Free Scrivener For Mac

Posted : admin On 27.11.2019
Free Scrivener For Mac Average ratng: 9,4/10 7720 reviews

Scrivener is arguably one of the best, and certainly one of the most popular Mac writing app for serious writers. It's bursting at the seams with dozens of tools to help get you started, keep you on track, and finalize your work.

Scrivener combines all the writing tools you need to craft your first draft, from nascent notion to final full stop. “The biggest software advance for writers since the word processor.” - Best-selling novelist Michael Marshall Smith GROW YOUR MANUSCRIPT YOUR WAY Tailor-made for creating long manuscripts, Scrivener lets you break up your writing into sections as small or large as you like. At its heart is a simple ring-binder metaphor—gather material and switch between writing, notes and research with ease. Got a great idea but don’t know where it fits? Compose your text in any order you want—write when inspiration strikes and find its place later.

SEE THE FOREST.OR. THE TREES Whether you plan or plunge, Scrivener works your way: hammer out every last detail before typing a word, or carve out a draft and restructure later. Or do a bit of both. All text sections in Scrivener are integrated with an easy-to-use project outline, so working with an overview of your manuscript is only ever a click away, and turning Chapter Four into Chapter One is as simple as drag and drop.

RESEARCH WITHIN REACH Need to refer to research? In Scrivener, your background material is always at hand, and you can open it right alongside what you’re working on. Write a description based on a photograph. Transcribe an interview. Or check for consistency against an earlier chapter. GETTING IT OUT THERE Once you’re ready to share your work with the world, turn your manuscript into a beautiful ebook or PDF, export to Word, or simply print it out. You can even share using different formatting, so that you can write in your favorite font and still keep your editor happy.

Scrivener’s users include best-selling novelists, screenwriters, students, academics, lawyers, journalists and translators. It won’t tell you how to write—it just provides everything you need to start writing and keep writing. Note: 3.1.1 is a patch for 3.1. It fixes a bug that could cause a 10.14 crash on startup for existing users who had customised their appearance preferences. DARK MODE. Full support for dark mode on macOS 10.14.

Scrivener’s “Appearance” preferences allow you to take full control over colours and UI in each mode. Switch between dark and light mode independently of the system settings using the Scrivener Appearance menu. Set up different colour themes for each mode via the Preferences, and switch between them using the Scrivener Themes menu. SCRIPTWRITING. Support for “MORE” and “CONT’D” when compiling for PDF and printing. (See new settings in the “Text Layout” area of the Compile format editor.). Support for not splitting sentences across pages in scripts.

Dual dialogue support for print and PDF. COMPILE. You can now include a cover image when compiling to PDF. Enhanced options for compiling for print-on demand services, including an option for PDF files to use the PDF/X-3 format.

Epub 3 and Kindle KF8 formats now allow for direct formatting. With these changes, the older ePub 2 and Kindle Mobi formats have been removed, and will only be available for Compile formats created in older versions that rely on them. Epub export now supports inline MathML equations generated by MathType.

It is now much easier to edit section layouts: a pencil icon appears when you move the mouse over a section layout in the main Compile window. Simply click on it (or double-click the layout) to begin editing. Unused section types are now hidden by default in Compile’s “Assign Section Types”. Section Layouts in the Compile format editor are now displayed in bold if they are used in the project, making it easier to identify the layouts you are most interested in. Improvements have been made to footnotes in print and PDF, including several new options for how they are laid out.

Many, many other enhancements to Compile. FOCUS MODE. A new “focus mode” is available via View Text Editing Focus. This allows you to fade out everything except the current line, sentence or paragraph as you write.

The mode can be set independently for the main window and Compose. WIDOWS AND ORPHANS. Widow and orphan control now supported in Scrivener’s page view. (Off by default - use the “Editing” Preferences to turn it on.). Widow and orphan control now supported when compiling to PDF or for printing. Keep with Next has also been improved, and you can now determine whether the KWN paragraph itself can be split across pages or not. 3.1 Nov 8, 2018.

DARK MODE. Full support for dark mode on macOS 10.14. Every single icon and UI element has been redesigned or tweaked for dark mode. Scrivener’s “Appearance” preferences allow you to take full control over colours and UI in each mode. Switch between dark and light mode independently of the system settings using the Scrivener Appearance menu. Set up different colour themes for each mode via the Preferences, and switch between them using the Scrivener Themes menu. SCRIPTWRITING.

Support for “MORE” and “CONT’D” when compiling for PDF and printing. (See new settings in the “Text Layout” area of the Compile format editor.).

Support for not splitting sentences across pages in scripts. Dual dialogue support for print and PDF. COMPILE.

You can now include a cover image when compiling to PDF. Enhanced options for compiling for print-on demand services, including an option for PDF files to use the PDF/X-3 format.

Epub 3 and Kindle KF8 formats now allow for direct formatting. With these changes, the older ePub 2 and Kindle Mobi formats have been removed, and will only be available for Compile formats created in older versions that rely on them. Epub export now supports inline MathML equations generated by MathType. It is now much easier to edit section layouts: a pencil icon appears when you move the mouse over a section layout in the main Compile window.

Simply click on it (or double-click the layout) to begin editing. Unused section types are now hidden by default in Compile’s “Assign Section Types”. Section Layouts in the Compile format editor are now displayed in bold if they are used in the project, making it easier to identify the layouts you are most interested in. Improvements have been made to footnotes in print and PDF, including several new options for how they are laid out. Many, many other enhancements to Compile. FOCUS MODE.

A new “focus mode” is available via View Text Editing Focus. This allows you to fade out everything except the current line, sentence or paragraph as you write.

The mode can be set independently for the main window and Compose. WIDOWS AND ORPHANS. Widow and orphan control now supported in Scrivener’s page view. (Off by default - use the “Editing” Preferences to turn it on.). Widow and orphan control now supported when compiling to PDF or for printing.

Keep with Next has also been improved, and you can now determine whether the KWN paragraph itself can be split across pages or not. 3.0.3 Jun 21, 2018. COMPILE. Added a “Vellum Export” Compile format for use with.docx.

This makes it easy to export a Word document that is formatted ready for import into Vellum, the self-publishing app for macOS. Tweaked HTML5 export for ePub and Kindle formats to work around an issue whereby Kindle Previewer and Amazon’s “Look Inside” feature could scramble certain characters. ePub now supports the “Book begins after front matter” option. Added an “Optimize for Kindle conversion” checkbox for ePub 3 export for submitting to self-publishing services that require ePub files even for Amazon publication. Scrivener’s MultiMarkdown support has been updated to version 6.

New MultiMarkdown and LaTeX project templates and Compile formats added. The $include placeholder tag now works in title prefixes and suffixes and Section Layout prefixes and suffixes. The $date, $createdDate and $modifiedDate placeholders now allow for custom date formats (e.g. By using $date:HH:ss:mm). Added options for controlling the header and footer margins for print and PDF.

Functions

Added an option to override style names during Compile, which can be useful for meeting specific formatting requirements. When compiling a subgroup, if “Treat compile group as complete manuscript” is ticked, Scrivener now looks inside the front and back matter folders for a subfolder that matches the compile group name, and if one is found, uses that for the front or back matter instead of the entire folder.

This makes it much easier for users writing multiple books inside a single project to switch between different books when compiling. OTHER. Added “Apply Keywords to Selected Documents” and “Remove Keywords from Selected Documents” to the Keywords panel contextual menu, making it easier to add and remove keywords to and from multiple documents. Improved dotted underline drawing in the editor as well as for printing and PDF export. Improved “Select Similar Formatting” to work better with styles. You can now insert media time stamps into the Inspector and Copyholders as well as the main editor. Improvements made to highlights in PDF files.

It is now possible to disable smart quotes separately from hyphens and ellipses for script mode in the “Corrections” Preferences. You can now copy the link in the footer below an imported web page using the contextual menu.

“Sort” options moved from Edit Move to a dedicated Edit Sort menu. Sorting is now supported in bookmarks. The size of comment popovers now takes into consideration the text scale. Worked around a bug in macOS whereby images in the editor could become faded after a save and reload. Many, many more refinements and bug fixes. 3.0.2 Mar 6, 2018.

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COMPILE. Added ability to preserve centering and indents on a Section Layout basis. Added a new $pageGroupParentTitle placeholder which can be used in headers and footers to show the name of the part containing the current chapter. Fixed bug whereby Kindle ebook validation would fail because of a table of contents problem.

EDITOR. Text completions and emojis can now be added to Scrivener’s editor Touch Bar. “Heading” and “Title” paragraph styles now use Keep-with-Next by default in new projects. Added “Reload from Original Image” option to contextual menu for images linked in text.

Collapsed footnotes and comments in the Inspector now use an icon rather than text to indicate their type, allowing more room for a preview of the content. MEDIA AND WEB. When viewing audio files, the playback controls no longer fade out but remain visible. Added ability to insert the time stamp of a media file (Insert Media Time Stamp - note that you must have a media file in the other editor to use this).

You can set the format used for this stamp in the Behaviors Playback Preferences. Added “Allow limited navigation in web pages” option to “Navigation” Preferences. When ticked, you can navigate around imported web pages to some extent. When this option is off, you can hold down Option when clicking in a web page to force the link to open inside Scrivener’s browser. When resolving alias files, Scrivener no longer tries to mount external volumes, which could cause slowdown.

SCRIPTWRITING. Added “Paste Plain Text as Screenplay” to the “Edit” menu (only available when editing a script document).

This makes it easier to paste into Scrivener from Final Draft and Movie Magic Screenwriter. Added 1.2 line spacing as an option to Script Settings. It is now possible to set script mode to insert text at the start of a line when hitting tab (under the Tab/Return area of Script Settings).

Added a new $mediaPlaybackTime placeholder that can only be used inside the tab “Insert” fields of Script Settings. This can be used to automatically insert the current playback time of a video or sound file in the other editor by simply hitting tab.

Added a new “Transcript” script format that takes advantage of the new time stamp placeholder, intended for use while working with a video or sound file in the other editor. STATISTICS. Project Statistics now show the average, longest and shortest document lengths.

Added “Show allowance in progress bar” option to document target settings. When ticked, the overflow allowance is shown in the right side of the bar. OTHER. Added an option to the “Behaviors” Preferences to turn off 3.0’s new behaviour of deleting text dragged out of the editor to other areas of the project. Added an option to exclude the screenshot when tweeting Project Targets (“Include screenshot when using Twitter service in Project Targets”, available in the General Services area of Preferences). Many, many refinements and bug fixes.

3.0.1 Dec 21, 2017. Numerous minor enhancements and bug fixes to Compile.

ePub 3 and KF8 formats now support underlines without needing to use styles. ePub 3 and KF8 now support the “Transformations” options pane in Compile for converting italics to underlines (and vice versa) and converting smart punctuation to dumb punctuation. You can now set images inserted using the $img tag to use a percentage size in ebooks using the new “ebook” placeholder tag (see Help List of All Placeholders for details). Tabbed windows are now restored when Scrivener is reopened (and Quick Reference panels remember their tabbed states per-project). When loading a Copyholder by Option-dropping, if you hold down Option at the start of the drag in the binder, the Copyholder will now get the focus.

(Only hold down Option on drop to leave the focus as it was.). Either Option or Command can now be used to open comments in a popover instead of the Inspector (since Option-clicks do not work on all systems). Added option to turn off border to current line highlight. If any Preferences Themes are saved, a “Themes” submenu now appears in the “Scrivener” menu, allowing you to switch between themes more easily.

There are now more options available when saving a Preferences theme. It is now possible, for instance, to save a theme that only affects Composition mode colours, or a theme that affects everything else except Composition mode colours. Full width labels in the binder no longer span the entire width of the binder, but are indented and more like the Scrivener 2 labels. When Ctrl-clicking on the Trash folder in the binder, a minimal menu is now shown that includes “Empty Trash”. When opening the tutorial project, Scrivener will now prompt you to update it if there is a newer version of the tutorial available.

(This will take effect for future tutorial updates.). Added a “Convert Markdown” option to Import & Split, which converts all Markdown to rich text for the imported documents.

When a group higher up in the hierarchy determines the “Structure-Based” Section Type via its “Default Subdocument Type” setting, this is now indicated in brackets after “Structure-Based” in the menu. It is now possible to make the main window narrower when there is no vertical split. Many, many refinements and bug fixes. 3.0 Nov 27, 2017.

Note: 3.1.1 is a patch for 3.1. It fixes a bug that could cause a 10.14 crash on startup for existing users who had customised their appearance preferences. DARK MODE. Full support for dark mode on macOS 10.14.

Scrivener’s “Appearance” preferences allow you to take full control over colours and UI in each mode. Switch between dark and light mode independently of the system settings using the Scrivener Appearance menu.

Set up different colour themes for each mode via the Preferences, and switch between them using the Scrivener Themes menu. SCRIPTWRITING. Support for “MORE” and “CONT’D” when compiling for PDF and printing. (See new settings in the “Text Layout” area of the Compile format editor.). Support for not splitting sentences across pages in scripts.

Dual dialogue support for print and PDF. COMPILE. You can now include a cover image when compiling to PDF.

Enhanced options for compiling for print-on demand services, including an option for PDF files to use the PDF/X-3 format. Epub 3 and Kindle KF8 formats now allow for direct formatting. With these changes, the older ePub 2 and Kindle Mobi formats have been removed, and will only be available for Compile formats created in older versions that rely on them. Epub export now supports inline MathML equations generated by MathType. It is now much easier to edit section layouts: a pencil icon appears when you move the mouse over a section layout in the main Compile window. Simply click on it (or double-click the layout) to begin editing. Unused section types are now hidden by default in Compile’s “Assign Section Types”.

Section Layouts in the Compile format editor are now displayed in bold if they are used in the project, making it easier to identify the layouts you are most interested in. Improvements have been made to footnotes in print and PDF, including several new options for how they are laid out. Many, many other enhancements to Compile. FOCUS MODE. A new “focus mode” is available via View Text Editing Focus.

This allows you to fade out everything except the current line, sentence or paragraph as you write. The mode can be set independently for the main window and Compose. WIDOWS AND ORPHANS. Widow and orphan control now supported in Scrivener’s page view.

(Off by default - use the “Editing” Preferences to turn it on.). Widow and orphan control now supported when compiling to PDF or for printing. Keep with Next has also been improved, and you can now determine whether the KWN paragraph itself can be split across pages or not.

Sydney6899, Amazing Product I’ve been using Scrivener now for a long time. Started using it on my iPhone/iPad, and then I bought a Mac (finally) and purchased V3. I’ve been using this now on my Mac for over a year and I have zero issues with any of my many projects syncing between devices. They give instructions on their website how best to set up the save option so nothing can become corrupt. I currently have fifteen projects in varying stages and zero issues with any of them. Keith is very responsive as well.

I’ve written to him about a glitch, he responded very quickly, and in the next version release, it was corrected. This is an invaluable tool for me and I’ve used SO many other writing programs that I can say, for me, this is hands down THE best product I have ever used.

Dropbox sync works great. Syncing between my phone and pad work great.

I know they are working on dark mode, it is in BETA release right now and will be implemented in 3.1 (it’s on their website). Honestly, I don’t know what woud have become of my writing had I not found this product when I did. Can’t wait to see what future releases have in store! Sydney6899, Amazing Product I’ve been using Scrivener now for a long time. Started using it on my iPhone/iPad, and then I bought a Mac (finally) and purchased V3. I’ve been using this now on my Mac for over a year and I have zero issues with any of my many projects syncing between devices.

They give instructions on their website how best to set up the save option so nothing can become corrupt. I currently have fifteen projects in varying stages and zero issues with any of them. Keith is very responsive as well.

I’ve written to him about a glitch, he responded very quickly, and in the next version release, it was corrected. This is an invaluable tool for me and I’ve used SO many other writing programs that I can say, for me, this is hands down THE best product I have ever used. Dropbox sync works great. Syncing between my phone and pad work great.

I know they are working on dark mode, it is in BETA release right now and will be implemented in 3.1 (it’s on their website). Honestly, I don’t know what woud have become of my writing had I not found this product when I did. Can’t wait to see what future releases have in store! Eaglepup, Great tool for writing I have been using Scrivener for a couple years now, and love the way I can organize things within the app.

I like to use one file for each set of related stories, and it easily lets me both write my novels and look up any notes. Importing my version 2 file into version 3 was easy, and I haven't seen any problems using it on my mac. I love the bookmark features in version 3, but wish there was a setting to always “open in other editor” from the drop down menu. It would make things faster for those of us with poorer eyesight as the window provided is just too small to read most things.

Great idea, but I need to either keep resizing the right panel or use the drop down menu instead of just clicking on it. Still a great improvement over version 2. As someone who manages many files within Scrivener, this makes finding the file I want much easier. This feature was my reason for updating as Scrivener 2 was working just fine for me. Eaglepup, Great tool for writing I have been using Scrivener for a couple years now, and love the way I can organize things within the app.

I like to use one file for each set of related stories, and it easily lets me both write my novels and look up any notes. Importing my version 2 file into version 3 was easy, and I haven't seen any problems using it on my mac. I love the bookmark features in version 3, but wish there was a setting to always “open in other editor” from the drop down menu. It would make things faster for those of us with poorer eyesight as the window provided is just too small to read most things. Great idea, but I need to either keep resizing the right panel or use the drop down menu instead of just clicking on it. Still a great improvement over version 2.

As someone who manages many files within Scrivener, this makes finding the file I want much easier. This feature was my reason for updating as Scrivener 2 was working just fine for me.

Owliepueo, Long time user, recently upgraded The old Scrivener was INVALUABLE. as I was writing my dissertation. Massive piece of work that was. The new Scrivener is INVALUABLE.

as I write numerous long reports (usually 30 pages +). Sorry about the cyber-shouting.Sorry again for the cyber-shouting Honestly I don’t know how things changed from the older version but, hey, I still love it. I just use the very basic features and even those basics offer an invaluable tool to constructing a long research reports. I have a chaotic mind that loves to multi-task and brainstorm. I love Scrivener because I can create a structure so that I may begin to insert pieces of “inspiration” into that structure. Say I create a shell with all the chapters (or just use the templates). I have ideas about wanting to discuss this or that in my report.

I can just randomly insert these ideas into the structure, and, move them around later. I also love that I am able to cut chapters into smaller chunks so I may concentrate on just one section of one chapter, for example. My chaotic, busy mind sometimes needs that space to focus on one detail. I can then look at the whole project (side bar, list of documents) and make sure the whole structure of the report is robust. I can track progress, write notes, and do so much more. Can’t live without you, Scrivener1,2,3, whatever version you are!

Owliepueo, Long time user, recently upgraded The old Scrivener was INVALUABLE. as I was writing my dissertation. Massive piece of work that was. The new Scrivener is INVALUABLE. as I write numerous long reports (usually 30 pages +). Sorry about the cyber-shouting.Sorry again for the cyber-shouting Honestly I don’t know how things changed from the older version but, hey, I still love it. I just use the very basic features and even those basics offer an invaluable tool to constructing a long research reports.

I have a chaotic mind that loves to multi-task and brainstorm. I love Scrivener because I can create a structure so that I may begin to insert pieces of “inspiration” into that structure. Say I create a shell with all the chapters (or just use the templates). I have ideas about wanting to discuss this or that in my report.

I can just randomly insert these ideas into the structure, and, move them around later. I also love that I am able to cut chapters into smaller chunks so I may concentrate on just one section of one chapter, for example. My chaotic, busy mind sometimes needs that space to focus on one detail. I can then look at the whole project (side bar, list of documents) and make sure the whole structure of the report is robust. I can track progress, write notes, and do so much more. Can’t live without you, Scrivener1,2,3, whatever version you are!

Ulysses is the best writing app for Mac, iPad, and iPhone. For writers — from bloggers to authors to journalists and more — Ulysses offers the perfect combination of power and simplicity, combining feature-rich writing and research tools amidst a focused, distraction-free writing environment. There are many great options available in this golden age of writing applications for the Mac, but we believe that none of them are as finely tuned or have the degree of polish that does. What is a “pro writing app?” To us, a pro writing app is a powerful text editing tool that also includes other essential tools that are part of the writing, editing, and publishing process. This broad group of users includes:. Screenwriters. Authors.

Journalists. Playwrights. Bloggers. Researchers If you fall into any (or more) of these categories and write more than occasionally, a professional-grade writing app might be right for you.

Check out our in-depth course for Ulysses A “pro” writing app is designed to assist you in reaching your goal of getting words on a page as quickly and efficiently as possible. The mission of a pro writing app should be to help you produce words that will eventually end up being posted, printed, or published.

It should provide an environment that is aesthetically pleasing and makes it easy for you to focus and create, and then allow you to take your content and export it wherever you desire. Since the words themselves are the end goal, it’s important that a pro writing app provide a distraction-free user interface that spurs creativity. It should provide the essential tools necessary to make the job of writing easier, but it shouldn’t provide anything extra that could clutter the interface with options you don’t need or want. The design should be as minimal as possible so as not to be distracting, and therefore the features that are not included in a pro writing app are just as important as the ones that are included. What makes a good pro writing app? These are the characteristics we consider important in a pro writing application and the criteria we used when selecting the best one:.

Design: The app must be well-designed so that it provides an inviting writing environment. Design is vitally important as it should strive to eliminate visual barriers so you can enter into a state of flow and do your best creative work. Ease of Use: The purpose of any tool is to make the work easier. If the app is not easy to use or it’s too difficult to figure out how a certain feature works, it can actually make it harder for you to get words on a page.

Workflow Options: The application you choose should adapt to fit your workflow. It should accommodate your preferred methods and styles for capturing and creating content so you can focus on the words no matter where you are when you decide to write them. Export Options: Your words are ultimately going to end up somewhere besides the writing app that you select. Flexible export and publish options allow you to quickly and easily move your content from one location to another and make it simple for your content to get out into the world.

Sync/Multi-Platform: With the technology tools that are available today, it’s easier than ever to capture inspiration whenever and wherever it hits. If the pro writing app you use has companion apps, it can make it even easier to record that perfect word or phrase when you think of it — even if you can’t get to your computer. Update History: The tool you decide to use should be in active development. Nothing is more frustrating than being fully invested in a platform that is no longer supported because you have to figure out a way to get everything out and start over in a completely new system (ask anyone who used WordPerfect or QuarkXPress back in the day).

Price: There have never been more high-quality options to choose from, and the competition surrounding great writing apps is fierce. This is great news for you as a writer, as it means we have a lot of affordable tools to choose from. What a Pro Writing App is NOT A pro writing app is not a word processor. Word processors are very powerful programs that have a lot of unnecessary tools (for our purposes, anyway) for formatting and layout that don’t translate very well on export. This results in a cluttered and cramped writing interface, which doesn’t align with our goal of providing a distraction-free user interface: Word processors also make it very difficult to work on your project outside the application you started with because of their proprietary file formats. Ever open up a Word document you received from someone and were welcomed by a warning message saying the font is not installed? That’s an unnecessary frustration of working with word processors like Microsoft Word and Apple Pages.

These apps have some great layout and design tools — but, for the purpose of writing words, these are overkill. The frustration they can cause when trying to export your words out of their proprietary formats can quickly make them more trouble than they’re worth.

A pro writing app is also not a specialized text editor like Sublime Text or BBEdit. These are very powerful applications with specific use cases, but are overkill for the person who needs to put words on a page. These applications have a lot of very powerful features (like code completion and multiple cursors) that are great for coders and developers, but unnecessary for people who just want to write. Our Favorite Pro Writing App is Ulysses is an extremely powerful writing tool with well thought out features that will provide great support for any writing project.

It provides all the tools you need to be a more productive writer, but still maintains a simple UI that limits distractions so you can focus on accomplishing your writing goals. At $45, it provides an abundance of value for the power and organization it brings to your writing desk. When you first launch Ulysses, you’ll see the main three-pane window with the library on the left, the list of “sheets” (what Ulysses calls documents) in the middle, and the editor pane on the right. While Ulysses does offer a full-screen mode for completely distraction-free writing, I found myself using the default layout a lot because it allows me to quickly find something in another sheet or document by using the search feature. The left pane offers a couple of locations for storing files, including iCloud and local Mac storage.

You can also set up “External Folders” that can point to a Dropbox folder, for example. In my workflow, I have an external Dropbox folder called “Notes” where I capture all my random stuff on my Mac with and on iOS. By adding that to Ulysses, I’m able to access those text files directly and turn them into articles (like this one). This flexibility allows Ulysses to fit perfectly into my writing workflow:. When I get an idea (i.e.

“Write article on Best Pro Writing App”), I capture it using nvALT or Drafts (which saves the note to a Dropbox folder called “Notes”). This might also include a list of apps I think would be useful or other tidbits of information I’ll use when writing. When I’m cleaning out my inbox, I’ll find the note and create a task in (previously selected as ), but since I’ll want to flesh out the idea later into a post or article, I’ll move the file from “Notes” to another folder in Ulysses for “Works in progress.”.

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I’ll work on the article in Ulysses until I’m finished with it, then export the file and submit it for approval. Your writing workflow may differ, but with the ability to add text from many different sources (iCloud, Dropbox, local Mac storage, etc.), Ulysses is flexible enough to accommodate a variety of workflow implementations.

The Right Tools for the Job In a side-by-side comparison of Ulysses with some of the other apps we tested, you’ll see a lot of similarities; but, you’d also see that there are quite a few features that are available in one or more of those other apps that are missing from Ulysses. I would argue this is not only necessary in order to keep the design simple and clean, but actually helps you focus on using the tools that are available and specifically chosen to assist you in the writing process.

In our opinion, the features the developers chose to include are powerful, useful, and easy to use. One of my favorite tools is the “Goals” feature. There are a lot of apps that offer a word count, but Goals is different because it sets a target for you to strive toward.

By right-clicking on the sheet and selecting “Goal” you can actually set a writing goal based on the number of characters, words, sentences, paragraphs, etc. As you’re writing, there’s a small circle in the upper right corner of the sheet box (located in the middle pane of the three pane view) which displays your progress, as well as a much larger version located in the “Inspector” pane. So, if you wanted to set a goal of “at least 2000 words,” you can do that in Ulysses. Once you’ve reached your writing goal and the circle is completed, it will turn green, giving you a very satisfying visual indication that you’ve met your goal. Seeing that green circle appear is much more rewarding (to me, at least) than a word count. This may seem trivial, but I can’t count how many times I’ve seen the progress circle and said “I’ve only got X more words to go and I’m on a roll — let’s just push through and finish this!” Personally, I’ve found that the Goals feature in Ulysses gives me a little bit more motivation to push through and finish my writing projects, and that has been invaluable to me and helped me get things from “In Progress” to “Done.” Another great feature in Ulysses, which allows you to go back to a previous version of something you’ve written in Ulysses.

Free Scrivener For Mac

This allows you to edit ruthlessly, as you can always go back and get that sentence you deleted a few days ago if you decide it really should be there. Check out our in-depth course for Ulysses A clean, stylish interface One of the best things about Ulysses is that it looks great. You can customize, but in my opinion the standard color scheme is pretty much perfect. Ulysses also has great Markdown support, so if you decide you want something a little more powerful than Byword — — Ulysses is a great option as all Markdown elements Ulysses are easily distinguishable (headers are blue, bold text is displayed in red, lists are indented, etc.) while not distracting.

I also love the way Ulysses handles links and footnotes. Markdown links can be long and messy, but Ulysses cleans these up and makes them more visually pleasing by displaying a link box which pops up when double-clicked. This makes for a more distraction-free writing environment and also keeps the word count accurate. Exporting Made Easy In addition to supporting a variety of export formats, including plain text, HTML, ePub, RTF, and PDF, Ulysses also has a very clever way of solving the image export problem inherent with Markdown files created in sandboxed Mac App Store applications. Images in Markdown documents are usually just links to a specific file location (which you can do in Ulysses), but this can cause problems with Apple’s sandboxing rules on the Mac App Store. For example, when sending a file from a Markdown editor like Ulysses to a Markdown previewer (, an excellent real-time Markdown previewer that integrates seamlessly with Ulysses), users have to explicitly permit access to every single image file. This is obviously not ideal when you just want to quickly preview your work.

To solve this problem, the developers of Ulysses have worked with internet genius to create a new file format called which provides a way to get around traditional sandboxing limitations on the Mac. Without getting too deep into the weeds, TextBundle is revolutionary because it basically takes all the assets that the plain text file points to and packages it all together, so if you wanted to edit the plain text file somewhere else (like a PC), all your assets are right there. But, what’s really cool about it is that it’s still essentially just a plain text file, meaning it’s very flexible to edit and doesn’t lock you into a proprietary format like a word processor. They’ve developed it as an open standard and encourage other developers to implement it in their own apps.

Syncing & iPad App With the external folders feature mentioned earlier, Ulysses will sync via Dropbox and provide access to your plain text files via just about any other plain text editor out there. This has been how I’ve used Ulysses for a long time, but the developers have also recently released an that gives you nearly all the power of Ulysses for Mac on your iPad. The first thing you’ll notice when you launch the iPad app is that it shares the same excellent design that makes the Mac app so great. It was designed to mimic the look and feel of Ulysses for the Mac and provide a comfortable, familiar writing environment. Everything about the iPad app is top notch. It’s extremely well-designed and is a joy to use.

The iPad app also supports Apple’s Handoff feature, allowing you to walk away from writing on your Mac and instantly pick up right where you left off on your iPad. Pricing Ulysses uses subscription pricing. For $4.99 per month or just $39.99 per year, the app is unlocked on all your Macs, iPads and iPhones, including sync. If you purchased Ulysses before the apps became free with subscription, the developer is offering 50% for the lifetime of your subscription. The Best Pro Writing App for Long-Form Writing is Scrivener If you’re working on a really big project (like a book or a screenplay), then you may want something with a little more horsepower. In that case, we recommend you check out ($45).

Scrivener is a serious writing tool and can certainly be used for smaller writing projects as well, but its UI is not quite as nice or intuitive as Ulysses and has a much steeper learning curve. Scrivener includes a built-in text-based tutorial that will walk you through all the features, but it will take you at least a couple hours to go through it all. If you have a big project you’re working on, learning how to use the additional tools Scrivener offers will more than make up for the initial time investment required to learn them. One of the reasons Scrivener works better for long-form writing is that it has a lot of organizational tools built in.

For example, the Outlining view can be really useful when you’re trying to establish the foundational structure of the document you’re working on. Another cool feature in Scrivener is the “Research” tab, which is basically a place that you can store assets (images, text, etc.) that relate to your project before you decide where they belong. Having all of these things available right inside the app can be a huge time saver when you’re working on a big project because you don’t have to leave the app to find what you’re looking for. Another unique feature in Scrivener is the Corkboard view, which lays out all your content sections on a giant virtual corkboard as notecards that you can drag around and reorganize, just like on a physical corkboard. This allows you to look at your project from a different point of view and makes it very easy to rearrange the structure as needed.

Scrivener also has a “Scrivenings” mode, which allows you to switch between editing your document one piece at a time, or all together as a whole. This allows you to focus on a specific scene, chapter, act, (and so on) and you can select the different components to edit multiple sections of your document as though it were one long document. Once you’re finished writing, Scrivener also has very powerful export options that allow you to compile your project into a finalized file format (i.e. Final Draft, ePub, Kindle, Word, etc.). Just select File → Compile, select the output format, check a couple of options, and Scrivener will do the rest. For example, you could export your book project as an ePub file that is ready to be submitted to the iBooks store, or select the Kindle format and upload it straight to Amazon. Either one will result in a nicely formatted file that is ready for publication.

Other Candidates There were a lot of other great writing apps that we considered when writing this review, but none of them quite measured up to our top pick in terms of creating a comfortable writing environment. Still, they definitely have unique features that deserve a mention. IA Writer Pro offers a couple of unique features that might be really useful depending on your workflow. The first is what they call “Syntax Control,” which scans your document and highlights your adjectives, nouns, adverbs, verbs, prepositions, or conjunctions so you can see if your sentences are balanced. This feature is not limited to just English, but also supports French, German, Italian, and Spanish text as well. The second unique feature of iA Writer Pro worth noting is the “Focus Mode,” which helps you focus on one sentence at a time by making the surrounding text fade into the background, reducing the temptation to edit.

IA Writer Pro is $19.99 on the and has companion apps for both ($9.99) and ($4.99). If you use an Android phone or tablet and want to be able to write on the go, check out iA Writer as it is the only app we reviewed (besides Microsoft Word) that has Android support. Typed is relatively new to the scene, but it has one incredibly awesome feature that makes it worth noting called “Zen Mode.” We recently published an article over at Tools & Toys on, and Typed actually bakes this right into the app itself by providing 8 curated soundtracks designed to help you focus and concentrate on your writing. I personally listen to a lot of the music mentioned in the Tools & Toys article when I write, and the ability to launch it from the writing app and not have to open up (or rely on an internet connection) is a really cool idea. Is $29.99 and, in our opinion, doesn’t offer the same level of writing assistance that Ulysses does.

The developer has a reputation for creating great Mac software, (like, ) and Typed is brand new. It will be very interesting to see what Realmac does with it in the future. Byword We previously selected as, and it can certainly be used as a pro writing app as well. We believe that Ulysses just offers a few more tools (like writing goals and integration with Marked for previewing) and UI enhancements (like the three pane view which allows you to quickly search and find text from any file in your library) that make it a better choice for more lengthy writing projects. Byword is an excellent application, and at $11.99 for the app and $5.99 for the version, it’s a great option for a writer looking to upgrade their tools on a budget.

Both apps do have an available “Publishing” in-app purchase (that must be purchased for each version) that allows you publish your writing straight to an external source, such as WordPress. It also offers iCloud sync that works flawlessly (in our testing) between the Mac and iOS versions. Microsoft Word We’re including this in the list only because this is what a lot of people think of when they need to write a document — but, in our opinion, it’s one of the worst options available. Not only is very expensive (it starts at $70/year with Office 365 and goes up from there), but, as we outlined above, it locks you into a file format that is difficult to publish from.

If you don’t use the extra formatting and styling features, then there’s really no reason to use Word as they just clutter up the screen. Word used to be the de facto option for sharing text documents throughout an office, but (thankfully) with the advent of plain text (and Markdown in particular), that is changing. We heartily recommend that you use a tool that gives you flexibility that these other formats offer. Pages is also not a great option as it is a word processor and not a text editor that also locks you into a proprietary file format. It’s free on the Mac App Store and offers an easy way to get started writing.

It’s actually pretty powerful as far as word processors go, but still has the same drawbacks we outlined earlier for the application type. Pages does have free iOS versions that sync (mostly) reliably with iCloud, so you’ll be able to sync your documents wherever you go with your iPhone or iPad.

If you just bought a shiny new MacBook and want something that will allow you write on the go but you don’t have any money to spend on a fancy writing app, Pages will work, but you might run into formatting issues. Write is a beautiful writing app that offers a unique blend of writing and note-taking features.

I mentioned my workflow for capturing notes and turning those into writing projects earlier, and Write offers both a powerful three-pane text editing interface (similar to Ulysses) plus a menu bar app for quickly capturing inspiration when it hits. Write aims to solve the problem of not having your text with you by syncing with just about every cloud platform available, but we think Ulysses still offers a more polished writing environment. Is $9.99 and worth checking out if you’re on a budget. It also has excellent companion apps for.

This is one that’s definitely worth keeping an eye on. Conclusion is an excellent tool for any professional writer. It has a well-designed layout, extremely useful features, and a distraction-free writing interface that does a great job of helping you focus on the act of writing. It offers a variety of export and publish options and also has an excellent for writing on the go. At $4.99/month for the Mac, iPad and iPhone subscription we still consider it an excellent value for anyone who wants to become a better, more efficient writer. For long-form writing projects, is an excellent choice. It has some great additional features designed to make larger projects easier to manage, and offers additional export options that will be particularly useful for authors and screenwriters.

The features come at the cost of a much steeper learning curve, and it lacks a good sync solution. Check out our in-depth course for Ulysses.