Every writer is in need of a good proofreading service. And so, you may be wondering if Slick Write is the right choice for you.
In this review, I will take a look at all of the features that Slick Write offers and see how it compares to other popular proofreading services like Grammarly and ProWritingAid. I'll also discuss whether or not Slick Write is good for writing books and long-form content.
- What is Slick Write
- How much does Slick Write cost
- Core features of Slick Write
- The pros and cons of Slick Write
Table of contents
- What is Slick Write?
- Slick Write Pricing: How much does Slick Write cost?
- Slick Write Features
- What I Liked About Slick Write
- Slick Write Alternatives: How it Compares
What Qualifies Me to Talk About Slick Write?
So I've been writing for many years, and writing professionally through both my books, Kindlepreneur, my other websites, and other forms of employment.
I've been using a spellchecker for all of that time.
Additionally, for this review, I tested Slick Write and a ton of other tools to really understand which was the best, and to understand the intricacies that make make a program like Slick Write more appropriate for some, while another program like ProWritingAid or Grammarly might be better for others.
Plus, before I put together this review, I reached out to Kindlepreneur's audience to get a general overview of what they thought was the best proofreading software
So with that in mind, let's dive in to the meat of the review.
What is Slick Write?
Slick Write is a free, online proofreading service that checks your writing for grammar mistakes, sentence structure, and more.
Like many of the other proofreading software out there, this program is superior to the standard spell check that you will find in most programs or on most browsers.
But is it good enough to go head-to-head with my favorites like ProWritingAid? Let's take a look.
Slick Write Pricing: How much does Slick Write cost?
Slick Write is completely free to use. There is no paid version of this program. That being said, it doesn't have all of the features that you might find in some of the paid proofreading software. And it is completely cloud-based.
There is a submission limit, which comes in at 30,000 words or 200,000 characters. For most writers, this will not be a problem. Almost all papers and articles will be below this word count. For novelists, all you would have to do is upload your book in sections, rather than the whole thing at once.
But if you're just looking for a quick way to check your writing for mistakes, then you might want to give Slick Write a look. So let's check out some of Slick Write's features.
Slick Write Features
There are a number of great features that Slick Write offers, some of which are pretty advanced for a free program.
1. Grammar Check: What it Covers
While not as advanced as the many grammar features that ProWritingAid checks, it does cover all of the basics. It will check for grammar errors like pronoun agreement, run-on sentences, and subject-verb agreement.
Here's a comprehensive list of all the grammar types that Slick Write checks for:
- Doubled words
- Extra spaces
- Commonly confused words
- Sentences starting with the same word
- Misplaced conjunctions
- Misplaced prepositions
- Run-on sentences
- Recycled linking verbs
- Excessive prepositional phrases
- Transition words and phrases
- Hidden verbs
- Filter words
- Abstract words
- “Legalese” (one of my favorites)
- Passive voice
- Wordy or redundant phrases
- Double negatives
- Excessive adjectives
- Function words
On the surface, this may seem like an excessive amount of grammar checking. However, you can customize it to work for you, and it is actually not quite as extensive as what ProWritingAid offers.
Plus, there is no spelling checker, which seems like a major oversight.
You can also set it to check for different types of writing, such as academic or fiction, but these adjustments are a lot more basic.
Slick Write has a nifty feature that allows you to see where you are using quotes, and if you are using them correctly.
3. Vocabulary Variety
This is one of my favorite features: the ability to look at your vocabulary variety, which lets you know if you are over using certain words, and if there are better words to use. It also gives you a score based on a color, with bright green telling you that that portion of your manuscript is good, and yellow and red areas telling you that those portions need work.
I found the flow tool to be one of the most complicated, and harder-to-understand features.
The flow tool, which displays sentence structure with a visual distribution that weighs word length to the sentences before and after, is designed to help you see how your writing flows. Visually variety means you have good flow, while flat bars indicate uninteresting material. The structural flow, sentence length flow, and word length flow are displayed in separate graphs.
If you don't find this tool overwhelming, then it can be a useful guide. But I found it to be a little difficult to navigate.
One of the nifty features about Slick Write, is that it has statistics. These let you get a birds eye view of how good your writing is. This includes such metrics as:
- Word count
- Estimated reading time
- Passive voice index
- Prepositional phrase index
- Automated readability Index
- Vocabulary variety
- Function words
- Uncommon words
- Number of sentences
- Average sentence length
- Number of paragraphs
- Average paragraph length
- Sentence types
- Proportion of long sentences
I found these to be quite fascinating, and he gave me incentive to keep working on my manuscript until I could get those statistics down where I wanted them.
6. The Word Associator
Another important feature is the Associator, which can help out when you're experiencing writer's block. If you are finding yourself stuck, the Associator will play the Association game to help you find new words to use. This is particularly useful for fiction authors who are looking for different, descriptive words.
While useful, I wouldn't say this is necessarily a game changer, as a good thesaurus would do the same thing. It just makes the whole process a little easier.
7. The Editor
One of the things that I found confusing about this program is the relationship that the editor has with the grammar critique screen. It would seem that the editor is a completely separate screen, and it does not show you what needs to be changed. For that you have to go to the Critique screen.
Which means, basically, that you have to go back and forth between the two screens to know what edits you have to make. This is not only time-consuming, but a little annoying.
For most users, you will need to use the browser-based version of the software to make it work. Slick Write does offer few integrations, however:
- Libre Office
- Open Office
There is also a browser extension that you can get for Chrome or Firefox. But I have found these extensions to be clunky at best, and you will get the best results from using the browser-based proofreading tool.
What I Liked About Slick Write
Slick Write actually has a lot of good things going for it. Here's a list of some of them:
- It's Free: this goes without saying, but a free software is incredibly enticing, even if it doesn't shape up to more robust programs like Grammarly Premium or ProWritingAid.
- The Key Statistics: I found the statistics to be fun and engaging, and even a little bit motivating. While you can find statistics like these and other programs, this one made it easy to find, and laid out the data very well. Unfortunately, I don't know how useful this is to actually improve your writing.
- The Associator: I thought this was a fun tool that could help with writer's block. Again, it's not necessarily a game changer, but it's a nice feature to have.
All in all, this is a solid program if you are looking for a free option. However, not everything is so great…
What I Didn't Like About Slick Write
- Ease of Use: while the navigation was easy, I found this program to be a little difficult to use. Many of the tools and grammatical error checkers felt a bit overwhelming, and correcting them was equally frustrating. I still can't get over the fact that the editor is completely separate from all these tools, and there is no way to see what needs improving within the editor itself.
- Inaccurate: I found many of the grammatical error checkers to be inaccurate. This is, of course, to be expected with any free software program like this, but it was still a bit frustrating.
- Doesn't Check for Spelling: for all that Slick Write can do, there are some basic writing errors that it does not look for, most notably spelling. I simply can't believe that this tool does not check for spelling. That, for me, is almost a deal-breaker. However, the Hemingway Editor doesn't have this either.
- Lack of Features: this program lacks some features that other, more robust programs have. For example, there is no way to check for plagiarism, which is a valuable asset to have. These might not be deal breakers for some people, but for me, they are important factors to consider.
So while Slick Write is free, so I don't feel I can criticize it much, I would still not recommended for anyone but the most budget-restricted authors.
Slick Write Alternatives: How it Compares
But here's what I'd really like to know: is Slick Write better than other programs. Well, let's take a look at the top three from my list of the best proofreading software.
Slick Write vs. Hemingway Editor
Slick Write is clearly trying to be a Hemingway Editor competitor. Both programs focus more on writing style, writing skill, and developing your voice than it is for basic spelling and grammar errors.
Both programs are excellent at recognizing passive voice, adverbs, fractured sentences, text readability, and word count.
However, of the two, I found the Hemingway Editor to be much more intuitive, which is why it is my number one recommendation for a free proofreading software.
Slick Write vs. Grammarly
When it comes to accuracy, Grammarly is one of the best. Slick Write is definitely not as accurate or precise as Grammarly.
But, Slick Write does well for being a free, web-based editor. And while Grammarly's free version is decent, it does restrict a lot of the premium features that Slick Write does not.
Note: I wouldn't recommend Grammarly for authors anyway, as ProWritingAid is a far superior program for long-form content.
Slick Write vs. ProWritingAid
When it comes to these two programs, ProWritingAid is undoubtably the king. It has everything that Slick Write does, plus a lot more features, including:
- Spell check
- Punctuation check
- Sticky sentences
Plus, ProWritingAid has 25 reports, which is far greater than what Slick Write offers. In the program is much more intuitive, and comes with helpful videos and training to make sure you get the most out of this robust program.
ProWritingAid also offers a lot more integrations, including Microsoft Word, Atticus, Google Docs, Scrivener, Final Draft, and virtually all the main browser extensions.
Through this link, you can actually get 20% off of ProWritingAid's Lifetime price, which is a really great deal for a premium product of this caliber.
The Bottom Line: Is Slick Write Worth a Look?
Overall, I would say that Slick Write is not the best proofreading software for authors. While they pack it full of features, it does not measure up to premium products in the slightest, and I would even say that other free programs like the Hemingway Editor are superior.
Slick Write is a useful program (especially for a free program), and can help you improve your writing style. But a simple lack of certain key features make it less attractive, in my opinion, even when compared to other free programs. Be sure to check out my list of the best proofreading software for a detailed comparison between Slick Write and other tools, along with individual reviews for the following tools:
- ProWritingAid (my top recommendation, check this link for 20% off with code KINDLEPRENEUR20)