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Proofreading Test: Comparing Results in Microsoft Word, Grammarly, and GlobalVision

by Ryan Szporer

Do you trust your proofreading software as you send off that final copy?

Most people have their own proofing process and will continuously stick with one tool, but does that mean all tools are created equal and are just as effective as the others? Here’s a breakdown of three different digital proofreading tools that can help verify your copy: Microsoft® Word®, Grammarly®, and GlobalVision.

 

Proofreading Software Test Copy:

The text used for the proofreading test has four errors that can be classified as spelling mistakes. It came from a CBS New York article first published on March 7th, 2013:

“I was nervus about how hard it was going be, how much of a chnage it was going to be from high school,” Gonzalez said. “I know I needed to take remedial, If I started write away with credit classe it wasnt going to bee so well so it’s better of starting somewhere.”

Coincidentally, the article is about illiterate high school students in the USA and states about 80% of New York City graduates lack basic reading skills. Once notified of the spelling errors, CBS corrected them within the hour. It should be noted a few mistakes were added for this proofreading test. The results of each of the tools are given below.

 

Microsoft Word Spell Check Review:

Microsoft word proofreading test
This is arguably the most-recognized proofreader in the world, with a wide variety of languages available. The user types in their text in the word processor—the primary function of Word—and any detected errors get automatically underlined by that infamous red squiggly line. You know the one.

In this test, the red squiggly lines appeared on all the spelling errors in the text. Some grammatical issues and syntax errors were also detected, but not all. For example, the software is inconsistent when it comes to comma and capitalization usage. Other reviewers have had similar problems.

“I was nervus about how hard it was going be, how much of a chnage it was going to be from high school,” Gonzalez said. “I know I needed to take remedial, If I started write away with credit classe it wasnt going to bee so well so it’s better of starting somewhere.”

Furthermore, Word has trouble differentiating between contextually misused homophones, like “write” and “bee” in the above paragraph. Word is also unable to compare the differences in a sample and master file. If a user needs to compare two PDF files for revision purposes, they should look elsewhere. Otherwise, for a proofreader as part of a word processor, it’s fairly complete.

Word is available on most Mac and PCs. The latest version, as a component of Office 365, can be downloaded for CAD $139 (at the time this article was written).

 

Grammarly Proofreading Platform Review:

Gramarly proofreading test
Oddly enough, when you type “proofreading software” in Google, Grammarly is the website that pops up first. Based on the results of the test, it certainly performs better than Word anyway, as it relatively impressively discovered the two aforementioned homophones in the above blurb. It also caught the “of” in the last sentence, which should have been spelled as “off” instead. Nevertheless, capitalization issues remained. The end result, after all recommended changes had been accepted, still left something to be desired from a basic-comprehension standpoint.

“I was nervous about how hard it was going to be, how much of a change it was going to be from high school,” Gonzalez said. “I know I needed to take remedial, If I started right away with credit classes it wasn’t going to be so well so it’s better off starting somewhere.”

In Grammarly’s defense, users have the option to pay to “Go Premium,” which, in this specific case, would have revealed three additional punctuation issues. Pricing includes monthly, quarterly, and yearly payment options. A separate, in-depth review of Grammarly’s premium features can be found here.

Overall, the trial version of the software is easy to navigate. The user simply copies and pastes the text in and Grammarly starts working instantly. On the first page you can click the “download” button and use the proofreading system through Google Chrome™, one of several deployment options that are available for increased accessibility. You can even use it in Microsoft Office apps, like Word, for a proven proofreading boost, as our test shows. That unfortunately only extends to different variations of English, with American, Australian, British, and Canadian conventions being the only supported languages.

Ultimately, if you are on a budget, Grammarly’s free trial version works fine, while the premium options tend to be well-reviewed. However, if you are a graphic designer or someone working in different languages or with PDF files, with text that may be hard to copy and paste inside the Grammarly app, it might fall short of your expectations.

 

GlobalVision Spelling Inspection Mode Review:

GlobalVision proofreading spelling inspection report
Lastly, we have GlobalVision software. Unlike the other programs, GlobalVision has both desktop and web versions, with multiple proofreading solutions available: Spelling, Text, Graphics, Barcode, Braille, and even Color Inspection modes. For our test, we performed a spelling inspection in GlobalVision Web.

GlobalVision picked up all the spelling errors too and generated a report for future reference. Meant for corporate usage, GlobalVision features an onboard dictionary that can be added to like Word, to prevent false positives in the future. The comparison to Word is relatively apt. Unlike in Grammarly, the spellcheck features in both Word and GlobalVision are meant as a complementary tool instead of the main attraction.

In that respect, it makes sense Grammarly would have the best test results of all three options, even if only in English, as Word and GlobalVision each support many more languages. Whereas Word is a word processor though, GlobalVision is intended as comparison software, meaning the user can upload multiple files at a time. GlobalVision spellchecks PDF, Adobe® Illustrator®, and Word documents, among many others, which is ideal for graphic designers and those who consistently work with different types.

Truth be told, if you’re looking for a specially designed spellchecking tool with the best bang for your buck, Grammarly may be one of your best bets. If you’re looking for a word processor, Word is widely well-received, albeit with its share of frustrations. Nevertheless, its spellchecking feature is more than adequate (and can even be supplemented with Grammarly).

In sharp contrast, if you’re looking for digital proofreading software to perform pixel-by-pixel comparisons between two artwork files, decode barcodes, and translate Braille, GlobalVision’s Spelling Inspection is a nice-to-have, but it’s probably not the reason you’re buying the software.

Case in point, pricing options are available on the GlobalVision website, with different per-month packages available. Spelling comes included with the purchase of the Text Inspection option, which compares the text in two different documents, potentially two different file types with different layouts. This again speaks to how it comes down to what you’re looking for and need.

If it’s fast and largely accurate and reliable results, each tool that was reviewed above delivers, just in different contexts. They each work, but they get different jobs done. In other words, they’re far from created equal, especially for your specific needs. Pick the one that’s best for you.

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