Having proper grammar can save you whether you’re a freelance writer or just posting things on Twitter and Facebook. And if it can be done for free, then why not? Today, I’m looking at the Grammarly Chrome extension you can install right now.
For starters, it’s far more than just a spellchecker. Google Chrome already helps by pointing out incorrectly spelled words.
Grammarly can help you make sense of the content you’re creating.
What is the Grammarly Chrome Extension?
Grammarly has a Chrome extension you can install for free. The caveat is that you need to create an account with the grammar checker. This is also free, of course.
Once the Chrome extension is installed, Grammarly will constantly analyze most text fields on the Internet to make sure you’re writing legible material.
The tool will provide suggestions, synonyms, automatically fix obvious spelling errors, and a great deal more.
How Well Does the Grammarly Chrome Extension Work?
I’ve been using the Grammarly Chrome extension for the past six months. And since then, I’ve written more than 200,000 words. And that’s not including the number of words I edit daily from other writers.
Since installing the app, it’s made a vast improvement for both myself and my writing team. In fact, I spend far less time editing one particular writer’s work as he also uses it on his computer.
I’ve actually only used the Grammarly website a handful of times. Most of what I do is centered around WordPress. And the extension works great in that environment.
However, the Grammarly Chrome extension will analyze each block in WordPress Gutenberg as individual entries. This is a bit of a pain as you need to have a certain amount of text before the tool activates.
And if you only create one or two sentence paragraphs before starting a new text block, it’s not always the best option.
How I avoid this is by using a Classic editor block in WordPress. I prefer this method anyway since I often write everything in code. The classic editor on my systems lets me quickly switch back and forth.
The end result is Grammarly scanning through the entire blog post as a single instance.
What Can You Expect from the Tool?
I’ve already covered quite a few of the best features in the Grammarly Chrome extension. But I wanted to go a bit deeper as to what you can expect from using it yourself.
This also includes a few of the drawbacks.
Automatic and Highlighted Spelling Fixes
One of the first things you’ll notice is how the tool will highlight misspelled words with a red underline. This is if it doesn’t completely fix the word automatically.
Now, this only works for words that are absolutely spelled wrong. Unfortunately, the autocorrect feature doesn’t always pick up misspellings. But over the past few months, it’s become better at spotting errors.
The words that are not automatically fixed usually display a red underline. This gives you a chance to replace the word or leave it as is. And usually, the replacements are relatively accurate.
Predictions Regarding the Context of the Material
Depending on the type of text you use while writing, the Grammarly Chrome extension will let you know the tone based on its predictions. This is still in the beta stages and doesn’t always reflect the intent of the author.
Predictions give you an idea about how people will relate to the content. It’s based on the word choice you make and how you put the piece together.
This overview will change several times as you write.
According to Grammarly, this entire post is registering as “Optimistic.” I suppose that’s better than being negative.
Provides Synonyms of Words
One of the newer features of the Grammarly Chrome extension is that of synonyms. By double-clicking a word you typed, the tool will give you alternatives to the term.
This is a great feature to have for those who don’t want to saturate their work with the same words over and over again. For one thing, it reads very poorly to the average person.
Unfortunately, this isn’t a complete list of synonyms. I’ve come across a few words that could have been changed to something else that Grammarly didn’t have in its list.
On the other hand, I’ve double-clicked words and had a slew of alternatives to choose from. So, it’s a bit of a hit or miss depending on the term. But, it’s still one of my favorite features.
It’s Not Always Accurate
There is no such thing as a grammar checker that is 100% accurate. Not even the human element is always correct.
That’s because there are just too many nuances in language to be able to manage them all.
With that being said, I have found the Grammarly Chrome extension to work very well for our purposes. When the system gives me a false positive, I check the context of the sentence and verify the intent.
And sometimes, the system doesn’t pick up when you don’t capitalize the first word in a sentence. You’d think that would be one of the first things a grammar checker would identify.
Needs Premium Version for Greater Detail
While the free version does have a lot of functionality, the greater details are locked behind the premium service. And this is to be expected when you develop an app and need to make money off your brand name.
The free version gives just enough to be quite effective, but a better breakdown is often needed. Especially when you’re crafting an article, essay, story, or corporate memo that needs to be as close to perfect as possible.
If you write as often as I do, the premium price really isn’t all that bad of an investment. When you consider everything you get, such as learning why the changes are necessary, $12 per month is pretty good.
Yes, that’s a shameless advertisement. But, I only sponsor the products I find of value.
Has a Lot of Other Interesting Features
The Grammarly Chrome extension comes with a long list of features. I only pointed out some of the more practical ones above.
You also get the ability to disable the extension on specific websites, click to change text suggestions, and opening the main Grammarly document screen with two clicks of the mouse.
For being a free grammar checker, it has a lot of flexibility.
Would I Recommend the Grammarly Chrome Extension?
Thanks to the sheer amount of use I get out of the extension, I often recommend it to anyone who is serious about writing or blogging online. It can do wonders whether you’re trying to get visitors to your website or writing content for clients on Textbroker.
And as I mentioned earlier, having my writing team use it has cut a great deal of time out of my day.
Another aspect to consider is social media. It’s difficult to promote yourself as a freelance writer if your posts are littered with grammatical errors and obvious spelling mistakes. This can surely save you some embarrassment.
I know it has for me.
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