When posting to the TechNet Wiki, we want our articles to be great. However, sometimes we are in a rush, or English is not our native language, and it’s easy to make a mistake. I recently discovered a tool that has improved my writing and it can do the same for you. Best of all, you can access it from within the TechNet Wiki Editor.
Enter Grammarly, a free browser add-on that checks your text for spelling and grammar errors. It is designed to catch over 250 types of grammar mistakes. I have been using the free version on both Chrome and Firefox. Note there is no Internet Explorer version. Instead, you need to download Grammarly for Windows desktop version.
Grammarly works while you type. You can also open a Grammarly document and paste your text in for analysis. This is great if you compose your article in Microsoft Word or in an HTML composer like Windows Live Writer (WLW - now open sourced by Microsoft as Open Live Writer). I am using WLW to write this blog post and so I use this copy & paste method to see my mistakes, as shown below.
You can see in the image below that Grammarly shows up within the TechNet Wiki Editor when using Firefox. It discovered that I misspelt a word and that I also used the wrong word. I can correct mistakes by hovering over each word and make changes using the built-in correction feature. I can also elect to launch the text into Grammarly’s own editor to make changes and propagate them back into the Wiki Editor.
Is Grammarly perfect? No. Nothing beats multiple edits and even a read of your article by a friend. I find that it misses easy mistakes sometimes. However, it has improved my writing since I started using it. I am now spotting errors and making corrections to my text before Grammarly can.