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Open Source Scrivener Alternatives

The best open source alternative to Scrivener is bibisco. If that doesn't suit you, our users have ranked more than 50 alternatives to Scrivener and 15 is open source so hopefully you can find a suitable replacement. Other interesting open source alternatives to Scrivener are Manuskript, Zettlr, Quoll Writer and Dendron.

Scrivener alternatives are mainly Novel Authoring Tools but may also be Note-taking Tools or Word Processors. Filter by these if you want a narrower list of alternatives or looking for a specific functionality of Scrivener.
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Typewriter. Ring-binder. Scrapbook. Scrivener combines everything you need to craft your first draft, from nascent notion...

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  1. bibisco is a novel writing software that helps you to write your story, in a simple way.

    Novel architecture
    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.

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    4
    laurafecco

    simple and very useful to know your characters!

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    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   ago
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    5

    Bibisco keeps getting in the way. No, dude. I don't want to outline your way. Not only does it insist to make you fill in stuff you don't want to, it doesn't even offer a way to disable it!

    Negative comment ago
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    0
    LapoMelzi

    Too strict in his structure and the same time not thorough enough so that the boxing in would by uselful

    Negative comment ago
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    6
    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 ago
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    -4

    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.

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    -3
  2. Manuskript is an open-source tool for writers, with outliner, character management, plot development, distraction-free editor, etc.

    Screenshot
    Manuskript vs Scrivener opinions
    Most users think Manuskript is a great alternative to Scrivener.
     all • positive • negative      relevance • date

    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.

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    8

    Much more efficient than Scrivener because it's way easier to use and everything is where you expect it to be. The worldbuilding tool is simple but enough and it incorporates the snowflake method flawlessly. But you can ignore it just as easily if you wish. The only aspect where it's lacking compared to Scrivener is in the compile options, but you can always compile as docx and use a text editor to get the standard manuscript format right.

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    0

    It's a very efficient alternative to Scrivener. It does not require long, lengthy tutorials. If there's one thing I don't like, it's that it's pretty slow. It lags a lot. Another is that it's not an app. And it's hard to look for it if you forgot where you stored it. The third is you can't add images and it's not very customizable like Scrivener is. Those are probably the only three things I don't like. Otherwise, it's extremely easy to use :)

    Positive comment ago
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    0
    KB_Tidwell

    I own Scrivener for Windows and iOS, but my favorite writing machine is a Linux laptop, so here I am. I like that Manuskript closely parallels Scrivener features, throws in a good timeline function that Scrivener doesn't have, but is a lighter, less feature-congested utility. I'm having a great time writing with Manuskript.

    Positive comment ago
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    0
    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 ago
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    0

    A intuitive tool that is not overloaded. A basic wordprocessor and a binder. Feels a lot like pen and paper.

    Positive comment ago
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    3
    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 ago
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  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.

    The Berlin Theme (dark mode)
    Zettlr vs Scrivener opinions
    Most users think Zettlr is a great alternative to Scrivener.
    RCLeahcar

    Zettlr is more of a general note-taking app, and doesn't have the author-oriented features of Scrivener

    Negative comment ago
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    2

    Zettlr is a fantastic alternative to Scrivener - give it a go. It's brilliant.

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    -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.

    Screenshot
    Quoll Writer vs Scrivener opinions
    Most users think Quoll Writer is a great alternative to Scrivener.
    • free -clean, uncluttered interface
    • easy and intuitive to use
    Top positive comment   ago
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    2

    Shares many features, but little of the clutter.

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    1
    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 ago
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    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 ago
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    4
    RemovedUser

    Free; solid; several features; customizable; new versions released quickly and with new features; developer very receptive; great for writing novels.

    Positive comment ago
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    1
  5. 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.

    Screenshot


  6. novelWriter icon

    novelWriter

    • FreeOpen Source
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • Qt

    novelWriter is a Markdown-like text editor designed for writing novels and larger projects of many smaller plain text documents. It uses its own flavor of Markdown that supports a meta data syntax for comments, synopsis and cross-referencing between files.

    Screenshot of older version
  7. oStorybook icon

    oStorybook

    • FreeOpen Source
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux

    oStorybook is a free, open source novel-writing software for creative writers, novelists and authors which will help you to keep an overview of multiple plot-lines while writing texts.

    Screenshot
    Some users think oStorybook is a great alternative to Scrivener, some don't.
  8. Nulis makes the process of outlining your stories, articles, or books easy, fun, and convenient.

    Screenshot
    Nulis vs Scrivener opinions
    pros, cons and recent comments

    No rich text. I need color changes to skim and find sections.

    Positive comment ago
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    1
  9. Trelby icon

    Trelby

    • FreeOpen Source
    • Windows
    • Linux

    Trelby is simple, fast and elegantly laid out to make screenwriting simple. It is infinitely configurable.

    Discontinued

    The project is no longer developed. Last version, 2.2, released in September 2012, can be still downloaded from the official website.

    Trelby
    Trelby vs Scrivener opinions
    pros, cons and recent comments

    Trelby is for screenwriters, not for novelists.

    Negative comment ago
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    0
  10. OmniaWrite icon

    OmniaWrite

    • FreeOpen Source
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • Online
    • Chrome OS

    OmniaWrite is a next-generation cross-platform plain text editor engineered for creative writing. It is perfect for writing novels, lyrics, poems, essays, drafts and screenplays.

    Discontinued

    Appears to be discontinued. Main repository is set to Read-Only and last update was in March of 2021.

    Screenshot
    OmniaWrite vs Scrivener opinions
    pros, cons and recent comments
    RemovedUser

    This application has a great deal of potential: it's able to organise your writing much like Scrivener, and has a beautiful interface. It will also be available on all platforms, whereas Scrivener heavily favours Apple hardware.

    Positive comment ago
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    1
Showing 10 of 15 alternatives