What Are the Best SpellCheck and Grammar Check Browser Extensions?

3968278028_d2b1210cfa_bWe’re still quite a ways away from IBM’s Watson Tone Analyzer growing into a developmental editor bot, but luckily for us simpler tools are very common.

Gizmodo has a post up today that reminded me that there are readily available tools that could improve our online writing, ones which we should be using (but probably are not). That post focused on Grammarly, an extension for Chrome and Firefox.

Grammarly is an all-in-one grammar and spellcheck tool that protects you from many of the common writing errors. It’s free to install, but if you want to use it you will have to pay between $12 and $30 a month.

Edit: I’m told there’s a free service option for Grammarly. I did not see it, but perhaps I need to look again.

That’s too expensive for my tastes, so I am looking for an alternative. I found Ginger, but that is also a paid service ($5 a month). That’s still too much.

Spellchecker extensions are pretty common (Firefox, Chrome) but grammar check tools are harder to come by. Good ones, especially. There is, for example, a grammar and spelling tool built into WordPress,, but it is so poor as to almost be a joke.

Does anyone know of a good, free, alternative?

image by mandiberg



Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. DaveZ20 July, 2015

    Mac has built-in, system wide spell check. One reason posts I write there are usually better. 😉 If you edit in WordPress and have the Jetpack plugin, there is a Grammar & Spelling widget. The grammar isn’t too help, but the spelling piece has come in handy and I use it when I remember.

    1. Nate Hoffelder20 July, 2015

      “The grammar isn’t too help,”

      Evidently not 😉

      And I use Jetpack behind the scenes. Let me go see if I can find that widget you mention.

  2. Nikolas Baron20 July, 2015

    Hi Nate,

    Thank you for featuring Grammarly in your article. Grammarly is actually completely free for anyone using Safari or Chrome. Here is an excerpt from the Gizmodo article you quoted: “The basics are all free to use. If you do a lot of writing and really, really want it to be as sharp as possible, you can subscribe to a premium plan from $11.66 per month and up.”

    Let me know if you have any questions or feedback. We would love to hear from you!

    1. Nate Hoffelder20 July, 2015

      I tried to use Grammarly. It kept asking me to choose a paid subscription, so I removed it.

      1. Frank20 July, 2015

        Did you use http://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/grammarly-spell-checker-g/kbfnbcaeplbcioakkpcpgfkobkghlhen?hl=en? for the Chrome extension? Lots of reviews mention it is free to use within Chrome.

        1. Nate Hoffelder20 July, 2015

          I only found the one in the Chrome Web Store.

    2. DaveZ20 July, 2015

      Grammarly looks interesting, but the privacy policy wasn’t entirely clear to me. Is what we type, what you scan retained for longer than a session?

  3. kariss21 July, 2015

    I’m dyslexic, the free version of Grammerly is really helpful but it crashes quite a lot. I’ve usually got to save my work and refresh the page for it to come across errors. I’d get the full paid version if I could afford it.


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