Antidote Review: Should You Use It?

Christopher Ortiz
April 28, 2023 | 6 mins

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Spelling and grammar are critical components of effective writing. They help to convey a writer’s message clearly and coherently, allowing the reader to fully understand the intended meaning. Proper spelling and grammar also demonstrate a writer’s attention to detail and professionalism. Poor spelling and grammar can undermine the credibility of a writer and detract from the quality of their work.

Fortunately, advances in technology are making it easier than ever to improve one’s spelling and grammar. Many word processing programs now include built-in spell checkers and grammar checkers, which can help catch common errors and suggest corrections. Additionally, there are a variety of online tools and software programs that can analyze a piece of writing and provide detailed feedback on spelling, grammar, and syntax.

There is, like anything in life, a potential downside to this advancement in technology however. And that is that there are so many tools available it can be difficult for the end user to decipher which one is best. In this review, we will explore one of those tools, Antidote, and unpack its features and functionalities to help you understand whether or not it is worth consideration to become your writing tool or choice.

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What is Antidote?

Antidote is a powerful software tool that has become widely popular for its ability to help users write better, more effective documents in both English and French. Developed by the Canadian company Druide informatique, Antidote has been praised for its intuitive and user-friendly interface, making it easy for users of all levels of experience to improve their writing skills.

Druide informatique was founded in Quebec City in 1993 with the aim of creating innovative software tools that could help people work more efficiently and effectively. Over the years, the company has become a leading provider of language software, with a strong focus on developing products that enable users to communicate more effectively through writing.

With Antidote, Druide informatique has delivered a powerful tool that not only improves the quality of writing but also enhances productivity. By providing intelligent suggestions and feedback, Antidote helps users to refine their writing skills, leading to more accurate, persuasive, and impactful communication.

Antidote is also a multi platform tool that can help users across both web and mobile. They also have something called Antitode11 & Antidote+ which we will touch on in more detail shortly. 

What are the Key Features?

The latest iteration of the product, Antidote 11 has what can be considered three main features; Corrector, Dictionaries and Guides. 

Corrector – The ability to recognise more than 16,000 targeted errors across grammar, typography and style with clear explanations to the user. Alongside this it contains; 

⁃ Confused words: there/their/they’re, its/it’s, whose/who’s, etc.

⁃ Meaning errors: *meat your friends, *air to the throne, etc.

⁃ Style: repetition, nested phrases and more

⁃ Typography of spaces, numbers, addresses and more

⁃ Punctuation: excessive or missing commas, etc.

⁃ Ultrafast correction of the entire text field

⁃ Direct correction into the original document

⁃ Language, typography and style corrector

⁃ Batch correction of identical errors

⁃ One-click correction of all typographical errors

⁃ Clear flagging of errors

⁃ Clear, graded explanations

⁃ Context-based links to guides

⁃ Context-based access to dictionaries

⁃ Editable correction window

⁃ List of detections to see everything at a glance

⁃ Revision filters: logic, semantics, pragmatics

⁃ Dynamic statistical filters: words, phrases, frequencies and more

⁃ Inspection filters: subjects, verbs, complements and more

⁃ Detailed syntactic analysis of sentences

⁃ American, British and Canadian English

⁃ Foreign-language detection

⁃ Multiple personal dictionaries

⁃ Customization (alerts and corrections)

⁃ Nearly 180 settings: language, typography, style, interface, etc.

⁃ Fully printable results

Dictionaries – 135,100 words including 30,000 proper nouns. 57,000 common expressions. 1,683,000 synonyms. Alongside this it contains; 

⁃ 834,000 word combinations with real-life examples

⁃ 129,000 antonyms

⁃ 9500 verbs with all conjugated forms

⁃ Semantic fields of 66,000 words, with interactive cloud

⁃ Etymology for 98,500 words

⁃ 17,400 families

⁃ Phonetic transcription in both API and Respelling

⁃ Audio pronunciation of 520,000 word forms, in two accents*

⁃ 375,000 quotations

⁃ Expressions, idioms, phrasal verbs and proverbs

⁃ Plural, conjugated, comparative and superlative forms

⁃ Frequency of each word

⁃ Region- or country-specific expressions and trademarks

⁃ Search with wildcards

⁃ Search as you type

⁃ Search for rhymes and near-rhymes, sorted by degree

⁃ Search for anagrams, with blank letters

⁃ Multiword search, for finding connections between words

⁃ Advanced search by criteria

⁃ Discover towns, countries, historical figures, rare words and recent additions to the dictionaries

⁃ Integrated Wikipedia access

⁃ Smart links to Termium and Web search engines

⁃ Option to add links to other Web resources

⁃ Context-based links to guides

⁃ Easy addition of new words

⁃ Lists of favourite words

⁃ Full hypertext navigation

⁃ Parental controls

⁃ Adjustable font sizes

⁃ Fully printable content

Guides – 538 clear and precise articles on topics such as lexicon and grammar. Alongside this it also contains; 

⁃ Syntax

⁃ Punctuation

⁃ Business writing

⁃ Style

⁃ Phonetics

⁃ Typography

⁃ History of the English language

⁃ Language matters

⁃ Examples and tips

⁃ Fast lookup by topic

⁃ Lists of favourite articles

⁃ Instant search for articles

⁃ Specific references from the corrector and dictionaries

⁃ Full hypertext navigation

⁃ Fully printable content

Antidote Pricing – How much does Antidote cost?

There are three main options for pricing.

Antidote+ Personal – $59.95 a year 

Antidote+ Family – $99.96 a year (5 users)

Antidote 11 – $129.95 (one time purchase)

The latter of these as the website seems to explain, provides full access to the Antidote platform but without any future upgrades, likely best for long term users. 

What are the Alternatives to Antidote?

As we mentioned right at the top there are a huge number of competing products in this space. 

One of the main alternatives is Grammarly, which provides real-time feedback on grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors. It also has a plagiarism checker and a writing assistant that helps improve sentence structure and readability. Read our review of Grammarly

Another alternative is Hemingway Editor, which focuses on improving the clarity and conciseness of your writing by highlighting lengthy or complex sentences, adverbs, and passive voice. It also provides a readability score and suggestions for alternative word choices. 

Lastly, there is ProWritingAid, which is similar to Grammarly but also includes a thesaurus, a contextual thesaurus, and a consistency checker. ProWritingAid is more affordable than Grammarly and Hemingway Editor but may not be as user-friendly. 

Overall, these alternatives offer different features and benefits, but all aim to improve the quality of one’s writing. The best choice will likely vary from user to user depending on a number of factors such as budget, specific feature requirements and languages amongst others. 

Antidote Review – Our Final Thoughts

To summarise then, the depth of Antidote’s features is undoubtedly impressive. Anyone using the tool would likely benefit, but that does not mean it is a must buy. 

Firstly, at least based on the information available on the website, it is only operational in English and French which is quite a severe limitation.

Secondly, the pricing model is annual rather than monthly which is quite a commitment for writers particularly when many may not know if Antidote is a good fit without the option of a free trial.

Finally, although the depth of the features it does have is impressive, when compared to other comparable tools it definitely has less overall features available to the user.

This may not matter but it certainly means Antidote sits in what could be considered a ‘maybe’ and is best thought of as an option to be compared against other tools rather than a must have. 

3 Stars

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