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View Poll Results: What writing software do you use? (Multiple Choice)
Standalone Word-Processor (Word, Pages, Openoffice etc) 35 61.40%
Specialised Writing Tool (Scrivener, Storymill, Storyist etc) 12 21.05%
Non-specialised or Mix (Word+Excel, Vim, Latex etc) 16 28.07%
I hire a typist and sit eating chocolates and dictating my prose. 3 5.26%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 57. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-30-2009, 02:19 PM   #1
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What Software do You Use?

I've just been re-organising all my writing and putting it into the OS X writing application, Scrivener, but it got me to thinking about other writers and what their tools of choice are.

Are you a standalone word-processor user, or do you have a specialised application you use. Do you use more than one application in your day to day writing? Do you use a non-standard application to plot your story, like Excel?
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Old 03-30-2009, 02:32 PM   #2
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I use many tools based on their ability to easily 'port to multiple platforms, including my PC and my PDA (both Windows-based). Therefore, I use the basic notepad app to write outlines and story/character notes, and Word 2007 to write the actual novel. The 2007 format and notepad allow me to import the novel and notes to my PDA and back, to write or edit at home or on the go as I am inspired. Converting the finished Word doc to Word 97-2003 allows me to import it into multiple apps for conversion to other e-book formats.
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Old 03-30-2009, 02:35 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Jordan View Post
I use many tools based on their ability to easily 'port to multiple platforms, including my PC and my PDA. Therefore, I use the basic notepad app to write outlines and story/character notes, and Word 2007 to write the actual novel. The 2007 format and notepad allow me to import the novel and notes to my PDA and back, to write or edit at home or on the go as I am inspired. Converting the finished Word doc to Word 97-2003 allows me to import it into multiple apps for conversion to other e-book formats.
At the moment I'm using primarily Scrivener because it's got everything all in one package, and has a really good export to HTML, that when run through Stanza > ePub generates a Chapter TOC without much work. Also you can put all your research in there, write full screen, set target goals for the writing and all kinds of other nifty stuff. I was using Pages but it's too damn slow, Office 2008 is even slower, Openoffice is the slowest of all. I then switched to Bean, but it did something funky and I lost 2,000 words the other night.
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Old 03-30-2009, 09:33 PM   #4
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Why does Scrivner have to Mac only?!

I'm looking at the windows tools and their options are pretty crummy by comparisson.
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Old 04-03-2009, 09:12 AM   #5
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Winefish+LaTeX. And I still write a lot on paper by hand to make notes and story outlines.
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Old 04-03-2009, 09:31 AM   #6
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Word/ Lyx (to "publish") / Wordpad (for my blogs)/ MindManager (a lot --ToC)...
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Old 04-03-2009, 12:59 PM   #7
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I use Word & pagemaker. I use mostly Pagemaker for creative writing.
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Old 04-03-2009, 01:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaxx6166 View Post
Why does Scrivner have to Mac only?!

I'm looking at the windows tools and their options are pretty crummy by comparisson.

Scrivener is a great tool, and worth every penny. For the fullscreen and the speed alone I would have paid twice the price. Sadly, you're right, there's nothing fully comparable on Windows at the moment. Although Q10 is a good contender if you want to do 'old-school' full screen writing. It outputs clean .txt and has a spell checker/live word count integrated. There's also the cross-platform Textroom, which is full screen and has project goals, live word count etc.

Q10 - http://www.baara.com/q10/

Textroom - http://textroom.sourceforge.net/
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Old 04-03-2009, 04:03 PM   #9
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Eh. I don't know about those. I like the features of Scrivner. It makes me wish I could port OS X to my laptop without major problems.

I downloaded a shareware version of Liquid Story Binder, it offers close to all the features that Scrivner is offering. But, nothing interface wise can even compare to the ease of use of OS X programs. And the beauty/flow of same.

With that said, right now I'm using Word XP. Blech. I will be looking into these other programs.

Last edited by jaxx6166; 04-03-2009 at 04:05 PM.
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Old 04-03-2009, 04:17 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by jaxx6166 View Post
Eh. I don't know about those. I like the features of Scrivner. It makes me wish I could port OS X to my laptop without major problems.

I downloaded a shareware version of Liquid Story Binder, it offers close to all the features that Scrivner is offering. But, nothing interface wise can even compare to the ease of use of OS X programs. And the beauty/flow of same.

With that said, right now I'm using Word XP. Blech. I will be looking into these other programs.
I tried Liquid Story Binder when I was back on Windows, it felt a little too clunky. Textroom saves as a hybrid html file, if I remember correctly, so it might be useful in translating to ebook formats. Plus it has timed writing controls, word count goals and some other nifty stuff to use. And it's open source too
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Old 07-18-2009, 03:41 PM   #11
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For PC, the two tools that fit me best are yWriter and WriteItNow.

yWriter is up to version 5, it's free, and it's created by an active writer that also writes code, listens to people who provide him inputs (and donations) and he constantly improves the tool. It lets you get right into writing, or outline, or build background, or develop character traits, or storyboard, whichever way you work. No MAC version, but it does have a Linux version. And you can change the language. I sent Simon a donation last year and as much as I use it, I probably owe him another one.

WriteItNow is another good writing/organizing tool. It has a few more tabs to park reference and background data, and even has several add-ons that bring catalogs of data about eras (Victorian, early US, etc) and personality types. I can see that this tool would be great if you knew you were building a multi-volume fantasy world where you needed a LOT of background data to keep your story straight. PC or MAC
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Old 07-18-2009, 03:45 PM   #12
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I use Word 2003. I have to share files with critiquers and editors; Word is the standard for them.
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Old 07-20-2009, 09:24 AM   #13
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Edit.

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Old 07-20-2009, 01:08 PM   #14
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I looked at yWriter, and it was intimidating. I don't have the chops to write anything longer than a short, short story, so Roughdraft suits me fine.
Roughdraft is a good and free alernative. I've just moved back to windows and I'm back on Word, using the 2010 technical preview at the moment.
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Old 07-24-2009, 09:06 PM   #15
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I just redownloaded LSB for my netbook and remembered why I couldn't get past day 2 of the trial period. I';m going to look at that write it now program. The yWriter also bothered me for some reason.

Anyone want to buy me a mac?

O/T - but why did you go back to windows MJ
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