What is Flesh?
Flesh is a cross-platform, open source Java application designed to quickly analyze a document and display the difficulty associated with comprehending it. It is available for all platforms that support Java. Flesh has been released under the GPL (license for use).
After processing a document, Flesh produces two scores: the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level and the Flesch Reading Ease Score. Each of these scores is calculated after determining the number of sentences, words and syllables a document contains. Using those numbers, the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level and Flesch Reading Ease Score can then be calculated.
New in Flesh 2.0
Flesh, now at version 2.0, has some cool new features:
- Support for more types of files - Flesh 2.0 now processes Microsoft Word files (.doc), Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) as well as Rich Text (.rtf) and Plain Text (.txt).
- Faster! Flesh 2.0 is now over twice as fast on long text files.
- Better interface - Flesh 2.0 sports a totally re-written interface that should integrate better in your choice of OS (Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, etc.).
- More accurate processing.
- In application help, in case you need it.
What Does Flesh Tell Me?
In brief, it tells you how difficult documents will be to comprehend by calculating a document’s Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level and Flesch Reading Ease Score. Like all readability indices, the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level and the Flesch Reading Ease score only provide estimations and are only meant to be used as such.
The Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level is an index that gives the years of education required to comprehend a document. For example, a document with a Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level score of 10 would require that a reader have about 10 years (or a 10th grade level) of education to comprehend the document. It can be calculated using the following equation:
(0.39 × Average Sentence Length) + (11.8 × Average Syllables per Word) - 15.59
The Flesch Reading Ease Score indicates on a scale of 0 to 100 the difficulty of comprehending a document. A score of 100 indicates an extremely simple document, while a score of 0 would describe a very complex document. A Flesch Reading Ease Score in the range of 40–50 would correspond to a relatively complex document that might score a 12 as its Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level. The Flesch Reading Ease Score can be calculated by using the following equation:
206.835 - (1.015 × Average Sentence Length) - 84.6 × Average Syllables per Word
Feedback, bug reports and feature requests are encouraged. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Special thanks go out to Chris Biagini for the webpage design and help with the TextMate plugin and the project in general, and to Cole Smith for creating the icon.
- All platforms (4.6 MB)
All versions require Java 1.5+.