48 votes
Accepted

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 "...
Monica Cellio's user avatar
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 ...
Tanner Swett's user avatar
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 ...
April  Salutes Monica C.'s user avatar
18 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 ...
Zeiss Ikon's user avatar
  • 5,282
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 ...
Amadeus's user avatar
  • 101k
13 votes
Accepted

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. ...
Henry Taylor's user avatar
  • 10.8k
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 ...
Galastel supports GoFundMonica's user avatar
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 ...
Secespitus's user avatar
  • 5,686
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 ...
gnasher729's user avatar
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 ...
Lauren-Clear-Monica-Ipsum's user avatar
11 votes
Accepted

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? ...
Secespitus's user avatar
  • 5,686
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 ...
Raphael's user avatar
  • 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'...
Galastel supports GoFundMonica's user avatar
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 ...
Fayth85's user avatar
  • 5,421
9 votes
Accepted

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 ...
April  Salutes Monica C.'s user avatar
9 votes

Why is the standard screenplay format just plain ASCII? Why don't use LaTeX or Word?

There are a number of reasons why plain text is still fairly common in a number of industries. Portability Standard ASCII text files can be opened and written to by a staggering number of computer ...
TheLuckless's user avatar
  • 1,361
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 ...
AnoE's user avatar
  • 965
8 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 ...
JBiggs's user avatar
  • 1,581
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 ...
TheNovelFactory's user avatar
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. ...
mario mario's user avatar
7 votes

Labyrinth: old freeware to organise characters and plot

I used the link posted by Ryann Foxx earlier, decompiled the code, and ported it to modern Windows and Linux. Basically everything is the same except it used a collections library that can't work in ...
Zekka's user avatar
  • 71
7 votes

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

This may not answer your question, but it is something I have done. Pros I found: You manage smaller files and are not dealing with the entire story. It is easier to find your place and manage when ...
BugFolk's user avatar
  • 932
7 votes
Accepted

Using software with my writing?

This is definitely a touching question considering how much time writers spend on their computers. There is Microsoft Word. I love Word, however writing in it is unorganized and messy. If you ...
White Eagle's user avatar
  • 2,232
7 votes

Outlining A Novel - How do you make it less of a slog?

There are many ways of outlining. Here's a suggestion for those who have 'outline allergies'. Write the first chapter (or the first two). This will get you inside the skin of the characters and will ...
SC for reinstatement of Monica's user avatar
6 votes

Manuscript Format in Microsoft Word

I'll go one step further. (I run a publishing company). Do as little formatting as possible! Italics, bold -- ok. Lists, numbering -- ok. Justify -- turn off. line spacing, indenting, page ...
idiotprogrammer's user avatar
6 votes

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

If you are a freelance editor working with a book publisher then the commissioning editor who chose you for the project should be able to provide you with very specific file delivery instructions. ...
user9042106's user avatar

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