Hemingway Editor Review

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To stay on top of the latest in book marketing and writing, I love to check out the latest tools claiming to help authors. Following hot on the heels on my ProWritingAid review and Grammarly review is my full Hemingway editor review.

I’ve often heard about my fellow authors using Hemingway to finetune their writing.

So what exactly is it, and how can it help you?

Unlike ProWritingAid, Hemingway isn’t an in-depth virtual writing tutor. Instead, it aims to tighten up your words and make them more concise and impactful.

I decided to check it out and see how it stands compared to other writing tools. So, I put together this full Hemingway Editor review. Let’s get to it.

In this Hemingway Editor review you will learn:

  • An overview of Hemingway Editor and how to use it
  • How much Hemingway costs
  • How Hemingway stacks up against other similar solutions

As always, you will find that this article does have affiliate links. The existence of these does not sway my vote, but the extra income that comes from clicking and using one of my links helps replenish my coffee thermos and keeps me writing.

Hemingway Editor Review – What Is Hemingway?

Hemingway, named after the master of literary brevity himself, aims to “make your writing bold and clear.” It isn’t an in-depth grammar checker or writing coach, like Grammarly or ProWritingAid.

Instead, it is a minimalist but powerful tool to improve the style of your writing.

How does Hemingway achieve this? When you either paste your writing into the Hemingway Editor environment or write directly within, it highlights your work using different colors. Each color corresponds to a different type of improvement Hemingway suggests.

So what are the suggestions made by the Hemingway tool?

  • Yellow Sentences: These sentences Hemingway identifies as lengthy or structurally complex. Hemingway suggests to split or simplify yellow highlighted sentences.
  • Red Sentences: Hemingway feels these sentences meander and may confuse readers. Rework these sentences until the red highlight vanishes.
  • Purple Words: The chosen color here is an in-joke for writers. Purple words have a more suitable, simpler alternative. Hover over them to see Hemingway's suggestion.
  • Blue Words: Blue words are adverbs or weak and hesitant language. Hemingway feels these should be omitted.
  • Green Phrases. These indicate the use of passive voice. While this may be appropriate in some contexts, the active voice is typically preferred.

How To Use Hemingway Editor – Online, Plus Hemingway App

Hemingway Editor can be used in two ways:

  • Free Online Hemingway Editor
  • Paid Downloadable Hemingway App

If you’d like to jump right to “how to use the Hemingway Editor” click here to skip to that part of the article.

How Much Does Hemingway Editor Cost? Free vs Paid

The online version of Hemingway Editor is completely free. The creators have indicated they intend to keep it this way.

The desktop version, Hemingway App, is available for a one-time payment of $19.99. The price is the same for both the Windows and Mac versions of Hemingway. Purchasing Hemingway software also entitles you to free upgrades whenever they are available.

Hemingway Editor vs Hemingway App  

Here's how the free online Hemingway Editor compares to the paid downloadable writing app:

Hemingway Editor vs Hemingway App

Hemingway Online EditorHemingway App
PriceFree$19.99 (one time)
Ability to Save and Export?NoYes
Full Hemingway Analysis?YesYes
Ability to Publish Directly?YesYes
Export Formats Offered?N/AText, PDF, Word, HTML, Markdown
Direct Publishing Options?N/AMedium or WordPress


Now, let's see how Hemingway compares to similar writing solutions, like Grammarly and ProWritingAid.

Hemingway VS Grammarly VS ProWritingAid

In this instance, it’s not really a case of a clear winner. Hemingway is suited to some things while Grammarly and ProWritingAid are suited to others.

However, overall, I think Hemingway is a great, affordable option for writers. It will tighten up the style of almost any writer out there. The free version is a great way to see if Hemingway is right for you, and the full version is excellent value at only $19.99 for lifetime access.

Price$20 Lifetime Access$140 Per Year$168 Lifetime Access (with Kindlepreneur Coupon)
Free VersionYesYesYes
Downloadable AppYesYesYes
Browser Plug-InNoYesYes
Windows CompatibleYesYesYes
Mac CompatibleYesYesYes
-Google Docs
Grammar Capability3rd2nd1st
Writing Analysis Capability2nd3rd1st
Style Improvement Capability2nd3rd1st
Overall Recommendation2nd3rd1st
Check It OutCheck It Out!Check It Out!


Note: The grammar is usually better on ProWritingAid, however, I think Grammarly has a better handle on commas and their placement.

As you can see, ProWritingAid is more fully featured. However, if you’re on a budget or don’t require the full functionality of ProWritingAid, Hemingway Editor is more than worthy of your attention.

*Remember that if you do get ProWritingAid, be sure you add the 20% off coupon code below:


How to Use Hemingway Editor Online

When you go to the Hemingway online environment, you see the following screen:

The online Hemingway Editor offers two modes: Write and Edit.

Write‘ is used for distraction-free composition in a minimalist writing environment. When composing in Hemingway’s ‘write' mode, the screen looks like this:

While you may choose to compose short pieces in the Hemingway ‘write’ environment, I wouldn’t recommend it in general.

There is no login or cloud backup for your work. Therefore, if your browser crashes or something else goes wrong, you will lose anything you’ve composed in the Hemingway online ‘write’ environment.

By clicking on the ‘Edit’ option, you access the full range of Hemingway analysis.

This consists the following three sections:

  1. Formatting options at the top of the screen.
  2. Colored highlights of your text in the center of the screen, indicating the type of improvements Hemingway thinks you should make.
  3. A summary of Hemingway’s findings on the right hand of the screen.

Let’s take a closer look at each of the three sections.

Hemingway Editor – Formatting Options

Hemingway offers the following formatting options for your text:

  • Bold
  • Italic
  • H1
  • H2
  • H3
  • Quote
  • Bullets
  • Numbers
  • Link

This is useful for bloggers. You can tidy up your writing style in Hemingway and then use the above formatting options to get your text totally ready for publication.

Hemingway Editor – Colored Highlights

Let’s take a look at the colored highlights in action.

Yellow Highlights

A sentence highlighted in yellow indicates it is hard to read. Hemingway suggests shortening or splitting it.

Red Highlights

Hemingway Editor - Red Sentences

A sentence highlighted in red indicates it is very hard to read. These are like yellow sentences, only more severe.

Purple Highlights

Hemingway Editor - Purple Words

Words highlighted in purple indicate a complex word for which a simpler alternative exists.

When you hover your mouse over a purple word, Hemingway suggests simpler alternatives, as seen below.

Hemingway Editor - Purple Word Replacement

Blue Highlights

Hemingway Editor - Blue Words

When a word is highlighted in blue, Hemingway feels it is weak.

By hovering over a blue word with your mouse, you see Hemingway’s suggestion as to how to improve it.

Hemingway Editor - Adverb Advice

Above, Hemingway suggests an improvement for an adverb.

Hemingway Editor - Qualifier Advice

Above, Hemingway suggests a way to strengthen the use of a qualifier.

Green Highlights

Hemingway Editor - Passive Voice Advice

Green highlights indicate the use of the passive voice.

The Hemingway rainbow is one rainbow you do NOT want to see. #amwriting #ameditingClick To Tweet

Hemingway Editor – Summary Of Findings

Hemingway provides a summary of your data on the right of the screen. This offers the following information.


Hemingway Editor - Readability

Hemingway analyzes your text to assess the grade level it is written at.

According to the creators of the Editor, the average American reads at a tenth-grade level. Ensuring your writing is at or below this grade level will make it accessible to the average American.

Ernest Hemingway’s words are assessed as being at the fifth-grade level. This is proof that clear language does not diminish the power or quality of writing.


Hemingway Editor - Word Count

Hemingway displays a word count for your text.

By clicking on ‘Show More’, the following information is displayed.

Hemingway Editor - Stats

I particularly like the ‘reading time’ feature here. Many popular blogs and print magazines offer this information, so having Hemingway calculate it for you is a useful feature.

Number Of Adverbs

Hemingway Editor - Adverbs

Hemingway not only displays the number of adverbs featured in your text but calculates whether it is an acceptable number based on the length of your writing.

Use Of Passive Voice

Hemingway Editor - Passive Voice

Hemingway shows how often you use the passive voice and calculates how often it should be used based on the length of your writing. For more information on using passive voice click here.

Complex Language

Hemingway Editor - Purple Phrases

Shows the number of simpler alternatives Hemingway suggests for the text you have written.

Hard To Read Sentences

Hemingway Editor - Yellow Sentence Summary

The number of yellow sentences identified by Hemingway.

Very Hard To Read Sentences

Hemingway Editor - Red Sentences Summary

The number of red sentences identified by Hemingway.

The above data combine to offer a lean and useful summary of your text.

Is your writing Weak and Muddy? Can Hemingway make it Bold and Clear? Find out in the Kindlepreneur Review of the Hemingway Editor! #ameditingClick To Tweet

Why I Still Choose ProWritingAid over Hemingway

Hemingway is simple and easy to use. However, if it came down to it, I’d go with ProWritingAid overall. This is because:

  • It’s like having a writing tutor. It offers in-depth insight into your strengths and weaknesses that no other software does.
  • It can be tailored to your particular style of writing.
  • It is superb value for lifetime access when using the exclusive Kindlepreneur coupon (code KINDLEPRENEUR20).

If you need a limited level of functionality and are on a budget, then definitely check out Hemingway.

However, if you want the best of the bunch, ProWritingAid is the way to go.

Hemingway Editor Review Conclusion

You now have an understanding of what Hemingway Editor is, how it can help you, and how it stacks up to your rivals out there.

Just to remind you:

  • Hemingway aims to tighten and improve your writing style
  • It has a free version and a paid downloadable version
  • I still suggest ProWritingAid as the best overall solution

Have you used Hemingway? Do you prefer it to the other options out there? Hit me up in the comments and let me know your thoughts!



  1. Cory Wiles on July 9, 2020 at 11:35 pm

    I purchased the Hemingway Editor for $20, and I am totally underwhelmed. I thought the program would have more options (suggestions) for correcting or improving sentence structure.

    I write narratives specifically for financial institutions which requires a specific style of writing, as well as a certain amount of industry jargon. This could be misinterpreted by Hemingway Editor.

    I will continue to use the program, however, I probably could have gotten by with the free edition.

  2. Terry Cooper on June 28, 2020 at 1:48 pm

    Does your code have an expiration date? I tried it and it wouldn’t work for me.

  3. Steven LaBree on June 21, 2020 at 2:45 pm

    I bought Hemingway Editor and found it interesting. I “corrected” my own writing which, in the end, I was pleased with, but decided to Hemingway Edit Hemingway. An interesting journey. Granted, I am not about to edit his entire novel, but I chose the first 500 of The Sun Also Rises; about 5 paragraphs. It was puzzling. This editor claims to be “Hemingway..ish” but I found, not so much. Hemingway’s novel, in this short example, revealed 12 adverbs, 4 uses of passive voice, 4 out of 25 sentences that were hard to read, and 6 out of 25 sentences that were very hard to read. One would think it would have been perfect. Oddly, my original writing, before editing with this product reflected a better reading. Overall, for 20 bucks it’s okay and a good deal for a beginner needing to understand how to tighten prose and identify adverbs easily.

  4. Alan on April 28, 2020 at 4:39 pm

    I purchased this product and really regret the decision. It is nothing, it is just going to tell you if you’re using a wrong adverb, long sentence, and the readability grade – Nothing else.

    • Dave Chesson on April 29, 2020 at 2:59 pm

      Yeah, that’s why I prefer ProWritingAid. Grammarly is great, but costly. PWA does the trick. But that’s only for those looking for something like that. One thing I do like about Hemingway (which you get with the free version) is a readability score. But I mainly use that for my blog writing. I’ve found that it’s pretty locked on there and does a great job of helping to improve the readability of my articles.

    • Steven LaBree on June 21, 2020 at 2:28 pm

      What else would you need to know?

    • Steven LaBree on June 22, 2020 at 12:22 pm

      Isn’t that the point?

  5. Read_ThFlyingSaucrsAreVryVryRl on November 22, 2019 at 8:01 pm

    These apps can only flag possible problems and can be useful in only a very preliminary or provisional way. No judgment is involved. I plugged a very fine paragraph of Mencken`s into the Hemingway App, which concluded that HLM`s prose was littered with problems.

  6. Jordanna on August 26, 2019 at 8:16 pm

    I’m curious what you make of the complexity of ProWritingAid? I’ve found it to be clunky and time consuming to go through all of its options. As someone busy who needs to produce quality and powerful writing as quickly as possible, I found it overwhelming. What are your two cents here?

    • Dave Chesson on August 26, 2019 at 11:03 pm

      Like I said in my video, it was a bit complex, but my grammar nerd friends loves its analysis. I barely use that aspect of it.

      • Jordanna on August 27, 2019 at 6:26 pm

        Okay thanks Dave!

    • Andrew G. Nelson 📚 on August 27, 2019 at 5:41 pm

      Jordanna, I purchased PWA about a month ago, based off Dave`s recommendation. Yes, it can be a bit complex, but it is fairly powerful and I’m impressed overall. I start out with checking style, then move on to grammar and finally readability. Doing it in this order seems to work for me and I pick up a lot of corrections. Good luck.

      • Jordanna on August 27, 2019 at 6:25 pm

        Thanks Andrew! Do you feel it takes more time but is better overall? Or do you have it down to a science? I was loving grammarly, but It is so much pricier That is why I’m exploring other options.

        • Andrew G. Nelson 📚 on August 28, 2019 at 12:57 pm

          I think It is an invaluable tool for writers. After a month I would not say I have it down to a science (there are still a lot of features I need to explore), but I think that the three steps I outlined above are a solid foundation for most authors, especially indies. Book sales are a tough nut to crack and most indie authors do not have the cash to pay for editing services, so this program seems to feel that void. Being a one time purchase, I think a lot of people will get a huge boost from it.

  7. Andrew G. Nelson 📚 on August 6, 2019 at 6:56 pm

    Hey Dave, after reading your review I decided to give Hemingway a try. I used the free version to review some of the passages from my current WIP and was impressed. The features seemed very easy to use / navigate. Some of the suggestions made me re-think my sentence structure, which for the most part was a positive. After a few hours I decided to pop for the exorbitant price of $19.99 (insert dripping sarcasm). My thoughts are that any recommendations that can make me a better writer are worth it in the long run. Next up I will be looking at PWA. Thanks for the review. Andrew

  8. meg x on June 19, 2019 at 12:14 pm

    Please help me ! I cut and paste my text into Hemingway as told and try to work with it but get terrible lag and freezing constantly which makes it next to impossible to use …so i persevere and manage several pages of great changes then i cut and paste my text back into my word document and all my formatting is lost.GRRRRRC So lag and lost formatting…??? How can people use this thing? What am i doing wrong ? any advice welcome as love the content.

    • aa bbbb on May 13, 2020 at 12:50 pm

      Get a better internet connection.

  9. Jason Pinaster on May 6, 2019 at 8:22 pm

    What about false positives? I use WORD for spell checking, but 99% of its grammar queries are out to lunch.How accurate is PWA? Can it save the cost of an editor?

    • Dave Chesson on May 7, 2019 at 12:36 pm

      In my review of PWA I specifically say that it doesn’t save the cost of an editor. I would not recommend every depending on software to beat the importance of an editor.

  10. Dennis Fleming on May 3, 2019 at 9:18 pm

    Thanks Dave. I have Hemingway and ProWritingAid and I too prefer the latter. I bought Hemingway just to see what it was. It is only 19.99. But PWA is superior but at a higher price. I do not know if I have a lifetime subscription. I did not have the coupon number when I bought it six months ago. One thing is I have to use rich text format because I am still using word .doc and PWA will not handle it.

  11. Danny Hoang on March 27, 2019 at 6:06 am

    Just bought Hemingway editor for $20, and It is terrible. All it does is highlight adverbs and lon sentences. Even the free version of grammarly online is much better.

    • Dave Chesson on March 27, 2019 at 6:17 am

      Yup, too bad you did not see this article before making that decision because at the end of the article, I say why I still choose ProWritingAid over it and do not recommend Hemingway App. Which PWA is better than Grammarly and way cheaper.

  12. Daniele Robbers on March 22, 2019 at 2:17 am

    Could I get your feed back about using all three. In their freed and paid versions. Is it worth it? I mean running each piece threw them all to get the best possible end product? I am just finally getting the courage to start a freelancing writing career. I wish I could afford even the hemmingway but I can not. I want the best support system for my business I can get my hands on too.

    • Dave Chesson on March 22, 2019 at 2:58 am

      Honestly, there is better. If you’re going to pay for a program I think authors get the best bang for their buck with ProWritingAid (if they use the reports and analysis).

      • Daniele Robbers on March 22, 2019 at 4:53 am

        Thank you I will doing that as soon as possible. Right now my budget is limited to free things only but that will change soon. Thank you so much for your advice and tips.

    • meg x on June 19, 2019 at 10:43 pm

      Gosh its only $20 ! But i dont like it at all…

      • Dave Chesson on June 22, 2019 at 6:25 am

        Good thing you read the review then and totally understandable.

  13. Romulo Fresto Jr. on December 16, 2018 at 4:19 pm

    Hi Dave, thanks for this review. Do you have any coupon codes for Hemingway Editor? Thanks!

    • Dave Chesson on December 16, 2018 at 6:28 pm

      None right now, sorry!

      • Romulo Fresto Jr. on December 17, 2018 at 2:10 am

        Hi Dave, I just purchased Hemingway Editor at regular price (used your link to go to their site). One question though, until when will the Kindlepreneur coupon code be valid? I intend to purchase ProWritingAid Premium Plus (Lifetime License). Got approval from our CFO but said we will buy it Feb or Mar 2019 (2 to 3 mos from now). Hope coupon code will still be valid by then. Let me know. Thanks!

        • Dave Chesson on December 17, 2018 at 4:02 am

          It should be valid till then. But you’ll want to check. I assure you, if there is a coupon code that exists, I will keep this page up to date to reflect that.

          • Romulo Fresto Jr. on December 17, 2018 at 4:24 am

            Thanks Dave, appreciate your reply.

          • Dave Chesson on December 17, 2018 at 4:31 am

            You bet and glad to have helped!

  14. Lisa Turner on November 12, 2018 at 7:35 pm

    I just switched from Grammarly to ProWriting. I was very disappointed in Grammarly. It came up with incorrect grammar corrections constantly. Plus, I signed up for Grammarly Premium ($140) and after two weeks asked for a refund. They said no. That is no way to run a business. Thanks for all your great research Dave!

    • Dave Chesson on November 13, 2018 at 1:48 am

      Thanks for sharing your experience but sorry they treated you like that. I personally love a company that provides great customer service and have found ProWriting Aid to be really helpful.

  15. D. Takara Shelor on November 8, 2018 at 3:38 pm

    Thank you so much, Dave, for doing the research and particularly comparing the 3 different tech helpers. I’ve used the free version of Grammarly for awhile, but often caution users that you really do have to read and think about every single suggestion … because they aren’t always right for the ideas you are trying to convey. Thanks again.

    • Dave Chesson on November 8, 2018 at 6:32 pm

      No problem, glad you found the comparison useful.

  16. Kathryn Cable on November 8, 2018 at 3:22 pm

    I found the Hemmingway Editor by chance looking for editing software. (Since Hemmingway is one of my favorite writers) I decided to try it. I love it! It has improved my writing tenfold. I was not aware of how many long sentences and adverbs I was using. Between ProWritingAid and Hemmingway and my Microsoft tool of reading my text aloud, I feel my writing is more concise and stronger, making the story flow easier. I’m still using the free one and It is enough. I agree ProWritingAid (use Dave`s discount) is the best over Grammarly. Thanks for your helpful reviews.

    • Dave Chesson on November 8, 2018 at 6:31 pm

      That is the great thing about these tools, not only do they help us find mistakes but they can also teach us how to write better.

  17. Barbara Mealer on November 8, 2018 at 2:16 pm

    I’m on the same page as you. I tried Grammarly but found it not worth the $140 a year when I could get ProWritingAid for life for less and it is less annoying. Like everything else, you need to allow the time to go through and make the corrections with any of the programs you use. Hemingway, I’ve used a couple of times, but I do not find it as useful as I to my ProWritingAid. I do use it for copy writing as it does help to make it clear, short and sweet, which is what you need for those blurbs and descriptions.

    • Dave Chesson on November 8, 2018 at 6:30 pm

      I love the idea of using Hemingway for the blurbs and descriptions, great idea. Thanks for sharing!

  18. Gregg Roe on November 8, 2018 at 2:07 pm

    I tried the free version of Hemingway, and I am not impressed. Just like Grammarly, the software doesn’t seem to have an adequate knowledge of English grammar. Blindly following its advice often creates ungrammatical sentences, or even changes the meaning of a sentence. I worry that too many writers use these aids as a crutch instead of simply learning to write properly.

    • Kathryn Cable on November 8, 2018 at 3:28 pm

      I respect your opinion but using tools to improve is okay. I do not rely on them and they do make mistakes especially when you have dialogue that is not proper English. I agree nothing can take the place of writing well and that is an ongoing task for all writers.

    • Dave Chesson on November 8, 2018 at 6:29 pm

      The great thing about these tools is that if they are used correctly they can really help authors improve their writing and learn from their mistakes.

    • create14all on August 6, 2020 at 3:28 pm

      I use Grammarly and has been very useful in learning to write properly. I am very pleased because my productivity has increased.

  19. Shifty Zim on November 8, 2018 at 3:00 am

    I currently own both Hemingway and Pro Writing Aid.Firstly Hemingway is an excellent tool for Copywriting, even for experienced copywriters. If you follow its guidelines, it forces you to keep your writing simple and snappy. I would not consider using any other app for copywriting purposes. In this instance, Hemingway is head and shoulders above the rest.Personally I use ProWriting Aid for all other types of writing. In one of the writing forums that I am subscribed to, several writers use a combination of Hemingway and ProWriting Aid for both writing and editing purposes.It is worth keeping an eye open for ProWriting Aid discounts, at least once a year you can get it for as much as 40% off if you’re lucky.

    • Dave Chesson on November 8, 2018 at 6:27 pm

      Sounds like there are a lot of people using a combination of the two successfully. And no need to wait for the 40% from ProWriting Aid because I have one for Kindlepreneur readers.

      • Shifty Zim on November 8, 2018 at 9:38 pm

        Awesome 🙂

  20. Fsamad Ali on November 8, 2018 at 1:34 am

    I love Grammarly ,I cannot live without it. I use it with Microsoft words. But I will surely try Hemingway.

  21. Lawrence Hebb on November 7, 2018 at 10:28 pm

    Thanks for the info here. I use Grammarly and now they’ve got it working with Google Docs I’ll probably keep using it, but It is good to know how the three stack up against each other.

    • Dave Chesson on November 8, 2018 at 6:27 pm

      No problem, I always like to see my options side by side.

  22. Elisabeth on November 7, 2018 at 9:34 pm

    Use all tools available. I write with Scrivener, use Grammarly (though will be looking at Prowritingaid when the time comes to re-order) and then use Hemingway to help make it easier to read at the end. I wrote a post about it awhile back, how I incorporate all the tools available to help edit. Well worth using it in tight spots at least. https://ezindiepublishing.c

  23. Paul Nieto on November 7, 2018 at 7:39 pm

    I am with you Dave. ProWritingAid is the main way to go. I will have to give Hemingway more consideration. For only $20, why not? But i certainly do not like free versions of either. Cutting and pasting into the website is not worth the money you save.

    • Dave Chesson on November 7, 2018 at 7:40 pm


  24. Dave Cenker on November 7, 2018 at 4:07 pm

    Thanks, as always, Dave, for this great peek into the Hemingway App. Truth be told, I had a tough time choosing between it and ProWritingAid as well. So, what to do in these situations? Easy, use both :-)i actually use a combination of the two in my self-editing phase of writing. Hemingway seems to “allow” a certain number of adverbs as acceptable depending upon the length of your piece (which is a simple but nice calculation done by Hemingway).I will usually use ProWritingAid for some of the heavy scraping and editing on the first pass and then use Hemingway before finalizing publication to make sure it is as succinct but powerful as possible. It has worked out really well in the editing of both my fiction manuscripts to date.Thanks again for a peek into these writer-ly tools and marketing strategies. It is much appreciated hearing your honest and comprehensive insights 🙂

    • Dave Chesson on November 7, 2018 at 5:12 pm

      That is an awesome solution. I love the idea of using both to get the best from each. Thanks for sharing!

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Hey Guys, I’m Dave and when I am not sipping tea with princesses or chasing the Boogey man out of closets, I’m a Kindlepreneur and digital marketing nut – it’s my career, hobby, and passion.


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