Your Writing Deserves the Best.
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Your Mac (whether a MacBook, iMac etc.) is undoubtedly the gateway to any digital expression. It makes things possible.
For writers, having a reliable MacBook + an excellent writing app is your palette, and brush like an artist uses for a painting.
In my opinion, Macs amount other things are an excellent choice for writing. Apart from the keyboard upgrade in the recent MacBooks (which had made headlines within the Tech community for its frustrating user experience when the new technology was installed), their minimalist and sleek design in hardware and software can be a pleasure to use and ensures you can stay focused.
There is a vast market for writing apps widely available. It can be time-consuming to know which one to kick-off with to incorporate into your work-flow. Or perhaps you are curious to see what else is available for you to try or just interested in what other’s may be using.
In this write-up, I focus on ten popular writing apps for Mac for you to explore. I have deliberately left out Microsoft Word and Google Docs from being featured as I’m sure everyone is familiar with them in what value they already serve.
Obviously, like all things, choosing the right writing app widely depends on your needs, but I am confident you will find one (maybe two) writing app(s) that will pique your interest.
Pages that say it all. Beautifully.
Pages is Apple’s Mac-native equivalent to Microsoft’s Word. The reason I have it featured in this list is because it comes included with most Apple devices — suggesting you have access to it if alternatives should fail.
Pages weigh on simplicity and essential functions.
Pages works seamlessly across all your Apple devices, meaning you can pick up where you left off from your iMac to your iPad should you have to go out for example.
One fantastic benefit of using Pages (over the others) is the ability to use the Apple Pencil on an iPad allowing you to write, create drawings, annotate documents and select and scroll as you would with your finger.
It’s Free, but if you don’t have it installed, you can get it here.
Write! claims to be the only text editor you need for distraction-free writing. Its minimalist interface helps remove distraction by hiding all the features and buttons.
When I first got into writing some years ago, this was the first writing app I landed on to hold my thoughts and prose. It was also my first exposure to a minimalist writing app to focus on distraction-free focus.
Write! carries many useful features such as a configurable autocomplete, an intelligent spellchecker and productivity counters. You can easily manage any writing project structuring using tabs, sessions and folders.
You can get the complete Write! experience for $24.95 with cloud access and maintenance updates at $4.95/yr.
It’s available on both Windows and macOS. You can check it out here.
One colossal feature I appriciate from IA Writer is its strict core value to focus. This is reflected in its minimal interface crafted to cut out the noise. It’s just you, your thoughts, and the words on the page (read: screen). It provides the uncluttered environment you need to write well, supported by discrete, powerful features, from Content Blocks to Syntax Highlighting with Markdown.
If writing is all you need in its most basic uncluttered form, then check out IA Writer here. Each app purchased separately.
Where Texts Start.
Getting words down has never been easier.
Drafts for me has been one of my jot-down note-taking apps during those epiphany moments, which would otherwise see me scrounging around for a pen and paper or ultimately trusting that I will remember but ending up forgetting.
It’s been my go-to app to quickly capture text (when I’m on the go). As Drafts have suggested on their website, its “post-its” for the digital age.
Drafts is a great writing tool for those that want to get the text down and polish it when time permits. And when you’re ready to knuckle-down, you can set up a text editing experience that’s perfect for you, with tons of interface adjustments like custom fonts and control over spacing, line height, and margins.
It features a customisable extended row above the keyboard to convert, manipulate, and transform your writing quickly. Make lists, use Markdown to get things just right.
It also integrates with a bewildering array of apps and services that might work with your workflow.
For writing. And writing. And writing.
Scrivener boasts of being the go-to writing app for writers of all kinds, used every day by best-selling novelists, screenwriters, non-fiction writers, students, academics, lawyers, journalists, translators and more.
Scrivener is tailor-made for long writing projects, allowing you to compose your text in any order, in sections as large or small as you like.
What I appreciate most about this app is the ability to link text within.
Notable features are:
Piece it Together — Switch instantly between editing your manuscript one section at a time and together as a whole.
Corkboard — virtual index card,
Outliner — the outliner lets you work with an overview of a chapter, a part, or even your whole manuscript — but puts even more information at your fingertips.
Full-Screen Writing — Blank out the rest of the world while you write.
You can check it out here.
Accomplish more with better notes.
Evernote is a platform that allows you to take all kinds of notes. For me, it was my starting place in keeping all my notes, thoughts and prose. It helped me stay organised and was “the extension to my brain” before Notion & Roam.
Users can create notes, such as text, drawings, photographs, audio, or saved web content. Notes are stored in notebooks and can be tagged, annotated, edited, searched, given attachments, and exported.
Evernote is free with limitations that can be removed for $9.99/ month. You can check it out here.
The Ultimate Writing App for Mac, iPad and iPhone.
This Apple Design Award Winner app is top-rated among writers of any calibre.
It offers a simple and intuitive workspace you can customise to suit your preference. It features a clean, distraction-free interface,
- Markup-based text editor,
- Typewriter mode,
- A brilliant organisation and management feature — so that you can keep your work where you’d like it to be, featuring hierarchic groups,
- Let’s you write anywhere utilising full iCloud Sync across all your devices.
Ulysses has been my choice of editor for over three years now. It helps organise my writing in a structured library that fits my liking, from research to learnings, to articles and blueprints. Everything is in one place, across all my devices.
Write beautifully on iPhone, iPad, and Mac.
Bear is a beautiful, flexible writing app for crafting notes and prose. I use this as my primary note-taker, and while I feel it leans towards the note-taking side, Bear still makes for an excellent writing app.
Bear features an advanced Markup Editor that supports and highlights over 150 programming languages, in-line support for images and photos,
hashtags to quickly find and organise notes however you like,
multiple export options including HTML, PDF, DOCX, MD, JPG, and more, and at the writing of this, new features scheduled to be released include the use of tables, footnotes, style nesting, CommonMark and much more (I can’t wait!).
Bear is a perfect companion, from quick notes to deep literature with a great library structure to manage them.
At an affordable price of $14.99 annually, it’s a no-brainer to have. You can check it out here.
Elevate Your Writing.
I can’t imagine writing without Grammarly. It’s my hands-down premium grammar checker and writing companion. I use it to check my work with nothing being published without it first going through Grammarly.
Grammarly checks for typos, spelling mistakes and grammar.
It’s the writing editor or extension that makes sure everything you type is not only correct but also clear and easy to read. It even has a keyboard for your iPhone and or iPad for those ‘on the go’ emails and mistake-free tweets.
Be sure to check out my article on how you can use Grammarly with Ulysses [here: Coming Soon].
While they offer a free version that packs the basic writing suggestions; spelling, grammar, punctuation and conciseness, Premium offers extra features such as tone adjustments, fluency and plagiarism detection, to name a few.
With a cost of about four $3 coffees at $11.66/ month, subscribing to premium is definitely worth its weight for the elevation. This is definitely one to keep. You can check it out here.
Alternatively, you can look into;
For the smarter writer.
Dubbed to be the less expensive alternative at around $7 per month (on a yearly subscription), ProWritingAid offers world-class grammar and style checking, combined with more in-depth reports to help you strengthen your writing. However, it’s more focused on writing style and readability.
ProWritingAid comes with a community of writers of all niches. For bloggers, content writers, authors, students and business writers.
You can check it out here.
Make your writing bold and clear.
Another distraction-free writing and editing tool designed to help you polish your writing. It focuses on highlighting common errors that bring down the quality of your prose: confusing sentence construction, overuse of weak adverbs, excessive passive voice, and the like.
While there are many great writing apps in this list (with more not featured here), I hope you have found one that matches your criteria. Whether it be for casual writing or focus-driven novels, there is an app for you.
If you have found this article helpful, give it a clap and let me know which app you’ll be checking out. If you have a favourite that I have covered, let me know which one.
- Apple Pages.
- MarsEdit 4 – Blog Editor.
- iA Writer.
- iA Writer.
- iWriter Pro.
Download Google Docs on your iPad, iPhone, Mac, PC, or Android device so you can use this word processor wherever you are.
Is there a Notepad++ for Mac? While Notepad++ is an extremely handy and loved app, there's no Notepad++ for Mac, unfortunately. The good news is, you have a few options when it comes to editing your source code.Can you write scripts on Mac? ›
Script Editor lets you create powerful scripts, tools, and even apps. You can create scripts to perform repetitive tasks, automate complex workflows, and control apps or even the system.What is the best reading and writing app? ›
- Best Overall: ABCmouse.
- Best Free: Starfall.
- Best for Elementary School: Homer.
- Best for Homeschoolers: Hooked on Phonics.
- Best for Basics: Reading Raven.
- Best Supplemental Apps: Skybrary.
- Best for Memberships: FarFaria.
- Google Docs.
- Kindle Vella.
- Scrivener app.
- Pomodoro Timer.
- Ulysses app.
- Cliché Finder.
To open the Trackpad Handwriting window, click the Input menu in the menu bar and choose the Handwriting input source you added, or press Control-Shift-Space bar. If your Mac has a Touch Bar, and you customized the Control Strip by adding the Handwriting button , tap the button to open the Trackpad Handwriting window.How do you write words on a Mac? ›
On your Mac, choose Apple menu > System Settings, then click Keyboard in the sidebar. (You may need to scroll down.) Go to Dictation on the right, then turn it on. If a prompt appears, click Enable.Is a Mac good for writing? ›
The 2020 MacBook Air remains our top pick as the best laptop for writing overall. It's wonderfully thin and light and offers brilliant battery life, making it perfect for taking it out and about with you.
Availability. Microsoft Word is available on every device—you can use it on Windows, Mac, iOS, iPad, Android, and online.What Apple app for writing a book? ›
Pages is Apple's free, powerful word processor that lets you write, edit, and collaborate with others to create stunning books. Pages is not only simple to use, but it's full of helpful features for writers.Does Apple have a text editor? ›
With TextEdit, you can open and edit rich text documents created in other word processing apps, including Microsoft Word and OpenOffice. You can also save your documents in a different format, so they're compatible with other apps.What is the Apple equivalent of NotePad? ›
TextEdit is the most obvious NotePad alternative for Mac as it's Apple's default text editor. This is a simple editing app, but it can also be used for making changes to HTML.What is the Apple alternative to NotePad? ›
TextEdit is the Mac equivalent of NotePad and is free with all versions of macOS. To find it, simply search for TextEdit in Spotlight or CMD click on your desktop and select “TextEdit”. TextEdit is useful mainly as a simple text editing tool but you can even edit HTML in it.Can you write on a PDF on a Mac? ›
In the Preview app on your Mac, click the Show Markup Toolbar button (if the Markup toolbar isn't showing). Use the tools in the toolbar to mark up the PDF (or use the Touch Bar).Can you write Python on Mac? ›
Your best way to get started with Python on macOS is through the IDLE integrated development environment, see section The IDE and use the Help menu when the IDE is running. If you want to run Python scripts from the Terminal window command line or from the Finder you first need an editor to create your script.What writing apps are free? ›
- ProWritingAid. Come on. ...
- Hubspot's Blog Ideas Generator. Even the best writers run into blocks sometimes. ...
- Canva. As writers, we don't just have to worry about the words we put on the page (or screen). ...
- Milanote. ...
- LibreOffice. ...
- Scribus. ...
- FocusWriter. ...
- WordPress.org. WordPress.org is the world's most popular blogging software. ...
- Web.com. ...
- Wix. ...
- HubSpot CMS. ...
- Gator by HostGator. ...
- WordPress.com. ...
- Blogger. ...
|Writing Software||Perfect for...|
|Hemingway Editor||Those that need software to improve and edit writing in real-time|
|Scrivener||The career author that plans to write numerous books|
|FastPencil||Those in need of an all-in-one book writing software (from writing to publishing)|
- Novel Factory. Pricing: Basic – $7.50/month or $75/year (two months free) ...
- Ulysses. Pricing: $5.99/month or $39.99/year. ...
- LivingWriter. Pricing: $9.99/month or $96/year. ...
- Novlr. Pricing: $10/month or $100/year. ...
- Fictionary. Pricing: ...
- Atticus. Pricing: ...
- YWriter. Pricing:
To open the Trackpad Handwriting window, click the Input menu in the menu bar and choose the Handwriting input source you added, or press Control-Shift-Space bar. If your Mac has a Touch Bar, and you customized the Control Strip by adding the Handwriting button , tap the button to open the Trackpad Handwriting window.Can you handwrite on a Mac? ›
To use Trackpad Handwriting, you must add a Handwriting input source, then choose Handwriting from the Input menu in the menu bar. If your Mac has a Touch Bar, you can quickly open the Trackpad Handwriting window by adding the Handwriting button to the Control Strip.Does Mac have a built in text editor? ›
With TextEdit, you can open and edit rich text documents created in other word processing apps, including Microsoft Word and OpenOffice. You can also save your documents in a different format, so they're compatible with other apps.Is there a pencil for Mac? ›
Apple Pencil sets the standard for how drawing, note‑taking, and marking up documents should feel — intuitive, precise, and magical.Do Apple pencils work on Mac? ›
Sometimes while using your Mac, you might want to add a handwritten signature to a document or draw a sketch to use in a note. With Continuity Sketch, you can do that by drawing on your iPad with an Apple Pencil and, without any fuss, transferring it to your Mac to use wherever you want it.Can Apple Pencil write on Mac? ›
An Apple Pencil can only be used with an iPad - and then the correct Apple Pencil can only be used with a compatible iPad model. You cannot use an Apple Pencil as an input device with a Mac or trackpad - as neither have the necessary hardware with which the Pencil interacts with the screen.How do you draw Notes on a Mac? ›
- From any opened note in edit mode, tap on the blue plus sign icon (+) in the note editor, then tap Sketch.
- Sketching tools appear on the left side of the screen. Select the pen or highlighter to start sketching notes with your mouse.
- Tap Done to save. Sketches are saved as .
- In the Notes app on your Mac, in the sidebar, click the folder where you want to put the note. If you don't see the sidebar: Choose View > Show Folders.
- Click the New Note button in the toolbar (or use the Touch Bar).
- Type your note. You can use typing suggestions, if available.
You can draw a sketch using your nearby iPhone or iPad and have the sketch appear instantly on your Mac, exactly where you need it—for example, in an email, a message, a document, a note, or a folder.
TextEdit is the Mac equivalent of NotePad and is free with all versions of macOS. To find it, simply search for TextEdit in Spotlight or CMD click on your desktop and select “TextEdit”. TextEdit is useful mainly as a simple text editing tool but you can even edit HTML in it.What is Apple default text editor? ›
By default, macOS uses Apple's TextEdit app for any text file, and it's pretty bad.Is Notepad++ available for Mac? ›
Is there a Notepad++ for Mac? While Notepad++ is an extremely handy and loved app, there's no Notepad++ for Mac, unfortunately. The good news is, you have a few options when it comes to editing your source code.