Mediocre grammar checker

Improve your writing in English, but only if it's not your first language.

WhiteSmoke analyzes users' writing and provides suggestions for improved grammar, style, and spelling. Although the program looks nice and is easy to use, there are a lot of errors that it doesn't catch.

The program's interface is intuitive and attractive, and the program's built-in Help file does an adequate job of explaining its functions. Users type or paste their writing into a box, and the program analyzes the text and provides suggestions for improvement. While WhiteSmoke did easily catch spelling errors, it had a harder time with grammar. Comma splices in particular don't seem to bother it at all, and it often made nonsensical suggestions in places where there was no error to begin with. Most puzzling are the templates that the program includes; these are supposedly sample documents that users can start with and edit to their liking. But they cover a bizarre range of topics and, more importantly, many of them are poorly written! WhiteSmoke itself detects a lot of errors within the templates, but there are many more it doesn't pick up. In general, we feel that WhiteSmoke would be best suited to users who are in the process of learning English and are trying to avoid major mistakes. Most native English speakers are going to make the kinds of mistakes that WhiteSmoke can't help with.

WhiteSmoke has a seven-day trial period. It installs desktop icons without asking and requires an e-mail address upon installation, but it uninstalls cleanly. We recommend this program to users who are learning English as a second language.

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