Google Docs just got a new AI-powered proofreading tool

Available only for Google Workspace Enterprise customers for now, the new Proofread tool aims to make your writing more concise, clearer, and easier to read.
Written by Lance Whitney, Contributor
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Google Docs already offers a spelling and grammar checker that will scan your documents for typos and grammatical errors. But now Google has kicked off a more advanced AI-based tool designed to make your documents more readable. Unveiled on Tuesday, the new Proofread tool can scan your documents for writing style, tone, and readability to suggest ways to improve them.

On the downside, Proofread isn't available for regular Google Docs users or even for all Google Workspace customers. The tool is limited to just Google Workspace Enterprise customers and only through an add-on for the company's Duet AI product, at least for now.

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A Google spokesperson didn't share any specifics but did tell ZDNET through email that "[Google] will be releasing additional offerings over the coming months for other customer segments, including small and medium-sized businesses and consumers."

For now, if your business or organization uses Duet AI, Proofread may be worth exploring to see if it can enhance the quality of your documents.

Beyond providing the usual spelling and grammar checks, Proofread will offer the following types of suggestions for your review:

  • Conciseness: Make your writing more concise and succinct.
  • Active voice: Make your writing clearer to your readers.
  • Wording: Make words sound more dynamic or formal within the right context.
  • Sentence Split: Split up long and complex sentences so your document is easier to read.
Google's Proofread tool offers suggestions to improve your writing

The suggestions made by Proofread are just that -- suggestions. As you can with any spelling or grammar checker, you're able to review each one and either accept it or reject it. All suggested changes appear in the Proofread sidebar so they don't crowd the actual text of your document. Plus, you can use filters to control and limit the types of suggestions you see.

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If the Proofread add-on is enabled, the option will be on by default. However, individual users can turn it on and off in Google Docs by going to Tools and selecting Proofread. To open the Proofread sidebar, just click the icon with an A and checkmark. A blue dot will appear next to the icon when writing suggestions are waiting for you.

Also: Are your Google Docs safe from AI training?

With all the buzz over artificial intelligence, Google has been trying to infuse AI into many of its key products. Google Docs, Google Slides, and Gmail all offer an AI-powered option to help you write or rewrite text based on your own description. Google Labs lets you play with generative AI at the Google search engine and in Google Workspace. Lastly, Google Bard is the company's own AI-based chatbot designed to help you find information and generate content.

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