The Hemingway Editor

Tools for Writers – The Hemingway Editor

I discovered the Hemingway Editor app through a blog post on Triberr the other day so thought I would try it out. I copied and pasted some text from one of the pieces I’m working on and clicked ‘edit’.


Using different colours, it tells you sentences that are hard to read, very hard to read, simpler alternatives and not seen on the screen shot above, adverbs and uses of passive voice (highlighted in blue and green).

The online app is free to use, but you can also purchase a copy which will reside on your computer for $9.99 US for those occasions you want to edit but have no Internet access.

So, what do I think of it? Well, I’ve tried it and in some ways, I think it stifles my writing voice by suggesting shortening my sentences or splitting them into two. But on the other hand, finding instances of passive voice are extremely (egads an adverb) useful.

Why not give the free app a try? You’ve got nothing to lose… FREE is good.

I’d be interested to hear what your impressions are. Let me know in the comments.

7 thoughts on “The Hemingway Editor”

  1. Hi Melanie,

    Interesting app. I gave it a quick test. My current book has been edited once by my editor. I randomly ran a dozen short sections.

    The app does not like Gaelic or the Scots accent, calling those words – misspelled.

    Otherwise: a few adverbs – oh, those nasty ‘ly’ words – and one sentence ‘hard to read’. Ironically, it was a sentence to which my editor had added a few words. I removed those few words *unneeded) – bingo – OK!

    So, probably my ‘test’ was a bit unfair – edited copy. I selected at random one full page from my next wip, and loaded it in.

    On the unedited page, there was one adverb, two uses of passive voice, two ‘hard to read’ sentences and four ‘very hard to read’ sentences. The last two categories I will qualify – they’re in dialogue.

    I can see where an app like this could squash your normal voice, but it can definitely be helpful.


  2. Glad you stopped by, Dayna. I can understand the app not liking Gaelic (especially) or the Scots accent. It isn’t fond of semi-colons either.

  3. I have used a similar editor (and for the life of me I cannot think of the name of it at the moment), but it helped with similar issues and tightened my writing up considerably, which is always a good thing. Thanks for yet making us aware of another useful writing tool .

  4. You’ll love it, Shawn. The paid version is exactly the same as the free one but has the advantage of working when you don’t have Internet access.

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