Paraphrasing Tools

Paraphrasing Tools

Paraphrasing means rewording something—expressing the same idea in different words. Paraphrasing tools (or paraphrasers) are AI-powered online tools that can automatically rewrite your text for you. Students often use them to improve their writing and provide inspiration—making their text more formal, more fluent, or more concise.

But which online paraphrasers are really reliable at producing correct and readable English? To find out, we tested seven of the most popular free tools—and their premium versions when available.

We wrote three short sample texts to test their ability to improve text that was long-winded, grammatically incorrect, or disjointed. We ran these texts through all the different tools and assessed the fluency and accuracy of the output. We also took the user-friendliness of the tools into consideration.

1. Wordtune (Premium)

Wordtune’s premium version was overall the most useful tool we tested. It provided a selection of 10 rewrites for each text. Not all of these were great, but there were generally a few good options in each case.

Where Wordtune stood out in its whole-paragraph paraphrasing mode, which was able to combine sentences in an intelligent way, thus improving our disjointed and grammatically incorrect texts significantly. Unfortunately, the “Shorten” mode did little to actually shorten long-winded text, mostly functioning quite similarly to the standard rewrite mode.

We found the look of the site fairly clean and appreciated that it offers 10 different suggestions for each sentence. But we did find the interface somewhat awkward at times, and it was occasionally unable to generate suggestions in certain modes or would only generate one suggestion, suggesting some imperfections in the technology.

2. QuillBot (Premium)

The premium version of QuillBot was one of the strongest paraphrasers we tested. Its “Shorten” mode was the best option for making long-winded text more concise. Unlike all other tools, it could consistently distinguish between unnecessary verbiage and essential details, often reducing the text’s length by more than 50% without compromising meaning.

With the grammatically incorrect text, QuillBot was quite consistent in its ability to remove glaring grammatical errors. But with this and the disjointed text, its ability to resolve sentence fragments was limited, since it seems to lack the ability to combine sentences—it only looks at each sentence individually. This problem was shared by most of the other tools we tested.

QuillBot’s interface is simple and usable, allowing you to choose from seven paraphrasing modes and manually adjust the number of synonyms. Paraphrasing is quick, and changes are clearly highlighted. You can also click on individual words to see more synonyms, with detailed information about how each should be used, making it flexible and informative.

3. Paraphrase Tool (Free)

Paraphrase Tool offered a large selection of different modes to paraphrase our text, some of them very useful. The most useful mode by far (for all of our texts) was “Summary,” which did a decent job of shortening the long-winded text and was able to combine sentences in the disjointed and grammatically confused texts, creating a much smoother read.

We found that other modes were not very accurately labeled: The “Shorten” mode often produced a longer text than “Standard” when the long-winded text was used. “Grammar” mode appeared to just produce very long-winded and repetitive text, while “Smooth” mode added a lot of text that was not based on anything in the original.

We appreciated the clean, minimalistic design of the site, but we did find it unhelpful that the changes made are not marked in any way in the output text. You’re also required to buy a subscription after a certain number of inputs, which isn’t clear when you start. In general, this is a strong paraphraser in “Summary” mode but a very unreliable one in other modes.

4. QuillBot (Free)

We found QuillBot’s free version almost as reliable as the premium option. Its changes were generally logical and fluent, staying true to the meaning of the original text while improving flow. And, like the premium version, it resolved grammatical errors well.

That said, its ability to cut down long-winded text was restricted, since the “Shorten” mode is a premium feature. The two free modes, “Standard” and “Fluency,” performed well for other purposes but did little to deal with long-windedness.

The other main differences are a word limit of 125 words per paraphrase and the fact that the highest setting for synonyms can’t be selected. Besides those changes, we found the interface just as usable in the free version as in the premium one.

5. Paraphrase Tool (Premium)

Paraphrase Tool’s premium version allows you unlimited paraphrases and unlocks 11 additional modes: “Academic,” “Confident,” “Simple,” “Smart,” “Clear,” “Thoughtful,” “Elaborate,” “Creative,” “Formal,” “Cohesive,” and “Emphatic.”

However, we found that these modes weren’t very useful or very accurately labeled. The “Summary” mode, already available in the free version, remained the best choice for all of our texts. Other modes like “Emphatic” inserted a lot of irrelevant text that had nothing to do with the original, generally making the text much longer and largely incoherent.

Because of this, the only real reason to pay for this tool is to remove the limit on inputs. But if you’re willing to pay, there are better options available. As the only part we can give a solid recommendation to, “Summary” mode, is available for free, we don’t recommend paying.

6. Wordtune (Free)

Wordtune’s free version lacks the option to paraphrase whole paragraphs, the feature that really stood out to us, so it doesn’t score as well as the premium version.

Without this feature, Wordtune did perform decently at making sense of the grammatically incorrect text, although it didn’t make it all that fluent. But like other tools that work on a sentence-by-sentence basis, it did a poor job of improving disjointed text. The “Shorten” mode performed similarly to the premium version—not terribly, but not all that well.

We found it unfortunate that it limits users to 10 sentence rewrites per day in the free version and that rewrites can only be done on one sentence at a time. As with the premium version, we did like the overall look of the site. But if you’re looking for a free tool, QuillBot or Paraphrase Tool are better options.

7. Rephrase (Free)

Rephrase did a moderately good job paraphrasing our texts. Its changes were generally more advanced than simply swapping out some words for synonyms, and they tended to mostly retain the original meaning (although with some differences such as changing “we” to “I”).

It tended to resolve obvious grammatical problems effectively, although it couldn’t make the text completely smooth. It performed similarly to other tools with disjointed text, failing to combine sentences. It managed to cut down the long-winded text more than most and divide one sentence into two to improve readability, but some of itschanges distorted the meaning.

In terms of usability, we found that the paraphrase sometimes loaded quite slowly, and the requirement to complete a captcha for repeated inputs was annoying. The site was also full of flashy ads that were quite distracting and seemed to slow down the page.

8. Paraphraser.io (Free)

Paraphraser.io’s rewrites were fairly basic. While it made some small changes to sentence structure, it mainly just swapped individual words out for synonyms, which were often highly inaccurate (e.g., changing “could” to “bottle”). It could not deal with long-winded text well, since it lacked a “Shorten” mode and tended to make the text even longer.

Its changes to the grammatically muddled text did usually ensure basic correctness, but not much fluency. Like the other tools, it was unable to do much to improve the flow of the disjointed text, since it wouldn’t combine sentences or add transition words. Occasionally, we saw errors like the insertion of sentence fragments without initial capitalization.

In terms of usability, we found it unfortunate that the paraphrased text loaded extremely slowly (and sometimes just failed to load). We appreciated the ability to click on individual words to see synonyms, but as noted, a lot of these synonyms were just wrong. Overall, the interface was poor.

9. Rephrase (Premium)

The premium version of Rephrase adds three extra modes, “Creative,” “Smart,” and “Formal.” We noticed little difference between these modes and the free ones, and we don’t see them as worth paying for.

In terms of usability, we found it annoying that you’re still required to complete a captcha for each paraphrase, even after paying for the tool, and that the same flashy ads still appear in the premium version. You get remarkably little for your money with the premium version of Rephrase.

10. Paraphraser.io (Premium)

This tool’s premium version did not really add anything of value. The main selling point, the “Creative” and “Smarter” modes, performed very similarly to the free “Fluency” mode, with no real advantages. The slow loading times were also no better in the premium version.

Other pros included a word limit increase to 1,500 words—not very helpful when the tool only paraphrases on a sentence-by-sentence basis anyway. The premium version is also supposed to remove ads, but in practice we still saw ads when using this version, so it’s not clear what is meant by this.

We don’t find this tool a very good option to begin with, and we certainly don’t find the premium version to be worth the cost.

Looking for a tool that doesn’t paraphrase your text but just checks it for grammar and fluency? Check out our comparison of the best free grammar checkers.

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