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While looking for an author's writing program, I came across a wide variety of apps. Especially when it comes to a program for the Mac that, in addition to a Duden exam, may also analyze the writing style, you have to take a closer look. The selection isn't huge, but it's hard to say which one is right because you simply have to try it out. Therefore, at this point "only" a list of my findings for authoring programs for Mac and iPad (as well as Windows, Linux and Android) with / without Duden exam, thesaurus and writing style analysis - without a test this time.
Whether non-fiction, biography or fiction novel - writing a book is easier with a specially designed program than with Word, Pages or Open Office apps. Because where the apps for general word processing score with numerous formatting options, they have no features for sorting characters, storylines, scenes and the like. You cannot “put down” the red thread of the book, you have to write it down on paper, in individual files or in your head.
Therefore, free Office programs, Pages, Microsoft Word and the like do not appear in the following list; even if they (partially) bring a spelling and grammar check with them. Rather, the list is about software that helps authors to find the right words using the thesaurus or synonym function, to avoid spelling thanks to the spelling and Duden test, to structure the book, and perhaps with a sense of style also to write without distraction. The latter through a user interface that can be deactivated. Maybe there is the right thing for you ...
DramaQueen, currently available in version 2, is made for scriptwriters and prose writers. The creation of exposé, scenes, steps, scenes and sequences as well as files, parts, chapters and sub-chapters is possible. There is a trial version that can be used free of charge for 30 days. Then the slimmed-down free version is activated. Full versions cost from 99 to 297 euros. You can get all information here: https://dramaqueen.info/about/
FocusWriter offers a distraction-free user interface in four different designs. The tools only appear when you move the mouse to the edge of the window. German can be set up as the language, but there are no super-special features that help authors with text design. For this purpose, schedules, alarm clocks, typewriter noises and other things can be set in the app for macOS, Windows and Linux. You can find more information and the download here: https://gottcode.org/focuswriter/
iBooks Author is a free app from Apple, as you can see from the name. It is available for macOS on Mac. The free software is mainly intended to create eBooks for Mac, iPad and iPhone - from cookbooks to story or picture books. There are also layout templates, but they are sure to distract novelists rather than help. But if you are planning graphics in your book, you should take a look: https://www.apple.com/de/ibooks-author/
iA Writer is another software that creates a distraction-free writing surface. It is available for macOS and Windows as well as for iOS or iPadOS and Android. A dark mode can also be set for night owls. There are focus features and the ability to highlight adjectives, nouns, adverbs, verbs and conjunctions. So you can see at a glance where you should stylistically grind your text. Also interesting for speechwriters. The trial version is free; I cannot say whether German is supported (despite the German landing page): https://ia.net/de/writer
Knovelty is available in German and offers novel authors under Windows the option of dividing their works into chapters and scenes. Background information on people, places and more can also be managed. “Everything can be linked to everything!” It says on the website. After the test period of 30 days, you can buy the full version for just 10 euros. The full range of functions includes stylistic text analysis, tools for revising the text, statistics on written words and more. You can find all functions and compatibilities here: http://www.knovelty.de/features
PageFour is again a software in English, but it should help everyone who can do without the Duden exam, thesaurus and writing style analysis. The single .exe for Windows PCs offers the possibility to organize chapters, characters, locations and the like on a simple user interface. There are also different "notebooks" for the different projects / novels. More information and the download is available here: http://www.softwareforwriting.com/pagefour.html
With Papyrus Author, we come to another app for macOS and Windows that is priced in the higher class of authoring programs. The current version costs 179 euros (as of August 22, 2019), but offers functions for planning and research, for text improvement and style analysis, a good interface for writing and assistance with publishing. There is also a Duden corrector, a timeline for the plot, a figure database, etc. All details and the test version are available here: https://www.papyrus.de
Patchwork is also available in German on Mac and PC and offers a 30-day trial version. It is intended for novelists, scriptwriters, blog writers, as well as publishers. In the program you can plan and write, you can do research, and content can be organized and revised. There are also features that help with publishing. There is also a timeline, a creative board, a planner for props and locations, and a lot more. The Duden function is available, but costs extra. The basic price is 99 euros. Details, download and tutorials are available here: https://autorenprogramm.com
SciFlow is an online writing program that you can use alone or with others via the web browser. So it is a "pad", but one that is specifically designed for scientific writing. Not only should the reduced surface ensure distraction-free writing, there are also numerous templates with which the research results and findings can be brought into existing form specifications. In addition to the manuscript styles, journal templates and formatting for term papers and theses, there is also the option of outputting the documents in frequently used formats such as .docx, .LaTeX, .pdf and .html. You can check out the whole thing here: https://www.sciflow.net/de/.
You can find Scrivener as a download for macOS on the Apple Mac, for iOS on the Apple iPad / iPhone and for Windows on the PC. Here, too, you have to get by without a Duden exam, thesaurus and writing style analysis when writing in German, because the program comes from Great Britain and does not seem to offer a translation yet. In the test version, however, you can try for 30 days whether writing planning, research database and figure overview, trouble-free writing and exporting as an eBook are something for you: https://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener/overview
Textkraft is an iOS app for iPad and iPhone that offers different functions depending on the version (there is a “Pro” version). This should combine advantages for writing, correcting, formatting and publishing. Offline dictionaries and a synonyms finder help with the whole thing. I once read on one page that, because of the synonyms finder, Textkraft should also be very good for translators. You can find all information in a clear list with a breakdown by basic and pro version here: https://www.infovole.de/textkraft-pro/
Ulysses can also use a number of functions such as distraction-free writing, dark mode, overviews and outlines, attachments and research, as well as filters, writing targets and automatic backups. The synchronization also works with the cloud, for example with iCloud or DropBox. In addition, the written texts can be exported and shared, for example as HTML, ePub, Docx and PDF. There is also WordPress support for website operators. There is a free demo version as well as subscription prices with monthly or annual payments. Unfortunately the app is apparently only in English: https://ulysses.app
Book recommendation: WordPress 5 manual by Richard Eisenmenger
yWriter is a free authoring app for macOS, Windows, Linux, iOS and Android. It helps to keep an overview by dividing texts into chapters and scenes. Otherwise there is a clean writing surface that is not disturbed by other elements. However, the app is in English and does not include a style analysis or text check. So rather something minimalistic to break down what is written. Information and the download are available on the developer website, which is reminiscent of the primeval times of the Internet and has a terrible menu structure: http://www.spacejock.com/yWriter6.html
I have the Notes app Bear I've been using it for more than a year now and use it to write my blog posts. The big advantage that the app has for me is the iCloud synchronization. This enables me to start posts on the Mac and finish them later on the iPad. It is perhaps less suitable for large works, as there are no features such as the creation of a table of contents or footnotes. But if you are looking for a lightweight for writing, you will be well taken care of with Bear.
There are a lot of writing programs for writers. If you are still free to decide whether you want to work with or without the Duden exam, thesaurus and writing style analysis, you can try everything out. But if you want to have the auxiliary tools for style, choice of words and spelling with you, the choice is quite limited. Most of the (free) writing programs for novelists are easy to understand in German and English, but above all they offer a writing surface and a few options for structuring. If you still have an insider tip - preferably in German and with test features - please leave a comment with your favorite app for scribes;)
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Jens has been running the blog since 2012. He appears as Sir Apfelot for his readers and helps them with problems of a technical nature. In his free time he drives electric unicycles, takes photos (preferably with his iPhone, of course), climbs around in the Hessian mountains or hikes with the family. His articles deal with Apple products, news from the world of drones or solutions for current bugs.