Looking for a stable text editor for creative writing!

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Fallinangel, Sep 25, 2008.

  1. Fallinangel macrumors regular


    Dec 21, 2005
    I'm looking for a good and stable text editor to write a book in!?
    Any recommendations?

    I don't like Pages that much because it's only a mediocre layout app, but in my opinion a bad text editor.
    Word on the other hand is better with text, but its interface is cluttered with superfluous menus and items that distract me.

    I appreciate your help. Thanks.
  2. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus


    Jul 24, 2002
    If you don't want layout at all why not use TextEdit? It's never crashed on me. Or TextMate (which is more programming oriented though)?
  3. mysterytramp macrumors 65816


    Jul 17, 2008
    Bean Bean Bean Bean Bean!

    Can't say it enough times. Bean!

    Best at putting text up on screen.

    But check macupdate. There are several word processors out there after the book writing market.

  4. martychang macrumors regular

    Sep 3, 2007
    TextEdit is a decent choice if you just want something reliable and with basic formatting. You can actually get WYSIWYG by having it Format -> Wrap to Page. It saves in .doc, .docx, and .odt in addtion to .txt and .rtf, it's really robust.

    Bean is simple and gets the job done, and is free. Also doesn't make you look for WYSIWYG. :p

    I've never used it, but Mellel is a pay app that's supposed to be exactly what you say: a super stable, focused writing program for scholars/creative writers/journalists, or any other heavy duty writing. They claim to be able to open & navigate single-document novels, 1,000+ pages, without a hiccup, skip, or any risk of a crash.
  5. wcalderini macrumors member

    Dec 7, 2004
    Jer's Novel Writer

    It's shareware (although it does kind of hound you for a 30 dollar fee on startup,it is fully functional for a free trail) and has some pretty handy features for creative writing such as a sidebar for notes that you can link to specific text.
    Plus an extar side bar with outline, database (for character and location info) and another notes section that can be used per chapter and such.

    I've been using it for a couple of weeks to edit a novel my daughter wrote and it is really quite handy and seems very stable plus it has a pretty small footprint. It can export to Word, Plain Text and RTF on completion and is not "overburdened" by features you will never use and the documentation is clear and easy to follow.

    If you are interested in giving it a shot it can be found here:

    Good luck.

  6. monokakata macrumors 68000


    May 8, 2008
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    I've used Scrivener on both large and small projects and have become a big fan. If you write in chunks (which can be sections, stanzas, chapters), or revise or can revise in chunks, then it's amazing.

    I've taken 10,000-15,000 word fiction pieces that had already been written in Word, broke them into sections, imported into Scrivener, and worked in Scrivener after that. Yes, the overhead of taking a single document and breaking it into chunks was not zero -- but on the other hand it forced me to think about just what those chunks were. And once I had it in Scrivener, the revisions flew.

    It's not free, but the licensing provisions are very generous.

  7. dimme macrumors 65816

    Feb 14, 2007
    SF, CA
  8. phoenix78 macrumors member

    Nov 9, 2006
    BBEdit or Textwrangler(free).

    I find these tools can handle massive text files with ease. It is regularly maintained and very stable.

    I 'REALLY' like TextEdit... but it suffers with very large files. Scrolling and loading pages files is slow. Form small-medium text files, i use it a lot.
  9. iamvexed macrumors member

    May 27, 2008

    So well worth the effort to learn a little code! Table of contents, Bibliography, and index can all be compiled for you (with just a little bit of work). Also, you have SO much control over the layout! Last but not least, documents of any length created in LaTeX tend to be far prettier than other documents.

    You can get if for free here:


    There are helpful guides ALL OVER the net. A quick google search will get you up and running. Otherwise George Gratzer has a couple of nice introductory books.
  10. skaertus macrumors 68040


    Feb 23, 2009
    Scrivener is probably the best option here, as it is designed for creative writing. You should give it a try. StoryMill follows the same approach.

    You could also try Mellel, very fast and stable, even with very long documents, and has a lot of features for complex writings.

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