  

Both the browser extension and Windows/Mac options work in a variety of web browsers (Chrome, Safari, Edge, Firefox). This provides writing assistance in real-time as you write on sites like Gmail, Facebook, and LinkedIn. 

One notable difference is Grammarly’s browser extension works in Google Docs but the Windows/Mac version does not. 

Steps to Sign Up and Install ProWritingAid’s Free Plan

  1. Go to Prowritingaid.com/sign-up
  2. Fill in the required fields: email address and password.
  3. Review the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.
  4. Click Sign Up.
Screenshot of Prowritingaid sign up page. 2 empty fields to enter email and password. Yellow sign up button.
  1. Complete the email confirmation step.
  2. Answer one question, “What type of writer best describes you?” 
  3. Choose to install either ProWritingAid Browser Extension or Windows/Mac, or start using the web editor version.
Screenshot Prowritingaid 3 options with green buttons for each, Chrome Extension, Windows, Web Editor.
  1. Follow the installation instructions.

Once the installation is complete, you may begin to use ProWritingAid right away.

NOTE: Some apps require you to install a ProWritingAid add-on to be able to use the writing assistance tool directly. 

Grammarly vs ProWritingAid – Sign Up and Install [REVIEW]

While both tools were easy to sign up for, the installation process for Grammarly was more straightforward than ProWritingAid. With Grammarly, it was clearer which desktop apps and websites Grammarly would work in once you select to install the browser extension or Windows/Mac option. 

Prowritingaid does offer a variety of integration options to choose from. However, it was more confusing as far as which apps and websites Prowritingaid would work in for each of their different installation options.  

For instance, while the ProWritingAid browser extension works for many sites like Gmail and Facebook, the user needs to install a GDocs add-on first before using it in Google Docs. Additionally, you also need to install a Microsoft Word add-on to use ProWritingAid in Word even after installing ProWritingAid for Windows/Mac. 

Now that we’ve covered how to sign up and install the two grammar tools, let’s put them to the test. While you can use Grammarly and ProWritingAid to assist in writing emails and posts for your social media sites, they are also useful for authors, blog writers, and others who commonly write longer forms of text. In the next sections, we’ll use a 3000-word blog article as an example to assess how user-friendly Grammarly vs ProWritingAid is.

How User-Friendly is Grammarly?

First, we’ll start with Grammarly. We’ll look at some of the features included with the free plan and assess how user-friendly the platform is for a beginner. 

How to Use Grammarly to Improve a Document 

There are a couple of ways you can have Grammarly review a document like a 3000-word blog article. The first way is to use Grammarly directly in Microsoft Word, Scrivener, or another preferred desktop writing application.

The second way is to use Grammarly’s web-based editor. To do so, you first log into your Grammarly account on the website. Then you can either upload your document or copy and paste the text directly into the editor field.

With both methods, Grammarly’s suggestions appear as color-coded underlines in the text like in the image below. Grammarly’s free plan offers suggestions for grammar, spelling, punctuation, clarity, and tone detection. It is easy to accept or dismiss these suggestions by clicking on the underlined text.

Screenshot Grammarly's web editor. blog article example on the left with 3 underlined words. list of suggestion edits on the right. learn more icon circled in red.

If you click on “See more in Grammarly,” you can learn about the reasoning behind each suggestion. For example, why a comma goes in a specific spot, or how to use a verb in a more impactful way. This is another beneficial feature of Grammarly that helps the user improve their writing skills. 

TIP: If you prefer to edit your writing after completing the first draft, you can easily turn off Grammarly for the application you’re using. Then turn it on when you’re ready to start editing. There is also an option to turn off Grammarly for one hour at a time. 

What are other useful features included with the free version of Grammarly?

When using Grammarly’s web-based editor there are two other free features worth noting. These features, “Overall Score” and “Goals,” are found in the toolbar on the right side of the screen.

Goals refer to specifying traits about your audience, formality, and intent for your writing. Grammarly then offers writing suggestions that take these traits into account.

Screenshot of Grammarly's set goals page. lists audience, formality, domain, and intent with options for each one to choose.

The Overall Score feature presents a performance report for the document that includes details like:

screenshot of example of grammarly's performance report. includes performance score of 79, word count, and readability score.

Grammarly’s overall score takes into account users who set the same goals as yours and then compares the accuracy level of your document to the accuracy levels of those users. Therefore, a score of 78 means the writing in your document is more accurate than the writing in 78 percent of other documents with similar goals. 

Do I need to install Grammarly on my computer or is Grammarly’s web-based editor good enough? 

Checking your text using Grammarly’s web-based editor is a good option if you do not want to download Grammarly to your desktop. 

However, there are some limitations to the web-based version.

  1. Some of the original formatting may be lost when you copy and paste or upload your document.
  2. There is a character limit of 100,000 characters, including spaces. 
  3. Only Microsoft Word and OpenOffice documents, under 4MB are acceptable file types to upload. 

Therefore, if you routinely use Grammarly to check longer text documents (i.e., research papers, manuscripts), then the web-based editor may not be the best option. Instead, consider downloading the desktop version as there is no character limit when using Grammarly directly in Word or other desktop applications. Another option is to download Grammarly as a browser extension and use it to assess your text in Google Docs.

How user-friendly is ProWritingAid?

Now let’s look at how to use ProWritingAid and some of the free features offered. 

How to Use ProWritingAid to Improve a Document

Similar to Grammarly, we can use ProWritingAid a couple of ways to check text in a document.  

  1. Use ProWritingAid directly in Word (or other preferred writing application).
  2. Upload your document to the ProWritingAid web-based editor. 

Note: With the web-based editor there is a 500-word count limit for free ProWritingAid users. If you upload a document that exceeds the limit, only the first 500 words will be checked. 

ProWritingAid offers suggestions by underlining the text. It is easy to accept or ignore the suggestions. The basic writing suggestions that are offered with the free plan include grammar, spelling, and punctuation corrections. 

Screenshot of using prowritingaid in Word to correct a blog article. blog article on the left and list of corrections on the right.

What are other useful features offered with ProWritingAid’s free plan?

Like Grammarly, ProWritingAid also provides additional information to learn about each suggestion. In the image below ProWritingAid suggests “passive voice.” Clicking on the yellow information icon not only gives extra details but also includes a video. 

Screenshot of Prowritingaid example of a suggestion, red arrow pointing from the more information icon to the popup box with details about the suggestion and video.

One free feature that is included with ProWritingAid is ten rephrases per day. This is a useful AI-powered feature that can reword a sentence to provide a clearer and more effective message. 

Screenshot of Prowritingaid web editor with blog article example. Red arrow pointing from underlined text to suggestion box with rephrase ideas.

TIP: When using the rephrase feature with the free plan, first look over all the underlined sentences in your document that ProWritingAid suggests to “rephrase.” If there are more than ten underlined sentences, select the ones that you feel the “rephrase” feature will be most helpful with. Remember, there is a ten-rephrase limit per day for the free plan. 

How does ProWritingAid’s performance report compare to Grammarly’s?

Like Grammarly, ProWritingAid also offers performance reports with its free plan. These reports help to improve the writing of the current document and strengthen your writing skills going forward.

Reports can be found in the ProWritingAid toolbar that runs along the top of the page. By clicking on “Summary,” you’re given an overall report showing “great” areas of your document and places that need improvement. As with Grammarly, the report also gives your document a readability score. 

ProWritingAid’s report is more detailed than Grammarly’s. It includes an assessment of factors like sentence length, pacing, and use of long repeated phrases in the document. Depending on how much information you’re interested in knowing about your writing, ProWritingAid may or may not be the right choice. 

For some, the amount of details you can learn about your writing may be appealing and useful. However, ProWritingAid’s toolbar and summary report can be overwhelming for others with the abundance of information and options. Also worth noting, for the free plan, ProWritingAid’s reports only take into account the first 500 words of your document. 

Grammarly vs ProWritingAid Premium Plans

Grammarly and ProWritingAid both offer free and premium plans. The table below shows a cost comparison for the premium plans. If choosing to go the premium route, the annual payment is worth considering to take advantage of the significant cost savings. 

When paying month to month, both platforms cost $30 per month. However, the annual cost is $144 for Grammarly and $120 for ProWritingAid. This comes out to over 60% cost savings for each platform. 

Table of pricing plans for grammarly vs prowritingaid. left column is free, premium annual and premium monthly.

Grammarly vs ProWritingAid Premium Features

Both Grammarly and ProWritingAid offer valuable premium features that can elevate your writing. 

Grammarly’s premium plan includes: 

  • full-sentence rewrites
  • tone suggestions
  • word choice suggestions to avoid overused words 
  • improvements to word and sentence variety 
  • plagiarism detection
  • citation style formatting

ProWritingAid’s premium plan includes:

  • unlimited word count
  • unlimited rephrases
  • collaboration abilities
  • custom style guide
  • citations

NOTE: ProWritingAid also offers a plagiarism checker feature that you can pay an extra cost to add to the premium package. 

The choice to upgrade depends on your specific writing needs and budget. Before you invest in either premium plan, it is a good idea to try out their free version first to get familiar with the tool and make sure it is a good fit. 

Grammarly vs ProWritingAid Review

Infographic. grammarly vs prowritingaid at the top, pricing plan comparisons in the middle and list of pros and cons for each tool at the bottom.

Throughout this article, we’ve highlighted the advantages and limitations of Grammarly and ProWritingAid’s free plans. Let’s review the pros and cons of each tool. 

Grammarly Free Plan – Pros

  • Easy to sign-up
  • Clear instructions to install
  • Works with most popular applications and websites
  • User-friendly platform, easy-to-navigate toolbar
  • Performance report details: word count, readability score
  • No word count limit when using Grammarly for Windows/Mac 
  • Provides extra details for each suggestion to help you become a better writer
  • Tips and Tutorials on the website 
  • Ability to turn off suggestions
  • 100 prompts/month of AI-assistance 

Grammarly Free Plan – Cons

  • Character limit when using Grammarly’s web editor (100,000 characters with spaces)
  • Features like Plagiarism Checker and Passive Voice Detection are offered with the premium plan only

ProWritingAid Free Plan – Pros

  • Quick and easy steps to sign up
  • Easy to accept/dismiss edit suggestions 
  • 10 rephrases per day
  • Access to over 20 reports that analyze and help improve the text in your document
  • Offers details, examples, and videos to help users understand suggestions and become better writers
  • Ability to turn off suggestions
  • “Learn” section on the website with useful blog articles to improve your writing skills

ProWritingAid Free Plan – Cons

  • 500-word count limit
  • Install instructions for Windows/Mac not straightforward
  • Need to install add-ons to use ProWritingAid with certain apps
  • Busy toolbar

Final Thoughts

Grammarly vs ProWritingAid, which tool is better to start with? I recently started using writing assistance tools and found the suggestions from both free plans helpful in improving my work and writing skills. It is important to consider your own writing goals and workflow when deciding which tool aligns best with your requirements. 

Continuing forward I plan to use Grammarly’s free plan as it is a better choice for my writing needs. I liked Grammarly’s user-friendly platform and as a newcomer to writing assistance tools I’ve found it to be less overwhelming compared to ProWritingAid. 

However, for writers seeking more in-depth improvements in their writing, ProWritingAid’s more comprehensive analysis may be the better tool. Additionally, if you routinely write longer forms of text like manuscripts, you may find ProWritingAid’s premium plan worth the investment. 

One final note is that some writers also consider using more than one writing assistance tool at a time. While this may be helpful for some, I did find the combination of both tools to affect the speed of my computer, especially when working in Word. Troubleshooting tips are available on Grammarly’s website to help resolve or improve upon this issue if you also come across it. 

For additional reading on ways to improve your writing skills check out The Dietitian Editor website.

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