Free Scrivener Alternatives

    The best free alternative to Scrivener is Manuskript, which is both free and Open Source. If that doesn't suit you, our users have ranked more than 50 alternatives to Scrivener and many of them is free so hopefully you can find a suitable replacement. Other interesting free alternatives to Scrivener are bibisco (Freemium, Open Source), yWriter (Freemium), Zettlr (Free, Open Source) and Quoll Writer (Free, Open Source).

    This page was last updated May 10, 2021

    1. Manuskript is an open-source tool for writers, with outliner, character management, plot development, distraction-free editor, etc. Outliner Organize your thoughts and snippets in a hierarchical manner. Organize them as you wish, reorganize them on the go.
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      Manuskript vs Scrivener opinions
      Most users think Manuskript is a great alternative to Scrivener.
      A intuitive tool that is not overloaded. A basic wordprocessor and a binder. Feels a lot like pen and paper.
      Top positive comment  11 months ago

      3
      DarkRedman Mostly because it's opensource but also because the interface and features are very similar !
      Top positive comment  almost 2 years ago

      5
      RCLeahcar Manuskript is very much like a free lightweight version of Scrivener; does not have all the whistles and bells but it has a similar interface and workflow. Also has a timeline tracking tool which Scrivener currently does not have
      Positive comment 8 months ago

      0
      LapoMelzi Even if it is in the early stages, it is smarter than Scrivener. The way it handles revisions is simple and amazing; the Timeline is rough yet great -- and something Scrivener doesn't have; the tracking of characters, locations, plots and every other item in the story is easy and effective. Plus, it is still in development and hasn't reached its full potential. I have been using Scrivener for year, but I am enjoy this opensource baby much more.
      Positive comment almost 2 years ago

      4
      redbeardgrey Manuskript organizes a project essentially the same way Scrivener does: Project, Chapters, Scenes. It has all the essentials for a good writing workflow. In fact, it offers a few more tools than does Scrivener.
      Positive comment almost 2 years ago

      0
      There are many similar layout features compared to Scrivener. It also has a few features Scrivener seems to be missing or doesn't define clearly such as an outline process. However, it is very early development and has many bugs to work out.
      Positive comment over 4 years ago

      8
    2. bibisco is a novel writing software that helps you to write your story, in a simple way.
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      bibisco vs Scrivener opinions
      Most users think bibisco is a great alternative to Scrivener.
      callyw It is actually a better alternative to Scrivener because of its clear, organisation features. I wish I would have discovered this before I purchased Scrivener. Bibisco is much easier to use: You don't need lengthy tutorials to read just to get started. Hands down this is better.
      Top positive comment  over 4 years ago

      4
      laurafecco simple and very useful to know your characters!
      Top positive comment  over 4 years ago

      1
      Laughably bad. Scrivener has the good sense to stay out of your way when you know what you're doing bibisco not only got in the way constantly (no, follow OUR tutorial!) it also insisted on doing it in, I kid you not, two inch caps. Is this some kind of joke?
      Top negative comment  over 3 years ago

      5
      LapoMelzi Too strict in his structure and the same time not thorough enough so that the boxing in would by uselful
      Negative comment almost 2 years ago

      5
      thatmasquedgirl I used bibisco briefly a few years ago, and I remember it being packed to the brim with useful features. It's great for fiction writers because it gives them a variety of fields for defining their character. I felt the software was a bit too bulky for what I wanted, though. The best thing about bibisco is that it's 100% free, which is nice if your funds are limited, or if you aren't making a profit from your writing.
      Positive comment over 2 years ago

      -5
      Bibisco is free, has a very good design and structure that help to create a fiction book outline . The text editor is quite simple and working is quite intuitive.
      Positive comment over 4 years ago

      -4


      • FreemiumProprietary
      • Mac
      • Windows
      • Linux
      • Android
      • iPhone
      • Android Tablet
      • iPad
      • Wine
      • Mono
      yWriter is a writing tool that uses "scenes" as a unit of text and allows you to associate that text with all manner of story elements (characters, locations, items) as well as place it and rearrange it within the context of chapters.
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      yWriter vs Scrivener opinions
      Most users think yWriter is a great alternative to Scrivener.
      isahbellah it's free, it's easy to use and intuitive. The only thing that would make ywriter better is if it had an option to sync to other devices or such. Seriously, this is so much better than scrivener!
      Top positive comment  over 4 years ago

      -2
      In my traipsing about the world of effective writing applications, like many, I blindly downloaded and attempted to utilize Scrivener. As noted, this was an attempt and, to better, expound, it was a failed attempt as Scrivener lacks a WYSIWYG approach. yWriter, however, is an absolute gem providing all of the necessary development tools broken down in a logical format that follows the lifecycle of story development from inception to completion.
      Top positive comment  over 2 years ago

      -4
      I hated it. It kept trying to force me to follow its workflow (invented by the author, I think), and I use a different one. Scrivener suits my workflow, and yWriter does not. It is still on my hard drive, however, just in case.
      Top negative comment  7 months ago

      -1
      robyellow95 For some reason, this reminds me of my high school notebooks: Flipping through pages trying to find crap.
      Positive comment 4 months ago

      0
      Written and maintained by a novellist/software developer, yWriter is free to use, has a no-frills UI, supports cloud saving/device sync via Dropbox and Google Drive, takes automatic backups, and has an Android app (my main dealbreaker with Scrivener).
      Positive comment 8 months ago

      0
      Free, reliable, logical layout. It also has a phone app that can sync with the desktop app if you use a cloud drive. Lots of other great features.
      Positive comment 11 months ago

      0
      have not the same versatility
      Negative comment over 3 years ago

      0
    3. Zettlr is a supercharged markdown editor that combines many writing editor features and collect them in one application. It aims at speeding up your workflow and help you write without any interruptions.
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      Zettlr vs Scrivener opinions
      Most users think Zettlr is a great alternative to Scrivener.
      Zettlr is a fantastic alternative to Scrivener - give it a go. It's brilliant.
      Positive comment 10 months ago

      -2
    4. Focus on your words not the interface. Quoll Writer is a writing application that helps you focus on your words. Clean and uncluttered. Feature rich. Features are where you would expect them to be.
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      Quoll Writer vs Scrivener opinions
      Most users think Quoll Writer is a great alternative to Scrivener.
      Shares many features, but little of the clutter.
      Top positive comment  almost 5 years ago

      1
      - free -clean, uncluttered interface - easy and intuitive to use
      Top positive comment  over 3 years ago

      2
      shall No cost. Really solid features for writing novels or short stories. It's what I consider a Scrivener-like program without having the (sometimes obtuse and sometimes odd) interface that plagues Scrivener. Cards (corkboard), character/item tracking, notes, full-screen minimal mode, nice editing features, and no format lock-in make this a must-try. I will say it's not a pretty as Scrivener.
      Positive comment 9 months ago

      0
      Clean interface. No non-sense kind of software that has some of the same features of Scrivener. One particular feature I like is the software's ability to automatically link items, characters, places etc. to scenes, chapters, ideas, etc. so you know where every character, item, and place is. Great for keeping track of things in your novel. Has a few bugs here and there, but the developer is friendly, helpful, and responds back in a timely fashion.
      Positive comment about 2 years ago

      4
      RemovedUser Free; solid; several features; customizable; new versions released quickly and with new features; developer very receptive; great for writing novels.
      Positive comment over 3 years ago

      1


    5. LyX is a document processor that encourages an approach to writing based on the structure of your documents (WYSIWYM) and not simply their appearance (WYSIWYG). LyX combines the power and flexibility of TeX/LaTeX with the ease of use of a GUI.
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      LyX vs Scrivener opinions
      Most users think LyX is a great alternative to Scrivener.
      Scrivener is a structured editor, but it does not insist on the user using its structure. (Lyx does; you cannot deviate from its chosen structure. You cannot put extra lines in your writing. You cannot have more than 6 levels of outline; that's a no-no; you're "not structuring your outline correctly" if you have more htan that. In some ways, LyX is more user-condescending than Microsoft ever thot about being.)
      Negative comment 12 months ago

      -1
      Lyx is a Wysiwyg TeX editor. Scrivener is a text editor with lots of bells and whistles. They are radically different. LyX is quite useful if you're editing TeX documents or preparing academic papers for publication. It does outlining better than Scrivener, but it's got its own issues.
      Negative comment 7 months ago

      0
    6. SmartEdit Writer (formerly Atomic Scribbler) is a project management and writing environment for novelists and short story writers working on Windows PCs.
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      SmartEdit Writer vs Scrivener opinions
      Almost everyone thinks SmartEdit Writer is a great alternative to Scrivener.
      It has a tree structure like Scrivener. It's also free. Can keep tabs of documents open and tabs of notes. What makes this stand out above scrivener is the editing functions with fantastic reports you can run. It does lack some of the tools of scrivener, however, but depending on what tools you find necessary, this may be perfect.
      Positive comment 7 months ago

      0
      Simple and clean interface. Flexible structure of the novel that you prefer. Have nice sections for research and bits of text that you might someday use. Simply enough functions to just... start... writing!
      Positive comment over 2 years ago

      0
      (1) It's free. (2) No nonsense book compile. (3) User-friendly. (4) Less visual clutter. (5) Did I mention it's FREE?
      Positive comment almost 2 years ago

      1
      A Scrivener wannabe with a lot less clutter.
      Positive comment over 2 years ago

      1
    7. Dendron is an open-source, local-first, markdown-based, note-taking tool built on top of VSCode. It supports all the usual features you would expect like tagging, backlinks, a graph view, split panes, and so forth.
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    8. True Novelist provides a way for authors to write their novel online, organize their story, view statistics about their project and writing habits, set goals, keep track of related research, and more.
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      True Novelist vs Scrivener opinions
      Most users think True Novelist is a great alternative to Scrivener.
      It can divide your book into scenes, sub-scenes, and sub-subscenes.... the process goes on. It's the same as offering 'parts' 'chapters' and scenes.
      Top positive comment  almost 3 years ago

      1
      Much easier to operate, very organised, attractive and minimalistic.
      Top positive comment  over 1 year ago

      1
      This little page is pretty slick, and has what I consider to be Scrivener's main functionality and is hosted online and completely free. The only drawback is that development appears DOA and the creator of the site hasn't made a peep since early 2016.
      Positive comment almost 3 years ago

      0
      It works so well and it is free. You have no limits and you can really do whatever you want with it. It has a dark mode, works on any device with an internet connection, unlimited scenes, and is designed to be almost the same as Scrivener.
      Positive comment almost 3 years ago

      -2
      True Novelist works just like and looks almost identical to Scrivener (making it so there is no learning curb to using it), is purely online so there is no software to download, it is free, gives stats for chapter, entire document, and daily, allows for the setting of daily writing goals, saves automatically and also has snapshots, it has a distraction-free mode, and a night time setting dark theme. True Novelist is truly amazing.
      Positive comment about 4 years ago

      0
    9. Looking for a suite of tools for writing your book? This is not just a text editor it does so much more. Organise your story using timelines, planning boards and the snowflake tool, all integrated to make writing intuitive and fun.
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      Wavemaker vs Scrivener opinions
      Almost everyone thinks Wavemaker is a great alternative to Scrivener.
      It's an easy to use program. Looks great, and has some really nice tools. best of all works on my chromebook and on linux too
      Positive comment over 2 years ago

      3
      Simply the best writing tool for ChromeOS and a strong contender for other operating systems.
      Positive comment over 2 years ago

      2
      It has a lot of features and outlining abilities. Formatting in the editor is very limited, however. It's awesome that it works on every single platform you can think of.
      Positive comment 11 months ago

      1
    Showing 10 of 43 alternatives