After running SpellCheckPlus through a series of tests, I would not recommend either the free or the premium version. This is mostly because the grammar checker doesn’t retain the original document’s formatting, which causes more problems than the programs helps solve.
Like with Ginger, I didn’t have much trouble getting the premium version of SpellCheckPlus up and running. It was easy to create an account and start my free trial, which lasts for a week. The main difference between the free and premium versions is that the latter lets you input as much text as you’d like, while the free version only lets you paste 2,000 characters at a time.
Both the free and premium versions are clunky. SpellCheckPlus isn’t an online tool you can use around the web to check your grammar and spelling on social media or even in Word or Outlook. Instead, you have to copy and paste your work into a text box on its site.
When I copied and pasted text into the program, it removed spaces between the period and the first letter of the following sentence as well as between some words, which it then tried to mark as incorrect. Since SpellCheckPlus couldn’t keep the formatting from test documents, the program appeared to catch many more errors than were in the original work. Ultimately, the free version caught just three legitimate errors, compared to Grammarly’s 14 in the same document, and I didn’t see a significant difference in the quality of feedback when I switched to the premium version.
The site explains that the pro, or premium, version gives you access to a larger workspace than in the free version. In addition, when you upgrade, you don’t have to look at ads and the program stores your previous work. It also has a few other features that are standard for premium grammar checker sites like grammar exercises and access to information about the errors you make, though this report isn’t as comprehensive or helpful as the weekly updates you get from Grammarly.
Unlike Grammarly, which offers suggestions and lets you choose how to deal with them (e.g., ignore them, add the word to your dictionary, etc.) SpellCheckPlus has you input the corrections yourself. The highlighting tool is cumbersome because it also adds unneeded spaces around words or areas you’re correcting.
The program also doesn’t edit as you go. Once you finish composing your work, you run it through the checker, which takes just under 10 seconds to process. If you add a significant amount of text after or do more than make the suggested changes, you need to run your document through the checker again. Waiting for your document to process repeatedly, especially when you’ve got a deadline, can waste time.
There’s a short FAQs section and email contact information on the website in case you need help. It would be better if the company also offered live chat support and if its FAQs section was extensive and easily searchable. Adding these features would make the site more user-friendly, though the workspace also needs to improve if SpellCheckPlus is going to compete with other online grammar checkers.
Even though it’s inexpensive, SpellCheckPlus isn’t worth purchasing. I think it’s particularly important for English language learners to stay away from this program. If you’ve carefully constructed your sentences, the software’s formatting problems will disrupt your work and create errors in your document instead of helping you fix them.