Can the Hemingway Editor make you a better writer?
Technology: App / Software
Games & Software: MacOSX
Games & Software: Windows PC
The Hemingway Editor is a simple piece of software designed to make you a better writer. It's not some powerful Microsoft Word like text editor, but rather an uber simple way to write.
This software comes in two forms. The first is an online web version that's completely free. Go online to HemingwayApp.com and try it out right now, no sign up required. This version lacks the ability to save files.
The other version is a downloadable file that you can install on your Windows or MacOSX based PC. This one will cost you $6.99 but lets you work offline and save files. It's a fair price.
What the Hemingway Editor does well is get you be a better writer. As you type, the software can highlight problem areas. Using too many adverbs? They'll appear in blue so you can spot them and adjust if you wish.
Have a bad habit of making long, run on sentences? Those will show up in yellow or red depending on how bad you've botched it up. Or, maybe you're like me and just tend to complicate phrases. Do that and it will color them in purple, suggesting that you can simplify those areas.
If you see green, that shows that you're using passive voice. But maybe you want that for what you're writing? Then click on the toggle switch and turn those alerts off.
You can also go into a "write" mode which won't color anything you type. When you're done getting your thoughts written down go back into "edit" mode to see what you can improve.
The software supports some basic HTML markup. So, you can make ordered lists, un-ordered lists, hyperlinks, and so on with ease. When you're done just export the HTML and paste into your blog as needed.
Besides giving you suggestions on your writing style, you'll also get stats to show how much your typing. The real neat part is the "Grade Level" it assigns to your writing. This analyzes your writing and measures your readability. You'll see a simple score like "Grade 6" as you type.
That grade is the lowest education level required for a reader to understand your writing. You'll usually want to aim for a Grade 10 or less. As I type this review it has a Grade Level of 6.
This doesn't mean you have to dumb down your writing to a Grade 3 level. It's just a guide to help you understand how complex your writing is. If you're trying to write to a broad audience then this is good information to have.
Is this the best thing since sliced bread? No, not even close. Is it still awesome and something you should try? Yes, absolutely! Try the online web version and see if you like it. If you do, buy the download version to support the team who made it.
I should mention that the download version (at least on Windows) is not without it's flaws. In fact, it's a bit buggy. The spell checker isn't great and when I select a correction it sometimes adds that to my botched spelling rather than replacing mine.
In some cases, the display glitches on me as you can see in the screen shot below.
From what I've seen, this happens to others as well. Hopefully a future release will fix this. Until then, I just switch between write/edit modes to refresh things and it's fine. Annoying for sure.
Even with it's flaws, I feel like it's forcing me to be a better writer. Or, at least it's nudging me towards writing easier to read sentences. Follow the advice it offers, keep your paragraphs around 3-4 sentences long, and you'll be good to go.
Try now over at: HemingwayApp.com
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