How to use grammar in Google Docs

  • You can use Grammarly in Google Docs by installing a browser extension.
  • Grammar makes suggestions for spelling, grammar and punctuation for free, although there is a premium subscription that adds additional features.
  • If you set goals in your document for the audience, formality and tone, Grammarly makes custom recommendations to help you achieve the desired writing style.
  • Visit the Insiders Tech Reference Library for more stories.

Each of us needs help with our writing, which is why many people turn to spelling and grammar checks. Microsoft has spent years refining the tools built into Microsoft Office, but what if you use Google Docs? A popular option is Grammarly, a free spelling and grammar checker that can be integrated into your browser and can direct your work wherever you type online, including Google Docs.

Although Grammarly for Google Docs is still in beta, it’s easy to install and start using. It works in all common browsers, including Chrome, Safari, Firefox and Edge – but the full experience with advanced suggestions is only available in Chrome.

How to install Grammarly for Google Chrome

1. Start

Google Chrome
and if you have not already installed the Grammarly for Chrome extension, go to the Grammarly for Chrome page and click Add to Chrome.

Screenshot of the Grammarly extension webpage

Install the Grammarly extension for your browser.

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2. Confirm that you want to install the extension by clicking Add extension.

3. The Grammarly website should open. Log in to your Grammarly account, or create a new free account.

4. Go to Google Docs in your browser and open a document. You should see the Grammar icon (an arrow that curves in the shape of the letter G) or the total number of suggested edits in the document in the lower right margin of the page. Click on it to open the Grammarly sidebar.

Screenshot of the Grammarly icon in Google Docs

Click on the Grammar icon to see your suggestions.

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How to enable grammar in Google Docs

After installing the Grammarly extension, you should be able to use it in Google Docs. If you do not see the Grammarly icon or the number of suggested edits, Grammarly may be disabled. To check:

1. click on Expansion icon in the toolbar at the top of the browser.

2. Click in the drop-down menu Grammatically.

3. Make sure Look for suggestions for writing in Google Docs is on. The button must be swiped to the right.

Screenshot of the Grammarly extension in Chrome

If Grammarly does not work in Google Docs, make sure it is enabled.

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How to use Grammarly Sidebar in Google Docs

To start using Grammarly in Google Docs, open a Google Doc (or create a new document).

There are two ways to review the proposed edits:

  • You should be able to see suggested edits in the document by looking for text with a red underline. You can hover over the red underlined text to see suggestions and accept or reject them one by one.

Screenshot of Google Docs grammar suggestions

Hold the mouse with the mouse to see suggestions.

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  • You can review your edits in the Grammarly sidebar. To do so, click on the Grammar icon in the lower right margin of the page to tell Grammarly to display the number of suggested edits in the document. If you already see the number of suggested edits, click on that number. The sidebar should appear and show all the suggested edits in a list. You can now work your way through the list, one item at a time, accepting or rejecting edits along the way. To accept a change, click on the item you want to use. You can reject a suggestion by clicking Dismiss icon shaped like a trash can. To see additional context and details about the grammar rules behind a suggestion, click Learn more.

Screenshot of Grammarly sidebar in Google Docs

The Grammarly sidebar lists all the suggested edits in a long list.

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An advantage of using the sidebar is that it is easy to see at a glance how well your document scores in four categories Grammar uses to assess your document: Correctness, Clarity, Commitment and Delivery. At the top of the sidebar you can see a fuel gauge score for each.

How to set grammar goals in Google Docs

Although Grammarly is a powerful tool for ensuring that your spelling and grammar are correct, many people also rely on Grammar to ensure that their tone and presentation match the intended audience of the document. Grammatically can customize the suggestions it gives you based on how you set the goals of your document. How to use it:

1. If necessary, click the suggested edit counter at the bottom of the document to open the Grammarly sidebar.

2. At the top of the sidebar, click Adjust goals button resembling an archery target.

3. IN Set goals window, select the desired settings for this document. You can choose the audience, level of formality, tone and intention. If you are a premium subscriber, you can also select the domain, e.g. Academic, business, creative and so on.

Screenshot of the Grammarlys set goal window

If you customize the Set Goals settings, Grammarly will tailor its recommendations.

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4. When you are done, click done.

You can now see the number of suggested edits change; the specific suggestions will vary depending on the document options you choose. Grammar will have a different word choice suggestion, for example depending on whether you are trying to appeal to a general audience or experts in this field.

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