I received an email from my brother-in-law the other day telling me about Hemingway, a web app that highlights hard-to-read sentences, adverbs, complex words and sentences, as well as passive voice. It also has some some basic statistics on your text and a readability score.
While the overly-complex-sentence-highlighting features are interesting, they are not enough to entice me to start using Hemingway for a number of reasons.
- I’m generally uninterested in web apps because typically there is no way to get text in or out aside from copy and paste. I write on my iPad and Mac, primarily, and I if I’m working on something, I want to be able to pull up the file with Alfred. I’m a sucker for the filesystem and this is what I hate about web apps. I understand that Hemingway isn’t trying to be this huge amazing text editor, but I find this to be the number one deal-breaker.
- Except hard-to-read sentence highlighting, all of the features are already available in my favorite desktop text file reader, Marked 2. Marked 2 also has a great feature called Keyword Highlighting which is much more helpful for writing a blog. I use this all the time when writing.
- I like to pay for what I use and ensure that key parts of my workflow will stay around. Enter a desktop app. While it may eventually stop being updated or supported, you’re generally going to have more than a few weeks to export your data.
If the dudes who wrote Hemingway read this, I applaud the effort. However, I just won’t be a user.