Hemingway or Grammarly: Which Online Editor is Right for You?


Writing is a skill as old as time and is honed over time. No writer is perfect – sometimes, we make grammatical mistakes. Other times, the words just run away from us. Like with most problems, tech experts have come up with solutions to help writers create content in the best way.

Today, Hemingway and Grammarly are two of the most popular editorial tools online that are readily available to everyone. I tested them both today, and here’s what I found:


The Earnest tool

To test the Hemingway app, I copy-pasted one of my previous TechAcute articles into the editing space. I didn’t need to sign up for the service to use it. These are the results:

App text analysis results

Clearly, I have things to work on when it comes to my writing. But so do most writers. That being said, I was very pleased with Hemingway’s straightforward, no-fuss layout. It allows you to see clearly which areas of your content need improvement.

For example, Hemingway highlights purple words with a simpler alternative, and passive voice is highlighted in green. I found that the sentences highlighted in red (very hard to read) turn yellow or the highlighting disappears entirely in real-time when I change just a couple of words. The editor does reset itself after a few minutes, though, so I had to copy-paste the article once more.

Hemingway also has a free writing mode, where you can just write without suggested edits. There’s a desktop version you can download, but it’s not free. The editor doesn’t correct grammar and spelling – online or in the desktop version. That’s where Grammarly comes in.

Tool for school

I used the same article to test the Grammarly service. Unlike Hemingway, I had to sign up for the service using either my social media login or email. Here are the results which arrived in a PDF report (can also view them on screen in real-time):

Grammarly report

You can also set different goals, tone, and intent for your article in Grammarly, depending on your audience. You can do that by clicking on “Adjust Goals.” When I played around with the tool by changing the audience to “expert,” the intent to “inform” and “convince,” and the tone to “confident,” my score went up by two points.

Grammarly’s free browser version offers spell and grammar check, engagement, delivery, and clarity check. The complexity of sentences, passive voice counts, and other features available in Hemingway for free are only available in Grammarly for premium users. The premium mode also has a plagiarism check feature.

grammarly premium features

The online editor for you

Depending on what you’re looking for, both Grammarly and Hemingway can help you be a better writer, and it helps that both have free versions. If you’re just looking to improve the “flow” and readability of your writing in a nearly effortless manner without paying for anything extra, consider Hemingway’s free online version. If you’re unsure about your spelling and grammar as well as make sure your work isn’t plagiarising anything, perhaps investing in Grammarly’s freemium mode is for you.

Photo credit: The featured image has been taken by Fabiola Peñalba. The infographic was prepared by the author via Canva. The screenshots are taken by the author.

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Kate Sukhanova
Kate Sukhanova
I’m a writer with a keen interest in digital technology and traveling. If I get to write about those two things at the same time, I’m the happiest person in the room. When I’m not scrolling through newsfeeds, traveling, or writing about it, I enjoy reading mystery novels, hanging out with my cat, and running my charity shop.
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