The highlight of this week’s open source software is Language tools. It is a proofreading software that can check the grammar, style and spelling of more than 20 languages.
I have been using it for the past few days and I am confident enough to review it and share my experience. In the past, I have used the popular proofreading tool Grammarly. Below are some comparisons of these two tools.
LanguageTool: open source proofing software
- You can copy and paste the text on its website.
- You can install a browser extension that will check for errors when you type anything anywhere in your web browser.
- You can install Java-based desktop applications for offline use.
- You can install add-ons for LibreOffice and MS Office.
- Attachment also Can be used in many other software Such as Sublime Text, Thunderbird, Vim, Visual Studio Code, etc.
- Android application Can also.
- If you want to use LanguageTool in the software or service, you can also use the API API products are advanced services.
You can find the source code of LanguageTool and its related assets at the following location Their GitHub repository.
LanguageTool also has an advanced version You can buy it. The advanced version provides additional error checking.
I am using LanguageTool Premium as a browser extension. Almost all my writing is online, so the browser extension is perfect for me.
The easiest way to try LanguageTool is to use its browser extension. Install the browser plug-in, and the next time you type anything in the browser, LanguageTool will start to check your text for grammatical and spelling errors. It will also check for style errors.
LanguageTool left a good first impression. When you start typing, it will start checking for errors.
Different types of errors have different color codes. Spelling errors are highlighted in red, grammatical errors are highlighted in yellow, and style errors are shown in blue shading.
Click the error suggestion to replace your text with the suggested text. You can also ignore this suggestion. You will also see the number of problems identified by LanguageTool in the current text check.
Spelling errors recognized by LanguageTool
You can also create personal directories and add words to them. This is helpful because there is no proofing tool that allows technical terms such as systemd, iptables and WireGuard to be approved. To avoid marking these words as misspelled, please add them to your personal dictionary.
You can edit your personal dictionary from the LanguageTool account.
LanguageTool Personal Dictionary
If it finds a syntax error, it will also provide a quick explanation of the error. You can get more details by clicking a tooltip, which takes you to an external source in good standing.
You can get additional details about the error
If you double-click a word, it will also suggest synonyms.
If you use LanguageTool’s online service, the text will pass Encrypted connection. All their servers are hosted in Hetzner Online GmbH in Germany.
Free use of languagetool.org website can display advertisements (there are no third-party advertisements in browser plug-ins). To test their claim of “sending text through an encrypted server”, I entered sample text that included words such as vacuum cleaners, laptops, etc.
Fortunately, the ads displayed on their website have nothing to do with the text I entered. On the websites I visited or on Facebook, I did not find any vacuum cleaner ads. This is a good thing.
No software is perfect, and LanguageTool is no exception. Although it helps to find obvious spelling and grammatical errors, it is still difficult in some simple cases.
For example, if a sentence contains several spaces together, LanguageTool cannot find a problem related to this.
Too many spaces, but not found
This is very strange, because if I look at their “wrong rules”, I will see Space repeat rules. I think the rule only applies to the Java-based LanguageTool application, not to the browser add-on I am using.
I also found other situations where LanguageTool should recognize the error but not the error. For example, it does not warn about the lack of “recipients” in the following text:
LanguageTool cannot find the missing “recipient”
When I checked it against the grammar free version, it was able to point this out.
The grammar will recognize it soon
I also found an infinite loop of suggestions. First, it is recommended to use grammar as the plural form of grammar.
Suggestions on using “grammar”
Then, it does not accept “grammar” as a valid word.
Then it does not accept “grammar”
I have seen such “infinite error loops” in the past in terms of grammar, so for this kind of problem, I will not be too hard on LanguageTool.
Despite some troubles, I am satisfied with LanguageTool proofing tool. Both the free version and the premium version are enough to discover obvious spelling errors and grammatical errors.
The premium version provides more than 2,500 additional error checks at an annual cost of approximately $ 15. This is much cheaper than Grammarly, which costs $ 140 per year.
I chose the premium version because it will help this open source project. Advanced users can also get email support.
Of course, you will not be forced to pay additional fees. You can use the free version, if you have any questions or need support, you can use Community Forum You can join for free.
Of course, LanguageTool can be considered as one of the essential open source tools for writers. I will continue to use LanguageTool. If you find grammatical or spelling errors in the “Freedom” article in the future, please blame LanguageTool, not me. Kidding 🙂