Getting started with the ProWritingAid MS Word add-in (updated 2018)

The ProWritingAid Team
ProWritingAid: A grammar guru, style editor, and writing mentor in one package.
Published Jul 17, 2018

ProWritingAid MS Word add-in

If you haven’t used a Word or Outlook add-in before, it’s very simple. You just need to download a small bit of software, which will then be automatically added to your menu in Word and Outlook.

Click here to download the new ProWritingAid MS Word/Outlook add-in. A small file called ProWritingAidSetup.exe will begin to download. When it’s finished downloading, click it and a window will open asking you to agree to the license terms and conditions. Once you click the “agree” box, you will be able to begin installing.

You may be asked once again to agree to let our app make changes to your computer. Please click yes.

When you open Word the next time, there should be a new heading at the top that says "ProWritingAid. Click the heading and it will open up your ProWritingAid toolbar.

You will need to enter your ProWritingAid Premium licence code. The easiest way to do this is by clicking 'Log-in to retrieve licence' from either the welcome message box or the settings window. Alternatively, you can copy & paste it from the email you received when you purchased your Premium licence, or from your user profile when logged in to the ProWritingAid website.

If you are not a ProWritingAid Premium user, you will be offered a free 2-week trial when you open the add-in for the first time.

Click on the cog (see circled in red) to enter your licence code:

ProWritingAid Toolbar

This may vary slightly depending on the version of Word that you are using.

Once your licence code is in place, you are ready to go!

We normally suggest running a Summary Report first. It will give you your writing scores, statistics, and some key actions you should take to improve your writing. It looks like this:

ProWritingAid Summary Report

There are a lot of reports to test out, but here are three great ones to get you started.


  1. The Style Report
  2. The Sticky Sentence Report
  3. The Thesaurus Report
  4. Take the Time to Explore
  5. Now in Outlook as well

The Style Report

ProWritingAid Style Report

This is one of our most popular reports. It suggests a whole range of readability improvements including adverb overuse, passive voice, hidden verbs, long subordinate clauses, and much more.

The Sticky Sentence Report

ProWritingAid Sticky Sentence Report

This report highlights those sentences that contain a very high percentage of glue words (the 200 most common words like and, the, in, etc). Sentences with a high "glue index" will often be awkward or difficult to follow.

The Thesaurus Report

ProWritingAid Thesaurus Report

This report highlights the words in your document that have synonyms so that you can go through and make sure that you are using the strongest vocabulary possible. You can run it on 300 words at a time.

Take the Time to Explore

Each report is different and each user has their favorite. Play around with each of them until you find the ones that work best for you.

Now in Outlook as well

ProWritingAid in Outlook

The ProWritingAid add-in will also work in Outlook so you can make sure your emails are just as well-written.

When you open Outlook after installing the add-in, it will ask you if you would also like to install it here. It functions in the same way as in word.

Having problems?

Are you having problems getting the add-in installed? Check our MS Word add-in FAQ page for troubleshooting tips or contact us for help.

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The ProWritingAid Team
ProWritingAid: A grammar guru, style editor, and writing mentor in one package.

The most successful people in the world have coaches. Whatever your level of writing, ProWritingAid will help you achieve new heights. Exceptional writing depends on much more than just correct grammar. You need an editing tool that also highlights style issues and compares your writing to the best writers in your genre. ProWritingAid helps you find the best way to express your ideas.

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By jsjohnsmith2679 on 15 October 2018, 05:32 AM

Do you have a program for a Mac using MS Word

By rvgraves on 10 January 2019, 06:14 PM

Hi there, Microsoft Word on Mac doesn't have the same framework for Add-Ins that Word on Windows does. We therefore can't create an Add-In for Mac. We'd love to but it's just not possible. Sorry about that!

By kylemassa on 11 February 2019, 07:58 PM

Where is real time in Microsoft word?

By janyinsah on 07 February 2019, 10:46 PM

Hi there, we do not have the real-time editing function in the Word add-in at this time. If you'd like to have it, you can always get it on our desktop or web apps. Hope that helps!

By kylemassa on 11 February 2019, 08:02 PM

Does this mean we should not purchase the program if we intend to use it on a Mac?

By sonia.3.dixon on 22 March 2019, 01:00 AM

We have many Mac users. Mac users can use our app: Online using our online editor; In Google Docs using our Google Docs add-on; On their desktop using our Desktop app; Microsoft Word for Mac doesn't support advanced add-ins but if you want to edit your Word document without losing your formatting then you can use our Desktop app.

By writersneed2 on 22 March 2019, 05:51 AM