How to Proofread Documents Online

There are many occasions when it is crucial for a document to be high quality and error free. Teachers, tutors, customers, bosses, and colleagues all use your writing to gauge your intelligence, ability, and professionalism. Whether you need good quality writing for commercial, personal, or academic purposes, the variety of proofreading tools available online mean that your work never has to be faulty.

The proofreading option that is right for you will depend on a number of factors. Do you simply need your document to be error checked, or would you like it completely transformed from basic ideas to amazing written work? Is it a highly technical piece that requires a professional editor, or is it conventional sales writing that only requires good English? Whatever you need fixing there will be an option to suit your needs.

Spell check spell check screenshot

Screenshot of spell checker

A spell checker is one of the most basic proofreading tools. It may only eliminate the most obvious of errors, but good spelling is a fundamental aspect of accurate writing. Many standard word processing programs come with a basic spell check function. However, if yours does not or you are composing an email, an online spell check website is very useful.

These services are often free and always easy to use. You simply input your text, and they return it to you with any errors highlighted. The sites find words which are incorrectly spelt and suggest possible alternatives to them. There are spell checking websites available no matter what language and dialect you are using. It is important to note that highly technical language, such as any medical or mechanical terms, may not be recognized by a spell check site.

Grammar check screenshot

Screenshot of

Poor grammar makes work come across as extremely unprofessional, so an online grammar checker can be very useful. They analyze writing in far more detail than standard word processors. This service is entirely automated so the checks are completed instantly. is another good choice to check your spelling online.
Finding errors in grammar is a far more complicated process than doing a spell check. There are a huge range of factors that determine whether grammar and punctuation are being used correctly. Using complicated technology they search for common grammar mistakes such as single vs plural errors, tense errors, wrong uses of words, as well as spelling.

There are both free and paid versions, some of which are available to download. The versions that cost money tend to go into more detail than those that are free. However, no matter how good they are, current technology is still unable to find problems as effectively as humans can.

Word count

word countingThere are two basic types of word counting site. Those that check how many words there are in a document and those that look at the re-occurrence of each word individually.

Simple word counting is helpful in situations when you have been set a maximum and minimum word count, but the writing software you are using does not have a word counting function. This one is also able to check the number of characters that your writing contains. Some allow you to select whether the total includes numbers or hyphened words.

Other word counters go into much more detail. They check the frequency with which you have used each word. If you have repeatedly using the same phrases within you text, it may become boring or create the impression that you have a limited vocabulary.

Some of these word counters will give you the work back visually highlighting any words used too frequently or in close proximity to each other. Others will produce a list of how often each word has been used in the text. They usually do not calculate the amount of times common words, such as ‘and’, ‘it’ and ‘a’, have been featured.

Professional proofreading service

editing servicesUnlike automated services which give instant result, online proofreading services are done by humans. This means that they take an allotted amount of time, and you will need to arrange them in advance of any set deadline. Most sites inform you of how much time they will take based on the length of your document, though more expensive fast pass services are sometimes available.

Once you have sent your text digitally to an online proofreading service, an expert will look over it for you. The cost of the service will depend on the length and complexity of the document. The service is particularly helpful for people who are writing in their second language and need a comprehensive overview of their work. Anyone suffering from dyslexia may also find it useful.

Professional proofreading services typically look for the same spelling and grammar errors as automated services. They additionally search for typographical errors, dialect inconsistency, poor comma placement, incorrect capitalization, confusing word order, and many other aspects. Most of these services return your document to you in two forms. One copy will have any suggested alterations visually highlighted in some way, and the other will be the changed document ready to be printed when necessary.

Copy editing

copy editingCopy editing is similar to professional proofreading. It is done by real editors and it takes a set length of time. However, due to its more complicated nature it usually costs more money. It is the perfect choice for very important documents like dissertation, business forms, and work that will be published.

In addition to looking at the accuracy of the grammar, punctuation, spelling, and syntax, they also review the style and formatting of a piece. This could mean rewording awkward sections, rephrasing sentences more clearly, or correcting continuity errors. They can also provide a style based rewrite if you are unhappy with the way your written work reads. It is up to you how subtle or extensive the changes are.

The best method of proofreading for you will depend on your budget, your timescale, your work, and your own ability. If you are using a cost free tool, it is a good idea to use a wide range of sites so that there is a higher likelihood of errors being found. If you are paying for a service, be sure to shop around for the best offer. The features that each company provides can vary widely.