By look and function, they can be eerily similar but then also miles apart.
To figure out which of these deserves your download or even commitment and loyalty (perhaps a subscription upgrade too), let’s begin the battle of ProWritingAid vs Grammarly.
If you've already decided to get Prowritingaid or Grammarly, just click the buttons below to check their main website.
Introduction to both programs
ProWritingAid is the brainchild of Chris Banks, who also serves as the company’s CEO. Per his short bio on the website, he has a passion for “technology and metaphor.”
He also has an extensive background in neural networking and language learning, and this skill plays a central role in the overall function of the platform.
It uses artificial intelligence to supposedly make the lives of writers easier - and writing, faster.
This is because the system will “learn” the dynamics of writing, editing, and proofreading as subscribers use it. The learning process then allows it to hopefully be more accurate and more suitable to the needs of the users.
Grammarly began in 2009 by Dmytro Lider, Max Lytvyn, and Alex Shevchenko. Their goal is simple: help people communicate better.
It started as a proofreading tool for students, who needed to constantly check their grammar and spelling.
Later, the product eventually evolved to embrace other types of writing, including novels and business correspondence. Like ProWritingAid, Grammarly banks on AI technology to improve its ability to catch errors and recommend changes.
Who are the target users?
Both these proofreading programs almost share the same target market:
But since their features significantly vary, either of them leans toward a group of people.
ProWritingAid target users
The target market of ProWritingAid is the creative writer. These are people who are likely to publish a novel or write a story or feature.
You can see it through a cluster of features called Structure, which focuses heavily on transition, length, and coherence of sentence structures.
Grammarly target users
Grammarly also has a wide range of features, but the options are not as extensive as ProWritingAid.
That’s why it appeals to general users better.
Plus, I believe that this one has a more user-friendly interface, but you’ll know more about this in the Features section.
ProwritingAid vs Grammarly - pros and cons
Here’s what I love and don’t about ProWritingAid:
Note: I have actually written a separate Grammarly review, which I hope you can check out as well.
To share some of my observations, here are what I believe are the pros and cons of the app:
For me, both these proofreading programs deserve a round of applause for offering at least the basic features for free.
However, it also doesn’t hurt to upgrade to unlock the other functions. These two widely differ in prices.
ProWritingAid pricing plans
ProWritingAid has three plans: monthly, yearly, and lifetime.
Grammarly pricing plans
Grammarly pricing plans depend on the number of users and the length of the subscription. For single users, they can pick among three options:
The software also offers a plan for teams or businesses, which up to 149 people can use. It costs $12.50 a month per member but billed annually, so overall, the spending is $150.
When it comes to full access to functions, there’s no difference between individual and business plans. They matter only on the number of users.
Which one should you pick then? It depends on many factors.
At first glance, ProWritingAid is cheaper, while the lifetime subscription, I believe, offers the best value for money. Compared to Grammarly’s, $299 is a steal! However, the Grammarly pricing plan for teams or businesses is also attractive.
Grammarly doesn’t offer a free trial, while you can request one for ProWritingAid. But in both Grammarly and ProWritingAid, you immediately get all the locked features as soon as you switch premiums.
You may want to start with the cheapest plan and then convert to the pricey ones if you’re committed to using it longer.
To be honest, there’s just so much that proofreading platforms can do, so it’s not unusual for two of the best to share similar features. These include:
They also have a wide variety of tools, although the way they present them is different. Below are some of the most well-known and perhaps the most effective features of each:
ProWritingAid best features
1. Web editor
First on the list is the web editor, which you will immediately see as soon as you access the site. You can open it when you sign up using your Gmail, Facebook, or Bitbucket account.
You may also register manually.
Either takes you directly to the dashboard, where you can see and click on the reports, open your account, and, most of all, write in the whitespace.
2. Integrations to other platforms
If you’re one of those who like to switch between platforms or apps, then you’ll find ProWritingAid an amazing friend. You can already integrate it in the following:
Of these, you may find the integration to Scrivener helpful, especially if you’re a new writer. This is a word processing program designed for writers.
Unlike Word, it “binds” your documents so the platform doesn’t lag or takes a long time to download and work on.
3. Comprehensive reports and settings options
I mentioned a while ago that one of the best features of ProWritingAid is its reports, and here’s why: there are 20 of them.
You can see them above the writing and editing space. These include:
Mind you, with so many reports, the data can be overwhelming. That’s why I appreciate the Summary section, which gathers the most important information the system thinks you need. These include grammar, spelling, style, glue index, vocabulary, and readability.
I especially like the scoring system, although it would be great if they can elaborate more about how this works.
But the gist is the higher the score, the better the writing is. It’s a nudge that tells you whether to edit more or not.
4. Link to publishing
Because ProWritingAid tries to attract both fiction and non-fiction writers, the platform has a direct link to a publisher called BookBaby.
This is more of a third party than anything, but it’s a nice touch for writers who don’t really know where to start to get their works published.
5. ProWritingAid for education
ProWritingAid also provides a similar tool designed for both educators and students, which is an amazing thing for them to do. It has a much simpler interface, considering the needs of the kids, but it still uses the same AI platform.
The teachers can then use this to offer better recommendations, improve their teaching, strengthen their skills, or confirm their mastery in writing or the English language. The tool is free to download.
Grammarly best features
First, let me say the most winning feature of Grammarly is its clean, almost-clutter-free interface. This way, it’s so easy for you to navigate and understand the data in front of you. In connection to this, there’s the Alerts section.
You can go through each alert as you edit, and you have the option to ignore, delete, or accept the suggestions. On the right-most side, you’ll see editorial-related notes, such as correctness, clarity, engagement, and delivery.
Unlike numbers, which ProWritingAid employs, Grammarly uses bars, which I think may appeal better to visual learners. Note that the way it rates the article can change depending on the tone you’ve chosen for the article.
2. Integration to other platforms
Like ProWritingAid, you can also integrate Grammarly to other platforms:
Of these, being a Google Chrome extension is one of the best. As long as you’re using this browser, it corrects all your texts. These include social media, emails, and Google Docs.
Note, though, that it seems to be still in beta for Google Docs. It may not work as effectively as when you check the document using the app.
3. Tone detector and spelling customization
At first, it was hard for me to grasp the benefit or the importance of Tone Detector, a Grammarly feature launched in 2019, until I had to write a lot of business-related documents.
Tone and diction matter, and I think this is a nod to the ever-changing dynamics of writing both online and offline.
For example, a casual tone may find contractions easier to accept than in a business setting. Emojis are a no-no if you’re writing something academic.
4. Grammarly Keyboard
This is one of my favorites as well. Grammarly Keyboard is a feature that allows you to correct texts you wrote on your mobile device. It’s a nice antithesis to the autocorrect, which can get you in trouble once in a while. It seems to cover all the countries.
Grammarly vs ProwritingAid in action
All the mentioned features are well and good, but I think the most effective way to compare these is to put them to a test. For this, I decided to cite scientific material from a 2020 study about the universe.
However, I purposely introduced errors to check if they can catch them:
Let’s begin with ProWritingAid:
For this document, I set the tone to academic. Based on these results, we can infer the following:
I then checked the Summary section, which highlighted my scores and the key actions I should take to improve the article:
This is an academic - scientific, for that matter - article. It explains a lot about the low readability score.
Nevertheless, I appreciated the fact that it offered recommendations and scored the work correctly when it comes to readability.
Here’s Grammarly’s result. It detected the intentional errors, including the missing articles before new paper and statistical technique.
The interface is also clean and easy to navigate since buttons don’t overcrowd.
On the right side, you will find the overall score, which is similar to that of ProWritingAid. When I clicked that, the image below popped up, which showed the basis of the score.
Under the readability score, you’ll find a small text that says it is not easy to read by many, which ProWritingAid already mentioned.
On the same right-side bar, you’ll see more metrics, such as correctness, clarity, engagement, and delivery.
Unfortunately, most of the recommendations are available only when you upgrade your account. You cannot also set the tone of your writing under the free version.
What is the best proofreading software?
In the end, it’s all about what you need. For me, only two seem to be on top of the list.
These are Grammarly and ProWritingAid. If you’re having a hard time choosing, here are my opinions:
Know, though, that you can also use both. Right now, I am subscribed to ProWritingAid and use the free version of Grammarly. While they can catch almost similar errors, it doesn’t hurt to catch a few more mistakes by using them together.
You can also use either or both along with other proofreading programs.
One is Hemingway, which I also highly recommend if you want to improve the readability of your writing. It is free, and although the tools are limited, it focuses on the most common mistakes, such as passives and run-on or complex sentences.
Both also have the same limitations. Take, for example, their plagiarism checker. It’s unclear what process or algorithm they use to detect copied content, but they may be different since the results can vary.
Either way, if you want to check documents extensively for plagiarism, I suggest using something else, such as Copyscape.