It won’t make you write like Ernest Hemingway.

But, Hemingway Editor will make your writing stronger and more effective.  Hemingway Editor helps you edit your writing so that your words are clear and powerful.  It examines your words and sentences pointing out areas you can change to make your writing better.

Hemingway Editor is great for anyone writing blog posts, business communication, fiction, essays or academic papers.

In whatever you write, even if it’s an academic essay or paper, clarity is important.  Clarity sharpens your writing and shows the power and purpose of your words. Hemingway Editor helps you refine your writing, so it’s not wordy and vague.  Your writing becomes clear.

What is Hemingway Editor?

Hemingway Editor  is a free online editing tool.  It analyzes text for readability.  Readability is how easy or difficult to it is to understand a piece of writing. An essential part of good writing is readability.  Hemingway Editor pinpoints things that affect the readability of your work.

Hemingway Editor’s readability score shows the level of education a person needs to have to understand the text. On Hemingway Editor this shows up as grade levels (Grade 1, Grade 2 etc.).  Any grade level below Grade 9 is considered good.   Grade 10 is considered okay.

A lower grade level is better.  Ernest Hemingway’s work is estimated to be between a 4th and 6th grade level of readability.   I try to make my writing between Grades 5–8 (this blog post is Grade 5).

What Does Hemingway Editor Analyze?

Five elements affect the readability of your writing.  Hemingway Editor highlights each of these things in a different color.  So, you can change words and sentences until the color disappears. Hemingway Editor analyzes:

  1. The number of adverbs—Adverbs qualify a verb. But qualifiers can weaken a verb. Here’s an example sentence: The blog posts simply show different aspects of academic writing. The adverb is meant to strengthen the verb.   But what if I write the sentence without the adverb?  The sentence reads: The blog posts show different aspects of academic writing.  In the second sentence, the verb “show” has more power without the word, “simply.”  I don’t need the adverb here.
  2. Instances of passive voice–Passive voice isn’t as strong as active voice. Most of the time in writing you use active voice because it is sharper and more effective.  Here’s an example of passive voice: The muffins were baked.  An example of active voice is: The pastry chef baked the muffins. The second sentence shows you that the subject, the pastry chef, performed the action. He baked the muffins.  This shows you who completed the action.  It’s direct and stronger than the passive voice sentence.  Limit the use of passive voice in your writing. You might use a little passive in academic writing but keep your focus on active voice.
  3. Words or phrases with simpler alternatives—Hemingway Editor shows you where you can simplify language and vocabulary. Should you always use a simpler word or phrase? Academic writing has a lot of phrases that are part of the academic language people use in writing. Some academic vocabulary is specific to your field.  Most of these words you won’t want to change.  But, think about simplifying other words in your writing.  It’s hard to read an entire text with academic language.  So, when you write, find the words that best describe what you mean.
  4. Sentences that are hard to read—Hemingway Editor points out sentences that are long and complex. Try to break some of these up.  You want clear sentences with some variety in your writing.  Some sentences are long, but make sure those long sentences aren’t hard to understand.  So, when you see a sentence that’s hard to read edit it, so it’s clear
  5. Sentences that are very hard to read—These are confusing and wordy sentences. If you see sentences highlighted as very hard to read, edit them.

How Do Use Hemingway Editor?

Hemingway Editor is simple to use.  First, copy your text.  Then go to and delete the example text.  Paste your text into to it and edit the highlighted things in your writing.  Everything is color-coded.

  • Adverbs are blue.
  • Passive voice is green.
  • Phrases with simpler alternatives are purple.
  • Sentences that are hard to read are yellow.
  • Sentences that are very hard to read are red.

When you finish editing, copy the text and paste it back into your document.

You can also write your text in Hemingway Editor, edit and then copy and paste into a document.  The disadvantage of writing there is that you cannot save your work.

Watch the video, Hemingway Editor: A Great Free Online Editing Tool for Writers and see how to use Hemingway Editor!



I use Hemingway Editor after I revise my writing and make significant changes to my draft.  You can see how I revise writing in the post, “Academic Revising 101: The Essential Essay Revision Checklist”  Then I edit my document, paste it into Hemingway Editor, and make more changes.  My final step is editing my writing again.

Is Hemingway Editor a perfect online editing tool?  No.  There isn’t a perfect editor of any kind.  You always need to see what an editor suggests and make your own decisions on what to change.

But it’s my favorite online editor because it improves the work I edit, and also makes me better at spotting issues in my writing. Try it and see how it makes your writing clearer, stronger and more powerful.

And if this blog post helped you please share it with someone else you think could benefit from it.


Photo by Daria Nepriakhina on Unsplash