Hemingway: Is This the Coolest Editor App Ever?
Named for Ernest Hemingway, who was known for his clear, tight, rich style of writing, this editing app is designed to help writers revise their own pieces in a new way. Whether you compose presentations, speeches, online content, or just a lot of emails, this app can make a huge difference in the way you write.
(Photo Credit: Toronto History/Flickr)
Hemingway was originally launched as an online-only text editor. Its success inspired the team behind the program to develop, and recently launch, a desktop version for Mac and Windows that allows for opening and saving files, for use both online and offline from your desktop. The app is currently available for $6.99.
Here are some things we love about this app.
1. An emphasis on readability.
After you enter text into the application and hit the edit button, a screen like this will appear alongside your writing. Hemingway notes sentences that are difficult to read, adverbs (which could be replaced with more precise language for greater clarity), words or phrases that could be simplified, and instances where the passive voice is used. The overall readability score is given as the top of the box, and as you make changes to your writing, the score adjusts as well.
2. Easy to use.
Next to the readability score box, your writing will be highlighted by colors that correspond to each aspect of the criteria. It’s clear to see that you used the word “very” multiple times, for example, and to make simple adjustments that improve the strength of your writing. The format of this editing app makes it easy to use. It’s not overly complicated. It focuses on a few key aspects of composition that tend to make a huge difference in the power of your final product.
3. Readability score = grade level needed to read.
Sometimes, eliminating the passive voice can be difficult to do, or the final result might feel clunkier than you’d like. Occasionally, you’ll need to use long sentences, even ones that are a little challenging to read, to express the point you’re making. The readability score given by Hemingway is not a grade on your writing, but instead it represents the lowest grade level needed to understand your text. Achieving a readability score of Grade 6 for example, might be fine for pieces you’d like to be easily understood by a wide group of people.
4. It allows you to make powerful changes to your writing quickly.
The clear, easy-to-use format of this app allows you to revise your writing very quickly. If you’re working on a long and important piece, spending a couple hours reworking your writing might be OK, but this app also works for shorter, less crucial pieces, like emails or memos. The program highlights places where you can improve your text, and it is easy to apply changes that make a big difference in your final product.
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Gina Belli works as a teacher, freelance writer, and educational consultant, and lives in her beloved home state, Connecticut. She likes to write about education, work-life balance, and the economy. Given her arresting capacity to over-analyze anything interpersonal, her writing often tends to focus on some of the more emotional aspects of workplace connections and disconnections, as they relate to partnerships and teams, personality and communication styles, and leadership. In her free time, she likes to putter around her renovated one-room schoolhouse home, take walks in the woods, and eat as much guacamole as she can get her hands on.