Grammar software is often included in word-processing programs installed on computers. Other such software is available free on websites or can be purchased online. Generally, higher-priced software has more features and can find more types of grammatical errors. All grammar software is designed to scan text and note any mistakes. It also often runs in conjunction with a spellchecking feature.
A computer’s existing word-processing program usually has a built-in grammar checker. It tends to excel at finding basic grammatical errors. Generally, it is most beneficial for people who already have a good grasp of grammar.
Some websites are designed specifically for checking grammar. Users visit the website and enter text into a form or box. The text is then run through grammar software via the website, and any errors that are found are noted. Some website grammar checkers are free to use, while others require a subscription.
Internet browsers also include grammar checkers. This feature is sometimes turned on through a browser-options setting. Alternately, a small plug-in program is downloaded and installed to activate this feature. One advantage of online or Internet grammar checkers is that they work with any computer. In contrast, grammar software that is installed should be checked for compatibility with the computer's operating system.
Standalone grammar software is another option. It can be downloaded from the Internet or purchased and installed on computers. Free trials are sometimes available for standalone software. That way, users can see if the software meets their needs.
Paid-for software sometimes finds errors that free programs might not pick up. Dangling modifiers, comma splices, run-on sentences and mistakes in subject-verb agreement are just a few examples. Some specialized grammar software also can offer suggestions to correct errors.
This type of software often will generate reports of any mistakes that are found. In turn, the reports can be helpful in determining any patterns in the kinds of mistakes being made. Unlike free grammar checkers, customer service is often provided if users have questions about how the software works.
Grammar software is not just for computers. The advent of mobile devices has led to the development of applications that check grammar. The software is downloaded and used on cell phones capable of running such programs.
No type of grammar software is entirely foolproof. Some will flag text for errors when there are none. The software also might miss a grammatical error. In other words, software provides a good backup, but there is no complete substitute for knowing the rules of good grammar.