The Mac comes with apps for writing notes, letters, and even books, but take the time to look further and there are great writing apps for every aspect of writing.
You already have Pages on your Mac – and on your iPhone and iPad too – and it’s a world-class word processor. Pages tends to hide its functionality, preferring to make it simple and basic, but it is powerful.
Then, too, if you were to bet on what other word processor is on a given Mac, the smart money would be on Microsoft Word. He’s still a titan in the industry, though he’s fallen a long way since he was both ubiquitous and essential to all writers.
Pages is free and Word is now a subscription app that costs from $ 70 per year. It’s still possible to buy Word directly, and it starts with what’s called a Home Edition for $ 150.
Before you spend that, take a look at the specialist writing tools that make the Mac extremely useful for writers.
OmniOutliner is, as the name suggests, an outline tool. He’s also great at describing everything from novels to non-fiction. However, it is really more than that, as its main strength is in the expansion of ideas.
Whether your idea is for a story or your boss has given you five events to create, OmniOutliner lets you jot down any thought. Drop all the ideas you have in it, then you can organize them, massage them, develop them until you have a complete and working project.
OmniOutliner is available on Mac and iOS, starting with an Essentials version that costs $ 20 on either platform.
At first glance, Drafts 5 is as basic a note-taking app as it gets, but that’s specifically to speed up its use. Whether you’re just learning the app or have been using it for years, you can start writing fast.
Then, while that might be all you need in Drafts 5, you also have the option of deciding what to do with the text once you’ve written it. Write it down in drafts, then you can tell the app to send it as an email, post as a blog, or any of the myriad actions available.
Drafts 5 is free to download and use, but these actions require a Drafts Pro subscription, which costs $ 20 per year.
Ulysses is also a seemingly simple text editor that hides a lot of power. In this case, the strength lies in the fact that it is as much a writing environment as it is a basic word processor.
Rather than having documents that you create and then have to manage yourself, Ulysses treats everything you write as one document. Everything is divided into books, chapters, and topics according to your needs, but open Ulysses and you have immediate access to anything you write.
Ulysses is a subscription app that costs $ 50 per year for use on Mac, iPhone, and iPad.
As a word processor, Scrivener is just plain fun to write. As you write more, its ability to organize your work – and allow you to rearrange entire chapters – is much better than that of Pages or Word.
You can see, for example, only chapters 17 and 33 of your novel. You can see them side by side or one after the other. You can set writing goals for the book or just for this session.
Then his ability to take all of your writing and get it out ready for printing books, ready to send to publishers, is famous. And that’s how you can store any search – notes, drafts, web links, PDFs, audio, video, etc. – in your book.
Have quick access to everything you need to refer to, but don’t show any of that to your readers.
Scrivener costs $ 49 for the Mac.
Long before the Mac introduced Focus mode, iA Writer had its own version. In iA Writer, if you want, all of your writing can turn gray except for the sentence you are currently working on.
Then, again as an option, iA Writer can highlight adjectives, verbs, etc., showing your usage or overuse. This is to give you the opportunity to see the wood of the trees, except when it is trees that you want to see.
The iA Writer app is built around Markdown, which means formatting and styles are done with text commands directly in text.
It costs $ 29 for Mac.
The Final Draft screenwriting app now has more competition, but it remains a top choice for film and television screenwriters. It’s a word processing app that can be used for letters and prose, but its strength lies in the way it automates script writing formats.
Scripts are blueprints for a dozen or more different departments in the production of a movie, and to meet all of their needs, very particular formats and layouts have been developed over the decades. Final Draft automatically formats itself as you write, meaning you can focus on your story, characters, and dialogue.
The final draft costs $ 249.99, direct from the developer.
Buy a range of writing tools
No writing app covers everything a writer will need. In addition to the main applications like Final Draft and Pages, there are also many utilities that writers can benefit from.
Check out the Setapp subscription service which includes some major titles like Ulysses, but also utilities like Mars Edit for blogging.
A Setapp subscription typically costs from $ 9.99 per month, but for a limited time, an annual license can be obtained at 36% off through the Appleinsider shop.
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