Tools include any physical devices or artifacts used in the writing process, as well as software tools (which should additionally include the Software tag). For questions regarding process, methodology, or organization, use the Technique tag.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

3
votes
2answers
93 views

Are there any “quantitative” (computer) programs that measure plagiarism?

An example might be the following: "Romeo, wherefore art thou Romo?" from the classic Shakespeare play. Suppose I changed it slightly to "Roberto, why are you Roberto?" Is there a computer program ...
2
votes
4answers
3k views

What are the tool choices for producing technical documentation in PDF and web site ready HTML?

My company currently maintains our technical documentation (User's Guide) in Google Docs. With each release I produce a PDF that we host on our website. Here are the features of Google Docs that work ...
2
votes
1answer
207 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
108 views

Tools for modelling near-future world

Imagine I want to write a fictional book, whose purpose is to show what will happen to the world, if something changes. For example: How will we live, if... crowdsourced funding (microfinance in M. ...
3
votes
3answers
3k views

Which edition of Strunk & White's The Elements of Style?

I'm interesting in picking up a copy of Strunk & White's The Elements of Style. Unfortunately I'm a little overwhelmed by the minor variations. Amazon lists 12 different paperback formats, plus a ...
7
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
371 views

How do I add an ISBN to Calibre ebook?

I downloaded Calibre two days ago. According to the Calibre user manual (website): Click the book you want to edit and then click the Edit metadata button or press the E key. A dialog opens that ...
2
votes
3answers
306 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
685 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
530 views

Alternative to mindmap software

I would like some alternatives to using a mindmap to organize my thoughts while writing. Mindmapping is good, don't get me wrong, but it doesn't preserve the sequence/order, therefore it makes things ...
2
votes
4answers
225 views

What non-WYSIWYG, non-proprietary alternatives to (La)TeX exist for the humanities, journalism, and other non-technical disciplines?

I see all over the web that LaTeX specializes in correct presentation of mathematical formulas, used widely in science, engineering, math, and other highly technical fields. I would like to have ...
3
votes
2answers
685 views

Scrivener: Editing the source files

I'm away from the house but I have my .scriv file on cloud storage. My question is, can I get to a particular chapter in my story and make some quick edits? Will changing these files break the ...
6
votes
8answers
1k 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 ...
19
votes
10answers
9k 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 interesting,...
4
votes
3answers
109 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
215 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? ...
6
votes
2answers
435 views

How can I prevent, or work around, unfortunate hyphenation in critical words?

In technical documentation, sometimes the tool's automatic hyphenation makes a bad break in the middle of a term, like the name of an environment variable or function. In these cases I would rather ...
3
votes
2answers
180 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
300 views

Concept map software that concentrates on ease of use?

...and scales well? I'm in the process of writing a text game / "Make your own adventure" novel, with a fairly convoluted, non-linear plot. Getting that plot under control has proven to be a rather ...
2
votes
1answer
575 views

Scrivener: marking multiple (non-adjacent) phrases in a manuscript with same footnote

How can I mark multiple different non-adjacent words and/or phrases with the same endnote marker and the same endnote text in Scrivener? For example: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer ...
3
votes
1answer
950 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

Mashery vs. Apigee

I was wondering if anyone could lend some advice as to the pros and cons between using Mashery versus Apigee for documenting an API? I have do some evaluating and have about 2 weeks to come up with a ...
9
votes
8answers
3k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
204 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
325 views

An (Collaborative) Online Outline

I'm writing a book – more as a hobby than anything else. As an amateur I often get lost regarding the extent I should include in the chapters. But the greatest problem for me is that I did not ...
11
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 ...
1
vote
5answers
640 views

Suggest any good text editor for Mac for writing in multiple languages

I have been using iBook author, for a time and the simple Mac TextEdit along with openOffice TextDocument. And I recently downloaded Evernote in expectation of more (but that's something else and not ...
2
votes
6answers
402 views

Are there any free programs for screen writers

Screenwriting has a very strict format that Microsoft Word cannot fully match. Are there any good screenwriting word processors out there that are free?
8
votes
6answers
264 views

What makes a great writer's space?

If you have a usual or favorite place to write at home, what makes it so good? I like having multiple places to write -- sometimes I find a change of scenery helps break a block -- but my most-used ...
3
votes
2answers
126 views

How should we go from Stack Exchange Q/A to publishable PDF with the least hassle?

Over on another site we're talking about taking some of our content (on a particular theme) and re-packaging it as a printable PDF. (The primary use case is paper.) This wouldn't be a straight dump ...
5
votes
3answers
1k 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, ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

What's the best version control system for a book writer?

I'm a writer—no programming, only prose in text files, mostly in Emacs org-mode, some in markdown-mode. I want to implement a version control system for my writing projects. I work with two types of ...
12
votes
12answers
18k views

Are there any good tablets out there for writing/editing?

I like being able to take my work anywhere with me, but sometimes my laptop is just too big to take with me. Battery life on tablets seem to be much better than laptops as well. Are there any tablets ...
1
vote
1answer
726 views

APA citation style - capitalization of titles

I'm writing a paper, supposedly using APA citation style, and I've encountered the following conflict. On the one hand, the title of the work I cite is cited in all small letters, and only the first ...
9
votes
5answers
799 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
210 views

Tools for exploring and analysing document structure?

I'm currently writing a thesis. Just the introduction is 25 pages/8000 words. The whole document will probably be 70 pages or so. With a document this large, and on such a complex topic, it can be ...
22
votes
8answers
7k 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: ...
7
votes
14answers
2k views

Is the iPad a convenient medium for writing work?

Does anyone here write on an iPad at all? The iPad 2G is due this summer and I have waited since March 2010 already, so I am planning to purchase one. However, I don't really need an iPad at all; ...
8
votes
10answers
822 views

Do fullscreen writing environments help for writing? Why? [closed]

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 ...
4
votes
4answers
307 views

Best text procesor— keyboard focussed UI

I am a programmer by profession and am looking for good text processors to help me with my blog writing. Word(MS/OpenOffice) has felt too clunky, because of the interruptions(corrections,formatting ...
2
votes
3answers
332 views

How can I manage screen shots and other graphics for maintenance?

Our ~1500-page documentation set contains numerous screen shots and related graphics (schematics, flow diagrams, etc). Sometimes the user interface changes and we have to update all the affected ...
17
votes
6answers
2k views

Keeping track of multiple plot lines

How do you track several plot lines woven together? I usually run 2 or 3 plot-lines in parallel, so I detail those plots each in a separate document. But as the book goes on, it is sometimes ...
1
vote
2answers
631 views

Best dictaphone/transcription workflow?

I've decided that the best way for me to get my ideas on paper is to dictate them, because I find that typing/writing 'gets in the way' and prevents me from properly expressing my ideas as they arise. ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Cheap ways a young person can get paper books printed/bound from their manuscript? (Please incl sample costs)

Some budding authors (school aged young people) want to see their creative works in print, as books. I'm prepared to do some of the pubisher's tasks (eg, get some ISBN's for each book, if required; I'...
2
votes
1answer
342 views

Organizing text snippets for creating different variants of a document (customized for the reader)

I'm searching for a tool/strategy to do the following: I have a lot of text snippets (informations) which are available for creating a document in different variants. The document has a standard ...
7
votes
5answers
1k views

The importance of monitor size/distance for writing productivity?

I've been thinking today that my writing station's monitor screen set-up is much worse than I had previously thought, and can be partly blamed for productivity problems. I write on a 2004 laptop with ...
5
votes
1answer
145 views

What is the new Google Author markup?

What is the new Google Author markup, and how can I use it to build up a reputation as an online writer? How could it possibly work? Using self-declared information has been tried before and of ...
2
votes
4answers
211 views

Is there any tool which points out the common mistakes in a piece of writing?

It will point out mistakes like: Use of bad constructs. Use of repeated words. etc. (On a side note: if you happen to be a C programmer, I am looking for lint for writing).
2
votes
2answers
70 views

Is there a way to improve Endnote record consistency?

I am required to use Endnote to manage citations. When I find an article, I am expected to create an Endnote record for it, and we have some internal guidelines as to which fields we consider ...
16
votes
4answers
2k views

Is there any point in learning to write in cursive?

I remember learning it as a child, and I remember I was told it was important and every kid in the class had to learn it. But now that I think about it, I haven't used cursive for years. What was ...