WordPress can check your spelling, grammar, and style using After the Deadline Proofreading technology.
Proofreading in the Visual Editor
Click on the proofread icon in the Visual Editor toolbar to check your writing.
The proofreading feature checks spelling, misused words, grammar, and style. You can tell the type of error by its color.
- Misused words and spelling errors are red
- Grammar mistakes are green
- Style suggestions are blue
You can click an error to display a menu with suggestions. Many errors have an Explain option that provides more information.
You can click Ignore suggestion to ignore a phrase once, or click Ignore always to have WordPress permanently ignore and unmark the selected word/phrase.
The instructions from this guide are referring to the WP Admin dashboard. You can get to this dashboard by adding /wp-admin to the end of your site’s url (e.g.: example.wordpress.com/wp-admin)
You can configure the proofreading feature by going to Users → Personal Settings from the left hand menu in your dashboard.
From here you can edit the phrase ignore list and enable extra options in the proofreading feature. Make sure you click Update Profile at the bottom of the page to save your settings.
Automatically Proofread Content
You can tell WordPress to run the proofreader automatically before publishing or updating a post (or page). When enabled, this feature will ask if you really want to continue with your publish or update action when errors are present.
English Grammar and Style Options
The proofreader applies many of its grammar rules by default. These extra options find patterns of poor writing style:
- Bias language may offend or alienate different groups of readers.
- Clichés are overused phrases with little reader impact.
- Complex phrases are words or phrases with simpler every-day alternatives.
- Diacritical marks are accents and marks attached to letters in some nouns and words borrowed from other languages. This option helps restore these marks in your writing.
- A double negative is one negative phrase followed by another. The negatives cancel each other out, making the meaning hard to understand.
- A hidden verb is a verb made into a noun. These often need extra verbs to make sense.
- Jargon phrases are foreign words and phrases that only make sense to certain people.
- Passive voice obscures or omits the sentence subject. Frequent use of passive voice makes your writing hard to understand.
- Phrases to avoid are wishy-washy or indecisive phrases.
- Redundant phrases can be shortened by removing an unneeded word.
After the Deadline can proofread posts written in English, French, German, Portuguese, and Spanish. Your blog language setting is used as the proofreading language.
If you blog in many languages on one blog, you may select Use automatically detected language to proofread posts and pages. The proofreader will then detect the language of your post and use the correct technology to proofread it.
You may add a phrase to the ignore list by typing it into the text field and clicking Add. Click the ‘x’ icon next to a phrase to remove a phrase from the ignore list. A phrase is one or more words and the ignore list is case-sensitive.
Can I add words to the dictionary?
No, but you can add phrases to an ignore list so they don’t show up as errors.
Do you differentiate between American, British, and Canadian English?
Not yet. For now, American, British, and Canadian variations of words are in our dictionary.
Is the proofreading feature available for languages other than English?
Yes. We provide contextual spell checking for Portuguese and Spanish. French and German have some grammar checking and contextual spell checking. We don’t detect misused words outside of English yet, but we’re working on it. We plan to offer more proofreading languages in the future.
The writing checker flagged a word as misused when it was used correctly, what happened?
The proofreading feature looks for commonly confused words and then decides, using the surrounding context, if another word is a better fit. Sometimes it gets it wrong.
The proofreading feature missed an error I made, what happened?
The proofreading feature is not a replacement for carefully reading what you write. It is a safety net meant to capture common mistakes and bring them to your attention. Finding every error is not yet possible with today’s technology.
Can I use this technology on my self-hosted WordPress blog?
Absolutely! You can download the Jetpack plugin at WordPress.org which includes After the Deadline.