The Write Practice

Book Writing Software (2023): Top 10 Pieces of Software for Writers

by Joe Bunting | 19 comments

Book Writing Software - Top 10 Pieces of Software for Writers

The good news is there  is  book writing software that can make the writing process and meeting your daily goals easier!

(The better news is that once you've found the right software, we have the best resources to help you finish your book, like this book idea worksheet , which will get you started on your book in just a few minutes. Get your free copy here. )

In this article, we will cover the ten best pieces of software for writing a book and look at the pros and cons of each. Click the links below to get our review on the best writing software.

Best Writing Software: Contents

Worst Pieces of Software for Writing a Book

Before we discuss writing software that will help you write a beautiful book, it's important to understand (and eliminate) what will hurt your writing progress. At least while you're writing a book:

No World of Warcraft for Writers

Set aside time for your writing every day and then stay focused. If you need a game, make writing your daily word count your game. If you want more “likes” on social media, imagine how great getting five-star reviews on your book will be. If you need to check your bank balance several times a day, think about what your bank balance will be when you stop checking it constantly, finish your book, and become a successful author. Now let's talk about some book software for authors that can help you with your book writing process.

The 10 Best Pieces of Book Writing Software

1. scrivener (word processor).

book writing software in pc download

Cons of Scrivener: 

We believe in Scrivener so much, we published a book about how creative writers can write more faster using it. It’s called  Scrivener Superpowers .  If you’re using Scrivener or want a tutorial to save yourself time as you learn how to use it for your creative writing, you can  get Scrivener Superpowers here . You can also learn more about how to use the software with one of these resources:

Cost:  $49 for Windows, Mac

2. Google Docs (Word Processing)

Google Sheets Editing: Best Book Writing Software

Cons of Google Docs:

Cost:  Free!

3. Google Sheets OR Microsoft Excel (Spreadsheet)

If you’d told me when I was first trying to become a writer that one of my most-used tools in my book writing software toolkit would be a spreadsheet, I would have told you I didn't major in English to have to use a spreadsheet. But now, as I'm finishing my fifteenth book, I realize that I use spreadsheets almost daily. Spreadsheets allow you to get a sense of the elements of your book at a glance, and when you're working on a 300-page document, distilling it down to useable information becomes very necessary. You might use spreadsheets for:

Google Sheets is perfect for this because it's free and you can quickly share your documents with your writing partners, editors, or beta readers to get feedback. Microsoft Excel is another great option, but is a bit behind in the collaboration functions. Pros of Google Sheets:

Cons of Google Sheets:

Cost for Google Sheets:  Free!

If you have Excel already and love it, great. Cost for Microsoft Word: $69 / year (includes Word, Powerpoint, Outlook, and other Microsoft software)

4. Vellum (Book Formatting/Word Processing)

Vellum: Top Book Writing Software

Cons of Vellum:

Cost:  $199 for eBook generation; $249 for paperback formatting

5. ProWritingAid (Grammar/Spell Check)

Can a grammar checker replace an editor?

Definitely not. But if you ask Alice Sudlow, our in-house editor, she'll tell you, “If you don’t have access to an editor (or if you do, but you don’t want to hire them to edit your emails or Facebook posts), software that performs grammar checks like  ProWritingAid  is an accessible, affordable alternative.”

If you struggle with grammar mistakes, sentence structure, spelling, or even writing style, ProWritingAid can help. It goes far beyond your built-in spellcheck. You should still learn grammar skills, but ProWritingAid can help you start to see the patterns and grow as a writer. There's a free version that's very good. It can even be installed into your browser or Word processor, so you can check your grammar wherever you write. The paid version, just $60 a year (less than half of what  Grammarly  costs), gives you additional support on sentence structure, style, and vocabulary. Learn more about  how writers can get the most out of ProWritingAid here . Pros of ProWritingAid:

Cons of ProWritingAid:

Cost:  Free! (Premium version is $60/year)

6. Publisher Rocket (Book Marketing App)

How do you know if your book will sell? Wouldn't it be nice to know if there is a market for your book  before  you start writing? How do you find the most readers on Amazon for your published book? For all of these questions, Publisher Rocket has an answer. Read our  full Publisher Rocket review here . Publisher Rocket a book marketing research tool that helps you understand what readers actually want  and  how to connect with them with your books. Here are some things you can discover in Publisher Rocket:

book writing software in pc download

Cons of Publisher Rocket:

7. Atticus (Book Formatting/Word Processing)

Atticus Home Screen

Cost:  $147

8. Evernote OR Ulysses OR Bear (Note Taking)

Ulysses Book Writing Software

Cons of Evernote:

Evernote  Cost: Free with Paid options

Ulysses Cost: $45 Note: Ulysses is only available for Mac, either in the App Store or from their website.

Bear Cost: $1.49 monthly / $14.99 yearly Note:  Bear is also only available for Mac, either in the App Store or from their website.

9. Freedom (Productivity App)

One question writers always ask me is, “How can I stay focused enough to finish what I write?” I have too many thoughts on that for this article, but as far as using writing software to encourage focus goes, I recommend Freedom. It's my favorite writing tool for a distraction-free writing experience. Freedom allows you to enter focus mode, blocking your biggest distractions, including both websites and mobile apps, for a set period of time. So when you mindlessly escape your book to scroll through Facebook, you'll find the site won't load. You can also schedule recurring sessions, so that at a scheduled time (e.g. Mondays from 6 am to 10 am), you won’t be able to access the sites on your blocklist, even if you try. There are other apps like this that we've written about before, notably Self-Control for Mac and StayFocused for Windows. But Freedom goes further, allowing you to block sites on both your computer  and  your phone, and enabling recurring sessions. You can learn more about  how writers can get the most out of Freedom on our review here . Pros of Freedom:

Cons of Freedom:

Cost: $29 / year for Pro version, which I use and recommend (there's also a free trial available)

10. Microsoft Word (Word Processor)

Again: no piece of book writing software is going to write your book for you. If you're looking for the next “shiny new toy” to help you write your book, it might be an excuse to avoid doing the hard work of writing. Most of us learned how to use computers by using Microsoft Word, or a program like it. Word gets the job done. Sure, Scrivener is a little better for books, but I wrote my first book on Word and it's fine. I wrote a long review of  the pros and cons of using Word to write books —the main problem is that as your document grows, it becomes more and more difficult to work with, whereas with Scrivener, it becomes easier—but the point is, if Word is what you have, don't let that stop you from finishing your book. You don't need a fancy tool to plan a book in the early stages, like if you draft a character description for your protagonist, or in the editing stages, like if you want to make comments on scene details. As Jeff Elkins said in  his review of Word , “If you aren’t already putting in the hard work to be the kind of writer you want to be, it doesn’t matter what new writing software you invest in. It is not going to help.” Pros of Word:

Cons of Word:

Cost: $69 / year from Amazon (includes Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook, and other Microsoft software)

Note:  Another word processor we can't recommend is yWriter, which while it has a cult following and was designed by a fellow novelist, seems to be out of development and has no support for Mac/OSX.

BONUS #1: Google Drive OR Dropbox (Cloud Backup)

There's nothing worse that finishing a great writing session and going to save your work, then your computer crashes and you discover you've lost your best writing. It's enough to send any writer into the throes of grief and depression. There's a simple solution, though: save a copy of ALL your writing to the cloud using Google Drive, Dropbox, or BOTH. Here's my process:  I have all my Scrivener book files saved on a folder on Google Drive on my computer. Then, Scrivener automatically backs up every few minutes to a Dropbox folder. That way, I know I will always have the document I need, no matter what happens. Best of all, both of these apps have free plans, making it extremely foolish NOT to use them. Pros of Drive:

Cons of Drive:

Cost: Free with Paid options

Sign up for Google Drive here »

Sign up for Dropbox here »

Bonus #2: Hemingway App (Style Checker)

Hemingway App Purple Prose

Cons of Hemingway:

Cost: Free!

Try out Hemingway App here »

All the Book Writing Software

The 30+ tools every writer needs.

30 Tools to Write, Publish, and Market Your Book

The Most Essential Book Writing Software

Imagine it's three thousand years ago. You're sitting around a campfire with some of your family and friends, tired from the day's work. You begin to tell a story. It's one you've told before, told a hundred times. You can see faces around the fire, the children with their eyes wide, the men and women who have heard the story before but still enjoy it because it brings meaning to their lives. Storytellers—writers—have existed since the beginning of humanity. They didn’t always have book writing software. They didn't have the printing press or the internet. They didn't always even have the alphabet to write their stories down. Instead, storytellers had their imaginations, their voices, and a rapt audience. You don’t need book writing software to write a great story. Book writing software can make the process a little faster or easier, but the truth is great stories will always exist, no matter what kind of software we have. The only three things essential to writing a great book:

That’s all you need. Do you want to write your book? If you do, then do it. Write it. Nothing is stopping you except you.  So go get writing. What pieces of book writing software do you use?  Let us know in the comments .

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Joe Bunting

Joe Bunting is an author and the leader of The Write Practice community. He is also the author of the new book Crowdsourcing Paris , a real life adventure story set in France. It was a #1 New Release on Amazon. Follow him on Instagram (@jhbunting).

Want best-seller coaching? Book Joe here.

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Best Free Novel Writing software for Windows 11/10

Free novel writing software for windows 11/10.

It lets you add several chapters to your novel with different scenes. You can define the characters of your novel in a dedicated section. It lets you enter character details like personal info, physical features, image, ideas and passion, behavior, psychology, sociology, conflict, etc. Location is another module of this novel writing software where you can save location details used in your novel.

3] FreeWriter

4] manuskript, 5] plume creator, 6] quoll writer.

Hope this article helps you find a suitable novel writing software for yourself.

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The Best Free Book Writing Software To Write Your New Book

Book Writing Software For Free

If you want to write a book, you might be looking for free book writing software.

There are many choices now for book writing programs specifically designed for the long task ahead of you.

Writing software for novelists includes tools and features that will help you organize and manage the individual elements of your manuscript.

For new authors, you can choose from many free novel writing software programs to get you started on your book.

You need the right tools to write a book

Many new writers and authors start out using a word processor such as Microsoft Word, iA Writer, or Google Docs.

But word processors are not the best software to write a book because they are not designed to help you with a long creative writing project.

If you plan to write fiction or nonfiction, you will need dedicated novel writing software.

Word processing, spreadsheets, email managers, and a desktop publisher are for business and administration.

They are not the best tools at all for creative thinkers and the book writing process.

So don’t use tools designed to write a letter, a business proposal, or a report.

Forget all about using Microsoft Office and Word or any other word processing software.

You want to write a book or a novel, and there is plenty of free book writing software for beginners.

You can choose between software programs you can install on your computer or online apps you use in a browser.

A good book writing app will help you manage your writing project.

Dedicated book writing programs will assist you a lot with your research notes, file management, event tracking, character development, and, of course, your writing.

Take a look at the many choices you have for your new book project.

Free Book Writing Software

Choose the best book writing software

“I want to write a book.”

Okay, then let’s get you started with the best book writing apps for the job.

When you decide to write a book, you want a writing program designed for the task.

Look in an app store for a distraction-free writing program (yes, no social media!).

You want to be able to stay focused and concentrate all your energy on writing your book.

There are a lot of paid book writing software packages available for authors.

But, some, like Ulysses, Vellum, and even Word, can all cost you a lot of money.

Are you a book writer and just starting on your project of writing your book?

Then there are many free writing software alternatives and editing software that you can try.

There is always a short learning curve when you start using new software programs.

It’s better to spend your time and not your money when you learn how to use a new writing program.

But the applications in this article are easy to learn how to use and set up for writing your new book.

What you need in free book writing software and apps

Writing a book is a long-term project.

That’s why a non-fiction or fiction writer needs software specifically designed for the task.

The main feature of a good book writing program is that you can write chapter by chapter. Some offer scene by scene and also track your story development.

Writing a novel is a step-by-step process. A good writing program will allow you to write in these stages.

You also want to keep notes about your characters, events and, if possible, mind maps and record a timeline.

An auto-save function is also advisable. It will keep your manuscript stored and saved securely.

Also, check if you can save your work on a cloud drive. Google Drive, Dropbox, or iCloud are good options for extra backup security.

Another feature that is important to many writers is to have a distraction-free mode.

Or at least one that reduces the clutter on your screen while you write in a text editor. Sometimes, a plain text editor is all you need.

It takes a long time to write a book

Books are long-form writing. Working on one huge, long lump of text in one document is cumbersome. It is also prone to file and save errors.

It really is an unsafe way to write a book. The chances of something going wrong technically are very high. This is especially true with Word.

Apps for writing books are usually for desktops. But sometimes a phone app is available.

But some offer an iPad iOS app that can be a great option when you are traveling or want to get out of the house.

When you try the book writing software and online apps below and start writing, you will immediately notice the difference.

You will understand why writing a book needs a totally different approach.

Let’s get you started on the right foot but with software at the right price tag. Free.

Here is a selection of eight web-based and open-source free book writing software, programs, apps, and tools.

There are also details later in the article about four free trial writing software programs, especially suited to more experienced authors.

8 Free book writing programs

My list of free apps and software for writing books is provided as a resource guide only .

It is certainly not a recommendation or review of any of the programs on the list. If I have reviewed a program, there is a link to my full review.

As with most free applications, there will be some limitations or drawbacks.

However, in my testing of the apps below, there are some that offer quite useful features for free.

You can investigate the free options below, but you will need to decide which one may work best for you and your writing needs.

1. yWriter (Free)

ywriter book writing software

I have to start with yWriter because it was developed by a writer, Simon Haynes.

He explains the reason for going to all the trouble to create this software, and it should resonate with many writers.

“I really struggled with my first novel. I wrote slabs of text into a big word processor file, and I just couldn’t make sense of the whole thing at once. No real overview, no easy jumping from scene to scene, nothing.”

It is a great explanation of why word processors are not designed for writing fiction.

The key feature of yWriter is that it breaks book writing into chapters and scenes. When writing a book, this is a must-have feature.

It also comes with the ability to build characters and locations.

ywriter desktop book writing software

2. Manuskript (Free)


Manuskript is a feature-rich book writing tool.

It has an outliner, word count, and distraction-free mode. It also has a novel assistant to help you. With it, you can develop characters using the snowflake method.

You can also keep track of notes about your characters, the plot, events, and places in your story.

These tools will certainly help improve your writing.

It is well worth a try for a new author.

Manuskript book writing app

3. Sigil (Free)

Sigil free book writing software

Sigil is open-source, free software that is well-regarded for producing e-books in epub format.

In this respect, it is similar to, if not even better than Calibre .

It has multiple views, including book view, code view, and preview, as well as a WYSIWYG editor.

It also has a Table of Contents generator with multi-level heading support.

There is a metadata editor as well as a spell check with default and user dictionaries.

It also supports the import of EPUB and HTML files, images, and style sheets.

sigil desktop chapter writing

4. Reedsy Book Editor (Free)

reedsy logo

The Reedsy book editor is a great free online writing tool for authors.

You can write, format, and export your book to epub for ebooks and pdf for print books.

If you have already started writing your book, you can import a Word docx file.

It’s easy to add images and endnotes, and the program also helps you create your table of contents and copyright pages.

Unlike a word processor, the Reedsy editor organizes your book in sections, so it’s easy to navigate to chapters or other parts of your manuscript.

It is a fully featured online editor that has all the tools you need to write and format your book ready for publishing.

Reedsy Book Editor

5: Quoll Writer (Free)

Quoll Writer

Quoll Writer is a free, open-source book writing program. It is currently available for Windows, but Mac and Linux versions are coming soon in version 3.

It’s loaded with all the features you will need to write a book, including character and location creation, outlining, note-taking, and a lot more.

The layout of the desktop is easy to navigate. But there is a configurable distraction-free mode to let you concentrate on writing.

If you have started writing a book, you can import it from Word. You can export in docx, HTML, and also epub.

Quoll Writer Desktop free book writing software

6. Bibisco (Free)


Bibisco is open-source software. It is specifically designed for writing a novel.

It has all the elements you will need. These include character development and tracking.

There are chapter and scene organization as well as note-taking.

Everything you need to write a novel in one free software package. Bibisco is available for Mac, Windows, and Linux.

7. Focus Writer (Free)

focus writer

FocusWriter  has one key attribute. It is about total distraction-free writing.

It has many options you need to set things up for your writing your book.

But it has a hide-away user interface that lets you concentrate on the one big thing you want to do. Stay focused and write.

Forget about menus, toolbars, drag and drop or copy and paste with this app.

There is all focus mode with nothing between you and your words.

It is very user-friendly, free, and available for Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X.


8. Shaxpir (Free and Premium)


For a dedicated book or novel writing app, Shaxpir really packs a lot into its free version.

With the Manuscript Builder, you can use drag-and-drop tools to rearrange any part of your manuscript.

You can move and change the order of scenes or chapters, so you can work on structures that work for you.

shaxpir free book writing software

It’s easy to set up writing goals and track your progress. You can also make specific notes about your characters, places, and events.

There is also the facility to add your margin comments as well as collect any concept art.

It also comes with its own in-built spellchecker.

For free software designed for writing books, Shaxpir offers you a huge range of features.

It is available for PC and Mac users with an option for cloud access.

4 Free trial book writing software programs

1. scrivener (free trial).


Scrivener is well-known as the best book writing software program for screenwriters and authors.

It comes with a corkboard, an outliner, side-by-side viewing, word count targets, and a full-screen editor.

There are also print, export, and publishing tools. It has everything a writer could possibly need.

scivener corkboard

Scrivener is a top-quality premium book writing program. It has everything you will need from the first to the final draft.

However, there is a 30-day free trial period offered by Scrivener.

But it is counted by the days that you use the software. If you use it every second or third day, your trial period will last for 60 days or more.

Scrivener is available to download for both PC and Mac.

2. Living Writer (Free Trial)

livingwriter logo

But there are tools you need to use all the time.

Living Writer accomplishes both of these necessities in style.

With this online writing app, all the story elements you need to use are in the left pane of the edit screen.

While it looks simple, there is a lot going on under the hood.

main screen

The one feature I love is the character name auto-complete. It saves a lot of time and helps with accuracy.

Living Writer also integrates with Grammarly, which is a bonus.

One other terrific aspect is that it auto-saves your work, so you don’t have to worry about losing a single word of your work.

When I tested the program, I uploaded a work in progress manuscript, and it was up and running immediately.

For a new story, there are templates that you can use to give you a guide to your story outline.

template choice

It’s a great app for writers because you don’t need to install any software as it is a cloud-based application.

If you are looking for simplicity but with all the tools you need to write a book, this app might be for you.

You can read our full review of Living Writer .

3. The Novel Factory (Free trial)

novel factory

The big feature of The Novel Factory is the Roadmap.

It puts together tested techniques from leading novelists.

It breaks down writing a novel into small tasks so beginners can learn the craft of writing.

novel factory menu

The Locations tab allows you to take down details for your locations.

It includes multiple images to help your inspiration. It helps you to consider all of the senses in your descriptions to build an immersive story world.

In the Characters tab, you can see your characters in an overview. Or you can open each one to see all the details.

These include the introduction, basic information, your questionnaire, viewpoint synopsis, as well as your history and notes.

Once you’ve written your long synopsis, you have the option to automatically generate scenes directly from it.

Adjust where each scene breaks, and all your scenes will be created automatically. Then you can get on with writing your first draft.

Unlike some other book writing tools, the Novel Factory doesn’t need hours of learning. It’s intuitive from the very first time you open it.

The Novel Factory is available in an online version that works with all operating systems.  There is also a desktop version for PC only.

4. Ulysses (Free trial)


Ulysses is a Mac and Apple only application.

It works with a unified library that holds everything you’ll ever write a book.

The features are designed to manage writing projects of any size or ambition. You can write notes, blog posts, or a whole novel.

It has all the tools you need for writing, with the main focus on getting the words down.

Ulysses can export to PDF and Word files as well as ebooks. All totally formatted and styled. You can also export to HTML for use anywhere on the web.

You can even publish to WordPress and Medium from within the app.

Everything is just a click away, with on-the-fly switching of styles and a live preview built right in.

Ulysses operates and syncs on Mac, iPhone, and iPad. It is the ideal writing software for Apple users.

ulysses mobile

There are lots of choices in the list of free book writing software, programs, and apps above.

I’m sure you’ll find that at least one of these free novel writing software programs and apps will help you write and publish better.

Some will help you overcome writer’s block and be more organized no matter what your writing style is.

You should also use an efficient and reliable online grammar checker.

The Hemingway Editor is a good free choice. It will keep your use of adverbs, passive voice, and repeated words under control.

Then you are going to be writing more and better every day.

Forget about office applications that are designed for administrative tasks.

Learn how to write a book with tools specifically designed for creative writing and maximizing your writing time.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, there are many fine premium apps that come highly recommended.

But they are often more suited to professional writers, content writers, and writing blog posts.

You don’t need to make a big investment in book writing software for novels.

If you are just getting started moving away from Word and Google Docs, there are many free choices.

Try a few of these free writing apps and see which one works best for you. They can all help you write a better book or novel.

It might not turn you into a bestselling author overnight. But you never know, do you?

Related reading: 10 Free Book Publishing Software And Tools For Self-Publishing

Derek Haines

A Cambridge CELTA English teacher and author with a passion for writing and all forms of publishing. My days are spent writing and blogging, as well as testing and taming new technology.

Avatar for Derek Haines

22 thoughts on “ The Best Free Book Writing Software To Write Your New Book ”

Avatar for Sharon

Plot factory has been taken down, but was perfect for my needs. Currently I’m searching for a writing app with similar functionalities including the benefits of audio, useful for teasing out complex sentences. Does this app use audio to preview written work?

Thanks in advance

Avatar for Patrick S. Smith

As someone just starting out trying their hand at writing, I will say I have found a lot of useful information on this site and wish I had found it before I started putting “pen to paper.”

Probably like most people trying to write for the first time, I’ve started with the tools at hand: MS Office. One app in MS Office that seems to get overlooked is OneNote.

The best way I can explain OneNote is it is a “jack-of-all-trades” scratch pad. I am currently using it to make various notes about plot, synopsis, character details, and other things of the short stories I’m writing.

Like Word, its not the best tool for the job. However, it seems to be functional for a writing assistant while I look at some of the other tools and find one that best suits me.

Avatar for Melanie

What are your thoughts on the Writer’s Café software?

Avatar for Antony

as a novice in book writing{ just getting my thoughts together on how to start} I must appreciate the input f all here. The advice on the writing software is critical, so is the feedback from those like me, who need an easier way forward. I particularly was concerned of how to track my words, page them, and hold together my creativity long enough to put it down to words! Good luck to all writers

Avatar for Steve

I’d also put in a plug for Write it Now. The trial version doesn’t let you save, but it’s a great way to kick the tires and see how it works. I’ve used both it and Scrivener, and WiN has one thing Scrivener doesn’t: Timelines. It also manages characters and locations better than Scrivener. Scrivener is great for large, fluid projects (I’ve got one in a single file that contains multiple novel-length pieces and another section with over 10 short stories), and has more flexibility if you want to really interlink stuff and go all-out.


I want to start writing my book Pain of the hart m first boo I need to no how to get started .

Avatar for Derek Haines

You can read this article to help you get started.

But you should start by tidying up your writing, even in online comments. I think you mean that your first book will be called Pain of the Heart.

Avatar for DarkChaowMagi

The worldcradle link is incorrect; its a dot org site instead.

Thanks for letting me know. I have corrected the link. But it is strange that Wordcradle changed from a .com to .org address without a redirect.

Avatar for Martin

Has anybody tried OnlyOffice? It looks very good.

Avatar for LEWIS KANT

I write poems . Looking for a booklike with flying pages where to download one by one each poem. My language is spanish. Thank you! Lewis

Avatar for Cynthia

I downloaded Shaxpir yesterday and got a few hundred words in. My computer restarted itself for an update and I lost everything. As far as I can tell, you can’t manually save with Shaxpir (at least not at the moment) and for the life of me I couldn’t figure out how it saves otherwise. Just a heads-up to anyone thinking about that one.

Avatar for Jack Eason

I’ve given up on Microsoft since they stopped me from using their latest Version of MS Office by closing my account after I tried unsuccesfully to register the damned thing for use… So now I use Open Office and LibreOffice. I’m editing one book on Open while writing the squal to my latest sci-fi novella The Magisters: Book One on Libre…

Avatar for Adam Thomas

There is one all-round Book production program out there for decades called OPEN OFFICE , a more than equal package vs. Microsoft Office. They both have a Word component, and the Open Office version Word program is amazing. Of course, all serious would be Novelists need to be using Dragon Naturally Speaking by Nuance and it works in Version 5.3. beautifully, onIy doesn’t work in other versions, or Libre Office Word.

Avatar for Kasha Potgieter

I’ve downloaded Grammarly and ProWritingAid of the free writing apps, but how, with the free apps, do I go about checking a complete manuscript? Nor do I see page numbers to keep check on which page I am. Reception here is practically non-existent – none of the writing apps can be used offline. Any advice please? Lastly, if I want to improve or enlarge Word Thesaurus that can be used offline and incorporated into the Word Thesaurus, any ideas please.

Hi Kasha. Free versions always have certain limitations. That’s why they are free. Yet they still offer a lot of functionality. But you can’t expect to have unlimited access to all the pro tools for free for a long complex manuscript.

Avatar for Bill Davis

Thanks for the information, I am very motivated to get started on my book project!.

Avatar for Nat

Just getting started. Thank you for writing this article.

Avatar for Jemima Pett

This was an excellent post, as it’s always good to see the new products on the market and get some evaluation of them. And as always, it confirms to me that writing in ordinary wordprocessing with judicious use of styles, page breaks, and grammar checker set to casual, works just fine for me. Thank goodness we are all different!

Avatar for anita

Surely, the same risk applies, whichever programme you use? Do any of these programmes save your work independently, or would we have to do it?

Have fun choosing, Vivienne!

Avatar for Vivienne Sang

Brilliant. I had no idea there was free software for creative writing. now I just have to choose between them. I like the idea of Wordcradle with the index cards. That would be most useful, I think. I also like the idea of Manuskript. Thank you for this insight.

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Book Writer

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Editors' Review

Book Writer provides some interesting tools aimed at helping writers organize themselves. Its helpful features and smooth flow make for an interesting way to write.

The program's interface appeared cluttered, but it was surprisingly simple to grasp. It reminded us of a mix of word processing software and database managers. With a brief look at the Help file's tutorial, we were able to start building a book. One unfortunate aspect was that we couldn't start fresh and had to build our work off of the example book due to the software's trial limitations. Regardless, we got a great feel for Book Writer's capability to separate chapters, create outlines, and build a database of characters and a list of events. We were able to utilize all the tools by jumping to a chapter, typing up a scene, and inserting people and places from our database. One feature to keep organized was its Search option, which sorted through all the chapters and databases to find a specific phrase or word. We constantly felt this would be a beneficial tool for keeping complex projects organized, since it basically creates a set of virtual notes. Book Writer's interesting mix of writing software and data collection made it a helpful tool for writing books.

Book Writer's 30-day trial comes with limits, such as one sample book layout. It installs desktop icons without permission and leaves folders behind after uninstalling. Its mix of data and writing makes this a helpful tool that we recommend.

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The Best Novel Writing Software of 2023 (+ 5 Free Programs)

So, you’ve just started writing a novel — which means you’re figuring things out as you go. You probably have a flock of Google Docs to wrangle, you’re always scribbling on napkins, and you have no idea where anything is. Know what you need? Some good ol’ fashioned (well, more like new-fashioned) novel writing software.

Luckily for you, we’ve come up with this list of the best, most affordable pieces of novel writing software in 2023. All of these will help you stay organized and inspire you to keep writing until the very last page! You can jump to each review using the ToC on your left, but here's a quick rundown of these writing programs and how much they cost:

If you want to cut straight to the chase and find out which is the right writing app for you, we recommend taking this quick 30-second quiz.

Which writing app is right for you?

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Otherwise, let's head for the reviews! In the spirit of thriftiness, we're starting with your free options.

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Reedsy Book Editor

💰 Price tag: Free software ✅ Features: Format as you write, track changes, export files that are ready for instant distribution, choose between “classic” and “romance” themes

Though modesty should forbid us from crowing about the Reedsy Book Editor ( RBE ), we've seen first-hand how this writing app has totally changed how many authors write and publish their novels. While some writers like programs brimming with bells and whistles (tools to research, structure, and outline your book) and others prefer software that's free from those distractions, the Reedsy Book Editor offers a happy medium between these poles.

Definitely more than a blank piece of paper, the RBE's functions are super user-friendly and geared toward a single goal: creating a beautiful book. This is a production tool that typesets as you write , turning your manuscript into a fully-formatted book or ebook that can compete with traditionally published, professionally formatted books.

In "Writing Mode," you can insert chapter breaks, scene breaks, images, and endnotes. It comes with a spell-checker that offers an automatic proof as you write — and a goal reminder system that you can toggle on if you find that you're falling behind on your writing schedule! You can view previous versions of your manuscript, in case you removed a passage you now want to re-add. When you've completed your book on the RBE (congratulations!), you can export a distribution-ready EPUB or PDF file.

Learn more about using the Reedsy Book Editor 📖

Novel Writing Software | Fastpencil

💰 Price tag: Free software ✅ Features:  Easily navigable dashboard, drag-and-drop chapters, collaborative editing, multiple layout preview options, publication setup

FastPencil is essentially Google Docs for the professional (or aspiring) author. This online platform cannot be downloaded and is therefore only usable if you have WiFi. However, its nonexistent price tag more-or-less makes up for the inconvenience of not being able to work on planes, outdoors, etc.

FastPencil’s simple, streamlined interface allows users to set up a writing project, invite collaborators, and communicate entirely through the app if they wish. Two people can also upload mutually accessible “Assets” for reference during the writing process, and devise “Tasks” for each other to complete. Remember PalmPilots and other personal digital assistants? FastPencil is like a 21st-century, writing-oriented version of that.

Once your book is done, you can preview it with distinct layout templates for different genres — such as “Business,” “Memoir,” and “Dragon” (designed for YA fiction). These templates are pretty basic, but they'll give you a solid idea of what your published book will look like.

Finally, you can export your manuscript under “Publication Setup.”

Looking for the perfect playlist to get you in the writing mood? Tell us about your book, and we'll give you a made-for-you writing playlist.

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Novel Writing Software | Bibisco

💰 Price tag: Free software (Community Edition) ✅ Features: Overview screen for story “architecture,” separate section to construct characters, scene-by-scene word processing, distribution analysis for each story element

If you find most desktop writing programs unwieldy and overwhelming, then the minimalist interface of Bibisco might just solve all your problems. This is especially true if you're a plotter rather than a pantser , as Bibisco is that rare breed of free story planning  software, with plenty of virtual outlines and notecards to help you out.

With the free “Community” version of Bibisco, you can navigate among six different screens to organize and expand upon the elements of your novel. The architecture screen (above) is perhaps the most unique part of this software, with notecards for your premise, setting, and fabula. Here you can create narrative threads and articulate how they connect to one another, then flesh them out using your “scene” notecards.

Indeed, the name of Bibisco's game is breaking down your work into bite-sized, manageable pieces. Of course, this approach may make it difficult to envision your manuscript as a whole , especially as you can only write scene-by-scene — a feature which may frustrate users who are accustomed to writing in one long, all-inclusive document.

Still, Bibisco is a good choice for any author who's tired of busy interfaces and wants to prioritize productivity. And if that sounds like you, don't miss out on this next piece of book writing software ... 

Novel Writing Software | Evernote

💰 Price tag:  free “basic” plan, $9.99/month for “premium,” $14.99/month for “business" ✅ Features: writing templates, web clipper function for easily storing research, the ability to sync across multiple devices

If only the process of writing a book involved just sitting down and  going . Although sure, to an extent, this may be true. But most of us need to find the right way to capture and organize our ideas before our fingers start flying over the keyboard — or risk running out of steam. Evernote is great for the writer who needs to declutter a space (or their mind) before they can make real headway on a project.

Some of their great organizational features include their writing templates — some of which are user-created, and others are created by Evernote themselves. If you spot a chapter outline, a storyboard template, or character development profile you enjoy, you can save it and come back to it each time. The web clipper function is also popular amongst writers — especially for genres like sci-fi or historical — as you can use the clipper to save pertinent facts or articles you come across online, and save them right into your Evernote folders. 

At its core, Evernote excels as a brainstorming tool. This is why its syncing ability is also key — if you're out and about, you can drop ideas into your Evernote app and continue working on them at a later point.


Novel Writing Software | Focuswriter

💰 Price tag: Free software (you can tip, though!) ✅ Features:  A beautiful blank page for you to write your novel

FocusWriter isn’t novel-specific software per se, but it will help you rocket-boost your productivity. And of course, it's completely, permanently free — no limited-time trial, no payment with a warranty, no “premium upgrade” — so you may as well try it out!

This software is exactly what it sounds like: it helps you laser-focus your efforts onto writing , and nothing else. You can still format your manuscript and check your word count and daily goals via offscreen tools, but the default state is simply a blank page. You can also use full-screen mode so the only thing you see is the page in front of you — just like writing IRL.

For authors who struggle to concentrate on their work more than anything else, FocusWriter is a dream come true. You might also consider combining it with app-blocking software, like the next entry on this list, to achieve maximum productivity.

And that rounds off our section on free writing software! Now let's get into your options for paid programs.

Novel Writing Software | Freedom

💰  Price tag: $6.99/month or $20/year, free 7-session trial ✅ Features: Website and app blocking, advance block scheduling, customizable block lists and whitelisting, optional “Locked Mode,” session history, syncing across devices

Writers who procrastinate uncontrollably, get ready for a game-changer: Freedom.  This is by far our favorite time management software due to the crisp user interface, the thoughtfully designed features, and the crucial fact that it works — unlike that fickle mistress, human willpower.

Freedom allows you to block specific apps, sites, or the entire Web for any amount of time. You can schedule your blocks in advance and sync across all your devices, so you can't have a last-minute, Netflix-based change of heart. And if you're prone to mid-work moments of weakness, simply put Freedom in Locked Mode! This completely prevents you from disabling it until that time is up.

Yes, Freedom might be a difficult adjustment for someone unaccustomed to any kind of discipline, self-imposed or otherwise — but hey, we're writers. We all need a little tough love sometimes to get us going. In that sense, there's no novel writing software more effective than Freedom.

Novel Writing Software | Scrivener

💰  Price tag: $44.99 license fee, free 30-day trial ✅ Features:  Corkboard planner with virtual index cards, planning templates, integrated outlining system, customizable full-screen interface, split-screen function, import and export capabilities

Scrivener is one of the most storied (no pun intended) programs in use today. It markets itself as a “typewriter, ring-binder, and scrapbook all in one,” and comprises tons of helpful features . But perhaps Scrivener’s greatest benefit is the freedom it enables: with so many sections that you can arrange to your heart’s desire, the program lets you write however works best for you.

With Scrivener, you can do as much or as little planning as you want, so you don’t feel pressured to stay within certain constraints. You can shuffle your notes, outlines, and even chapters around wherever you need. It also has one of the most generous trial periods on offer — you can use it free for 30 days, but they don’t have to be consecutive. (When you do decide to pull the trigger, make sure to apply a discount !)

The only potential catch with Scrivener is that some authors might find it a little too liberating. It doesn’t provide much novel-specific instruction, as some other programs do. But it’s still an excellent organizational tool with a great interface. Whether or not you choose Scrivener just depends on how much guidance you feel you need.

Novel Writing Software | Milanote

💰 Price tag: $12.50/month or $119.88/year, free “basic” plan ✅ Features: Easy drag-and-drop interface, flexible notes board, "moodboard" for inspiration, web clipper to save research and inspiration from the Internet

As all authors know, writing isn't always linear, because thinking itself isn't linear. Too often, straight-laced writing apps can't match up to the messy, chaotic, and wonderful way in which writers brainstorm and develop their stories — especially when they're just starting to take shape.

That's where this software comes in! Milanote is a super-versatile app that allows you to organize your research, ideas, characters and outline in one single place. Its visual workspace lets you clearly connect your thoughts, create mind maps, and develop moodboards. And for those who really struggle to get started, Milanote's amazingly detailed templates (see above) could be just what you need to hit the ground running.

In other words, Milanote is ideal for the initial planning stages of your novel. Not to mention it's incredibly easy-to-use, so authors can concentrate on the important stuff — their writing — rather than trying to figure out all the complexities of the app.

Novel Writing Software | Novlr

💰 Price tag: $10/month or $100/year, free two-week trial ✅ Features: Flexible word processing, mechanical and stylistic notes, goal-setting and progress tracking, learning courses

When it comes to writing apps that really push you to improve,  Novlr is pretty darn effective. A relative newcomer to the novel writing software scene, Novlr has been climbing the ranks since 2017, with constant improvements being made based on user feedback.

In terms of actual writing, Novlr features a clean word processor which users can customize as they please. For example, there's “Evening” mode for those who prefer a darker color scheme, and “Focus Mode” to help with concentration. Making even the smallest formatting change, such as font size, will automatically update the entire text — convenient for writers who like to keep their aesthetics fresh.

Then when it's time to edit, the Proof Reader function at the bottom of the screen offers suggestions re: punctuation, adverb use, passive voice, and more. And for authors hoping to boost their productivity as well as their prose, a quick trip to the Dashboard reveals tons of useful features: a place to set your writing goals, an analytics tab for progress, and so on.

The one thing Novlr noticeably lacks is templates for story elements like plot, characters, etc. This may be a dealbreaker for writers who require (or simply prefer) that kind of structural guidance. But for seasoned writers looking for a sophisticated, web-based writing tool — and who don't mind paying for access to it — Novlr could be just the program for you.

Or you can check out the Reedsy Book Editor — a sophisticated, web-based tool that's 100% FREE (and not just for two weeks, either).

Novel Writing Software | Writeitnow

💰 Price tag: $59.95 license fee, free demo (doesn’t save your work) ✅ Features:  Chapter outlines, element sheets, editing tools including readability score and repetition finder, prompts and other tools for story inspiration

WriteItNow ’s no-frills design facilitates that all-too-elusive endeavor for authors: to simply write . Its interface is pretty basic, with a planning toolbar and a sidebar to keep track of the actual writing. But don’t let its minimalism deceive you: WriteItNow also offers a variety of unique resources, especially for editing your manuscript.

After you’ve written a chapter or two with WriteItNow, not only can you check things like spelling and word count, you can also run editorial “Critiques” via the Editor Tools tab. The program will point out any repetitive phrases, unnecessary “padding” words, and even clichés you might have used — helping you polish your writing in the same way a professional copy editor might.

Another one-of-a-kind feature in WriteItNow is the “Create Idea” function. You can select a character and type of idea — in a maneuver reminiscent of choosing personality traits on The Sims — and the program will spit out creative prompts for you to integrate!

This program may seem a bit on the pricey side, but the license fee does cover both Mac and PC. In any case, WriteItNow absolutely lives up to its name in terms of helping writers get their work done. (And as every veteran writer knows, you can’t put a price on that.)

For book formatting software, check out this post on Vellum .

Novel Writing Software | Autocrit

💰 Price tag:  $10/month for the “basic” plan, $30/month for “professional,” $80/month for “elite,” or $1 for a two-week trial ✅ Features:  “Professional” plan entails genre filtering, an array of editing options for pacing, dialogue, “strong writing,” word choice, repetition, and direct comparisons to bestselling works

While other pieces of novel-writing software help you organize, develop, and even self-edit your story, they don’t include the in-depth editorial functions that AutoCrit does. This is the program to use if you already have a decent draft ready to edit. (Or if you’re a micromanaging kind of writer who likes to edit meticulously as you go.)

AutoCrit tests your work for all the factors above, and even individual elements within those factors. So for example, after selecting “word choice” as your focus area, AutoCrit allows you to narrow it down even more. Do you want to check for generic-sounding descriptions? Improve your sentence starters? Work on personal phrases? You can achieve all that and more with AutoCrit.

The program also boasts an appealing modern interface, and decent prices considering the range of editing possibilities. Some writers might be reluctant to shell out for an editing program — but those writers probably don't know how hard it is to self-edit . When you think of it that way, AutoCrit is an amazing service: it helps you edit your manuscript with the perspective of a professional, all by yourself.

Novel Writing Software | Ulysses

💰 Price tag: $5.99/month or $49.99/year ($4.17/month) ✅ Features: Typewriter mode, themeable editor, distraction-free interface, ability to set writing goals, ability to sync between multiple devices.

Ulysses is lauded for its sleek, clean, "distraction-free" interface. Some reviewers claim that this writing app gives you just the right amount of customization options in terms of appearance — without offering so many different options that it tempts you away from the actual goal of writing.

It does, of course, offer up a number of different functions that will appeal to authors. For instance, you can set daily writing goals, and even keep tabs on your progress so you can see when there are dips or spikes in your productivity. You can also organize your file into various groupings — for instance, you can just have one group called 'Works in Progress,' or you can set multiple subgroups like 'Characters Names' within 'Fantasy Novel Ideas' within 'Works in Progress,' etc., etc.

At the end of the day, Ulysses is something of a digital typewriter. You will find various features that may help you along the way, but the software is built such that when you arrive to it, you get to work right away.


No novel writing software is actually magic — that is, none of it is going to write your book for you. But with the right tools to lend you some focus, structure, and a dash of inspiration, you might just be able to get ‘er done all by yourself. 🙌

[updated: 08/10/2020 UTC]

Iain Wood says:

06/03/2019 – 14:51

You missed out wavemaker.. Https://

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The Best Book Writing Software in 2023 [You Already Have It]

book writing software in pc download

Think about your favorite authors—the ones whose books deeply affected your life. Do you know what all of them had in common?

None of them used special book writing software to write their book.

Yet, this is where many beginning and amateur writers start. They spend so much time searching for the “perfect” book writing software (among other tools) that will magically make their writing better.

Let me spare you time and money: software is not a relevant consideration for writing a great book and being a successful author.

In fact, most writing software adds complexity without any value (Exhibit A: Scrivener ).

That’s not to say writing software will never be relevant. It could happen. But after testing and trying all of them, I have yet to find software that helps write a book.

I’ve been writing professionally for 15 years and wrote four New York Times Best Sellers with basic software. The same is true for almost every other professional writer I know. If you’re stuck on finding the “perfect” software, something else is holding you back.

What’s Really Going On

We all know this person: he decided to start golfing (or CrossFit, or MMA, or yoga or knitting, doesn’t matter), and then spent weeks researching the perfect gear. Then he spent way too much money on it, showed it off to all his friends, took a few cool Instagram pics…and then never actually used the equipment.

People who obsess over tools are usually scared of the work.

For most people who obsess over writing software, it’s a way of hiding from the actual writing. It’s understandable— writing a book can bring up a lot of fears . I say this not as a judgment, but as a person who has done this exact thing many, many times in other areas of my life. After all, it’s fun to shop for equipment and to fantasize about success. And taking pictures is such an easy way to get the attention benefit of hard work without having to suffer through the actual hard work.

But the ONLY way to actually accomplish anything is through doing the hard work…and that is scary.

Again, I say that without judgment. I have been the author afraid to write a book and using a distraction to avoid this fear many times. And I have seen many authors afraid to write a book, for any number of reasons (that usually boils down to the fear it will make them look stupid), so they install a writing assistant but never write a page.

I wrote an in-depth blog post that details the 6 book writing fears and how to beat them . But again, knowing you are afraid, and connecting that fear to your endless search for something to distract you, is not an easy thing to do.

If you are looking for the best book writing software, I would highly recommend you ask yourself this question: is this search necessary, or am I distracting myself from my fear?

Now—all of this being said, there are very valid reasons to want to find and use good tools to help you make the writing process easier. For example, you may want a writing program that better enables you to write chapter by chapter, has file management,  or lets you set daily goals.

To that end, here is my evaluation of some of the more common tools.

The Best Writing Programs for Writers

1. word processors & text editors.

Every word processor is essentially the same. You should use the one you like best.

I like Google Docs because it’s simple to use and makes real-time collaboration very easy. Files are stored in Google Drive and require an internet connection to access if you’re not using Google Drive’s offline storage option and install the Chrome Extension Google Docs Offline .

You might like Microsoft Word or Pages best. That’s totally fine.

Many writers have begun using Obsidian . A free tool available for Mac, Windows, and Linux that stores your writing as markdown files on your local computer (so you can easily access them without an internet connection).

It’s not for everyone though. The real power of Obsidian comes from its key feature to find connections and relationships between ideas (called bidirectional linking), which can be very useful when you’re trying to weave together a coherent narrative between chapters or across a series of books.

It’s not the greatest for editorial collaboration though. You can share your files with an editor or publisher but they can’t leave comments the way they can in Google Docs. Obsidian is better suited for when you’re writing your rough draft of your book before transferring it into Google Docs or Microsoft Word.

It’s a powerful tool with a lot of advanced features that have a pretty steep learning curve, so don’t let yourself get distracted if you use it. Focus on what matters most: getting words down on paper.

Example of the Obsidian text editor used as book writing software.

I can promise you though, there is no “right” choice here. The key is familiarity and comfort. Writing a book is hard work—you don’t want clunky software slowing you down, so go with what you know and with what feels right to you.

2. Grammarly

Every word processor will check your spelling and grammar for basic mistakes. What spell check won’t help you do is make your writing short, simple, and direct .

If you would like help with that, check out Grammarly , a free writing assistant that integrates with Google Docs and Microsoft Word that’s easy to use with a great user experience. If you have a Mac, you can download the desktop app. It integrates with the most common tools writers use.

There are paid plans available, but the free version is enough for writing a book.

I tried Grammarly for a while and found it clunky, but many excellent writers I know love it. Test it and see if you’d like.

3. Hemingway Editor

An alternative writing assistant is Hemingway Editor/Hemingway App .

You can copy + paste your writing into their online editor (Hemingway Editor) or purchase the premium version ($19.99) as a desktop app (Hemingway App).

Some writers love Hemingway Editor, some don’t. I kinda like it, but don’t use it. It’s helpful for sentence structure and common problem areas: passive voice , excessive adverbs, and poor word choice.


One unique feature of this software is that it assigns a readability grade level as you write.

This doesn’t necessarily reflect your target audience, but the grade level needed to understand your prose. Hemingway’s work, while written for adults, scored as 5th grade. Seems bad? Wrong. That’s great. The more simple and direct your writing, the better it is.

If, like most people, you struggle with overwriting, this might be a tool you like.

4. Distraction-Free Software

Honestly, I think distraction-free programs are pretty dumb.

If you block websites on your computer while you write, you can always pick up your phone and check Instagram. Options like Freedom that sync across your devices have a monthly fee.

That said, if you know you’re prone to distraction and want something that helps you get into focus mode, a program like WasteNoTime or FocalFilter might be worth a try. If it helps you stay focused and write, by all means, use it!

Now Just Go Write

It’s what you need to do, instead of spending time worrying about what is the best writing software to use.

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15 Best Book Writing Software Tools (2023 Guide)

BY Charity Jerop | Sep 10, 2020 | Writing , Reviews

On the hunt for the best book writing software for you?

Writing software can be hard to come by, especially since what might work best for you, doesn't necessarily work for someone else and vice versa.

Some might argue that the medium is not the issue – they'll tell you don't worry about fancy writing software, just start writing.

And while that may be true for some, in our experience with helping thousands of authors write and self-publish a book, we've found that every author has a tool that helps them organize their writing, and increase their productivity.

Software specifically designed to write a book can make your writing process more organized, efficient, and focused, ultimately allowing you to write your book faster .

We've compiled the best free writing software for beginners, but there are some paid tools included here that require some learning, too.

best book writing software

In this article, we’ll not only take a detailed look at the free writing software tools available to authors, but we’ll cover some paid tools, as well. 

Here is the best book writing software:

What is Book Writing Software?

Book writing software is a program designed to streamline the book writing process using technology on a computer or other device. It is mainly a word processor with added benefits specifically for authors and novelists, such as book organization tools, story development features, and more.

There are many options for free book writing software, as well as paid writing software for all budgets and price points. Depending on your own needs as an author and writer, there are many book writing software to choose from.

Maybe you’re a writer that’s just getting started on how to write a book . Or maybe you’re a seasoned writer that’s researching how to become an author and you’re ready to commit to your practice with the best book writing software available. 

No matter what type of writer you are, there is software designed to streamline your writing process. It’s just a matter of finding the perfect one to fit your needs!

Do You Really Need Software to Write a Book?

We know what you’re thinking. All that’s needed to write is pen and paper.

In simple terms, yes – you don’t need a fancy writing tool to actually write. In fact, humans have been expressing their creativity and ideas through writing using the most basic tools available for centuries. 

But every writer needs a medium, which is the tool that you use to write on or with. The efficiency and ease-of-use of the medium can affect the writer’s productivity.

Think about how easy a typewriter or keyboard makes it to type a 50,000 word novel; now, imagine having to write that many words by carving it on stone. See how the medium can affect your productivity as a writer? 

Technology has made the writing process easier – there’s no doubt about that. But is writing software necessary? 

I posed this exact question to a group of writers to see if they really use software. Based on their feedback, it’s clear that writers like you value these programs. Every writer has their preferred book writing software, and some use multiple writing software programs. 

Take a look at some of the responses: 

best writing software user feedback screenshot

That's just a quick look at how many real-life writers actually use book writing software to improve their efficiency and organization.

So, the next time you're in need of gifts for writers , consider buying them a subscription to their favorite book writing software!

The Pros to Using Book Writing Software

Of course you can write using whatever tools are available to you, but there are some important reasons to consider using special software for writing a book.

Writing is already hard – why make it even more difficult by not utilizing the tools that were designed to make the process easier?

When you make technology work for you and not against you, great things can come out of it – like that book you’ve been meaning to write!

Here are the main reasons to use book writing software:

1. Your book files are organized in one place. No need to have each book chapter file saved in various places throughout your desktop. Keep it clean and organized with book writing software. With most tools, you can even access files from anywhere, making it easy to pick up where you left off no matter where you are, or what time of day it is.

2. Special built-in features designed to make your writing life easier . The best writing software programs have built-in features that can prevent a ton of issues. For example, you can check for spelling and grammar mistakes on-the-go, which cuts down your editing time. Or use features like a plagiarism checker , which automatically highlights sections in your text that need citation.

3. The auto save feature will automatically save your work as you type. Losing your unsaved work due to unavoidable circumstances (like your power going out) is a thing of the past! Auto-save is a lifesaver when it comes to ensuring your book progress is continuously updated.

4. Prevent distractions so you can focus on writing. Some book writing tools have features to block you from unnecessary distractions. This ultimately helps you get done with your book in the shortest time possible, and helps you create a productive writing space .

5. Create a productive writing process. Once you learn the ins and outs of your book writing software, you’ll feel comfortable making it part of your writing process . Chances are, you won’t want to write without it! 

Now that you know why it’s important to give book writing software a shot, let’s dive start with the free book writing software available. Then, we’ll move on to book writing software tools that offer paid versions. 

As we go through the list, it is important for you to consider certain factors when choosing which writing tool is best for you. 

There isn’t a one size fits all when it comes to writing. What works for one author, might not work for another author.

How to decide which book writing software is best for you:

Free Book Writing Software For Beginners

Before we dive in to the best paid book writing software, let’s take a look at some of the free options available to beginner writers.

We always recommend taking advantage of some of the free tools out there, so that you can get a feel for what you want to invest in. There are plenty of free book writing software for beginners to choose from, so try a few (or all!).

These free book writing tools have the basic essentials to provide you with the features you need, so that you can have more time for writing .

#1 – Zoho Writer

Writer by Zoho , also known as Zoho Writer, is an online word processor that comes with special features to help you write from anywhere and at any time you want to. It is a cloud software, which means you can access it on all of your devices, no matter where you are. 

Even better, Zoho has different templates for you to choose from, depending on what it is you need to write.

Benefits to using Zoho Writer as a free book writing software for beginners:

#1 – It’s readily available . You do not need to sign up or log in to be able to use it. And to add, Zoho Writer is user-friendly and if you are part of a team of writers, you can work together and share the documents with each other using the share button at the top right corner.

zoho writing software for books screenshot

#2 – You can write offline, without internet access.  To add, despite this software being on online writing tool, you can still write your way offline and have you're work synced to your account.

#3 – You can use it across all devices. You can also use this book writing software across all the devices be it your phone, Tablet, or a PC. No need to worry about accessing your manuscript from the wrong device

This book writing software is free.

#2 – LibreOffice

Developed by the Document Foundation, LibreOffice is open source software that prides itself on being a free office suite. While it boasts other programs for spreadsheets and charts, Write is the name of its free word processor. 

Benefits to using LibreOffice Writer as a free book writing software for beginners:

#1 – It’s a robust one-stop-shop for writers. And it’s similar to Microsoft Word (which we’ll cover in our paid writing software section). 

libreoffice writing software screenshot

#2 – It’s an effective word processing tool with helpful features for authors.  It wasn’t only created for writers, but can be used by anyone who needs a word processor. At its core, it can be used as a powerful book writing software for authors. The autocorrect and spell checker tools allows you to catch grammar and spelling mistakes in the fly. It also supports other languages no need to worry if you want to write your book in your native language.

#3 – It provides useful templates. LibreOffice includes readily available templates to choose from, that are properly formatted to meet your needs. All you need to do is add your text! Whether you want to write your resume, brochures, letters or your book, these templates can save you time and come in handy for clean, crisp formatting.

#3 – Google Docs

Google Docs is by far the most common and widely used writing software, and this list of free book writing software tools wouldn’t be complete without mentioning it. 

Google Docs is a word processing tool that comes with your Google account. If you have a Gmail account then you already have access to Google Docs.

Benefits to using Google Docs as a free book writing software for beginners:

#1 – You can write and access it from anywhere. Like Zoho Writer, it’s a cloud platform, which means you can write anytime inspiration strikes. You can also use this book writing software when you’re offline and don’t have access to WiFi or internet. 

screenshot of google docs writing software

#2 – Your work is autosaved. Each time you key a letter, your Google Doc will save your progress. No need to worry about clicking the “save” button every time you add a new page in your book! You can also view revision history, in case you accidentally delete or change something that you want to restore.

#3 – It’s easy to collaborate with a team, another writer, or an editor . Additional features streamline the collaboration process, such as sharing your work with others. Be it your co-author , editor, you are a click away. You can also use the track changes feature for the editing process, so you can see exactly what your editor has changed. 

Note: A major downside to using Google Docs as your book writing software is that it does not support heavy formatting and outlining . Therefore, writing an entire book on this platform can be a bit challenging, but you can still use it for short stories , articles and note-keeping.

#4 – FocusWriter

FocusWriter is a “simple, distraction-free writing environment.” If you struggle to stay focused and on task during your writing sessions, FocusWriter may be the solution for you.

screenshot of focuswriter

Benefits to using FocusWriter as your free book writing software:

#1 – Designed to be distraction-free. Like its name suggests, FocusWriter helps you zero in on your project by eliminating anything that could produce a distraction within the program with its hide-away interface.

#2 – Timers and alarms. This is for my writers who love to write in sprints. Structure your writing sessions by planning and timing how long you'll write.

#3 – Auto-save function. If you're a writer who struggles to remember saving your own work, FocusWriter has you covered with their auto-saves.

#5 – Evernote

Evernote has both a free, and paid version. You can use the free version as a word processor and note-taking software, or pay for the premium version if you want extra perks.

While Evernote isn't designed specifically for books, the tool's organization makes it a feasible option as a book writing software.

Benefits to using Evernote as your free book writing software:

#1 – Streamlines note-taking process. At it's core, Evernote is a writing software that's designed to make note-taking easy and efficient. This makes it a useful book writing software because the same note-taking organization principles can be integrated into the process of writing a book .

#2 – Versatility makes for easy customization. While Evernote isn't designed for just authors and novelists, the versatility it brings to users with multiple uses for the program come in handy, especially for those writing a book. The ability to create notebooks, tags, and sort information, as well as robust AI-suggested content means that this book writing software is a power-house for personalization. With enough tweaks and adaptability, Evernote is a super versatile program that you can adjust to fit your needs best.

#3 – A hub for your book research and inspiration. Anyone who is in the process of writing a book knows how often a random surge of inspiration, or piece of research , hits us as we write. Evernote is perfect for housing all of our inspirational quotes or research, without derailing our book writing efforts altogether.

Related: Inspirational Writing Quotes

Best Paid Book Writing Software

Now that we’ve covered the top free book writing software tools available, let’s move on to the paid book writing software. 

If you're concerned about investing in a paid book writing software, then do as much research as you can on the product before you buy it. Also, consider the costs of your initial investment – will it pay for itself when you start earning book profits ?

#6 – NovelPad

NovelPad is a novel-writing software developed for the way writers write.

Unlike other book writing software on the market that requires you to download a program to your computer, NovelPad can be accessed on any device with web access. If you want to try it out before committing, take advantage of the 14-day free trial (no credit card required) .

This book writing software is $8 per month

Benefits to using NovelPad as your book writing software:

#1 – Use it on any device, online or off . NovelPad is browser-based, so you can open your projects on any device. They also have offline mode, if you'd like to limit distractions by disabling web connection, or if you're writing on the go.

#2 – Minimal, distraction-free design. The layout is simplistic and minimal, with limited distractions. The NovelPad team has stated that they only include features when and where writers require them, which leads to an incredibly intuitive, easy-to-use system.

screenshot of novelpad software

#3 – Chapters page . A popular NovelPad feature is the ability to have a bird's eye view of your entire project. You can use scene descriptions, color labels, and other organizational tools to know at a glance what's happening in each scene, then simply click and drag to reorder them. This is a big time save for longer projects!

#4 – Customizable word count goal and tracker . Trying to hit a specific writing goal ? NovelPad has you covered. Instead of tracking your word count goal externally through a spreadsheet or other means, NovelPad allows you to set goals and tracks them for you. Set vacations and sprints, customize which days you'd like to write more or less, and let NovelPad do the math for you.

# 5 – ProWritingAid is included. That's right! Get a streamlined drafting software and stellar grammar check with one subscription.

#7 – Ulysses

Ulysses is also another full-fledged book writing software specifically designed for Mac users. Whether you are a Sci-Fi writer or learning how to publish an eBook writer, Ulysses is an all in one software that allows you to focus on your main business – writing. 

This book writing software starts at $5.99 per month

ulysses writing software focus and productivity features screenshot

Benefits to using Ulysses Writer as your book writing software:

#1 – Minimalist interface. Getting distracted while writing can hurt the flow of your creative juices pretty bad. Ulysses comes with a minimalistic interface to help you stay focused and productive.

#2 – The customizable editor comes with special perks. You can choose to switch to typewriter mode. You can attach additional information from images, pdf, keywords, notes, and anything in between.

#3 – You can publish directly to WordPress and Medium. Instead of having to copy and paste all of your text from your writing software into a website, you can simply publish directly to the site. This is especially helpful for authors that blog.

#4 – You can share your writing in any file format you want. No more complicated conversion processes to be done outside of the book writing software!

Note : Ulysses is only available on Apple products at the time of writing.

Price: You have to pay for a subscription for you to enjoy its awesomeness.

#8 – Hemingway App

Have you heard of Hemingway App yet? If you have, then chances are you know either love it or hate it. As the name suggests, Hemingway is a word processing app that is simple and easy to use, but is very visual.

This book writing software starts at $19.99

hemingway app for authors

Related: Hemingway App Review

Benefits to using Hemingway App as your book writing software:

#1 – It comes with advanced editing and revising tools like the spell and grammar checker to help you come up with the finest writing piece. It uses different colors to highlight sentences/words that need restructuring.

#2 – There is a helpful sidebar display that shows things like the readability level of your writing, as well as your overall word count. 

#3 – It has a free editor. Even if you don’t want to pay for the subscription, you can still use the free editing tool! 

Note: We’ve all been advised to not edit as we write, especially when during the book writing process. Since Hemingway draws a lot of visual attention to errors, this could slow your writing down if you’re one to get distracted easily!

#9 – Scrivener

Almost every modern book writer out there (regardless of the genre) swears by this powerful book writing software.

It's jam packed with features and tools to help you organize and write your book, but there is a learning curve to be aware of.

If you want to try Scrivener out, plan to take some tutorials before investing in this program to determine if it's really right for you.

scrivener for book writers

And this is likely because Scrivener was specifically designed for writers.

This book writing software starts at $49

Benefits to using Scrivener as your book writing software:

#1 – Scrivener boasts a user-friendly drag and drops features available on its user interface. The outliner tool helps you work on your book while having an overview of what your chapter, a page or even the whole book would look like.

#2 – Includes research tools for easy reference. The snapshot tool allows you to take snapshots that you want to view and reference later, without losing your train of thought.

#3 – You can set writing targets. Setting targets can really boost  your productivity game as a book writer. Scrivener has a target setting tool to help you set your own targets and work towards achieving them.

#4 – Customizable organization with the binder tool. If you are the type of writer who likes working on an organized and well-planned piece, then Scrivener is your perfect match. The binder tool allows organizing your manuscript in files, sub-files, sub-sub- files and so on.

Note: While Scrivener is a super robust software for writing a book, you’ll most likely have to watch a few tutorials to learn how to master it. 

Price: The cost to purchase Scrivener varies depending on your device. 

#10 – FastPencil

This is also another writing software that can take your writing game a notch higher. With FastPencil , you can draft, edit, publish, and even sell your book through some of the best booksellers in the industry.

Benefits to using FastPencil as your book writing software:

#1 – It’s an all in one software. Just like we mentioned above, you can use this writing software to not only write your book, but it also can include editing, publishing, and marketing services – depending on your needs and budget.

#2 – It’s fairly easy to learn how to use. The software is pretty user-friendly, and there isn’t a high learning curve when you’re figuring out how it works. 

#3 – You can use it to write your book in an organized manner.  Because it is designed specifically for book writers, there are tools to help you section off chapters.

#4 – A variety of special features are included, such as being able to preview how your book will look live. Another handy tool is the chat tool, which makes collaboration with other writers and/or editors easy. 

fastpencil writing software screenshot

Price: FastPencil is available for free if you only want to use it as a word processing tool, but you can pay for access to  more advanced features. 

This book writing software cost depends on service

screenshot of fastpencil pricing

#11 – Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word is one of the most common, and widely used word processors out there, because it’s pretty much the oldest one.

But even today, it remains a top contender as the book writing software preference for many authors. 

This book writing software starts at $159.99, but might be included with your device

microsoft word blank page screenshot

Benefits to using Microsoft Word as your book writing software:

# 1 – It’s very user-friendly and many writers already have experience using it, whether they learned it in school or at work. While it’s an older program and has been updated numerous times, its function remains the same overall. 

#2 – The simple visual interface can create a distraction-free writing space. Other than the top toolbar, the rest of the window is reserved as your page, with ample room for your text. 

#3 – You can create and use templates. Because it’s so versatile, Word has many options for customizing the functions to meet your needs as you write your book. For example, you can use headers to create chapters or sections of your book. 

Price: If your device doesn’t already include access to Microsoft Word, you can buy it; the price will vary depending on your needs and which package you want. 

Bonus Writing Software Tools To Help You Write Your Book

We’ve covered eleven of the best free and paid writing softwares available for aspiring authors. But wait – there’s more! 

While the last two writing tools we mention aren’t exactly word processing software programs, they are tools many authors find helpful to use in their writing practice. 

#12 – Grammarly

Grammarly is not just a writing tool but also an AI-powered program to help you write a clean, crisp book that’s free from common errors, such as grammar and spelling.

There is a free version available, but the paid version offers more advanced features like the plagiarism checker tool.

You can even add Grammarly as a Chrome Extension, so it can edit and revise any writing you do – from emails, to social media posts, and more! 

screenshot of grammarly software

#13 – Freedom

When you’re writing from a computer or laptop, it’s easy to get distracted with the internet just one tab away – distracting you from your work , and preventing your book from actually getting written. This is where Freedom comes in. 

Freedom helps you stay focused by blocking sites on the internet that might shift your attention.

free writing software freedom features

#14 – ProWritingAid

We cover all the nuts and bolts of this writing tool in our complete ProWritingAid review .

But for a quick summary, ProWritingAid is a tool that can be used with many book writing software programs, and is a robust tool that checks grammar, spelling, edits style, and offers a number of writing improvement insights based on AI-powered reports.

If you're looking for a tool to pair with your book writing software of choice, and are dedicated to improving your writing quality and style, then ProWritingAid will offer more than any standard spellchecker can.

Get ProWritingAid here .

#15 – FocusWriter

A word processor that touts “distraction-free” features, this simple book writing software is designed to keep writer's focus on their writing.

Although it's not as high-tech as some of the other writing programs available, it's not meant to be. FocusWriter uses a hide-away interface with a customizable environment and autosave. It's not fancy, but it is useful! And really, the fancy programs are usually the ones that we get sidetracked with due to shiny object syndrome.

Download FocusWriter here.

So there you have it! The best writing software programs you can choose from to streamline your writing process, improve productivity, and get your book written faster. 

Researching the different writing software and tools can be overwhelming, but remember: it’s important to pick programs that work for you.

What works for one writer, may not work for you! If you start using one software, then discover that it’s not right for you – that’s okay. You don’t have to commit to one writing tool if it’s hindering your productivity. 

Once you find the perfect book writing software for YOU, the rest will fall in line. 

What's your favorite book writing software?

book writing software in pc download

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book writing software in pc download

Book Writing Software

Book Writing Software to Help You Create, Organize, and Edit Your Manuscript

Writing a book is no cakewalk. I ought to know—I’ve done it nearly 200 times.

But plenty of quality tools help make this challenge easier.

The right book writing software can help you:

Software writing programs you may want to check out:

(Full disclosure: If you buy any of these, I get a small commission at no cost to you. But these tools have helped enough writers to where I would recommend them even if I didn’t get a dime!)

1. Scrivener


Scrivener is the ultimate book-organization tool.

It allows you to view your notes, research, outline , and writing all in one place, and you can print your whole manuscript with the click of your mouse.

There’s a bit of a learning curve, but Scrivener comes with tutorials, and many other such aids are easily found online.

It may look overwhelming at first (I’m still learning it myself), but it’s worth the time and effort.

Just give yourself time to get familiar with the basics.

*I benefited from great teaching programs like Learn Scrivener Fast , plus Scrivener itself comes with a built-in tutorial.

Price: $49 for Mac and $40 for PC

Click here to buy Scrivener .

2. google docs.

book writing software in pc download

Google Docs is a great collaborative tool. My team and I are literally a thousand miles from each other, and we use this program virtually every day.

It’s a free, standard word processor that allows multiple people to work on the same document simultaneously. I’m working on this document in Google Docs right now.

Just as with Track Changes in Word, an agent or editor or accountability partner can help fine-tune your work-in-progress in Suggestion Mode. You accept or reject the suggestions, and you can both comment in the margin.

Other advantages:

Price: Free

Click here to start using Google Docs .

book writing software in pc download

Freedom allows you to temporarily block apps, websites, and social media across all your devices so you can focus on writing (don’t worry, people can still reach you in an emergency).

You can even schedule the app to work automatically when you need it most — when you’re writing.

If you’re like me, you’ll be glad for the freedom from  online distractions where “just a few seconds” turns into hours of unproductive net surfing. Freedom can help you focus and increase your productivity.

And it works on all devices.

Cost: $6.99 per month, $29 per year, or a $129 lifetime fee.

Want to block distractions while you write?

Click here to get Freedom .

4. prowritingaid.

book writing software in pc download

ProWritingAid offers grammar, style, and writing suggestions as you write—for you to accept — or reject — at the click of a button.

It integrates with the apps and programs you use most, like:

Other pros:

Price: $50 for 1 year, $75 for 2 years, $100 for 3 years, or $175 for life

I recommend trying the free version first.

Click here to get more info on ProWritingAid .

5. grammarly.

book writing software in pc download

Similar to ProWritingAid , Grammarly can help fine-tune your writing.

It automatically checks spelling and grammar, whether you’re writing a book or an email.

The premium version also:

Cost: $29.95 per month, $59.95 per quarter, or $139.95 per year.

Try the free version first.

Click here to get Grammarly .

book writing software in pc download

6. Novel Factory

A creative writing software that guides you through the novel writing process. 

Novel Factory prompts you to:

It offers: 

Novel Factory is designed for Windows and is currently unavailable for Mac.

Cost: $39.99

Click here to start using Novel Factory .

7. hemingway editor.

book writing software in pc download

Focuses less on grammar and spelling and more on writing style. 

It highlights: 

Cost: Free if used on the Hemingway Editor website (you can then copy/paste into your document), $19.99 to purchase your own version.

Click here to start using Hemingway Editor .

8. evernote.

book writing software in pc download

A note taking app that allows you to:  

Cost: Basic Evernote free, Premium $7.99/month, Business $14.99/month

Click here to start using Evernote .

book writing software in pc download

Designed by a writer for writers , yWriter is a word processor that helps organize your novel into scenes and chapters. 

The program: 

YWriter currently runs only within Windows.

Click here to start using yWriter .

10. ulysses.

book writing software in pc download

A simple word processing software for Mac users.

Con: does not assist in developing characters or plot .

Cost: App download free, subscription $4.99/month or $39.99/year

Click here to start using Ulysses .

Allows your to professionally format books for publication. 

Available for Mac users only, the software is free, but you must purchase a package before exporting a file for publication. 

Cost: $199.99 for publishing unlimited e-books, $249.99 for publishing unlimited e-books and paperbacks

Click here to start using Vellum .

12. focus writer.

book writing software in pc download

A bare-bones word processor. 

In full-screen mode, toolbars disappear until you scroll over them. 

Click here to start using FocusWriter .

13. milanote.

book writing software in pc download

Hailed as “Evernote for creatives,” a visual story-telling tool for Mac users.

It enables you to: 

Other Pros: 

Cost: Basic version free, premium version $9.99/month

Click here to start using Milanote .

14. fastpencil.

book writing software in pc download

Offers tools for self-publishing. 

Cost: Free, with additional paid publishing packages

Click here to start using FastPencil .

15. bibisco.

…an all in one project management tool for your novel. 

It acts as a word processor, organizer, and a creativity guide all at the same time.

For Outliners, bibisco allows creativity in your organization. You can interview your characters, create a timeline of events, and track your chapters in one place. 

It works for Mac, Windows, and Linux. 

bibisco has a free version and a premium version that starts at 15 euro for a one-time purchase.

Click here to start using bibisco .

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book writing software in pc download

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Best free writing apps (March 2023): top writing software for everyone

Bring your words to life with the best free writing apps

Person writing on a laptop

The best free writing apps help you focus on your writing - wherever you are, and wherever inspiration strikes. 

Whether it’s essays, work documents, or your latest novel, free writing apps and free word processors lets you organize your thoughts on the page without breaking the bank. But the best free writing software and apps make it even easier to save, share, and sync documents online. 

Some of the best choices offer distraction-free interfaces and gamification-style challenges to keep you in the zone. Others focus on professional document creation for work. You’ll even find advanced features like speech-to-text transcription and online collaboration tools . 

Our picks cover the best free writing apps and software on the web and across Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS free of charge. Optional subscription upgrades are also available for some tools, unlocking extra features, but they’re not essential. 

To help you find the right tool, we've tested the best free writing apps for all types of writers, whether you’re at a desk or writing on the go. Tools that let you just focus on the art of writing, without worrying about costs or distracting features you’re never going to use. Just you, your keyboard, and your creativity. 

We’ve also rounded up the best note-taking apps to make sure you can keep on writing wherever you are.

literature and latte Scrivener 3

Scrivener: best writing software for authors Scrivener is packed with all the features a novelist needs, helping you track plot threads, store notes on characters and locations, structure your work and (most importantly) get some serious work done. It's not free like the tools below, but it's well worth the investment if your budget will allow it.

The best free writing apps 2023

1. google docs.

Our expert review:


Reasons to buy, reasons to avoid.

Google Docs is the perfect companion for any writer. It’s an extremely clean, quick word processor available in the browser, on desktop, and phone and tablet apps. So, you can take notes wherever inspiration strikes. 

Docs is more or less Google’s spin on Microsoft Word. The interface is a bit more consumer-friendly than the professional office software - although it’s no less powerful. 

You’ll find heaps of writing tools, including a pretty accurate speech-to-text transcription tool (just enunciate and don’t talk too fast). Keyboard shortcuts are very well-supported. 

For best results, you’ll need an internet connection, though documents can be used offline. They’ll be synced, and in our experience, that happens swiftly behind the scenes. 

To take advantage of the free writing app, you’ll need a Google account, which may be a deal-breaker for some - but that also opens up the rest of the Google-stuff in the Google-sphere, such as Sheets, Slides, and . With a free account, you get 15GB of storage, which should be more than enough for word documents. A Google One subscription upgrades your storage space, amongst other things. 

Read our full Google Docs review

2. FocusWriter

FocusWriter helps writers combat one of their biggest challenges: distractions. One of the best free writing software tools out there, it's specifically designed to let you just concentrate on your writing. 

The stripped-back interface is deliciously sparse - ideal for when you just need to get your head down and write - and not dissimilar to a moderately powerful version of Notepad, featuring support for TXT, basic, RTF, and ODT files. 

Even the toolbar is hidden until you actually need it. Just swoop your cursor to the top on the screen to reveal a barren menu, from basic formatting to themes and timers.

Features are light within the software, but FocusWriter isn’t made for heavy editing sessions. It’s designed to make the act of writing flow seamlessly onto the page. 

Elsewhere, the writing app boasts the ability to add themes and your own background images, which can help you stay motivated. 

The Daily Progress tool is a sweet extra, adding Duolingo-style gamification that lets you track your daily writing streak. For when it’s oh-so-easy to slip onto social media when you can’t find the perfect word, it’s a nice way to keep you within the app. 

Available for Windows, Linux, and macOS, the writing software also comes as a portable download, no installation required. So, you can pop it on a USB stick and plug it into any computer you’re working on. 

Read our full FocusWriter review . 

3. WriteMonkey

WriteMonkey is another piece of free writing software that cuts down on the clutter to deliver uninterrupted writing sessions. 

The free word processor, cleverly described as zenware, is unbelievably pared back compared to more traditional writing apps. 

There’s very little in the way of distracting ‘screen furniture’, which means you’re better positioned to concentrate on the writing process. And absolutely nothing else. 

But don’t let that stripped-back approach fool you. As one of the best free writing apps, WriteMonkey is still rich with the sort of core features that matter to writers. 

However, most options are hidden in a context menu (so you’ll need to right-click to view it). It also only supports TXT files, which may limit those looking to read, write, or edit across multiple formats. It is, at least, a portable download, letting you take it wherever you need.

If you’ve enjoyed Markdown, the simplified text-editing language that lets you format, annotate, classify, and link as you type, then great. WriteMonkey’s inner workings will instantly chime. 

First-timers should spend a little time with this free writing software, to uncover that intuitive simplicity. 

Read our full WriteMonkey review . 

4. LibreOffice Writer

Writer, the open-source, free writing software, serves almost all general writing needs.

LibreOffice is a near-perfect example of free office software - a familiar, feature-rich take on the office suite. What the veteran software package lacks in Microsoft polish (its interface is undeniably old-fashioned, for starters), it makes up for in its price-point: free. For that, you get access to six tools: Calc, Impress, Draw, Base, Math, and Writer. 

Earning it a slot on our list of best free writing apps is the fact that LibreOffice Writer packs the full editing toolbox. 

This isn’t just a note-taking app for staving off distractions when you’re deep in the zone; it’s for when you’re in pure writer-mode. 

If you’re at all proficient with Microsoft Word, you won’t have any problems using the Writer software. Layouts and functions are almost identical, and there’s support for DOC and DOCX file types, making it efficient to switch out of the Microsoft garden.

This free writing app is ideal if you’re hunting for a tool that almost perfectly replicates the Word experience without the cost. 

Read our full LibreOffice review .

5. Microsoft Word

When it comes to word processors, Microsoft Word is probably the baseline against which all others are compared. It’s the one most of us use at school, home, and work. It’s familiar, comfortable - and it’s available free on the web and mobile devices. 

That may not be the best way to write your masterpiece (unless you’ve hooked up a Bluetooth keyboard). But it’s a great way to jot down ideas on-the-go. When we tested the browser-based version we found it could be a bit slow at first, and we were typing faster than the words appeared on screen. This settles down (mostly) after a minute or so. 

Microsoft’s free writing apps on Android and iPhone had no such issues. Using these was velvety smooth. We especially appreciated the option to switch between mobile view and desktop view, so we could gauge how the document would appear in full-screen. 

As with Google Docs, you’ll need to sign up with a Microsoft account. And, like Google, that also lets you use free versions of PowerPoint, Excel, and the like. While Word offers one of the best free writing app experiences, there’s no denying that the paid-for upgrade is superior, offering more tools, and a true desktop app. 

Read our full Microsoft Word review  

Author promises to make it easier to ‘think, write, and cite’. It’s a promise capably delivered, with a clean interface and bags of writing features designed to make it easy to go from first draft to final copy. 

If you're an Apple user in search of the best free writing apps on macOS, this one demands your attention. 

Concept Maps is one of the best features. It’s a great mind-mapping tool to visualize and lay down all your thoughts while they’re fresh in your head without constraint. You can worry about whipping them into shape later. 

Students and report writers will appreciate Author’s ‘fast citing’ tools - speeding up assignment-writing by correctly adding and formatting citations, references, and contents. 

A paid-for upgrade of the writing software that offers exporting options is available for $28.99. Unless you need automatic formatting on export, you can stick with the free version. 

Best free writing apps: Buying advice

How to choose the best free writing app for you.

Why you can trust TechRadar Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test .

When deciding which free writing app is best, start by figuring out what sort of writing you want to do. 

Do you need a handy tool for quick scribbles and jotting down ideas here and there, or are you using the writing software to write and edit an epic novel? Tools like FocusWriter and Write Monkey are great for getting thoughts on the page without friction.

It’s also worth considering if you need a writing app with a distraction-free design, so you can concentrate on what really matters to you. Again, FocusWriter performs admirably here, but as a result, you lose core typography and editing functions. Unlike LibreOffice, this isn’t the best Microsoft Office alternative if you need those tools. In that scenario, it may be worth considering looking at some of the best free office software , which includes MS Word-style apps, alongside other tools similar to Excel, PowerPoint, and so on. 

Access is an important factor when using your writing software. A tool like Scribus needs to be downloaded to your machine. Lightweight apps like FocusWriter, however, offer a portable download that can be downloaded to a USB and carried with you. 

Check what file formats your chosen writing app supports, too. While some let you create and edit the common DOC and DOCX files, others only allow TXT or RTF documents.

But most of all, it’s important to choose the best free writing app for your unique creative flow. 

What's the difference between a writing app and an AI writer?

AI writers vs writing apps - what's the real difference?

Artificial intelligence is growing in a big way - and when it comes to writing, it's ChatGPT that's been snatching all the headlines of late, with its ability to generate short- and long-form content based on user prompts.

Generally, an AI writer will write your content for you, based on its current learning (although often without 'understanding' the context). A writing app simply lets you write your way, in your own voice. 

Some platforms, such as Canva , have even integrated AI into its Canva Docs and Canva PDF Editor services. However. its Magic Write tool acts as a writing assistant, serving up suggestions and ideas, leaving real writers to work their magic on the content. Though usually hiding in the back-end, you can also find AI integrated in other ways across other top PDF editors (and even free PDF editors , too).

As always with AI-generated content, whether it's the written word or an artwork masterpiece, human involvement is usually necessary and always desirable. Even if you're using the best AI writers out there, editing and proofreading is essential to give the content accuracy and emotional resonance.

How we test the best free writing software

Testing the best free writing software, we assess how easy it is to get your words down on the page with the least amount of friction. Portable writing apps rank high, because they let you use the program on whatever computer or laptop you’re using. 

We also look at performance for its intended audience. For distraction-free writing apps, do they really foster focus? For word processor-style software, does it offer good formatting and editing options? 

Most importantly, we expect to see free writing apps that are genuinely cost-free - no-one wants to stumble across hidden fees and charges in the contracts. 

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Daryl had been freelancing for 3 years before joining TechRadar, now reporting on everything software-related. In his spare time he's written a book, 'The Making of Tomb Raider', alongside podcasting and usually found playing games old and new on his PC and MacBook Pro. If you have a story about an updated app, one that's about to launch, or just anything Software-related, drop him a line.

12 Best Free Writing Software for Windows

Here is a list of best free writing software for Windows. You can use these software for general as well as creative writing purpose with variety of tools offered by them. All of these writing freeware have some distinctive features to look out for. You can go through the list and get the one which suits your need.

Some of these are distraction free writing software which provide minimal interface to let you concentrate on writing. Many of them let you write for special projects like novels, comics, stories, research papers, etc. by providing key elements to add to them. For example, you can write a novel or story with characters, locations, scenes, plots, etc. Some of them let you write media projects too, like screenplay, stage play, theater, etc.

These software provide standard editing tools to modify font, align text, add numbering or bullets, change background color, etc. They also provide tools for custom dictionary, spell check, navigation, finding word or phrase, etc. While writing a piece or project, keeping a track of progress count is an important aspect. These writing software let you view the statistics of a project by showing counts of paragraphs, words, sentences, readability , etc. Some of these software also provide advanced tools for text encoding , text-to speech converter and vice versa, frequency analyzer , etc. All in all, you get standard functionalities of a word processor in these software.

To import a file to current project, most of these freeware support TXT, RTF, DOC, etc. formats. You can export a project in all these formats and PDF, HTML, XPS, etc. A few of them even allow you to associate a certain file type to import and export.

My Favorite Free Writing Software:

Celtx is one of my favorites as it lets you write for a variety of projects like theater, storyboard, novel, comic book, screenplay, etc. It provides all essential tools with flexibility to write multiple projects in different windows at a time.

I like WriteMonkey and FocusWriter too as they let you write without any interference.

Manuskript is another favorite as you can write both fiction and non-fiction projects while concentrating only on words.

You can also checkout the list of Screenplay , Novel , and Story writing software for Windows.


WriteMonkey is a portable writing software . It is basically a distraction-free writing software which can be used for general writing purpose. You can also insert symbols in your writing piece. It provides a context menu where you will find all the options like save, open, spellcheck, find and replace, preferences, etc.

You can use  Preferences  option to modify font of the content. It provides few standard font types which you can choose from. Also, you can add text effects and change script, font style, and size. You can also add a desired paper and text color, adjust window opacity, dim screen elements, and do more. In addition to that, you can customize screen elements, layout, language, etc.

It provides a Progress  option to let you see the statistics of your document with counts of words, characters, sentences, average words per sentence, lexical density, etc. You can choose the unit (words, characters, nonspaces, paragraphs, pages, or reading time) for the progress count. In addition to that, you can limit text and time up to required limit for writing.

You can import and export TXT files using this writing freeware. You can use Print option to save a PDF copy of your writing.

WriteMonkey is a good option to use when you want to pour your thoughts into words without any distraction. It provides an interface dedicated to writing solely. As it is portable, you can just run it when needed without installation.


FocusWriter is another distraction free writing software.

Features to Set Preferences:

Features for Actual Writing:

Supported Formats:

FocusWriter supports a good range of formats to import and add to a new document. Those formats are DOCX, FODT, ODT, TXT, and RTF. To save a piece of writing, it supports the same five formats. But, you can use Print option to save it as a PDF too.

FocusWriter is nice writing software which lets you put your creative thoughts out there with all the essential tools.

Celtx is a creative writing software which lets you write for various projects like film , theater , storyboard , novel , audio play , comic book , etc. The three main features to highlight in Celtx are:

It provides basic tools to modify content like customizing font type, color, and size, adding typographical emphasis (bold, italic, underline, and strikethrough), aligning text, adding bullets or numbering, etc. Other tools like Find and Replace, Check Spelling, Zoom, etc. are also available.

This free writing software supports only Celtx project to import or export. However, you can import (or export) separate files to a project in formats of TXT or HTML. You can also use Print option to save the content in the format of PDF or XPS.

Celtx is a nice software to create different media projects. It provides all essential tools to write for a special project like screenplay, stage play, storyboard, comic book, etc. It also lets you write multiple projects in different windows at a time.

Manuskript is an open source writing software for fiction and non-fiction projects. It lets you write novels, stories, trilogy, research papers, etc. without putting efforts to format them. To start with, it lets you enter the count of each attribute of a particular type of project. For example, if you want to write a research paper, it lets you enter number of sections and words (per section).

For Fiction Projects (Novel/Story/Trilogy):

For Non-Fiction Projects (Empty Non-Fiction/Research Papers):

To write for either fiction or non-fiction projects, you can choose simple text editor or index cards. You can also see the outline of a project with the statistics of its key attributes.

Manuskript is a portable writing software . It lets you set some general settings (like application language (English/Spanish/French), saving options, etc.), revisions, text editor and index card settings, labels color, etc. It also provides tools like Spellcheck, Dictionary, and Frequency Analyzer.

EditPad Lite

EditPad Lite is basically a text editor with various features to support your writing skills. You can write a piece while customizing font (type, style, size, and script), configuring text layout and direction, inserting a TXT or HTML file, adding date and time in desired format, and more. It provides advanced tools to search and navigate through a document. You can also set preferences like configuring keyboard shortcut keys , modifying editing options and tab properties, selecting keyboard navigation options, etc.

It provides Convert menu for converting text to uppercase, lowercase, invert case, etc. It also provides  Text Encoding feature to encode original text to another character set like Greek, UTF-8, ASCII, ISO, DOS, ISCII, Mac, etc. You can also delete duplicate or blank lines, trim leading or trailing Whitespace, and do more.

You can associate a file type like RTF, TXT, PDF, DOC, HTML, and more to simply import and export a file to EditPad Lite. To do so, go to Options > Configure File Types and simply add a format to associate to the program.

EditPad Lite is a text editor for both programmers and non-programmers. You can use it for general writing purpose or even creating a web page.

Note : It is free for personal use only.

yWriter is one of best free writing software for creative writing (novel, story, etc.). It lets you add chapters and then write scenes in those chapters. You can add characters, locations, pictures, goals, etc. to your writing project. It provides basic tools to modify content like changing font type and size, highlighting specific text, etc. It also provides a built-in text-to speech converter tool to hear the content. Other features worth mentioning are Storyboard , Reports (to view work schedule, synopsis, etc.), Daily progress log , etc. It offers basic functionalities of a word processor.

You can import TXT, RTF, and HTML formats to add to current project using yWriter. It supports same formats to export your project to. But, you can use Print option to save a piece of writing in PDF or XPS format. It also lets you export specific chapters (RTF) and other data (XML) from a writing project.

yWriter is highly recommended software for writing a novel or a story. It lets you concentrate on the writing part rather than formatting of a particular project.

Quoll Writer

QuollWriter is a free and open source writing software. It lets you create projects with multiple chapters by adding information like description, goal, tags, plan, etc. You can then write content in those chapters. If you are writing a fictional project, you can add characters, locations, research items, and other items with specific details to your project. You can then link these items to specific chapters. You can also add notes for reference purpose.

It lets you set targets for writing (words per session/daily/weekly/monthly), maximum word limit per chapter, and readability. Also, you can see statistics of a project like total word count, chapter word count, session length, etc. in the form of graph.

To modify content of your project, you can select a desired font type, size, and color, align text, fix text border width, highlight line, change background color of editor, etc. It also provides a feature of inviting a person to edit your project by entering his/her email ID.

You can import a file to a project in DOCX or DOC formats. To export a project, Quoll Writer supports DOCX, EPUB, and HTML formats. You can also create a backup of your projects.

Quoll Writer is a good writing software with variety of features to manage a writing project.

FreeWriter is a free writing software which can be used for general writing as well as creating a novel or story . It lets you add multiple sections to a project and then write content in them. You can set status of a section as In Progress , Draft , or Completed and see the word count progress too. You can also create a novel and story by adding chapters to them. It also lets you decide the fore matter (introduction, acknowledgement, preface, etc.) and back matter (references, bibliography, etc.) pages to include in such projects.

It provides different tabs to write prose, thoughts (as label/sticky note/though link), and notes in a project. You can modify font by changing its type, color, and size, align text, add image (PNG, JPEG, GIF, or BMP), and do more. It provides Dictate tool which lets you speak content through microphone to add it to the project. You can save content of each section individually using Print option in ‘Review’ tab.

It supports RTF and TXT formats to add to current project. To publish a writing project, it supports RTF, TXT, PDF, and XPS formats.

FreeWriter provides standard tools of a word processor. It provides different interface skins to select from.

DocPad is yet another free writing software. It can be used for general writing purpose. You can choose the document type as ASCII, Unicode, or UTF-8. It lets you insert a TXT file in the current project. You can also use Calendar and Calculator while writing, and add a date too.

Along with basic features of a word processor, it also provides tools for integer increment/decrement, normalizing spaces, randomizing paragraphs, trim trailing spaces, etc. It provides an advanced tool called  Convert Encoding which   lets you encode (or decode) written content to hex, BASE64, HTML, Quoted Printable, URL, UUENCODE, UTF-7, and UTF-8 . It also provides a Macro-record tool which lets you enter combination of keystrokes, record a macro, and then play it. You can also see statistics of a document.

DocPad supports Text documents ( .txt ), Configuration files ( .ini ), log files ( .log ), and MS-DOS Batch files ( .bat ) to import and export. You can also import a HTML file as text to the current writing project. To export a file as PDF, you can use Print option.

DocPad comes in various interface skins to choose from. It has a simple user-interface with basic as well as advanced tools to write.

RoughDraft  is a free writing software to write a screenplay, stage/radio play, prose, or a general text piece. To create any of these projects, you just have to change the mode of the program. You can add text or sentences to a project as a title, header, sub header, body text, or typewriter . It lets you add a file in TXT or RTF format to the current project. You can also insert date within a project.

It lets you format a whole paragraph or specific text by using some standard tools. You can modify font, add typographical emphasis, align text or a paragraph, add superscript and subscript, and apply text and background color. In addition to that, you can adjust line spacing, add bullets, numbering, alphabetic numbering, and roman numbering, increase or decrease indent, etc.

It supports TXT, RTF, and DOC formats to import to add to current project. You can save a writing in formats of RTF, TXT, or publish as HTML.

RoughDraft provides basic functionalities of a word processor like navigation options, spellcheck options, etc.


Manuscriptor is a basic writing software for Windows. It lets you add title, headings, paragraph, and bullets to write, but doesn’t provide any option to modify the font. It provides some other tools for smart quotes, dictionary, etc. You can also enable Scientific Writing option.

It provides a Flow Analysis feature to show a graph with paragraphs and sentences fingerprinting. It also shows statistics of your writing project in an adjacent section with readability and count of paragraphs, sentences, and words.

Manuscriptor supports only RTF format to import in the current writing project. However, to export, it supports HTML, MOBI, Markdown, and Text formats.

Manuscriptor is a good option to choose for writing your thoughts with minimal formatting.

Dark Room is a free writing software with limited formatting options. It lets you set some preferences to customize Environment and Application properties. The Environment properties include formatting options (font color, type, indent, etc.), page settings (width, height, margin, etc.), and general settings (background, opacity, multiple monitor support, navigation, etc.). The Application properties like data recovery options, auto save, cursor blink time. etc. can also be adjusted. You can also see statistics like count of words, lines, and characters.

It supports TXT format to import and export. But, you can still export a piece of writing in PDF format using Print option.

Dark Room is also a distraction free writing software which lets you focus on words rather than other aspects of writing. It is a portable writing software with a simple user interface.

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Book Writer

Edit your own book and manage your chapters with ease, latest version.

Jun 6th, 2014

Advertisement Book Writer is a brilliant tool for those who want to try to write their own book: a practical text editor focused on dividing and organizing the story into chapters, sections, dates, and times. The program offers several features that make editing any book much easier, no matter how long it is, by helping you manage the content of each chapter. Book Writer has another very interesting feature to create a database of the characters, places, and important events that appear in your story. This way you can have a sketch of all the strings you have to tie together and how the characters evolve. The application also features the option to jump from one chapter to another to make browsing your work easier. You can even search by keyword, sentence, or phrase through the whole book, and you will always know how much longer it is until the end of your book. Book Writer also works as text-editing software, so you can use bold letters and italics as you write, as well as different fonts, colors, and alignments on the same page. Translated by Uptodown Localization Team Advertisement

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