Looking for the perfect proofing software?
Most proofing tools help you eliminate spellings errors, misplaced punctuation, and embarrassing grammatical errors.
But did you know that online proofing software can do much more than just correct your grammar and spelling, or improve your writing skills?
Think beyond the squiggly red line spellcheck!
Modern proofing tools can be your ultimate creative collaboration hub.
It can help you with writing and editing and even with receiving and organizing feedback.
That’s the complete document approval process!
But just like the number of spellings for ‘chili’ (chilli? chile?), the list of options in the online proofing software market is endless.
So if you want to choose the right online proofing system for your work, you’re in the right place. In this article, you’ll learn what online proofreading tools are, why you need them, and the 5 best proofing tools currently available.
This Article Contains:
(Use the links below and jump to a specific section)
Put on your reading glasses, sharpen your marking pencil, and let’s get started!
What Is A Proofing Tool?
A proofreading tool or a proofing software is a workflow management tool tailored to the needs of content creators. You can use it to create a new piece of text or visual content, and receive and respond to feedback without having to download the document each time.
But isn’t my dictionary, a Google Doc file, and spell checker enough?
Do I really need proofing software?
Yes, because content creation is full of nightmares.
Additionally, English is a crazy language!
It takes several meetings, going over content plans, multiple editing, and spell check rounds, and a few (hundred) drafts to create a blog post that everyone likes.
Trust us, we know this all too well 🙁
Even then, stubborn grammatical errors or a misplaced artwork file rears its ugly head minutes before your final submission!
And all you can do is scream silently.
Or loudly. It’s up to you, really.
Of course, using Ctrl+Z to undo things and pressing the backspace key can considerably ease your pain. (Imagine retyping a thousand-word article for a single spelling error. Phew!)
Yet, the typical proofing workflow remains complicated and challenging.
You must put up with:
- Lags in collaboration
- Missing older versions of your MS Word file or artwork
- Delays in multiple reviews
But don’t worry.
These are exactly the problems that an online proofreading tool is meant to solve.
What are the benefits of an online proofing tool?
An excellent proofing software will help you:
- Create content (alone or collaboratively)
- Conduct rounds of grammar checking easily
- Gather feedback on it via various media formats (PDF, JPEG, MS Word, etc.)
- Track feedback or content review tab threads
All of this, in turn, should help you create great content free of grammatical mistakes with impeccable style!
How to choose a proofreading tool
An online proofing system could be of two kinds.
Some are simple, bare-bone content management software.
While others are elaborate, multifunctional labyrinths.
However, your ideal online proofreading tool should combine ease of use with a feature-rich experience.
Tall order? Not really.
Chances are, content creation is just one of the many things you dabble in.
You also need to manage your team, deal with your client or freelancer, oversee finances, etc.
But you won’t be able to do any of this with a narrow-focused proofing software.
For that, you need project management software.
So if you choose to invest in an online proofing software, ensure that it helps you with much more than just content management.
Thankfully, just like your favorite yellow sponge, we love making lists!
(But ours are much shorter and better curated.)
Not one for lengthy (or short) lists?
Jump to this section to see our top suggestion for project management software.
Top 5 Proofing Tools To Choose From In 2020
Untitled documents. Emails without subjects. Unscheduled “catchup calls”.
These are a few of our least favorite things.
That’s why we make our lists as Thoreau as possible.
Oh, sorry. We meant ‘thorough’!
(See why everyone needs a proofing process?)
We’ve listed the key features, pros, cons, and pricing for each online proofing system so you can make the most informed choice for your team.
With ClickUp’s combination of content creation and project management features, it’s the ultimate software for all your business needs.
Here are some ClickUp features to look out for.
How ClickUp helps in the proofing process
Much like everything else in ClickUp, the Proofing feature is also geared for efficient collaboration.
You can use it to clearly mark changes on an artwork file or streamlining the review for your marketing creatives. Whenever you need to communicate something on a file, just use ClickUp’s proofing tool for the job.
You’ll find ample support for various file types (PNG, JPEG, PDF, etc.).
Here’s how easy it is to proof task attachments in ClickUp:
- Open the attachment within a task
- Click “Add comments” towards the upper right of the preview window
- Click on the attachment preview where you want to add a comment
- Add your comment and assign it to a team member to help them take action immediately
With such easy-to-use proofreading features, not even the smallest error will escape your creative team!
And this extends to a whole host of content creation features.
The creative work-friendly environment of ClickUp ensures that you never have to leave the window when proofreading. Whether it’s writing a blog post or tracking the time your task takes, you can have it all without ever leaving the ClickUp Workspace!
You can dedicate Spaces within your Workspace for various business functions like marketing or HR.
Other key ClickUp features
Marketing teams or a freelancer. Designer or CEO.
There’s a ClickUp feature for everyone.
Want to learn how ClickUp caters to remote teams?
Check out these articles:
- 14 Ways to Optimize Your Project Management for Remote Teams
- Remote Project Management 2020: Processes & Tools
Here are some other ClickUp features that’ll help streamline your proofing workflow:
1. Create documents with Docs
If you want your text to be easy to read and draft, check out ClickUp Docs.
Here, you can collaborate with others to create richly formatted documents and organize them within the relevant project tasks.
2. Create Tasks for all proofing-related work
Deadlines or not, ClickUp can always keep pace with your creativity.
You can untangle your projects by creating:
- Tasks and Subtasks for blogs, articles, or any other task and assign them to individual team members or an entire team
- Checklists to break down each task into smaller steps that can be checked off according to your progress
With each task tick marked, you’ll step closer to the sweet joy of approval!
3. Use Custom Statuses to simplify your proofing workflow
No two projects (or teams, or clients) will ever be alike.
That’s why ClickUp lets you set Custom Statuses for each new task workflow.
So while the creative team can add steps like “Drafting,” “Reviewing,” “Proofing,” the engineers in your team can set completely different statuses.
Use Custom Statuses to run a tight ship and reassure your client of your progress.
After all, knowledge is power!
Access all your messages (and their context) easily with ClickUp’s Comments Section.
You can even Assign Comments to a specific team member to ensure that they immediately take action on it.
And when you want to have unrelated discussions, unscheduled brainstorms, or share adorable pet pictures, go over to the Chat view.
5. Plan intuitively with Mind Maps
Bitten by the creative bug? Or simply can’t get an idea out of your brain?
Draw your thoughts in a Mind Map and share the scheme with your team.
While ClickUp gives you templates to get started quickly, you can just as easily start sketching on a blank page too.
When the days are long and you’re drowning in project deliveries, go to Home and organize all your tasks. Here, you can also access your personal Inbox that lets you set personalized reminders for yourself.
- Comprehensive set of project management and content creation and proofreading features
- An ideal fit for Scrum, Kanban, and other Agile software development projects
- Custom Permissions to involve all the project stakeholders, like the client, sponsor, freelancer, etc.
- A detailed report on team performance for decision makers to track productivity
- Task dependencies to approach tasks in the right priority
- Custom Task Statuses to show the progress of every task
- Tons of third-party integrations (Microsoft Office 365, Zoom, Slack, and more)
- Fully functional desktop app platform for Windows and Mac
- Android, iOS mobile apps to manage your projects on the go
- Powerful Forever Free Plan with tons of advanced features
- Can’t export Dashboards
But just like you won’t stop with one round of proofreading, ClickUp continuously works to fix any problems you have. Learn more about ClickUp’s product roadmap here.
The Free Forever Plan lets you add unlimited members and projects and gives you 100MB cloud storage. Paid plans start at as low as $5/user per month.
ClickUp user ratings
- G2: 4.7/5 (1100+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.7/5 (2000+ reviews)
Filestage is an ‘all-in-one’ online proofing and creative team management software that helps you review and approve content, and streamline your creative workflow. It aims to contain your whole proofing process on a single software.
Filestage key features
- Project dashboard to track various stages of review on deliveries
- System to maintain all older versions
- Markup tools for the proofer to leave comments on an image or PDF file
- Time codes to review audio and video files
- Custom branding of your company or agency
- Flexible sharing to add internal and external stakeholders (ex: your client) to the approval process
- No sign in required for external stakeholders to review
- Add comments directly on a file. No need to download.
- Automated to-do lists are generated based on comments left.
- No desktop or mobile app platform
- No analysis for predicting completion data or team productivity
- No time tracking or goal setting features
- No free plan with an expensive starter plan that only supports 10 members
Filestage doesn’t offer any free plans, and its ‘Starter’ plan begins at $99 a month.
Filestage user ratings
- G2: 4.8/5 (20 reviews)
- Capterra: 4.8/5 (40 reviews)
Ziflow is an online proofing software specifically designed with creative agencies and brands in mind. It caters to their content sharing, review, and approval requirements.
Ziflow key features
- Collaborative review in which creative team members can add comments and respond to them in real-time
- Flexible sharing with different permission settings for each proofer
- Version tracking and comparison with audit trail features
- Built-in file organizer
- Integrations with a wide range of third-party tools
- Document lock to prevent further comments once it’s been finalized
- Support for a wide range of file types
- Enterprise-ready security features
- Review groups for easy file sharing and reviews
- No desktop app platform
- No task management features
- Limited set of integrations compared to similar software
- Steep pricing for small teams
Ziflow offers no free plan, and its paid plan begins at $10/user per month.
Ziflow user ratings
- G2: 4.7/5 (59 reviews)
- Capterra: 4.6/5 (102 reviews)
Hightail is an online proofing system meant for agency collaboration. It reduces review time, keeps projects on track to completion, and aids in managing the overall content project.
Hightail key features
- Task management with to-do lists that can be assigned
- Easy sharing of large files
- Can notify the proofer of files you’ve shared with them
- Can track if your file has been received
- Search and filter options to find files
- Bulk upload for videos and video streaming
- Can assign follow-ups to team members
- Can handle in-context discussions in a dedicated project space
- Side by side comparison of previous and current versions of files
- Supports high resolution, live previews of your documents.
- No time tracking functionality
- Limited file support on the mobile app
- No desktop app platform
- Integrates only with a few tools like Dropbox, Google Drive, and Microsoft Outlook
The Hightail ‘Lite’ plan lets you upload files up to 100MB at a time and offers 2GB storage for free. Its paid plans start at $12 per month.
Hightail user ratings
- G2: 4.2/5 (659 reviews)
- Capterra: 4.4/5 (271 reviews)
Smartsheet is a throwback to the days of Excel project management.
It uses a familiar spreadsheet interface to track and manage projects of all kinds and doubles up as an online proofing software. But yeah, it’s pretty much just a spreadsheet software that can do a little more than Excel.
Click here for our detailed review of Smartsheet.
Smartsheet key features
- Project sheet to oversee progress
- Version control with automatic document locking
- Wide range of integrations for seamless connectivity
- Gantt charts to visualize project planning
- High-level team planning view of your projects
- Automate your proofing workflow by combining multiple actions and conditional paths
- Easy to adapt for those who’re comfortable with the Excel format
- Live on-demand reports on the dashboard
- Well suited for Agile, Scrum, and Waterfall projects
- Spreadsheets are inadequate for modern project management
- No real-time collaboration support
- No desktop app available
- No free plan
Smartsheet doesn’t have a free version, and its paid plan starts at $14 per month.
Smartsheet user ratings
- G2: 4.2/5 (2000+ reviews)
- Capterra: 4.4/5 (1500+ reviews)
When we were all much younger, Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, and the whole Microsoft Office suite were the greatest things ever.
I mean, the creative possibilities were endless (WordArt ftw)!
However, we’re older and (hopefully) much smarter now.
And that means recognizing the limitations of those tools.
If creative work and writing skills are the essence of your business or agency, then it’s time to move on to an online proofing tool. You can’t afford to compromise anymore.
And while tools like Filestage and Ziflow can weed out grammar errors, you need to think bigger. You need to think ClickUp.
With advanced features like proofing, Docs, and Mindmaps, it’s going to make creative work and the approval process a cakewalk. And with tons of other project management features, it ticks all the boxes you could ever need!
Need more convincing?
No need to contact our sales rep.
Just open your ClickUp account for FREE, and try it for yourself.
We guarantee it’ll help you become a content king in no time!
Erica is ClickUp’s Senior Content Manager and professional beach bum. She spends her days creating emails, blogs, landing pages, and more to help people increase their productivity so they can save one day every week to do more of what they love.