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While generative artificial-intelligence chatbots such as ChatGPT and Bing can proofread and edit text for grammar and style, using these tools as go-to editors can be a cumbersome process that requires continually copying text and entering prompts. For anyone looking for more holistic help improving their writing, a number of browser extensions use generative AI to offer continuous editing support across emails, documents, social-media posts, and software platforms. When enabled, these tools suggest writing improvements in real time wherever a user is working online.
We tested the editing prowess of six browser extensions: Grammarly, ProWritingAid, QuillBot, Writer, WordTune, and Sapling. Based on our testing, we recommend Writer for its smooth user experience, high-quality edits, and customization options that make it easier to achieve a desired tone. Our top pick is followed closely by the slightly less intuitive but more affordable ProWritingAid, which is also easy to use and thorough in picking up on potential issues. Both our picks have multiple subscription levels, with a free option for ProWritingAid and a 14-day free trial for Writer.
Our top pick, giving users a low-lift, accessible way to strengthen their writing without diluting the intended voice.
- Conversational, easy-to-understand explanations for changes that add a human feel to the editing process.
- A well-organized dashboard with cheerful color-coding for easy scannability.
- A higher level of detail in rephrasing suggestions compared to competitors, with the option to ask for alternatives that are shorter, simpler, or more polished.
- With no free tier, its lowest-priced level is the most expensive of the tools we tested.
- Some tone filters for rephrasing, such as the option to make text “more witty,” had lackluster suggestions.
Our second-choice pick is just a little less streamlined, but its detailed customization settings, educational dashboard, and free tier make it a solid option.
- In addition to listing each issue within a piece of text, the dashboard highlights overall strengths and weaknesses for higher-level takeaways.
- Ability to tailor recommendations to different contexts, such as business, academia, and web copy, and writing formats, such as memos and sales emails.
- Has a separate add-on for Google Docs.
- Unlimited suggestions are only available for paying users, and users of the free product can quickly run into usage caps.
- Dashboard isn’t as visually appealing or easy to navigate through.
We installed each tool as a Chrome browser extension and applied it to three pieces of text on three different websites: a draft of a Charter briefing email in Google Docs, an internal planning document on Notion, and a LinkedIn post. We evaluated each tool for depth and quality of recommendations, personalization options, ease of use, and price. While each of the tools we tested also has a dedicated editing platform where users can add text, we focused on the performance of the browser extensions to assess their real-time editing in the normal flow of work.
Here’s how our picks stack up in key areas:
Depth and quality of recommendations: Both of our picks excel here, offering solid edits to improve wording and flow in addition to more technical proofreading notes on spelling and grammar. Both also picked up on issues missed by some of the other tools we tested. Writer has the upper hand for the clear, easy-to-understand explanations and useful reminders it offers alongside each of its recommendations; moving through its changes felt like addressing comments left by a human editor. A flag on the word “actually,” for example, came with a note to use more confident language, while a note on the phrase “are scared of” suggested rewording to “fear” to “make it snappier.” Recommendations are sorted by category in the dashboard—including clarity, style, delivery, and inclusivity, among others—allowing users to more effectively absorb their own writing patterns and tics.
ProWritingAid’s edits were thorough and clear in our testing, though its explanations for certain changes were slightly less detailed. Similar to Writer, its dashboard groups issues by category, including a dedicated section for calling out business jargon, but the free version offers only a high-level overview for multiple categories. In one test, it mentioned eliminating three instances of jargon, but didn’t indicate what they were. ProWritingAid gets points, though, for the “strengths” section of its dashboard, which highlights where a piece of text is successful in addition to listing recommended fixes—helpful for those actively looking to further their writing skills.
Like most of their peers in this category, both our picks have AI-generated rephrase features that remove some of the mental load of revisions. Here, too, Writer pulls ahead, with the ability to request that it shorten, polish, simplify, or change the tone of the text in question. (Some filters within this feature were more successful than others; selecting “more witty,” for instance, yielded a handful of limp jokes that a human editor would likely cut.) ProWritingAid's rephrase function is less detailed but more streamlined. The daily limit on rephrases in the free plan, however, added a level of pressure in choosing which sentences to ask the tool to rework.
Personalization options: ProWritingAid recommends options based on the text's context, with options such as business, academic, and web copy. Within each context are more specific uses; for example, in the business category, users can select from formats including memo, job description, and sales email. The style guide's menu of customizations is extensive: It includes preferences for contractions, acronyms, passive voice, sentence-level word count, number formatting, and even politeness, and users can turn preferences on or off for certain contexts. A personal dictionary collects words that the system shouldn’t flag, a helpful feature for names and company-specific terms.
Writer doesn’t offer the same context-switching ability, but its style guide is still expansive. Users can create a list of preferences, like formatting and style. For each preference, users can turn on and off filters for confidence, sensitivity, and “healthy communication.” (That last one flags “content that may be perceived as impolite, passive-aggressive, or negative,” which may be a welcome antidote to “per my last email”-style snipes). For anything not covered, users can also ask for custom rules.
Ease of use: ProWritingAid is slightly more onerous to set up, as it has a separate plugin for Google Docs. It also lacks Writer’s visually appealing color-coding system, which makes it easy to scan the dashboard for different types of suggestions to tackle. Otherwise, both ProWritingAid and Writer offer an intuitive editing experience to help their users navigate an abundance of features: One click can accept a pre-written change, dismiss a specific suggestion, or turn off the rule that flagged the issue. For a more zoomed-out view of text quality and editing progress, both our picks give overall quality scores that update as you address suggestions. ProWritingAid’s and Writer's dashboards both also have readability scores. ProWritingAid’s offers guidance about the right level of readability for each context, while Writer's displays the text's grade level, with a link to open up an explanation of what the levels mean.
A note on privacy and security: Both of our top picks are GDPR-compliant. Writer supports single sign-on across both subscription tiers, and ProWritingAid supports single sign-on in its Enterprise level.
Pricing deep dive
Writer offers two tiers: Team for up to five users and Enterprise for six or more.
- The Team plan is $18 per user per month if billed monthly, or $13.50 per user per month if billed annually.
- The Enterprise plan comes with additional security and support features. Inquire for pricing.
ProWritingAid offers four tiers: Free and Premium for individuals and Teams (2-100 users) and Enterprise (100+ users) for businesses.
- The Free plan, which allows users to check up to 500 words at a time, provides basic grammar, spelling, punctuation, and wording assistance and up to 10 rephrases per day.
- The Premium plan, which has no cap on word count or daily rephrasing suggestions, additionally includes more advanced style suggestions, a greater level of customization, writing analysis reports, and citation support. It costs $10 per month, billed monthly.
- The Teams plan comes with an unlimited word count and rephrasing suggestions, the ability to create a style guide and terms database of up to 1,000 entries each, and team analytics reports. It costs $12 per user per month, billed annually.
- The Enterprise plan includes all Teams features plus additional security and support features, the ability to create custom integrations, and unlimited style-guide and term database entries. Inquire for pricing.
How we chose what to review
We picked our tools for testing through a combination of online research and combing through Chrome’s web store for editing tools. We focused on tools that come with browser extensions to seamlessly integrate writing feedback into the flow of work. Because so many workers do the bulk of their writing in Google Docs, we eliminated tools that don’t have a Google Docs integration.
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