48 votes
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Is there a need for better software for writers?

IDE-like tools exist for writers. Scrivener is a powerful general-purpose tool (also with questions here). Madcap Flare, aimed at technical writers, has good support for updating links, defining "...
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43 votes
Accepted

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

I'd argue that quotation marks like “ ” are the ordinary ones, and quotation marks like " " are the strange ones. :) But if you prefer typewriter-style quotation marks, that's fine. According to the ...
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22 votes

Is there an online tool which supports shared writing?

This sounds like Google Docs, perhaps combined with Trello (for the Kanban board and calendar view), would do for you. It's got live updating -- I don't think it tracks edits by author exactly, so ...
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16 votes

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

At the least, just the ones I know about are Scrivener and Organon. More generally, these are called "plot management" or "scene management" software. Either one will easily handle enough scene ...
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  • 4,576
14 votes

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

If part of your editing is checking continuity, it becomes difficult to search through 20 separate files for previous mentions of "Allen" to see if his hair (or lack of it) has been mentioned before ...
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  • 91k
13 votes
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How best to recover from catastrophic text loss?

Forget your story for a moment and revel in how this loss makes you feel. A loss of treasured words is a pain which every writer eventually encounters. It is agony, but it is also an opportunity. ...
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  • 10.7k
13 votes

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

You need to go to Tools - Autocorrect - Autocorrect Options - Localised Options. There you can pick the kind of double quotes and single quotes you like. (Source. Note the source tries to do the exact ...
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12 votes

Software for developing and organizing characters

I suspect people will object to me saying this, but still, wanted to give some food for thought: Why not just keep plain text files, or documents made in whatever word processor you prefer? I'm 32, ...
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  • 266
12 votes

Best Tool to Create User Guides

For internal documentation I've found wikis to be quite useful. A wiki has several useful features for this task: built-in change-tracking doc can be structured as several pages (e.g. one per major ...
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12 votes

Fiction writing: is using Git overkill?

I use git for fiction. Sometimes I'll save versions at various milestones, such as when I finish a chapter). But more often I forget, and save a version only when I finish a draft. Some other times ...
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12 votes

Software to draw plot structure charts

I'll borrow an idea Memor-X pointed out to me in my question Are there tools that can aid an author in writing a branching storyline?: yEd It's a free tool that allows you to create flowcharts. I'm ...
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  • 5,586
12 votes

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

In English, the “ordinary” quotes are the “upper 66” quotes for opening and the “upper 99” quotes for ending a quotation. In other languages, it's often “lower 66” for opening quotes, or «quotation ...
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11 votes
Accepted

What is useful about writing software?

This is the definition of "your mileage may vary." Some people work better on paper; you are clearly one of them. I was blocked for years until I found Scrivener, which for whatever reason helped ...
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11 votes
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What software/techniques do people use to gather ideas?

Use a wiki Many people are using a wiki when they are creating their worlds, as can be seen by this answer to the question What software is available for keeping and organising notes about your world? ...
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  • 5,586
10 votes
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Why am I getting so many words per page?

A standard manuscript page has about 250 words on average. Standard manuscript format is this (or a minor variation): 8.5" x 11" 1" margins top and bottom, left and right. 12 point Courier font. ...
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10 votes

What's the best way to write (or rewrite) a math book?

Here are some suggestions of tools you can use to make your drawings: GeoGebra: Interactive geometry, algebra, statistics and calculus application, intended for learning and teaching mathematics and ...
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  • 201
10 votes

What software/techniques do people use to gather ideas?

Wiki and Flash are all well and good, but here's an answer for lazy people, like me. I use OneNote. It's already on your Windows, and it requires 0 level of tech-savvy. I am a Wikipedia editor, so it'...
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9 votes
Accepted

Is there any good time-line software out there?

We are currently working on Plotist, a timeline software created for writers. It's still a beta, but anyone can sign up and try it out. The main feature is that it connects notes and visualization, ...
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  • 266
9 votes

What software/techniques do people use to gather ideas?

TL;DR Anything from Microsoft Paint, to general FlowChart designing programs will work (you should probably start with a flowchart regardless, but that's just me). Everything else in this answer is ...
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  • 5,431
9 votes
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Scansion tool for checking my meter

This might help with the identifying-meter educational part of it. For Better for Verse: It’s an interactive on-line tutorial that can train you to scan traditionally metered English poetry. Here you ...
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9 votes

Is there a need for better software for writers?

Software developers don't ever work in text editors, I'll challenge your premise. I know plenty of highly successful software developers who do not use IDEs, but standard editors; sometimes even only ...
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  • 835
8 votes

What's the best software for self-publishing?

For layout: Scribe is a free open source page layout program. For typesetting: you can use LaTex to typeset your book. For writing: I would recommend Scrivener. If you need a free program, use ...
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  • 247
8 votes

Is there a need for better software for writers?

I thought I might offer a perspective from the point of view of a writer who is a creator of novel writing software. When I first started out writing, like you, I thought that there was no good ...
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8 votes

Is there an online tool which supports shared writing?

Only tool I can think of would be Google docs. You can have multiple people writing in a document at the same time and see where their cursor is, there is no color coding on who's typing by default. ...
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7 votes

How should a writer use version control to track drafts, rewrites, and revisions?

Just to play devil's advocate a little bit, I think a case can definitely be made for not using a software version control tool in writing. As a writer who also works in the software development ...
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  • 1,551
7 votes
Accepted

Software for plot building across multiple books

Allow me to introduce you to Scrivener. Scrivener is a word processor which allows you to create unlimited documents within a single project, and organize them into folders. You can have each book ...
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