Writing Software for Macs – 6 Apps to Boost Your Productivity
MacOS system is praised for its intuitive interface, speed, and trouble-free experience. It’s no wonder that many aspiring or accomplished writers choose macOS as their primary system. Many writing apps for Mac are more than just a word processor, given all the features they possess. The right type of software is necessary for managing writing projects of all sizes and ambitions. Whether a blog post or a multi-paged essay, a flexible writing app can speed up the writing process and easily manage any project.
At RoyalCDKeys, we know a thing or two about the writing process; thus, we decided to create a list of the best writing apps for Mac users. Given the quality of apps we’ve included, you’ll indeed find one that will fit your needs perfectly.
Table of Contents
- Price: $49.99 per year/$5.99 per month
Ulysses is considered by many the ultimate writing app for all Apple devices. A renowned writer David Hewson (The Killing) claims Ulysses is the best minimalist writing app on the market. It features a satisfying, focused writing experience combined in one tool, specifically for those who write a lot.
One of Ulysses’ signature features is Markdown. It allows applying basic formatting to text without using menus and buttons. If you ever wanted to quickly apply bold, italics, or underscore, you usually had to stop writing for a second and search for the corresponding option. Many people find it less distracting to type in Markdown and focus entirely on writing without interruption. It will translate everything cleanly into the proper stylings when you're finished writing.
Compared to other writing apps, it has a clean interface that you can customize however you please. You can change the background color, move around options, or hide them entirely if you prefer. This option comes in handy, especially when working on long writing projects and you don’t want anything to distract you.
Ulysses supports every common writing format, including docx. and ePub. You can publish your work directly to WordPress sites or Medium. It also works with Apple’s ecosystem flawlessly, syncing your work between Mac, iPhone, and iPad. A recently added option allows you to use Touch ID to keep your documents safe for additional security. All in all, it’s an excellent writing tool if writing is your full-time job and you won’t mind paying a premium for its features.
- Distraction-free writing experience thanks to Markdown.
- Tidy and intuitive interface.
- Excellent personalization capabilities.
- Can publish directly to WordPress or Medium.
- Works across multiple devices.
- Price: $149.99 (retail one-time payment), $10,77 (RoyalCDKeys price)
Microsoft Word is not as dominant as before, but it’s still used in millions of offices worldwide. It’s one of the oldest and most renowned writing tools ever created and docx. format has been accompanying us for more than 20 years. Many people use it out of habit since the iconic Word interface hasn’t changed much throughout the years. So if you are one of those people who prefer reliable solutions and want to start writing right away, MS Word might be just for you.
The most powerful word processor can do everything and packs many features, probably too much for most people. Luckily, it benefits beginners and veterans alike in this wide arsenal of tools. If you're just starting out, you can choose among thousands of elegant templates ready to download from Word’s new menu. Those are more than enough for short and long-form writing, providing a tidy look and proper formatting.
Advanced users will probably use the Focus mode, which switches to a full-screen editing mode with no visible menus. The only visible tools are the scrollbar and buttons at the top, which close the file or restore the normal window.
Despite being a flagship Microsoft product, it also supports an iOS Word app, so you can work on your documents from anywhere. It also includes access to the web and mobile versions of the program. It works on PC and Mac, so you don’t have to buy anything extra. Microsoft Word is a no-brainer choice, especially when you can buy an entire office package on RoyalCDKeys for only a fraction of the retail price.
Microsoft Office 2021 Pro Plus Key Retail Global is available on RoyalCDKeys for only $10.
- The most renowned writing app on the market.
- A part of the most powerful office suite.
- Plenty of document templates are available to download.
- Distraction-free interface thanks to the Focus option.
- Web and mobile versions included.
- Price: $1.49 per month/$ 19.99 per year
Bear was made with crafting notes in mind, but you can even write in-depth essays in it if you like. Despite it being made specifically for portable devices, it’s my first writing app if I want to take quick notes or have something in mind I want to write down immediately.
However, one of the most notable features of Bear is the Markup Editor, which highlights and supports over 150 programming languages. So if you work as a programmer and want to do some coding work on the go, Bear is a perfect tool for that. But even if you don’t know anything about coding, Bear also supports Markdown language and has plenty of writing themes if you want your text to look more professional. You can add images, files, or code blocks to organize your work and give it more context.
It’s a minimalist app that will help you stay focused on whatever you’re doing, thanks to being so simplistic. Due to its intuitive interface, you can start writing immediately or delve into more powerful features if you’re working on something more complex. It’s a perfectly crafted set of simplicity with advanced options, perfect for every writing environment. Bear in mind (pun intended) that most of the advanced features are available in Bear Pro, while the free version is nothing more than just a note app.
- A perfect writing tool for iPhones and iPads.
- Full Markdown support.
- Minimal interface, suitable for creative writing and quick notes.
- Supports over 150 programming languages.
- Dark mode.
- Protect sensitive notes with Touch ID.
- Price: $49.99 (one-time purchase)
iA Writer is probably your best choice if you only care about staying focused. The developers introduced their own Focus mode long before Apple did. The program evolved quite a lot throughout the years, letting you manage any writing project structuring using tabs, sessions, and folders.
These functions are still present, but they’re not in-your-face as it was before. Nowadays, iA Writer relies on simplicity and writing on plain text, with full Markdown language support – online writer’s best friend. This way, you can focus entirely on your writing without any distractions, and if you need something specific, you can find it on the left side of your screen.
For example, Syntax highlighting shows you the structure of your text, highlighting adjectives, conjunctions, nouns, etc. You can link different documents into one single project, including images and spreadsheet files. There’s also an option to publish your texts directly to WordPress or Medium. Not to mention the ability to export your work in every writing format and work across multiple devices. iA Writer is available as a one-time purchase, so it’s an excellent alternative if you don’t like paying a monthly fee. Simply download iA Writer and own it for life.
- Distraction-free writing app thanks to Focus function.
- Supports all Apple devices.
- One of the most minimalistic Markdown writing apps.
- One-time purchase.
- Price: Free
Pages is Apple’s response to Microsoft Word. It’s the native writing app for Mac included in most Apple devices, so any Mac owner should be familiar with this one. It’s one of the most powerful word processors that can be used for all sorts of writing activities. And most importantly, it’s completely free.
Users can create notes or structured documents thanks to about 60 pre-built templates. It also supports most common text formats, including Word documents. And similar to Google Docs, you can collaborate with multiple people on your document simultaneously. For non-professional users, this elegant yet simple text editor is more than enough for everyday tasks.
However, if you’re working for a company that uses Microsoft Office, I would lean towards their suite just to avoid compatibility issues. Unfortunately, Pages lacks features for professional users like advanced markup options, typewriter mode, or opening Markdown documents. But considering how much you’re getting in free software, there’s nothing to complain about.
- Free software that comes pre-installed with most Apple devices.
- Support for most file formats.
- Create structured documents with rich text thanks to different templates.
- Good writing experience, thanks to its features.
- Your go-to app for everyday use.
- Price: $49 (one-time purchase)
Scrivener doesn’t accept compromises. There are many great writing apps on this list, but this one excels when writing long-form pieces whenever inspiration strikes. It’s best suited for non-fiction writers, journalists, translators, and everyone with an unlimited word count.
Even best-selling novelists wouldn’t mind working with such a tool. Scrivener allows controlling every part of your writing project. Organize your ideas with Corkboard, use the Full-Screen Writing Mode, and finish with Piece It Together to preview the result of your work. Also, you can make some interface adjustments to create your own uncluttered environment.
Scrivener supports every document format, including Kindle and Final Draft. All iOS users can work on projects across multiple iOS devices, so you can always continue elsewhere. Like iA Writer, Scrivener is a one-time purchase, so you don’t have to worry about a premium subscription. So if you’re keen on writing the next great American novel, Scrivener will provide you with the best text editing experience possible.
- The best software for long-form texts when compared to other apps.
- Extra features to control every part of your writing project.
- Fully customizable interface.
- One-time purchase.
Which Writing Software Should I Choose?
There isn’t one ultimate tool to suit everyone's needs. For example, I can’t imagine writing without the simplified settings and Focus mode that iA Writer offers. A Focus mode helps you concentrate and leaves you only with your text to write. I often combine it with dark mode for even fewer distractions.
But if you don’t own a WordPress site and aren’t a professional, Apple’s Pages or Microsoft Office should be more than enough to satisfy your needs. However, I recommend Office to anyone working with Office documents so that you won’t have any compatibility concerns.