Pros / Ginger is easy to install and run.
Cons / The program catches fewer errors than our top pick, Grammarly.
Verdict / If you already have a good grasp on punctuation and grammar rules, Ginger is a low-cost option that can catch some syntax-related errors.
After using Ginger for over a month, I believe it isn’t as buggy as WhiteSmoke, but it also isn’t as consistent and easy to use as Grammarly. When I ran Ginger through tests, giving it samples of student writing and having it check sentences with common errors, the grammar software found fewer errors overall and occasionally made less than stellar correction suggestions.
- Accuracy Score
- Ease of Use
- Correction Speed
When I ran student-written documents through Ginger, it only caught five errors, compared to Grammarly’s 15. Of those five, only four were actual grammar errors that needed to be fixed. The program didn’t detect passive voice, though it found a few misspelled words. Based on these writing tests, it seems that Ginger’s dictionary isn’t as extensive as Grammarly’s.
The software’s premium version does a slightly better job finding errors than the free version – where the premium version found five errors in the student papers, the free version only found three. Even though it’s one of the more expensive programs out there, I recommend upgrading to premium if you plan to use Ginger.
Editing & Feedback
When you use Grammarly’s software, you can find out more about a problem it flags by clicking on a link that opens a window with a more detailed explanation. On the other hand, Ginger has pretty sparse feedback, usually just one or two words to explain the error.
The premium program has links to videos that discuss common grammar errors so you can learn to avoid them in the first place. In addition, the software keeps a record of all the sentences it checks that contain errors so you can review them and get a better sense of the most common mistakes you make. I found this useful but preferred programs that showed this information in a chart or graph rather than an itemized list as Ginger does. The system also gives you an overall score for your writing based on the number of spelling and grammar errors you make.
Ease of Use
Ginger was easy to install on my computer. I also didn’t encounter any problems with payments or downloading the program, unlike with some of the other checkers I tested, though that’s a low bar.
The program has a clean design with a lot of symbols. Initially, it can be difficult to find your way around, and the program doesn’t start you with a tutorial.
I didn’t love Ginger’s text checking technique in Word. The program runs quickly through your writing at the top of your screen, only pausing when it finds an error. As such, it’s difficult to compare the suggestion the program gives with the surrounding text in the document. I much preferred Grammarly’s side-by-side method.
Ginger was the only other program I used, besides Grammarly and WhiteSmoke, whose online text box checker worked. However, there was a glitch that caused the program to highlight misspelled and incorrect text imprecisely. Unlike Grammarly, which uses red and green lines to indicate errors, Ginger highlights incorrect word and phrases in gray. As you add to your doc, the gray doesn’t follow the original text. Instead, it remains where it was first placed, now highlighting another, usually correct piece of writing. Often, when I tried to correct an error by hovering over the highlighted section, it would take a few seconds for the clickable correction to appear.
Ginger’s premium program comes with a translator, but we didn’t find it to be any better than Google Translate, which you have access to for free. The program has both a dictionary and a thesaurus, which is convenient. However, Google provides a wider variety of dictionary results than the software’s closed system. You can add words to the dictionary, which is important if you use the program professionally because you’ll likely want to use language unique to your industry.
It’s also easy to ignore suggestions in Ginger by clicking the text buttons. In addition, there’s an Accept All button that I suggest you never use. As I used the program, I found several suggestions that made the errors worse than they originally were.
Help & Support
Ginger has a few tutorial videos to help you understand how the program works, but they are buried in the program’s menu rather than being a part of your initial walkthrough. Its support page has download help for several different browsers, and if you can’t find what you’re looking for there, you can contact email customer support. It would be nice if Ginger had live chat and phone support for more difficult problems.
If you’re an English Language Learner or a student, I recommend using a human editor for feedback on your writing rather than subscribing to this program. While Ginger was more accurate than the worst performing online grammar checkers, it’s not safe to rely solely on it for accurate feedback.