Hemingway Editor Review: Does It Make You A Better Writer?
This Hemingway Editor review will discuss how to understand Hemingway's suggestions, what grade level to write at and why it matters.
No time to read the whole article? Go straight to the Hemingway Editor and get started for free.
Hemingway Editor was Created by Adam and Ben Long and named after the literary genius Ernest Hemingway.
The design is simple, clean, and straightforward. It's accessible as a desktop app or free online editor and is very well-known among writers and editors.
The Hemingway Editor App will help you write clearly and simply. This app is essential if you're writing for the web. Why? Because web readers prefer scanning, and if the content is difficult to read, they will abandon it. The Hemingway App helps you in making your article easier to read.
It doesn't offer explanations or tutorials like other editing and grammar-checking apps. But it tightens up your articles and lets you get to the point.
In this Hemingway Editor review, we cover (among other things):
- An overview of the Hemingway Editor
- Pros and cons
- Pricing options
- How to use the Hemingway Editor
- Hemingway Editor alternatives
Read on to find out if this tool is any good. And if you’ll want to use it on your next writing project.
Get started with the Hemingway Editor for free!
Hemingway Editor Review
The Hemingway Editor is a web and desktop program that can help you improve your writing style. It also polishes your content by detecting five common writing flaws: Adverbs, passive voice, complex phrases, complicated words, and long, rambling sentences.
- Free option
- Assists in making your writing bold, clear, and direct
- Excellent for rating readability and complexity of your work
- No grammar checker
- Free version can’t save your work and only works online
- Hemingway Editor Review: The Best Hemingway Alternatives
- The Hemingway Editor Overview
- System Requirements For Hemingway Editor
- Hemingway Editor Pros and Cons
- Hemingway Editor Vs Hemingway Editor App Pricing
- How To Use Hemingway Editor Online
- Is Hemingway’s Editor Any Good?
- Hemingway Editor Alternatives
- Hemingway Editor Review: The Bottom Line
Hemingway Editor Review: The Best Hemingway Alternatives
In a hurry? Here are the best alternatives to the Hemingway Editor.
- ProWritingAid - a writing tutor, style editor, and grammar checker.
- Grammarly - improve your writing and produce error-free documents with this AI-powered writing assistant.
- Ginger Software - a grammar checker that also corrects spelling and punctuation, word choice, and style.
- WhiteSmoke - an all-in-one English writing tool that highlights mistakes and makes suggestions.
- LanguageTool - an open-source grammar checker and proofreading program.
Read on to find out more about Hemingway Editor and its alternatives.
The Hemingway Editor Overview
The Hemingway program is an online and desktop app that can assist you in improving your writing style and content by detecting key writing issues:
- The passive voice
- Complex Phrases
- Complicated words and sentences
- Long, rambling sentences
Hemingway Editor is a free online version that requires an internet connection. And the Hemingway App is its downloadable version that can be used offline for a one-time fee of $19.99.
Both software highlights any issues regarding the five points above when you paste your text into Hemingway.
The program will occasionally give you ideas, but you'll have to fix the problems yourself most of the time. When you edit your work within the program, the highlighting will fade as you fix each issue.
System Requirements For Hemingway Editor
Hemingway's free version is compatible with most online browsers, including Google Chrome, Safari, and Firefox. There are almost no requirements for using the free version of Hemingway.
Paid Version: Hemingway's paid desktop app works perfectly with current Mac and Windows operating systems. You can also use it offline.
Browser Extensions/Plugins: Hemingway doesn't support plugins or extensions for any browsers yet. And there are no mobile apps or phone keyboards.
Hemingway Editor Pros and Cons
- Free to try out and inexpensive to buy the full version
- Points out common stylistic and grammatical errors
- Easy way to check your reading level
- Provides an estimated read time
- There’s no way to save or import/export your work in the free version.
- It focuses on only a handful of grammar choices
- Most of the highlights don’t offer suggestions for how to fix the problem they’ve identified
Hemingway Editor Vs Hemingway Editor App Pricing
The Hemingway Editor online version is absolutely free. Hemingway App (Windows and Mac) will cost you a one-time fee of $19.99. You also get free upgrades whenever they become available.
The free online Hemingway editor compares to the Hemingway Editor App - the premium downloadable writing tool as follows:
|Hemingway Editor||Hemingway Editor App|
|Price||Free||$19.99 (one-time payment)|
|Can Save & Export||No||Yes|
|Can Work Offline||No||Yes|
|Can Direct Publish||Yes||Yes|
|Offers Export Formats||No||Markdown, Text, PDF, Word, HTML|
|Options For Direct Publishing||No||WordPress or Medium|
How To Use Hemingway Editor Online
Ernest Hemingway, noted for his straightforward and rather lean writing style, started his career as a news reporter. This could be where he learned to write succinctly. He used simple words to express profound meaning.
His style was so well recognized that Hemingway Editor was developed to help writers remove unnecessary words from their work.
Unless you need to work offline, choosing the online version will save you money.
When you enter the online editor, you can write within the editor or copy and paste your text. Check out the sample they provide below.
The first thing you notice is that this sample's readability score was rated "Good" at a "Grade 6."
The software also counts letters, characters, words, phrases, and paragraphs as we read. Plus, we have the following:
- Adverbs (highlighted in blue)
- Use of the passive voice (highlighted in green)
- Phrases with a more straightforward substitute (highlighted in purple)
- Sentences with difficulty reading (highlighted in yellow)
- Sentences that are really difficult to read (highlighted in red)
The write mode is for distraction-free writing. Easily switch from editing mode to write mode. The screen will look like this when using Hemingway's "write" mode.
Now to get into detail.
The program uses an algorithm to estimate the minimum education level necessary for understanding your work. For example, a sixth-grade reading level does not mean that your work is intended for sixth graders. It does imply that the lowest degree of education required to comprehend your writing is at the sixth grade.
Writing at the college level does not imply that your writing will be better than at the sixth-grade level. Actually, it may be more tedious and so full of jargon that readers will struggle to understand what you’re trying to say.
If you write content for clients, you will notice that they generally ask for writing at the sixth or seventh-grade level. This makes your writing easy, free of jargon, and ensures that most readers understand it.
At the top of the Hemingway screen, you’ll see the following formatting options for your text:
Bloggers will like these formatting options. This is because you can tidy up your writing style in the Hemingway editor. And then use the formatting options offered to prepare your work for publication.
The Hemingway Editor uses five color-coded suggestions.
- Yellow Sentences: These are sentences that Hemingway thinks are a bit too long or complicated. It suggests separating or simplifying the sentences marked in yellow.
- Red Sentences: These sentences may confuse readers because they're too long. Or the words are too complicated. You'll have to break up or rewrite these sentences until the red highlight disappears.
- Purple Words: Purple words need to be simplified. Hover your cursor over them to check Hemingway's suggestions.
- Blue Words: These are adverbs that might show weak or hesitant language. According to Hemingway, they should be deleted.
- Green Phrases: Green means a sentence uses the passive voice. While this may be okay in some situations, an active voice is usually more forceful.
Below we’ll go into more detail on what the colors mean.
Weak Phrases and Adverbs
Hemingway Editor highlights your adverbs in blue to make it easier to find them. If you agree with Stephen King on adverbs, this is a huge help.
"I believe the road to hell is paved with adverbs, and I'm not afraid to say so." Stephen King.
You may have a kinder attitude toward adverbs. Some people believe that adverbs add flavor to their writing. Even so, highlighting them is helpful and makes them easy to find.
It also finds weak phrases that can be removed and highlights them in blue. Ironically, the Hemingway Editor App highlighted the weak phrase in King's quote, marked in blue. And it also marked the passive voice in green.
"I believe" is unnecessary in this scenario. You could just say, "The road to hell is paved with adverbs." It gets the same message across but sounds more powerful.
But what if removing the phrase changes what Stephen King is trying to say? What if it changes the way he writes too? So be careful you don’t accept all Hemingway’s suggestions.
Make sure the suggestions don’t change your voice too much. The program allows you to remove them with a single click, which is probably the best solution. For example, "probably the best" can be changed to "the best."
But, removing "fast" from "run fast" leaves you with "run." And that changes what you're trying to say. And Hemingway doesn't recommend any other verb, so you must correct them yourself.
Adverbs aren't all bad. A few are acceptable. But you don't want them cluttering your writing. Try to get rid of them everywhere you can.
There are a ton of reasons why experts advise against using the passive voice. The passive voice creates a statement in which the subject is given an action. In contrast, active voice provides a sentence in which the subject performs an action. Passive speech frequently produces confusing, indirect, and wordy sentences. The active voice delivers clearer, more succinct sentences.
Decide who or what does the action and use that person or thing as sentence's subject. Then you'll convert a sentence from passive to active voice.
The passive voice seems evasive because it is at times. One big criticism of the passive voice is that it is frequently used to shirk responsibility:
“In dealing with the crisis, mistakes were made.”
“ it was determined that the necessary procedure had been followed.”
“No disruption to the occupants is expected.”
With examples like these, it's easy to see how using the passive voice can be a helpful method to hedge or wiggle out of taking responsibility. And some speech writers do just that.
Hemingway Editor promises "strong" writing, which doesn't come from passive sentences. But, passive voice is not a grammatical mistake. It's a personal preference, and you may have reasons for using it.
If you're trying to reduce or limit passive voice, this tool can help. Passive phrases are highlighted in green.
The program highlights phrases that work better with a simpler alternative. And also suggests a replacement. Most writers have a habit of overusing the word "however."
The software highlights it in purple and offers suggestions when you hover over the highlighted word. "But" or "still" are better alternatives to "however." Other typical simpler words are "use" rather than "utilize" and "goal" rather than "objective."
Once again, you have the final say. Use it if you need to say "utilize" and if it fits your style.
Hard To Read Sentences
If a statement becomes too difficult or long, Hemingway Editor flags it in yellow. It'll be highlighted in red if it's particularly long and complicated.
Long sentences can be modified, reduced, and split up to make them easier to understand. The Hemingway Editor strongly suggests breaking these sentences up. It also recommends that you delete all of your red sentences.
Hemingway has no word or sentence suggestions. You'll have to rewrite everything yourself. But, it does remove the highlighting as you cut those sentences down.
Most difficult sentences, in general, are run-on sentences that can be solved by dividing them into two independent sentences.
One feature I really like is being able to remove the highlights on the fly. But it doesn't guarantee your writing is ready to publish. It simply means that your statements are brief and to the point.
Still, the program is highly user-friendly, and your editor should appreciate the short, direct writing.
Hemingway Editor Summary Of Findings
See the image below. It gives a "good" rating, with a readability level of sixth grade. You also get your word count. It’s also well below the adverb and passive voice targets. You might simplify a couple of phrases and shorten some sentences. But you could go over them all and decide to leave them alone. And there are no sentences that are "very difficult to read."
Is Hemingway’s Editor Any Good?
While not ideal, Hemingway Editor is worth using. It can help you tighten up your writing and spot errors. It's simple to use, helps find obvious faults, and simplifies your language.
Break the rules as you please. After all, it's your writing style, and no computerized editing can substitute human judgment. And as long as you know you're breaking the rules, you’ll be okay.
The Hemingway Editor can assist you in identifying potential issues. For the most part, I agree with the app: I can use simpler words. But, I don't like to separate all of my "difficult to read" lines because I think my writing style benefits from variation. And, on the odd occasion, I like adverbs, complex sentences, and the word "although."
Hemingway Editor Alternatives
ProWritingAid is a writing tutor, style editor, and grammar checker. Writers can use this software to write faster, address stylistic issues, erase typos, and more editing issues. ProWritingAid provides an API (Application Programming Interface) for checking plagiarism and grammar.
You can also customize the tool to match your own needs. And you can design your own dictionaries, style guides, suggestions, and automated rules.
ProWritingAid has a few pricing plans.
- Free – $0
- Premium – $79/year
- Premium Plus – $89/ year
- Lifetime – $299 (one-time payment)
For more information, read this comparison between ProWritingAid and Grammarly.
Grammarly is a well-known grammar checker for businesses and professional writers. You can improve your writing and provide error-free documents with this AI-powered writing assistant.
Grammarly Premium includes a plagiarism detection tool, a tone detector, and a grammar checker. The software helps writers eliminate grammar mistakes. And the application improves the quality of documents, emails, essays, correspondences, social chats, and other types of communications. The Grammarly Keyboard allows you to write confidently from your mobile device.
- Free – $0 (pretty limited)
- Premium – $11.66/month (billed annually)
- Business – $12.50/month per user (billed annually)
Ginger is a grammar checker that has been around for almost ten years. It is one of the oldest and most dependable writing assistance programs available. Ginger corrects all forms of grammar errors. Plus spelling and punctuation, word choice, and style. It assists you in translating into over 50 languages. Its unique tools to speed up your editing include sentence structure, rewriting, text reader, and contextual synonyms. Customized practice tasks can help you improve your writing style and skills.
- Monthly - $20.97.
- Annual plan - $7.49/month
- Two Year package - from $9.99/month
Here is an interesting comparison: Ginger vs Grammarly.
WhiteSmoke Writing is an all-in-one English writing tool. It highlights grammar, spelling, punctuation, and style mistakes. And offers suggestions for improvement. Users with little or no expertise with WhiteSmoke software can use it to start editing, translating, and improving their English texts immediately.
- Web - $5/month
- Premium - $6.66/month
- Business - $11.50/month
LanguageTool is an open-source online grammar checker and proofreading program. The software helps writers identify and correct grammatical and stylistic mistakes. It's well-known for detecting errors in several languages, including English, Spanish, French, German, Polish, and Russian.
LanguageTool provides keyboard shortcuts for users to proofread their text quicker. And it allows users to add to their personal dictionaries.
- Free - $0
- Premium - $19/mo.
- Enterprise - Contact vendor
Hemingway Editor Review: The Bottom Line
Hemingway has some wonderful features, and it's a fantastic tool for checking the readability of your writing. It's good for anything like a blog post, essay, or article, but not so much for a whole book. Depending on the media you're writing for, the projected read time and readability levels are also valuable data.
The other major deciding factor will be how closely your writing style fits Hemingway's standards. If you want to write short, concise sentences, this software will help you. However, if you're not writing in the Hemingway style - for example, creating a "wordy" piece of fiction or some nonfiction genres where passive voice is okay - this software won't be much use.
It's free to try out, so give it a shot; it may help you become a better writer!
On that note, let's take a last look at the best Hemingway Editor alternatives.
Use ProWritingAid to write faster, address stylistic issues, erase typos, and more. You can even design your own dictionaries, style guides, suggestions, and automated rules.
Grammarly is a very well-known grammar checker for professional writers. Grammarly Premium is the way to go. It includes a plagiarism detection tool, a tone detector, and a grammar checker.
Ginger is a dependable grammar checker that has been around for almost ten years. It corrects all forms of grammar errors, spelling and punctuation, word choice, and style. It can assist you in translating into over 50 languages.
WhiteSmoke highlights grammar, spelling, punctuation, and style mistakes. It offers suggestions for improvement. Users with little or no expertise can use it to start editing, translating, and improving their English content quickly.
LanguageTool is an open-source online grammar checker and proofreading software program. It's well-known for finding errors in several languages, including English, Spanish, French, German, Polish, and Russian.
I hope the information in this article has been useful to you!
Also, read about the 17 best text editors for blogging (simple and easy-to-use solutions.)
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