Hemingway Editor Review

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!


Free Download

Standardized Editorial Test

Picking the right editor for your book can be hard. We authors don’t really know how to compare two editors and see which one is better…until now. When you go to hire an editor, have them take this test sample article. Then look at our answer key and see which editor scored the best. That way you know their level of quality.

58 thoughts on “Hemingway Editor Review

  1. Omezikam Ugwa

    Thanks for making this valuable recommendation & saving me money. I bought ProWritingAid with your coupon.

  2. Cory Wiles

    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.

  3. Terry Cooper

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

    1. Dave Chesson

      It worked for just now. But if not, then click here: https://kindlepreneur.com/pwaspecial

  4. Steven LaBree

    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.

  5. Alan

    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.

    1. Dave Chesson

      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.

    2. Steven LaBree

      What else would you need to know?

    3. Steven LaBree

      Isn’t that the point?

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