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Best Writing Software For Mac

Best Writing Software For Mac

As a prolific Mac user, I’ve found that the quest for the perfect writing software can be as daunting as the writing process itself. In this digital age, an array of tools promises to enhance our writing productivity. Let’s delve into some of the best writing software for Mac that I’ve put to the test, offering a balanced viewpoint on their capabilities and quirks.


Ulysses screenshot

Ulysses takes a streamlined approach to writing, offering a distraction-free environment that is both sleek and highly functional. Its focus on Markdown and seamless syncing across Apple devices makes it a top contender for writers who crave organization and consistency in their writing process.

Official Website


  • Intuitive Markdown editor
  • Excellent organization with nested folders


  • Limited to Apple ecosystem
  • Subscription-based pricing model

Scrivener screenshot

Scrivener is touted as the ultimate software for writers of long projects. With its corkboard and outlining tools, it provides unparalleled control over complex writing projects like novels and research papers.

Official Website


  • Powerful project management
  • Versatile compiling options


  • Steep learning curve
  • Outdated interface

Final Draft

Final Draft is heralded by screenwriters worldwide. Its specialized features for script formatting and the ability to collaborate with others in the industry make it an indispensable tool for those in the screenwriting trade.


  • Industry-standard script formatting
  • Collaborative tools


  • Expensive one-time purchase
  • Primarily for scriptwriting

Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word is an old-time favorite that continues to be a reliable choice for writers from all walks of life. Its familiar interface and compatibility with a variety of document types make it a go-to for drafting and editing.


  • Widely-used and familiar
  • Robust editing tools


  • Can be cumbersome for large projects
  • Lacks specialized tools for novelists

iA Writer screenshot

iA Writer champions minimalism, providing a focused writing environment free of distractions. It’s a prime choice for writers seeking simplicity and support for Markdown while writing on their Mac.

Official Website


  • Minimalist design
  • Focus Mode and Syntax Highlight


  • Not suited for managing complex projects
  • Limited formatting options


Writing software is a tool meant to complement your creativity, not stifle it. It’s important to consider that while some software may be feature-rich, a simple text editor could sometimes be all you need.

Interoperability between different software and platforms like cloud services is also a critical factor. Many writers work in teams or need to share documents with editors and publishers who might not be using Macs. Therefore, having a method to easily transfer work or collaborate across different operating systems can save time and frustration.


Mac users highly regard Scrivener for long-form writing, Ulysses for a seamless writing experience, and Final Draft specifically for screenwriting.

IA Writer offers a minimalist, distraction-free interface to keep your focus solely on writing, while FocusWriter allows for a customizable, immersive environment.

Scrivener offers robust organizational tools, allowing writers to structure their work with an outline view, corkboard, and various ways to draft and revise large documents.

Google Docs provides an excellent platform for real-time collaboration, is compatible with Mac, and seamlessly integrates with Google Drive.

Many screenwriters opt for Final Draft, as it’s an industry-standard software that offers powerful scripting tools and formatting features.

Ulysses offers seamless integration with iCloud, ensuring your work is synchronized across all devices and easily accessible anywhere.

Scrivener’s built-in research tools allow users to store pertinent research directly within the project, minimizing the need to switch between apps during the writing process.

Novelists favor Scrivener for its comprehensive features tailored to managing complex projects like novels, but Storyist is another user-friendly option that caters specifically to novel writing.

Tools like Grammarly and ProWritingAid offer plugins that can be integrated with writing software to provide real-time grammar and style checks.

LibreOffice Writer and FocusWriter are excellent free software options for Mac users, offering a good range of writing and editing tools without a price tag.