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For almost a decade, Grammarly has been my go-to writing tool. It’s one of those apps that I credit for improving my writing skills and helping me come across as a better writer than I actually am.
I cannot say the same about Microsoft Editor, though that has mainly to do with the fact that it is only two years old and hasn’t (yet) achieved the universal acceptance among the writing community as Grammarly.
However, as the splash made by ChatGPT has shown, just because you’re new doesn’t mean you cannot give stiff competition to those already established in your field.
Which one should you choose? In this guide, we aim to give you all the information needed to make an informed choice.
- Microsoft Editor: 4/5
- Grammarly: 4.5/5
|Ease of Use||User-friendly interface||Incredibly easy to use|
|Customization||Offers a large number of customization options||Limited customization options vis-a-vis Grammarly (or most other writing tools, for that matter)|
|Analysis Reports||Provides basic analysis reports for grammar, punctuation, spelling, engagement, clarity, and more.||Slightly more advanced|
|Rephrasing Tools||Allows you to rephrase your writing pretty much any way you want||Can be used for rephrasing tasks|
|Integrations||Integrates with almost every app a writer could use||No API access|
|Pricing and Support||Prices aren’t cheap but won’t blow a hole in your pocket either||Cost-effective and offers superb customer support|
|Accuracy||Highly accurate in identifying and correcting grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors.||Mostly accurate|
|Writing Style||Lets you pick from predefined writing styles||N/A|
|Plagiarism Checker||There are better (and more reliable) options out there||No plagiarism checker|
|Mobile Integration||Yes||Doesn’t offer standalone mobile apps for end users|
|Educational Material||I am yet to come across any||Ditto|
|User Reviews||Routinely gets 4.5* out of 5||Routinely gets 4.6* out of 5|
|Free vs Paid Plans||Free plan: No restrictions and includes tone detection |
Paid Plan: Includes a plagiarism checker
|Paid plan includes additional grammar refinements, style suggestions, and vocabulary improvements|
|Writing Goals||Lets you set your writing goals in advance as well as change them down the line||Not on offer|
|Language Support||Only English||More than 20 languages|
Table of Contents
Ease of Use: How user-friendly are the interfaces of each product?
As a writer who loves testing new tools, I find Microsoft Editor’s interface to be incredibly user-friendly.
Not only is its toolbar well-organized and cleanly lays out the menus I need. But the suggestions Microsoft Editor gives are relevant, helpful, and presented in a way that doesn’t seem intrusive.
Another thing I like about the interface is that it lets me (or any premium customer) seamlessly customize the suggestions it gives. As such, I decide what type of suggestions I want to see.
Here’s a snapshot to explain everything I said above:
As you can see for yourself, the options are laid out so that even newbie writers won’t need any help picking the ones that could benefit them.
Fortunately, Grammarly also offers a cleaner interface.
Despite having options for almost everything related to your writing (such as grammar, style, clarity, delivery, and more), Grammarly’s interface is as uncluttered as anyone could hope.
Here’s the proof:
Based on my experience using both these writing tools, I have no hesitation in saying that their user interfaces rival each other in user-friendliness.
Customization: How customizable are the settings and options for each product?
Microsoft Editor isn’t very good at letting you customize its suggestions to improve its writing.
As the screenshot below shows, it only lets you decide whether or not you want suggestions related to grammar, vocabulary, spelling, clarity, conciseness, formality, and a few other factors.
Compared to the above, Grammarly gives you a wealth of customization options.
For example, it lets you create a personal dictionary, use a consistent style of abbreviations, use vivid words, avoid passive voice, and do much more.
Here’s an example:
Thus, as far as customization is concerned, Grammarly is a clear winner.
Analysis Reports: What types of reports does each product offer to help users improve their writing?
Here’s another area where it’s hard to pick a winner.
On every piece of writing that it’s checking (or has already checked), Grammarly gives you a PDF report analyzing the flow of your written content as well as the errors that need to be resolved:
Additionally, Grammarly sends you a weekly email that highlights:
- How productive you were over the last week,
- Number of errors Grammarly found in your writing,
- Your accuracy compared to fellow Grammarly users.
Microsoft Editor isn’t far behind.
This writing assistant gives you real-time stats on various aspects related to your writing, including readability, distinct words, reading time, and speaking time.
The real-time analysis report also gives you suggestions on how you can make your writing more impactful.
Thus, when it comes to analysis reports, Microsoft Editor is a winner (but not by much).
Integrations: How well does each product integrate with other platforms and tools?
Microsoft Editor has already been integrated into the digital tools most people use for writing and composing.
You can edit MS Word documents on the desktop and the web, emails sent from Outlook.com or Outlook website, and any piece of writing on Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome through browser extensions.
However, it doesn’t offer API access. That means developers other than those of Microsoft’s apps cannot integrate Microsoft Editor into their tools.
Grammarly, though, does provide an API. So, if you’re a developer who wants your software to offer real-time writing support, you’re in luck.
Another difference between the two is that while Grammarly has a mobile app that works seamlessly on Android and iOS devices, Microsoft Editor can only be accessed through the web.
Pricing and Support: How do the pricing plans and customer support options compare between the two products?
Here’s what Grammarly charges for its services:
The basic version of Microsoft editor, like that of Grammarly, is free to use.
However, if you want to access the premium Editor features, a Microsoft 365 subscription is required.
Here are the prices for Microsoft 365 Personal and Family:
While Microsoft Editor’s prices are more pocket-friendly, Grammarly Premium users get a better value for their money.
That is because Grammarly Premium offers features that aren’t included in the Editor’s paid plan, such as:
- Knowledge Share term creation
- Formality level and word choice
- Tone and fluency adjustments
- … and much more
Accuracy: How accurate are the suggestions and corrections offered by each product?
Grammarly offers a lot of suggestions and corrections, especially for long-form content such as blogs, but it’s up to the writer to decide which ones merit implementation.
What if you decide to implement all the changes? In that case, your writing will be deprived of your voice. The final draft would appear such that it’s written by a robot (which, unless you’re a terrible writer, isn’t good).
The same could be said about Microsoft Editor.
Based on what is said above, I’d suggest taking suggestions one at a time.
Writing Style: How well does each product cater to different writing styles and genres?
Grammarly lets you pick from six different writing styles, including:
While Editor offers grammar and style refinements like conciseness, formality, and more, style adjustments aren’t available.
Mobile Integration: How well does each product integrate with mobile devices?
Microsoft Editor doesn’t have a standalone mobile app.
If you want to use this writing assistant, here are the options:
- Download and install the browser extension in Edge or Chrome.
- Sign in with a Microsoft 365 account on the web.
- Use the latest versions of Microsoft Word.
Grammarly has a mobile app for Android and iOS devices, making it a better option for users who write on smartphones.
Educational Material: What type of educational material and resources do each product offer to help users improve their writing skills?
Microsoft Editor and Grammarly don’t offer much in terms of educational material.
As a result, if you need help to make the best use of either of these apps, independent tutorials on YouTube are your best friend.
User Reviews: What do users have to say about their experiences with each product?
Microsoft Editor has earned rave reviews from users who need help in cleaning up their writing.
Similarly, Grammarly has an extremely satisfied user base consisting of writers and authors, content creators and bloggers, students and academics, and anyone seeking clarity and professionalism in their writing.
Free Vs Paid Plans: How do the free and paid plans for each product compare in terms of features and value?
There are various differences between Editor’s free and paid plans.
Features such as grammar, spell-checking, style refinements, vocabulary suggestions, and more are only available to those with a Microsoft 365 subscription.
Similarly, there’s a world of difference between Grammarly’s free and paid plans.
Here’s the proof:
|Features||Grammarly Free Version||Grammarly Paid Version|
|Basic Editing Checks||Yes||Yes|
|Suggestions To Improve Correctness||Yes||Yes|
|Suggestions To Improve Clarity||Yes||Yes|
|Suggestions To Improve Reader Engagement||No||Yes|
|Passive Voice Misuse Checker||No||Yes|
|Improper Formatting Checker||No||Yes|
|Alternate Word Suggestions||No||Yes|
|Get Help From Expert Writers||No||Yes|
Language Support: How many languages do each product support for grammar and spelling checks?
Grammarly only provides English language support.
However, it lets users customize their writing to a specific English audience, including American, Canadian, Australian, and British.
Microsoft Editor brings out your best writer in more than 20 languages, including Chinese, French, German, Italian, Hindi, and more.
Plagiarism Checker: How effective are the plagiarism-checking tools for each product?
Unlike Microsoft Editor, Grammarly Premium offers a plagiarism checker.
However, I have found the built-in plagiarism checker to be less reliable than that of Copyscape, one of the best plagiarism detectors around.
As such, if the presence of duplication in your content can land you in deep water, Grammarly Premium is a better option.
Writing Goals: How well does each product help users achieve their specific writing goals?
If you write for a living, Grammarly is a much better pick of the two.
Besides helping you adopt different writing styles, it gives you the option to get advice from expert writers, get suggestions to improve reader engagement and avoid the misuse of passive voice.
However, if you want your formal written conversation to sound more professional, Editor can be an equally good fit.
Alternatives: What alternatives are there to both of these tools?
Here are the various alternatives to these apps you’d do well to check out:
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Microsoft Editor worth it?
The free version of Microsoft Editor is sufficient for those who need a basic grammar and spell checker. However, subscribe to the premium version if you want more advanced features, such as sentence structure, conciseness, and clarity.
Is Microsoft Editor the same as Grammarly?
While Microsoft Editor focuses on grammar and spelling suggestions, Grammarly is an all-around writing assistant that offers more advanced features, including a plagiarism checker, in its premium version.
What are the benefits of Microsoft Editor?
Microsoft Editor offers robust grammar and spelling checks, suggestions for improving sentence structure, and helps users pinpoint and eliminate wordiness.
Microsoft Editor Vs Grammarly: Which One Comes Out On Top?
Microsoft Editor and Grammarly both appeal to different sets of users. As such, they perform different functions.
Pick Microsoft Editor if You:
- Are looking for a more budget-friendly option
- Require grammar and spelling checks in 20+ languages
- Already have a Microsoft 365 subscription or plan to get one.
- Want real-time analysis reports on readability, distinct words, and more
- Don’t need a standalone mobile app for your writing needs.
Select Grammarly if You:
- Prefer a wide range of writing styles and genres, including casual and creative.
- Want a plagiarism checker integrated into your writing assistant
- Are willing to invest in a premium writing assistant for added features and value
- Do a significant amount of writing on mobile devices.
- Are seeking a range of customization options, including style preferences and creating a personal dictionary.