Computer programs intended for writers. Questions involving the use of particular programs, or requesting recommendation for software that will help in a particular task.

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57
votes
18answers
4k views

Do You Use Any Version Controlling Software/Methods As Writers?

As writers, do you use any version controlling software to track and monitor what you write? For example, if you accidentally deleted or overwritten a paragraph that you'd like to have it back? ...
29
votes
14answers
4k views

Do Writers Use LaTex/TeX for writing?

I'm quite interested in the LaTex/TeX system and am wondering if any other fellow writers use it frequently to write in.
25
votes
14answers
10k views

Is there any good time-line software out there?

I write mostly speculative fiction, and use Scrivener for writing and note-taking. But I'm looking to start crafting timelines to keep track of the exact year and months events in the distant and ...
21
votes
9answers
869 views

Are there jobs that involve creative writing in the software industry?

I've been a developer for some years now, but I've realized that I need a job where I can be more creative (and hopefully work more with people (except dba's)). Since I love writing, but at the same ...
20
votes
8answers
5k views

Best tool to create ebooks?

What is a recommended tool for turning a completed manuscript (a Word document) into an ebook (specifically, an EPUB file or Kindle-compatible Mobipocket file)? I would prefer something that: ...
17
votes
10answers
7k views

Tools for science-based world building?

I tend to lean towards science-fiction and fantasy, so world building matters a lot to me. A while ago, there was a question which asked how to go about organizing your universe, which was ...
13
votes
2answers
825 views

Is Scrivener involved in the editorial process, or is it strictly a writer's development tool?

Is there any reason that an editor should know how to use Scrivener? I generally see manuscripts after they're out of draft but before proofreading. (I'm an editor.) However, I see a lot of talk ...
12
votes
7answers
388 views

How do you track submissions to publishers/markets?

What tools (software or otherwise) or procedures do you use to track the progress of submissions to publishers or other markets? How do you reduce the chance of accidentally (and embarrassingly) ...
12
votes
6answers
2k views

Is there a good project management software for writers?

I would like something in which I can set targets - like write/edit 10,000 words a week, set a final end date for the project, set mini targets, track any lag etc. The only PM software I've used in ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

What's a good writing software for Android phones/tablets?

Everyone once in a while while I'm out I come up with something I want to add to my story. Are there any good writing apps for Android phones and tablets? Most places that recommend mobile writing ...
10
votes
8answers
1k views

What is a good OCR program?

I keep a writing journal that I enjoy writing in. I also have a lot of old journal with writing that I'd love to digitize but am too lazy to retype. What is a good, accurate, OCR program that would ...
10
votes
6answers
2k views

Technical Writing Software

I'm interested in newer software/software stack to use in writing technical papers. For the longest time I have been use LaTeX to handle this but in looking at getting longer pieces published, such as ...
8
votes
8answers
2k views

Good Outlining Solutions For OSX?

I write technical non-fiction and find that I cannot write well without first constructing a detailed (10-20 page) outline. Are there any good outlining solutions for OSX? Apps? Templates in Microsoft ...
8
votes
5answers
609 views

Is this character generator useful?

After some feedback from this site and a training course, I developed a little tool to help with character generation. It's called "20 Questions" and works just like that: It picks 20 questions (or ...
8
votes
5answers
3k views

emacs for creative writing

Does anyone know a good emacs configuration for creative writing? I'd be looking for the ability to write, edit, and export to libre office or word (so the less technical people get edit/view). I'm ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

Software for analyzing a manuscript?

I would like to get a better picture of a manuscript I've written, especially in regards to word usage patterns and potentially overused terms. I'm curious whether anyone can recommend a document ...
8
votes
6answers
786 views

What tools do you use for your writing journal?

I usually keep a notepad and pen with me at all times. So, if I'm out thinking about a story and a scene or a bit of dialogue comes to mind, I write it down for recall later. I also keep a list of ...
8
votes
3answers
262 views

I'm an editor who generally uses Word to communicate changes with my authors. Is Adobe's InCopy better for this task?

For all of my editing work I'm currently using Microsoft Word. But I've heard a bit about Adobe's InCopy being good for editing and publishing. Is it really better? What makes it better than Word?
7
votes
10answers
770 views

Do fullscreen writing environments help for writing? Why?

I recently found out about full-screen writing applications like OmniWriter and DarkRoom and I'm interested in using them, but I'm skeptical as to whether or not these are actually useful for ...
7
votes
1answer
560 views

how should a writer use version control to track drafts, rewrites, and revisions?

I'm a writer, not a programmer. I'm just now for the first time learning about version control and how it works, and I am wondering how version control could streamline my workflow. In a previous ...
7
votes
1answer
932 views

How to work with in-text markup for figures and captions in Scrivener?

I like the writing tool Scrivener because of the organisation tools like the corkboard and the no-frills full screen mode. I'm starting out my thesis using the Windows trial and intending to buy if I ...
6
votes
5answers
809 views

I want to write a Choose Your Own Adventure styled e-book, what's a good approach?

If you don't remember, Choose Your Own Adventure books had bits of a story, then options for the reader to give them more of a feeling of control in their adventure: "If you want to walk through the ...
6
votes
8answers
622 views

Tools for generating characters' names

I found this name generator: http://www.fakenamegenerator.com And I'm wondering if maybe there are others? Has anybody found this kind of tool useful? What about tools for fantasy names? Should I ...
6
votes
2answers
167 views

Do you use a pop-up dictionary/thesaurus on Windows? What are your criteria?

I used to use WordWeb as a pop-up dictionary/thesaurus while I wrote, but I found it lacking, particularly in its inability to let me define my own terms per context (for example, when writing about ...
6
votes
1answer
401 views

Steven Johnson's DevonThink writing workflow: is creating & accumulating 50-500 word snippets worth the effort?

Steven Berlin Johnson talks in this much cited article about his research workflow using DevonThink. In short, he advocates for creating 50-500 word focused text snippets from your research readings ...
5
votes
8answers
754 views

Software for collaborative writing for a small team

I'm working on a writing project with a friend, and we're looking for some kind of (preferably cloud-based) project management and version control software so each of us can see how far the other has ...
5
votes
5answers
233 views

Using LaTex medium to enhance writing

I asked my Calculus Professor for a recommendation. He said, "Sure. No problem. But write me an essay about yourself and since you're a computer guy, do it in LaTeX." Now I've never used LaTeX ...
5
votes
3answers
242 views

What is a good tool for organizing story notes?

I'm working on a fantasy series and have been keeping a Word document full of backstory, character/location information, and other world-building elements. At 160+ pages, it's reached the point where ...
5
votes
3answers
419 views

How can I search for words by meaning/definition?

Where can I search for words using descriptive sentences? For example, now I'm looking for a word meaning "to purify (by hand) a quantity of grain and take away anything that isn't good grain." How ...
5
votes
1answer
368 views

Scrivener project statistics is showing an incorrect word count

I just purchased Scrivener yesterday and am trying to get it figured out. After importing my manuscript, I cut and pasted it, separating it into the 23 chapters that are linked under "Manuscript" in ...
4
votes
4answers
177 views

Is there such a thing as the “master copy” of a book?

The process for movies and music is pretty well-known and thoroughly documented on Wikipedia. You shoot a movie, edit it and then you produce a "master copy" from which all later copies of the movie ...
4
votes
3answers
856 views

Any experience with Serenity Editor software?

Has anyone had any experience with Serenity Editor editing software? What's the difference between the Standard version or the Word add-in? What kind of results can it get? If nobody has used it, ...
4
votes
5answers
378 views

What software can handle both revision control and layout?

I'm desperately looking for a book publishing solution that can handle revision control and layouts. My issues/requirements are as follows: Typists are extremely non-technical and I would like to ...
4
votes
3answers
84 views

tools for writing scripts

It has been a long time since I last tried to write a play, and I hated it, not the play (which became a short story), but writing one. The word processors made working with script layout a pain, and ...
4
votes
2answers
137 views

Visualizing multiple word-based changes among many text files

I've written a piece of fiction with GitHub, which means I have access to many version of my writing. I'm curious to see how my writing adapted over time. Did I keep eliminating then re-adding a word? ...
3
votes
3answers
189 views

What's the correct vocabulary for a web application tutorial?

I am writing a tutorial on how to use a specific web application and I don't know which verbs to use. Shall I use "click" for buttons? But what if the user doesn't use a mouse? Contrary to "normal" ...
3
votes
4answers
145 views

Which e-book formats to use to get a larger readership?

I am self-publishing a free e-book which I make available in several formats: EPUB, online HTML, PDF. I create (using my own programming scripts) EPUB and online HTML from XHTML sources which I write ...
3
votes
4answers
983 views

What software do you use for writing and then structuring a book?

I'm looking for good software for overseeing and rearranging the structure of a book. I have used Scrivener before, but found its exporting functionality frustrating and the software itself somewhat ...
3
votes
2answers
184 views

software to write book with lots of photos

I am writing my first book. It is a book with the history of my village. I have read that most people use MS Word, so did I. The problem is that my book contain lots of pictures. This has made the ...
3
votes
3answers
761 views

Software to organise world building?

There were a couple of other questions about this, but they were asked many years ago, so I thought I'd start a new one. For a long time, I used Wiki on a Stick to organise my worlds and allow for ...
3
votes
2answers
500 views

LaTex + version control writing package

This should be probably cross-posted to tex.stackexchange.com. However, since my question is more oriented towards writers who also have a firm grasp of technology, I'm posting it here in hopes of ...
3
votes
2answers
133 views

Looking for writer's platform

I'm looking for a platform (web app, saas application) to manage writers and articles for a large blog. I'm looking for the following features: I enter topics, writers can claim subjects and write ...
3
votes
1answer
386 views

Can Articy Draft be used to write a book?

I recently bought Articy Draft to catalog my writing endeavours. It seems good for writing scripts, but what about writing a book? Reference: http://www.nevigo.com/en/articydraft/overview/ I'm ...
2
votes
4answers
856 views

Software recommendations for magazine layout?

I use Word now but I would like to find a better software for laying out a magazine. In this magazine, I would like to create columns (2 or 3 depending on the page), insert image on 1, 2 or 3 columns ...
2
votes
2answers
218 views

Present tense in user manuals

I am writing a user manual for an IT system. And inside the user manual I have sentences such as: Users can delete Servers that do not have Customers assigned to them. Is the use of ...
2
votes
3answers
641 views

Any good side-by-side editor for script translation?

I am in the process of translating a script and am constantly struggling with the side-by-side vertical scrolling of the document. Does anyone know of an editor which is capable of "locking" two ...
2
votes
4answers
255 views

Format + Editor for book writing

A friend of mine is going to write a book. Therefore he is looking for an easy WYSIWYG solution. FIrst I recommended latex, but this would be a bit to hard to learn. A big part of the book is finished ...
2
votes
1answer
74 views

Preventing units from being “broken” to the next line

I'm having trouble with keeping "units" on the same line, or together. For example, g C m-2 (grams of carbon per square meter) often gets broken between the "-" and "2". I realize it's possible to use ...
2
votes
2answers
196 views

Composing a single narrative by writing small chunks

Qualifier/Disclaimer This may be a very atypical question for this site (of all those I've seen, this question on superuser seems most closely related to mine, but the question was closed as ...
2
votes
3answers
97 views

How do I search for tick marks not smart quotes in Word?

I'm doing a proofing check of a book prior to submitting to publication and want to make sure it's as neat as possible before doing so. Recently, I've had to merge two versions of the document - from ...