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Best writing software of 2022 for Windows and Mac

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The best free software for writing helps you to focus on your writing, from writing down words to sharing and organizing documents (and all of your thoughts).

The best writing tools for writers are Google Docs , Microsoft Word and Google Docs . They are easy to use and designed for cloud computing. They can even be used with writing tools extensions such as Grammarly.

Either the writing app or the Microsoft 365 subscription could work well if you are a member of the Google ecosystem.

We’ve reviewed the top note-taking applications for all types of writers.

Scrivener is a great tool for novelists. Scrivener is not free, but it has tons of writing tools that will help you organize and track your book.

What apps are best for writing?

We spent hours researching the best free word processors and most skilled AI writers. Finally, we have selected the best document management and editing software for all types of writers.

Best Free Writing Apps

  1. FocusWriter: The best for creating distraction-free content
  2. WriteMonkey: The best for markup support
  3. LibreOffice Writer is the best alternative to Word
  4. Scribus: Best for designers
  5. Author: The Best Mac-only Tool

When you’re choosing which free writing app is best, you’ll find great Docs and Word alternatives that help you complete your business report, college essay, or soon-to-be-bestselling novel.

Tools that allow you to focus on the art and not worry about cost or distractions. Only you, your keyboard and your creativity.

We have curated the top free apps for writers – those that are designed for writers, scribblers and scribes. These apps can be used when creative tasks require your full attention.

We also list the best laptops to write

Scrivener is the best overall writing software:

Scrivener has all the features you need to write a novel. It allows you to track plot threads and store notes about characters and locations. You can also structure your work and, most importantly, get serious work done. Although it isn’t free, it’s worth the investment if you have the budget.

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Which free writing app do you prefer?

(Image credit: Gott Coide)

1. FocusWriter

This is the best app to create distraction-free writing

Specifications

Operating system: Windows, macOS, Linux Today’s Top Deals

Visit site (opens in new tab)

There are many reasons to buy

+Distraction-free design+Timers, alarms+Autosave function+All desktop operating system

Avoidable reasons

-No word-processing features

FocusWriter eliminates distractions so that you can focus on your writing.

Its minimalist interface is perfect for writing when you are just looking for a simple way to write.

The toolbar can be hidden until you need it. Simply drag your cursor up to the top of the screen to reveal a barren list with basic formatting, themes and timesrs.

Although FocusWriter has a few features, it is not designed for intensive editing. It is designed to allow writing to flow effortlessly onto the page.

The best free writing app offers the ability to create themes and background images that can be used to motivate you.

You can track your daily writing progress with the Daily Progress tool, which adds Duolingo-style gaming. It’s great for when it’s easy to get on social media and not be able to find the perfect word.

The writing software is available for Windows, Linux and macOS. It can also be downloaded as a portable file, so no installation is required. You can also put it on a USB stick to plug it in to any computer that you are using.

Check out our complete FocusWriter review.

(Image credit: WriteMonkey)

2. WriteMonkey

Best writing software that supports markup

Specifications

Operating system: Windows, macOS, Linux Today’s Top Deals

Go to site (opens new tab).

There are many reasons to buy

+Distraction-free interface+Supports Markup+Handy keyboard shortcuts

Avoidable reasons

Only works with TXT files

WriteMonkey, another piece of writing software, reduces clutter and allows for uninterrupted writing sessions.

The free word processor is cleverly called zenware and it’s unbelievably simpler than other writing apps.

Screen furniture is very distracting, so you can focus on your writing. Absolutely nothing else.

Don’t let the stripped-down approach fool you. WriteMonkey, one of the most popular free writing apps, is rich in the core features that are important to writers.

Most options are hidden within a context menu so you will need to right-click it to see. TXT files are not supported, so it may be limited to those who need to edit, read, and write across multiple formats. You can download it as a portable file, so you can take it with you wherever you go.

Markdown is a simple text-editing tool that allows you to format, annotate and classify your text as you type. WriteMonkey’s inner workings will immediately chime.

To discover the intuitive simplicity of this software, first-timers may want to spend some time.

Check out our complete WriteMonkey review.

(Image credit: LibreOffice)

3. LibreOffice Writer

Microsoft Word is the best free alternative

Specifications

Operating system: Windows, macOS, Linux Today’s Top Deals

Visit Site (opens in new tab)

There are many reasons to buy

+Excellent format compatibility+Document template galleries+Support for plugins

Avoidable reasons

-No mobile app

Writer is an open-source word processor that can be used for almost all writing tasks.

LibreOffice, a office software that is familiar and features-rich, is a great example of free office software . The software package’s lack of Microsoft polish (the interface is undoubtedly old-fashioned), makes up for it in its free price. Six tools are included in the free package: Base, Math, Calc, Impress and Draw.

LibreOffice Writer is the best free writing app. It has all the editing tools you need.

This app is not just for taking notes when you are in the zone. It’s also great for writing when you are in complete writer mode.

The Writer software will work well if you are proficient in Microsoft Word. The functions and layouts are nearly identical. There’s also support for DOCX and DOCX file formats, which makes it easy to move out of Microsoft Garden.

This app allows you to write almost exactly the same way as Word, but without paying a penny.

Check out our complete LibreOffice review.

(Image credit: Scribus)

4. Scribus

This is the best free app to write for designers

Specifications

Operating system: Windows, macOS, Linux Today’s Top Deals

Visit site (opens in new tab)

There are many reasons to buy

+Professional cross platform design tools+Support layers+Easy pdf export+Ideal deal for editors and designers

Avoidable reasons

-An easy learning curve

Scribus is a great free writing app that focuses on both the appearance and the meaning of your words.

It is one of the most popular DTP software. This allows you to create professional-grade magazines and publications.

It works well as an alternative to Adobe InDesign. You can master one if you have used the other. Although it doesn’t have the same power as the industry standard, the software has enough features to ensure that your words grab the attention of readers.

There is a steep learning curve when using the free writing tool, especially if it’s your first time switching from other general-use apps. This is to be expected from a DTP capable of creating a 400-page book design. However, we don’t recommend it.

Scribus is best for designing smaller magazines. Scribus is the perfect place to begin if you ever wanted to be a magazine publisher.

Check out our complete Scribus review.

(Image credit: AT)

5. Author

MacOS only: The best free writing app

Specifications

Operating system: macOS Today’s Top Deals

Go to site (opens new tab).

There are many reasons to buy

+Fantastic design+Innovative Export Options+Powerful Concept Map Features

Avoidable reasons

Only on macOS

Author promises to make it easier for users to “think, write, and cit” This promise is delivered well, with a simple interface and lots of writing features that make it easy to move from the first draft to the final copy.

This is the perfect app for Apple users looking for the best macOS writing apps.

Concept Maps are one of the most useful features. It’s an great mind-mapping tool that allows you to visualize and write down your thoughts as they arise. It’s easy to whip them into shape later.

Author’s fast Citing’ tools will be appreciated by students and report writers. They allow you to speed up your assignment writing by adding and formatting references and citations correctly.

For $28.99, you can upgrade to the paid-for version of the writing program that includes exporting options. You can use the free version unless you require automatic formatting for export.

How to choose the best free writing app for you

Before you decide which free writing app is the best, first determine what type of writing you want.

Are you looking for a quick tool to jot down ideas and make notes, or do you want to use the writing software to create and edit a novel? FocusWriter or Write Monkey can help you get your thoughts down on paper without any friction.

You might also consider it if you are looking for a writing app that is free from distractions so you can focus on the things that matter to you. FocusWriter does a great job here but you will lose your core editing and typography functions. This is not the best Microsoft Office alternative , but it’s still a good choice if you are looking for those tools.

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Access to your writing software is crucial. Scribus is a tool that must be downloaded to your computer. FocusWriter, a lightweight app, can be downloaded to a USB drive and taken with you.

Also, check which file formats your preferred writing app supports. Some apps allow you to create and edit DOCX and DOCX files. Others only allow TXT and RTF documents.

It is important to find the right free writing app that suits your unique creative flow.

How do we evaluate the best free software for writing?

We tested the most popular free writing software to see how easy it was to put your words on the page. Portable writing apps are highly rated because you can use them on any computer or laptop.

Performance is also considered for the intended audience. Do they promote focus and distraction-free writing? Does it provide good formatting and editing options for word processor-style software?

We expect to see writing apps that are truly cost-free. No one wants to find hidden fees or tricksy charges in contracts.

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