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Writing Software for Authors to Use Instead of MS Word

MS Word has dominated the writing world for the past few decades, with its many features and affordable pricing. But now, with the launches of new softwares designed especially for writers, MS Word can feel a little limiting, even with their array of new features introduced within the last few years. 

If MS Word is not the Word Processor for you, here is a comparative list of alternatives that you can try out, with their pros, cons and pricing.

01.  Scrivener

Scrivener, according to their own website, is a “writing software for writer by writers.” And hence, Scrivener has advanced features specifically for writers, a distraction-free interface and with formatting features for publishing on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other publishing platforms.

 “I use Scrivener for writing my novels and a MacBook. I used to use Word, but literally I can’t imagine how I’d write a novel without Scrivener now… There’s nothing that can match Scrivener’s chapter view for seeing where the book has gone and is going,” says Seth Harwood, author of ‘In Broad Daylight’.

Pros:

  • Works seamlessly even for large books
  • Can set project targets and deadlines for yourself
  • Has an extensive collection of templates
  • Can easily export your book to other digital platforms like iBooks, Kobo, etc.
  • Easy to move content around and lay out the outline, scenes, etc.

Cons:

  • Real-time collaboration is not smooth and hassle-free
  • Complicated formatting compared to MS Word
  • No app for Android

Pricing: $49 for Mac and Windows

02. Google Docs

Google Docs is simple and easy-to-use, allowing people to collaborate in real-time, making edits and leaving comments and suggestions. Google Docs, therefore, is a better editing software than a writing software (although it’s easy to navigate once you get the hang of it). You can even watch your editor make changes to your document while they do it, and these changes are then tracked in suggestion mode.

Pros:

  • Collaboration features are unmatched
  • Syncs seamlessly across devices, therefore easier to switch between multiple devices
  • Can convert files to a variety of different formats
  • Can work with other Google apps, like Google Keep, Tasks and Calendar
  • Saves every version of your file, so you can view previous versions and undo edits or keep track of edits

Cons:

  • Formatting options are clunky and not so advanced as in Word
  • Spell Check sometimes malfunctions for long documents
  • No variations of English except for US and UK (no Australian English, Canadian English, etc.)

Pricing: Free

03. LibreOffice

LibreOffice is a free, open-source software developed by The Document Foundation. It is a completely free software without additional or hidden costs. The LibreOffice suite contains six apps, much like the apps that come with the Microsoft Office package: Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw, Math and Base.

Pros:

  • Free to download and use, unlike MS Word
  • Can convert files to a variety of different formats
  • Plugins are available to add features such as advanced grammar and proofreading tools, extra language packages, and accessibility options

Cons:

  • Real-time collaboration is not efficient and smooth
  • Has a traditional and outdated-looking user interface
  • Formatting can sometimes be a little tricky
  • No cloud services, so you’ll have to set up your own system (you can sync your files to Dropbox)

Pricing: Free



Sharika Hafeez

Sharika Hafeez is a nerd, and she’s proud of it. Growing up, she fell in love with books and writing, and is currently following her undergraduate degree (for some mysterious reasons) in Physics. She likes procrastinating by watching the stars with a steaming cup of tea, composing poetry in her head.

July 5, 2022

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