How to Use Grammarly for Google Docs

Get the Grammarly Chrome extension to grammar check your docs

For anyone who does any writing, having a way to double-check your grammar is a necessity. Google Docs users had a tough time finding good tools for grammar reviews, but with Grammarly for Google Docs, that's no longer a problem. If you use Google Docs on a Chrome browser, this is the perfect tool to improve your writing.

Why Use Grammarly for Your Google Docs Grammar Check

Grammarly is one of the best-known tools for checking grammar and more. If you write in Google Docs often, it's a tool to help you improve your writing and make creating professional documents even easier. Grammarly scans your document as you write to help you find and correct grammar mistakes in the words you put on the page.

If you are writing for a specific purpose, such as work, or maybe creating a series of books which use a specific style, you can even set Grammarly up to work with custom styles. For example, if your company style is to avoid the Oxford comma (a comma after all items in a list except the last one), you can create a custom style item to help you stay on track. However, you'll need to have the Business version of Grammarly to use this feature.

There are three levels of subscription for Grammarly. The Free plan offers a single user basic writing corrections for grammar, spelling, and punctuation. The Premium plan offers more advanced feedback for a single user, and the Business plan offers advanced feedback for three or more users.

You can add specific words to your personal dictionary, even with a free account. To do so, you need to log into your account on the Grammarly website and choose Customize. There you'll see an option to add a word to your Personal Dictionary or you can adjust your Language Preference.

The customization options in a Grammarly account online.

How to Install and Use Grammarly for Google Docs

The first thing to know when preparing to use Grammarly for Google Docs is you can only use it on the Chrome browser. That's because Grammarly for Google Docs is actually a Chrome extension which has been architected to work with Google Docs.

  1. To get started, you first need to install the Grammarly extension for Google Chrome. You'll find it in the Chrome Store. Once you do, click Add to Chrome.

    The Add to Chrome option on the Grammarly extension for Chrome.
  2. You may be prompted to add the extension. Click Add extension and then give it a few minutes to load.

    Confirm you want to add an extension in the Chrome Web Store.
  3. When it's finished, the button you clicked to add it will change to Remove extension. You can close out of the Chrome Web Store.

    The appearance of the installation button once a Chrome extension has been installed.

How to User Grammarly in Google Docs

Once you've installed the extension, then you can start using Grammarly for Google Docs.

Initially, the Grammarly extension for Chrome was only available to premium Grammarly subscribers. That's no longer the case. You do have to sign up with Grammarly to use the extension, but you can sign up for the free version of the app and still use Grammarly for Google Docs.

  1. The first time you open a Google Doc file after you've installed the Grammarly extension, a popup message appears in the lower right corner of the page which indicates Grammarly is in beta testing for Google Docs. Click TURN IT ON to enable the extension for use with Google Docs.

    The first time the Grammarly extension is used in Google Docs.

    If you're already signed into Grammarly online, the extension will connect and you can begin using it. If it's not, you'll be prompted to sign in or create an account the first time you use it. Follow the on-screen instructions, and choose the free account to get started. You can always upgrade it later if you think you'll use the premium features.

  2. The message box in the lower right corner changes to let you know Grammarly is now active. You have the option to TAKE A QUICK TOUR or you can skip it if you click NO THANKS.

    You'll also notice the dialog box this option appears in points to a number in a red circle. This is the indicator of how many grammar errors Grammarly thinks you have.

    The error indicator in Grammarly for Google Docs.
  3. Each of the errors Grammarly catches (and which are indicated by the number in the red circle) is underlined in red in the text of your document.

    A grammar error called out by Grammarly.
  4. If you click the word that's underlined in red, the Grammarly-suggested changes will appear in a pop-up box. You can either click the suggestion to accept it, or click Ignore to ignore the suggestion and leave the text as it is.

    The Grammarly suggested correction for a flagged error in Google Docs.
  5. With each suggestion you correct, the number of errors in the red circle in the bottom right corner of the page will decrease. When all errors have been corrected or ignore (or if you load a document that has no errors), the icon will turn into the green, Grammarly icon.

    The Grammarly icon when there are no grammatical errors in a Google Document.
  6. There are also some controls hidden in Grammarly's icon, even when it's a red circle with a number in it instead of a green circle. If you hover your cursor over the icon, you'll see two additional icons appear. They are:

    • Leave feedback so you can leave feedback (this is a beta, after all) for the Grammarly team.
    • Disable on this website: Allows you to temporarily turn off Grammarly on any website where it's active.

Using the Grammarly Sidebar

When you're working in long documents that have many types of Grammarly flags, the easiest way to work through them is to use the Grammarly sidebar.

To view the sidebar, click the Grammarly icon in the bottom right corner of the document (either green if there are no errors or red if there are errors). The sidebar will open on the right side of the page. Here you can scroll through the items Grammarly has flagged, or click each of the sidebars to view a specific type of error, including Correctness, Clarity, Engagement, or Delivery.

A screenshot showing the Grammarly sidebar.

Setting Goals With Grammarly for Your Content

One additional feature that's nice to have in Grammarly for Google Docs is the ability to set goals for the content that you create. To access this feature, open the Grammarly sidebar and then click the target icon. This opens a Set goals dialog box where you can adjust options for Audience, Formality, Domain, and Tone.

The Set goals option on Grammarly for Google Docs.
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