Favourite writing software/tool?

prokopton

Science fiction fantasy
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I'm a beginner. I use Evernote and Scrivener for Mac. I'm curious as to what other writing software everyone else uses?
 

Warren_Paul

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Microsoft Word 2016. I've got to put that Office 365 subscription to use somehow. ;)



Interesting related note: I read today that some lite version of Microsoft Word and other office apps are going to be downloadable in the Windows Store for Windows 10 at launch. Who knows how many features will be missing, but making annotations and other markup was mentioned as being included, so I probably wouldn't notice any difference. So that's another free option for writers, although they are clearly designed for tablet users and the main office 365 package would still be the more practical choice for desktop users.
 
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Ray McCarthy

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Notepad++ for early stages and all the reference files* (Free). Runs on WINE fine.
A simple text editor on Android phone for notes.
Libre Office or Word 2002 for later stages after 1st Draft. Any version of Word after 2003 is madness to waste money on compared to Libre Office to give a Publisher a Word Document. Libre Office is gradually making it on to Android. But for serious writing a good screen and keyboard is needed. Phones, Tablets and Netbooks have neither.
Scrivener seems too proprietary and expensive.
lite version of Microsoft Word and other office apps are going to be downloadable in the Windows Store for Windows 10 at launch.
Yes, the first fix is free. MS since Vista and the evil Ribbon have lost the plot. I bought, sold, supported and installed their products for fifteen years. No longer. Bloatware, Adware and poor quality, too much concentrating on eye candy.
Windows 10 sounds like junk. Win8.x is mad. Win7 ought to have been free to Vista Users, it's purely a fixed version of Vista.

[* I also have a couple of mirrored copied of MediaWiki running that I paste background info, worldbuilding, research etc into, same SW as Wikipedia]
 

TimothyQ

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Scrivener for Mac, notes on my phone and a free app called 'a novel idea' is pretty useful for introducing some sort of structure to my notes. I can't honestly say that Scrivener offers huge value for money and the only special function I use is the full screen mode, but I've got this weird psychological defect which convinces me problems will go away if I throw some money at them.
 

Ray McCarthy

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but I've got this weird psychological defect which convinces me problems will go away if I throw some money at them.
Ah, you are a Tellurian Human. This is why your Capitalism works. You all think that.

Even a 4:3 screen of any decent resolution is too wide. I only use full screen to preview images or watch video.
Your eyes will tire if you make text window too wide. I make sure all controls / Icons are floating at side or off to maximise the vertical height of text area in the full height application window.

Unless you have 6" or smaller screen a full screen text isn't useful.
 

TimothyQ

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Ah, you are a Tellurian Human. This is why your Capitalism works. You all think that.

Even a 4:3 screen of any decent resolution is too wide. I only use full screen to preview images or watch video.
Your eyes will tire if you make text window too wide. I make sure all controls / Icons are floating at side or off to maximise the vertical height of text area in the full height application window.

Unless you have 6" or smaller screen a full screen text isn't useful.

I never knew that about the screen size. Given that I've spent the last 15 years in various vocations where I stare at a computer screen for the best part of every day I've taken it for granted that it will have a negative impact and I don't really worry about it. Perhaps another reason why our capitalism works so well :). The attraction to the full screen function of Scrivener is that it blots out other distractions and creates a digital clean desk which is useful for the first 20 minutes when you suffer from short attention span.
 

Ray McCarthy

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I minimise everything else AND have the Task Bar/Quick Launch / Short cuts (I hate bouncy glittery defaults) set to left edge of screen and on Auto Hide.
When writing I have all other applications that I want open, minimised. Ignore or turn off all notifications.
I have hardly any icons on desktop as I create category folders, select an Icon for them and sort all the desktop icons into them. No documents are on desktop. Instead there are a number of custom icons for the file browser that open at correct location.
All of this can be done on Windows, Mac OS and Linux/Ubuntu/Mint etc.

The screen desktop wallpaper looks like an unobtrusive plain medium dull coloured background (no image or pattern). It's only a wallpaper at all as a trick. On my OS version, drop shadows on mouse arrow and icon font labels only appears if there is a wallpaper set. An actual image/photo is crazy distracting and slide show is stupid!

I have 4 laptops (one is a netbook really), many PCs, two servers and a selection of OS (no Mac OS any more) and have all setup like this. I have 6" android tablet, but it's rubbish to read on compared to the Kindle paper white I gave wife or kindle touch to daughter. I got the large 9.7" Kindle DXG as it works not bad with A4 & Letter PDFs. It's great for proof reading with the real QWERTY keyboard for notes. I have a USA layout mini-USB server room keyboard for the Android tablet and phone as the older Android versions have no UK keyboard option ("@'€£#~\/ are serious problems if OS only allows US layout and you have UK keyboard)

I use my 2nd oldest 13 YO model (Oldest is 15) as it has best screen and beautiful keyboard. Screen is totally free of shine/reflections and 15" ultrasharp 1600 x 1200, which allows full page A4 or Letter PDFs to be read full page at a time. A 1920 x 1080 screen isn't tall enough for PDFs!
 

Vertigo

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AND have the Task Bar/Quick Launch / Short cuts (I hate bouncy glittery defaults) set to left edge of screen and on Auto Hide.
Wow, other than myself I've never met anyone else who puts them on the left like that. I've been doing it for years. I much prefer it but it drives my co-workers up the wall! :)
 

Ray McCarthy

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Actually I meant right side of screen.
The Icons are on left.
It doesn't work properly on the left.

Must right Write and left on hands.

Port and Starboard doesn't help with laptops.
 

Phyrebrat

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I swear by Scrivener, but the truth is, whatever software you use is only as effective as your knowledge of its features.

I paid $49 for Scrivener, I think, which is about £30 in proper money. I don't see that as much of an outlay seeing as I've been using it since 2010 and all the upgrades are free - some substantial, and feel bewildered when people say it's too costly (and I'm hardly pulling fivers out my <beep> these days, either).

The reason I swear by Scrivener is it allows me to pack all my research, photos, notes and actual prose into the same project, and tons of features that can make navigating your WIP a breeze.

for example;
Colour Coded POV
Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 18.36.35.png

Corkboard planner cards
Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 18.37.34.png

But I have the mind of a flibbertigibbert so focusing on using Word would be a struggle for me. My only gripe is that I travel a lot for work and like to write on the train on my iPad. Scrivener have not released the much-awaited (and begged for) iPad app which is apparently coming this Summer, so I use Pages. It's a hot mess to sync with iTunes, so I tend to just email the page document to my mac and then copy-paste to Scrivener.

pH
 

chopper

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LibreOffice/OpenOffice is wonderful as it ports easily between the home PC & the writing netbook with no difficulty, and also allows mark-ups, changes, and other editing including use of Microsoft documents. full of win. it's all i use, to be honest.
 

Hex

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Word. I got Scrivener but I couldn't work out what it offered that I didn't already have with Word.
 

Ray McCarthy

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@AnyaKimlin
/me has visions of you chucking manuscripts you are disgusted with into the fire. Meanwhile I can't find the door of my library due to all the version histories. The evils of having been a programmer.
 

Ray McCarthy

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I had to TYPE my weekly report on a mechanical typewriter in the BBC. By 1981 I had a computer, screen editor, disk drives and printer.
since last year, I don't need the printer, (gave kindle paperwhite to wife and got a 9.7" Kindle DXG. Fab proof print gadget!). Last time I seriously hand wrote a story was one about accidental creation of an AI on a spaceship, in 1971, for a school SF essay competition. A guy who wanted to become an astronomer won it with one of the few time travel stories I ever thought much good. I was good and had the characteristic clever twist in the tail / tale on the last line that made you smile, though I can't remember what it was.
 

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