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Online Spelling Checkers - Which One is Best?

by Craig Mill

on Thu Mar 24, 2022

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I’m a touch-typist but I’m forever making typos (and the odd genuine spelling mistake) so I find spell checkers invaluable.

Online spell checkers such as Grammarly and Ginger claim to use artificial intelligence (AI) to check spelling and grammar and offer alternative suggestions to mistakes that they identify in a document.

I’ve used the free Word Addin version of Grammarly for a few years and I was keen to see how it compared against other online spell checkers such as Ginger Software and Microsoft Editor, which is included in Office 365.

Methodology?

I’m afraid my methods are not based on science and offer no systematic testing or peer reviews, rather I used a bunch of text which contained spelling and grammar errors, littered with homophones and phonetic examples.

I used the same document with each online spelling checker, and I used Word's 'red underline' as a benchmark to identify the spelling mistakes - 16 altogether. Word is good at identifying spelling mistakes, but less so at correcting them. The video below demonstrates the accruacy of each one.

This is a dokyument wif a fue speling misteaks. They lyke to goe too the shoping senter to get there groseries on a Wedensdy eavning becos it is quite their an they kan get there shoping dun quikly.

Results

I found that Grammarly offered the most precise and accurate spelling and grammar checking. Ginger came a near second although it had difficulties recognising ‘Wedensdy’ as a spelling mistake. Microsoft Editor trailed in third place and failed to recognise numerous mistakes, although a benefit of Editor is that you can use text-to-speech to hear spelling corrections and relevant synonyms.   

Pros

  • Helps to improve confidence with spelling
  • The Addin for Word is intuitive and works seamlessly
  • Great for home use, particularly the free version
  • Easy to use and good for systematic checking of mistakes, particularly Grammarly.

Cons

  • Requires an internet connection
  • Requires you to trust that suggestions are correct – an overreliance on technology
  • Currently unable to use in exams

Video demonstration

The video below explains the process and shows the spell checkers in action.

Download the text transcript in PDF format

Tags: spelling, spell checking, dyslexia

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