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Scrivener vs Ulysses (best writing software for mac)

Ease of use
File organization
Writing tools
Formatting options
Export options
Value for money
Ulysses operates on a subscription model, charging $4.99 per month or $39.99 annually 💸
Scrivener uses a one-time purchase model, costing $49 for the regular license 💰

Ulysses provides a clean, distraction-free writing environment that’s ideal for bloggers and poets 🖋️💡.

Scrivener shines for long-form works and complex projects with its robust organization features 👍🏽📚.

Ulysses Pros & Cons

Top Pros
  • ✍ Simplified writing interface

  • 💡 Distraction-free environment

  • ⏱ Productivity-oriented features

  • ☁ Great iCloud integration

  • 📲 Seamless integration with iOS devices

Scrivener Pros & Cons

Top Pros
  • 👍 Full-featured outlining

  • 📚 Extensive project and document management

  • 🧩 Customizable corkboard for story building

  • 💼 Professional-level scriptwriting tools

  • 🔄 Syncing between devices

  • 🎁 One-time purchase

Top Cons
  • ❌ Not as feature-rich as Scrivener

  • 💰 Requires subscription

  • 🔀 Exporting options could be better

  • 📋 Lacks direct print option

  • ☁ iCloud-only syncing

  • 🧩 Limited customization options

Top Cons
  • ❌ Can be overwhelming for new users

  • 🔁 Syncing can be tricky

  • 🔍 Learning curve to access advanced features

  • 💸 Higher upfront cost

  • 📱 Mobile version needs work

Other best writing software for mac


Final Draft is a premier choice for screenwriters thanks to its custom formatting and collaboration features 🎬🤝.


iA Writer offers a sleek, minimalist interface perfect for simple writing tasks and note-taking ✍️📝.


Pages provides a versatile writing and design toolset with exceptional integration into the Apple ecosystem 🌐🍏.


Several sophisticated writing software options for Mac are available, with the most popular being Ulysses, Scrivener, and Final Draft. These applications are highly recommended due to their combination of extensive features and user-friendly interfaces.

Scrivener is widely recommended due to its robust set of features. It offers rich outliner facility, templates for different genres and types of writing, split-screen editing, distraction-free writing mode, and the ability to compile multiple drafts into one completed piece. Scrivener is specifically built to manage complex writing tasks, thus preferred by professional writers and researchers.

Ulysses excels in providing a clean, distraction-free writing environment. It also offers a unique sheets system which combines to form a larger document, a markdown-based text editor and seamless syncing with iCloud. Plus, it’s well-integrated with WordPress and Medium, facilitating easy publishing.

Yes, both Scrivener and Ulysses are also available for iOS; hence you can use them on an iPhone or iPad. While Scrivener is also compatible with Windows, Ulysses is exclusive to Apple devices.

Ulysses is distinguished by its minimalistic interface, focusing on providing a distraction-free writing space. Furthermore, its unique feature called sheets, aids in organizing and reorganizing thoughts or sections of your work effortlessly, making it a favorite writing tool for bloggers and authors.

Scrivener is known for its extensive organization and structuring tools, such as its cork-board view of scenes or chapters, the research functionality, and built-in templates for different genres. It also offers flexibility with its dual editing windows and can compile various drafts into one.

Ulysses can be accessed through a subscription model, available through the Mac App Store. Currently, it offers both monthly and yearly subscription plans.

Scrivener can be bought directly from the Literature and Latte website. They also offer a generous trial period where you can try out the software for 30 days free of charge.

Yes, Ulysses does provide a free trial. Users who download the software from the Mac App Store receive a 14-day free trial.

Yes, Scrivener offers a 30-day free trial, allowing potential users to explore and experience its features before purchase.

Ulysses provides direct integration with WordPress and Medium. You can publish your work directly to these platforms from within the application.

Yes, Scrivener allows users to export their work in various formats such as Word, PDF, Final Draft, and even eBook formats.

Yes, Ulysses supports markdown syntax. The interface also includes an array of formatting tools which simplifies the writing process for the user.

Yes, Scrivener supports scriptwriting and includes a dedicated screenwriting mode that formats your work to industry standards.

Yes, with Scrivener, you can compile different documents or parts of your projects into one single document of any desired format.

Ulysses automatically saves your work and syncs it to the iCloud, helping to prevent any potential loss of data.

Scrivener offers comprehensive customer support including a user manual, tutorial videos, and a community forum for discussions. Users can also reach out to the support team directly via email.

Ulysses operates on a subscription model. You can choose to pay either monthly or annually.

Scrivener is available for a one-time purchase, making it a cost-effective option in the long run for regular users. It has separate pricing structures for macOS, Windows, and iOS.

Scrivener is a comprehensive writing tool specially designed for authors, novelists, and screenwriters that operates on Mac. It offers an array of features including research tools, outlining, storyboarding, and manuscript formatting. This makes it an ideal option for long text documents and complex writing projects.

Primarily, Ulysses is a Markdown-based writing application for Mac, intended to provide a distraction-free writing environment. It facilitates seamless workflow management with features such as automatic backup, sync across devices, and export options to multiple formats, including PDF, HTML and eBooks.

Scrivener provides a feature called ‘the Corkboard’ that allows writers to outline and structure their project. Users can create and arrange index cards with synopsis or notes for different parts of the document, making project management easy and efficient.

Yes, Ulysses integrates with iCloud, enabling users to synchronize their work across various Apple devices. This ensures that a user can access and work on their projects from anywhere at any time.

Scrivener offers a highly personalized writing experience. Users can customize their writing environment by adjusting the layout, choosing from various themes, and setting preferred writing targets. It also offers a ‘Composition Mode’ for a distraction-free writing environment.

Ulysses distinguishes itself with its sheet and group system, which allows efficient organization and management of writing projects. You can group sheets together, nest them, and move around according to your workflow. It also facilitates goal setting and tracking your writing progress.

Another notable feature of Scrivener is its diverse format support for exporting. It allows users to export their work into formats such as Word, RTF, PDF, HTML, ePub, and several others. This enhances the overall versatility of the software for writers.

Ulysses supports a full-screen mode to offer a distraction-free writing environment, enabling users to focus solely on their work. In addition, it provides typewriter scrolling mode, which keeps the current line in the center of the screen to improve focus and reduce distractions.

Absolutely! Scrivener supports academic writing and research. It allows users to import research materials, like PDFs, images or webpages, directly into the project. Users can split the screen to view their research materials alongside their work, making it a one-stop solution for academic writing.

Yes, besides the main writing features, Ulysses offers additional tools to enhance the writing experience, like a built-in grammar and spell checker. It also provides rich text preview, word count tools, writing goals, and a clean, uncluttered interface, significantly improving the overall writing process.

Yes, you can share documents from Scrivener with others. There is a ‘Compile’ feature that allows you to export your project in various formats for sharing. However, it’s worth noting that Scrivener doesn’t natively support real-time collaboration.

Indeed, Ulysses has a distinct advantage for bloggers due to its integration with popular blogging platforms like WordPress and Medium. Users can write their blog posts in Ulysses and then directly publish them to these platforms, simplifying the blogging process considerably.

Scrivener is suitable for scriptwriting, as it provides a dedicated scriptwriting mode. Users can toggle between prose and script modes. This mode sets up the document similar to traditional scriptwriting software, complete with character names, dialogue, and directions.

Ulysses offers a clean, minimal, and intuitive user interface, making it easy to focus on writing. Overall, it maintains a balance between simplicity and power, offering numerous features to enhance the writing experience while ensuring the interface remains clutter-free and user-friendly.

Yes, Scrivener offers an extensive interactive tutorial within the application. This tutorial provides a hands-on experience to understand the software’s robust features and functionalities. It makes learning Scrivener more accessible to beginners.

Ulysses can directly connect to several prominent publishing platforms like Medium, WordPress, and Ghost. This allows writers to draft, edit, and publish their works on these platforms, providing a seamless writing and publishing workflow.

Yes, with Scrivener’s unique ‘Binder’ feature, you can break down your writing into various sections, like chapters, scenes, or parts. Each section has its own document in the binder, and you can rearrange them according to your preference, providing excellent flexibility in structuring your writing.

Yes, Ulysses is available on iOS, providing a cohesive writing experience across all Apple devices. The mobile app has almost all the features of the desktop version, allowing users to write and edit their work easily even when they’re on the go.

Scrivener automatically creates backups of your projects. You can also manually trigger a backup and specify where the backup files should be saved. Moreover, you can configure the software to create backups either when a project is opened or closed, providing a safety net against data loss.

Yes, Ulysses provides several export options, including plain text, Markdown, HTML, ePub, PDF, and DOCX. This variety of export formats allows users to share and publish their work in the format most suitable for their purpose.