Questions tagged [software]

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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79
votes
21answers
8k views

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

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? ...
69
votes
25answers
16k views

Is there a special software for writers?

Whenever I attempt to write something, I do it in a common word processor (like Microsoft Word), but I was wondering if there is a special software for it. Something that would help me keep track of ...
48
votes
16answers
37k 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 ...
41
votes
15answers
13k 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.
38
votes
12answers
9k views

Is there a need for better software for writers?

Software developers don't ever work in text editors, instead they use IDEs (integrated development environments) full of code assistance tools, etc. Why don't writers use similarly advanced writing ...
28
votes
9answers
3k 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 ...
26
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: ...
23
votes
10answers
10k 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,...
21
votes
11answers
34k views

Software for developing and organizing characters

I'm looking for a software that helps me develop and organize the characters for my novel. What I want: something like a filesystem, with a file for each character it should have or allow me to ...
21
votes
5answers
8k 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 ...
20
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
20
votes
5answers
1k views

Is there a writing software that you can sort scenes like slides in PowerPoint?

I generally use PowerPoint for outlining my scenes (prose, not script). I put a general description of what the scene is on the slide, and then give more details in the notes section. I like that I ...
19
votes
3answers
4k views

Why am I getting a strange double quote (“) in Open Office instead of the ordinary one (")?

Why am I getting a strange double quote (“) in Open Office instead of the ordinary one (")? Every time I type the double quote, I get the weird version instead of the ordinary one. How do I get the ...
19
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
18
votes
7answers
864 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) ...
17
votes
8answers
2k views

What's a good way to backup your writing?

One of the most important things for writers to do is to back up their work so that in the event of a computer failure, their work isn't lost. But where's a good place to do that? A lot of storage ...
17
votes
7answers
7k 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 ...
16
votes
8answers
2k views

Software to draw plot structure charts

When I plot my own novels or analyze other works to understand their structure, I like to visualize the dynamic of the storyline(s) in a diagram. Usually I draw this by hand. A first version of such ...
16
votes
9answers
4k 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 ...
15
votes
5answers
3k views

What software/techniques do people use to gather ideas?

I'm planning to create a game. It won't be the first game I've created (or even released), but it will be my first game with any story to speak of. I'm still very much in the planning phase of the ...
14
votes
4answers
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 ...
13
votes
5answers
647 views

How best to recover from catastrophic text loss?

This morning I had an accidental select all delete followed by auto save, which prevented me from just hitting undo. My novel became an empty file. I use MS Word. I had emailed a copy of it a few ...
13
votes
9answers
2k 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 ...
12
votes
9answers
5k views

Is there a free online alternative to Scrivener?

I currently use Google Drive/Docs to pen all of my novels and short stories, but really feel that I could do with a management suite of sorts, such as Scrivener. However, as Scrivener costs actual ...
11
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 ...
11
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
11
votes
5answers
1k 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 ...
11
votes
6answers
2k views

How do you visualize plot structure?

I want to visualize the internal structure of my plot. I noticed several contradictions, and want to better understand what's going on in my tale. I'm not talking about different characters doing ...
11
votes
6answers
20k views

Anyone has any super intense software for plot outlining?

Now, at the get go, I fully acknowledge that I have gone way over the top as far a story plotting goes, but I'm trying for something on the extreme end of epic and I have a legit obsessive compulsive ...
10
votes
6answers
1k 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
18 views

Limitations of automatic documentation

As technology advances and workflows are streamlined, some have turned to automated tools such as Doxygen, Sphinx, Swagger, etc. in order to generate technical documentation automatically. What are ...
10
votes
8answers
2k 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 ...
9
votes
7answers
2k views

Is there an online tool which supports shared writing?

I want to write a short story (and maybe later a book) together with a colleague from work. Is there an online service which we can use to do this in a convenient way? Useful features would be (not ...
9
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
509 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?
9
votes
4answers
629 views

Software for plot building across multiple books

I plan to write a series of books set in the same universe, with a major plot about war, destruction, murder, killing, love, betrayal etc. But I am having problem getting the big view of my universe ...
9
votes
4answers
5k views

Any software for video game non-linear story design?

Is there any software for making non-linear story or dialogues? I tried MS Word/Google Docs but that's not good for dialogues. In one complicated dialogue I wrote in Google Drawings, it looks like ...
9
votes
4answers
5k views

Character Relationship Mapping Software

I'm attempting to lay some groundwork for a story that I've been working on in various aspects for a good many years now, and I'm finding myself in need of a visual representation of character ...
8
votes
7answers
3k views

Is it better to save each chapter in a separate word document or all in one document?

I'm new here. In the past, I've written countless articles for newspapers, and I almost never needed to edit more than a page or two. However, I have agreed to edit an entire (existing) novel for its ...
8
votes
10answers
870 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 ...
8
votes
8answers
2k 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 ...
8
votes
6answers
2k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
109 views

What software can I use to synchronize corrections and modifications over similar documents?

I'm currently working on a large thesis, from which I derive some smaller publications such as papers. The work is in parallel. Often it happens that I copy some paragraphs from the thesis into a ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Best Tool to Create User Guides

We are planning to create a user guide for internal use only. It's 150-page document in Word for a self-developed SW tool. The user guide will require constant update. No translation is needed. We ...
8
votes
7answers
11k 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

Is there a software for story writing with detailed character files and an interactive timeline? (other then aeon timeline and scrivener)

I'm looking for a writing software that's user friendly and doesn't require endless tutorials to figure out. Plotist seems to be a good start, but their timeline is too simple and doesn't even have ...
8
votes
4answers
883 views

Web-based WYSIWYG Markdown editor with commenting?

My question is similar to this one, but with (hopefully) a clearly defined use case: sharing and reviewing basic tech docs with a minimal, intuitive GUI. I'm producing technical documents using MS ...
8
votes
3answers
372 views

Searching for character relation map software

I've started working on a project and wanted to keep all my characters and their relationships well organised. I'm already using TiddlyWiki to archive all the ideas about the world and its ...
8
votes
1answer
142 views

Show outline or table of content using presets in Scrivener?

Google Docs has this neat feature, where an outline is generated based on the text you've set to a specific style, such as title or heading: Word has a similar feature. Is there a way to generate an ...
8
votes
4answers
249 views

Programs that analyze word frequency?

I would like a utility that could analyze a document and give me stats like this: WORD: FREQUENCY: a 47,268 the 37,201 gross 215 irregardlessly 1 ...