We’ve all been there – you fret about sending an important email, read over it multiple times, and eventually send it off into the digital ether. Curious, you look in your sent folder only to see you typed “God morning” instead of “Good morning” and “worm regards” instead of “warm regards.” It’s not that you have a poor grasp of the English language; you just made a simple mistake due to word blindness. Your brain fills in what it wants to see. This is where Grammarly comes in. The Grammarly algorithm flags potential mistakes in your text to help you avoid those embarrassing blunders.
The Grammarly extension scans your writing on any site you’re using, like Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Gmail, and even Google Docs and Microsoft Word. It then highlights grammatical errors like misused commas or semicolons, spelling mistakes, and offers punctuation suggestions.
The Grammarly browser extension is available on Safari (V12 and newer), Firefox (V54 and newer), Chrome (V51 and newer), and Microsoft Edge (V14 and newer). If you’re using an older version of a browser, but you’re unsure which one, you can find out in the browser settings. In Google Chrome, you do this by clicking on the Menu icon (three dots) in your screen’s upper right corner, then clicking on Help, then About Google Chrome. The process will be similar for other browsers. Alternatively, you can use a site called WhatisMyBrowser.com, which can tell you instantly.
To start the download process, you need to find the browser extension in your web browser’s extension store. For example, for Chrome, you use the Google Chrome Store, and for Safari, you use the Mac App Store. Alternatively you can get it from the official Grammarly website: https://www.grammarly.com/
Once you’ve found the Grammarly extension in the respective browser stores, you simply need to install it.
Safari: Click Get > Install
Chrome: Add to Chrome
Firefox: Add to Firefox
Edge: Get > Add Extension. On older versions of Edge, you go to the Microsoft Store and click Get the app. You will also need to click Turn it on with older versions of Edge.
That’s it! The Grammarly extension is now installed, and you should see a little ‘G’ icon in your browser bar.
Grammarly has several features that will be automatically turned on after download and installation. You can see these features by clicking on the ‘G’ icon in your browser extension bar. These are:
These features will work on all sites, so you just have to go about your typing as usual. If you start writing a Facebook status, LinkedIn post, or email, Grammarly will work in the background. It will underline any issues in your writing using a coded color system, and you can click on all underlined text to bring up a suggestion card from Grammarly.
For example, ‘Correctness’ is highlighted in red – these are any suggestions concerning spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Engagement is highlighted in Green – these suggestions aim to make your writing more interesting and effective. Clarity is highlighted in blue, and these suggestions make your writing easier to understand. For example, Grammarly will often flag the word “really” (when used to mean actually) because it thinks it’s unnecessary (it lacks clarity).
Grammarly can also tell you key metrics that you can use to improve your writing. For example, it tells you your average sentence length. Ideally, you want to aim for an average sentence length of between 12-18 words. If you’re consistently above 20, this can mean that you’re a little wordy, and you might want to split some longer sentences into two. Shorter sentences are just easier for readers to digest.
You can also click the “Add Document” button to open the Grammarly browser and use Grammarly as a primary writing app.
So far, we’ve been discussing the free version of Grammarly. The free version is powerful and likely enough for most people, but if you want to add some extra punch to your writing, then you might want to consider Premium. The Premium has a lot more features, including:
Grammarly’s premium version can be paid for monthly, quarterly, or annually, and you get a discount for picking a longer package. Grammarly also runs sales occasionally so that you can snap up a cheaper deal.
Grammarly will highlight mistakes as soon as you make them. This means you can clean up your writing as you go along rather than getting to the end of your email only to find it’s littered with mistakes.
Grammar and spell-check on Google Docs or Word are relatively limited. It will tell you if you’ve made an egregious error but not offer suggestions to improve the flow, word choice, punctuation choices. For example, here’s a simple test between Google Docs and Grammarly:
Sample Text: on YouTube i get lots of messages and I dont always have enough time to respond to them.
Grammarly did this:
Google docs did this:
Clearly, Grammarly wins.
Grammarly excels because you can use it on any app you’re already using. You don’t have to write something in a document and then copy it over to LinkedIn. It ensures that your writing remains cohesive and consistent across all your apps.
So, what’s the verdict? Whether you’re writing a book, crafting an important email, or simply writing on social media, having a professional writing assistant can save you from many embarrassing situations. Native writing assistants on Gmail, Word, and Google Docs severely lack when it comes to grammar suggestions, the very thing Grammarly is designed for. The interface is clean and simple, giving it the edge over other writing assistants like Hemingway App. And it’s free!