Alternatives to Scrivener for all platforms with any license

  • Manuskript

    Open-source tool for writers. With outliner, character management, plot development, distraction-free editor, etc.

    • A intuitive tool that is not overloaded. A basic wordprocessor and a binder. Feels a lot like pen and paper. Guest • Jul 2020 • 3 agrees and 0 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • 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 RCLeahcarOct 2020 • 1 agrees and 1 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Mostly because it's opensource but also because the interface and features are very similar ! DarkRedmanJul 2019 • 6 agrees and 1 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • 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. LapoMelziSep 2019 • 4 agrees and 0 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • 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. redbeardgreyAug 2019 • 2 agrees and 2 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • 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. Guest • Jan 2017 • 11 agrees and 3 disagrees Disagree   Agree

    Free Open Source Mac Windows Linux

    Manuskript icon
  • bibisco

    bibisco is a novel writing software that helps you to write your story, in a simple way. * bibisco is a desktop application available for Linux, MacOS and Windows in 13...

    • Too strict in his structure and the same time not thorough enough so that the boxing in would by uselful LapoMelziSep 2019 • 10 agrees and 5 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • 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. thatmasquedgirlDec 2018 • 5 agrees and 10 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • 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? Guest • Nov 2017 • 35 agrees and 30 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • 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. callywDec 2016 • 14 agrees and 10 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • simple and very useful to know your characters! laurafeccoNov 2016 • 5 agrees and 4 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • 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. Guest • Dec 2016 • 0 agrees and 4 disagrees Disagree   Agree

    Freemium Open Source Mac Windows Linux Electron / Atom Shell Node.JS

    bibisco icon
  • yWriter

    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...

    • 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. Guest • Nov 2020 • 0 agrees and 1 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • 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). Guest • Oct 2020 Disagree   Agree
    • 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. Guest • Aug 2020 Disagree   Agree
    • 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. Guest • Oct 2018 • 5 agrees and 9 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • 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! isahbellahMar 2017 • 7 agrees and 9 disagrees Disagree   Agree

    Freemium Mac Windows Linux Android iPhone ... Android Tablet iPad Wine Mono

    yWriter icon
  • Zettlr

    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...

    • Zettlr is a fantastic alternative to Scrivener - give it a go. It's brilliant. Guest • Aug 2020 • 1 agrees and 2 disagrees Disagree   Agree

    Free Open Source Mac Windows Linux

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  • Quoll Writer

    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...

    • 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. shallSep 2020 Disagree   Agree
    • 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. Guest • Jun 2019 • 4 agrees and 0 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • - free -clean, uncluttered interface - easy and intuitive to use Guest • Sep 2017 • 5 agrees and 3 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Free; solid; several features; customizable; new versions released quickly and with new features; developer very receptive; great for writing novels. marriemullerMar 2018 • 3 agrees and 2 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • Shares many features, but little of the clutter. Guest • Sep 2016 • 2 agrees and 1 disagrees Disagree   Agree

    Free Open Source Windows

    Quoll Writer icon
  • LyX

    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...

    • 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. Guest • Nov 2020 Disagree   Agree
    • 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.) Guest • Jul 2020 • 2 agrees and 2 disagrees Disagree   Agree

    Free Open Source Mac Windows Linux BSD Haiku

    LyX icon
  • SmartEdit Writer

    SmartEdit Writer (formerly Atomic Scribbler) is a project management and writing environment for novelists and short story writers working on Windows PCs. Writers use...

    • 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. Guest • Dec 2020 Disagree   Agree
    • (1) It's free. (2) No nonsense book compile. (3) User-friendly. (4) Less visual clutter. (5) Did I mention it's FREE? Guest • Aug 2019 • 1 agrees and 0 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • A Scrivener wannabe with a lot less clutter. Guest • Feb 2019 • 1 agrees and 0 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • 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! Guest • Nov 2018 • 1 agrees and 1 disagrees Disagree   Agree

    Free Windows

    SmartEdit Writer icon
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  • Ulysses

    Ulysses is a text editor for creative writers. Used by bloggers, poets, students and published novelists all over the world, it offers an integrated environment to...

    • Primarily oriented towards "scripts" for film, play, etc. Might be useful for (non)fiction writing but does not share the wider array of tools found in Scrivener. ndas1Oct 2017 • 3 agrees and 2 disagrees Disagree   Agree

    Commercial $ $ $ Mac iPhone iPad

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  • True Novelist

    Writing a novel is a large undertaking. True Novelist was created to make the process as easy as possible for authors.

    • Much easier to operate, very organised, attractive and minimalistic. Guest • Sep 2019 • 1 agrees and 0 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • 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. Guest • Aug 2018 • 2 agrees and 1 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • 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. Guest • Sep 2018 • 1 agrees and 1 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • 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. Guest • Jul 2018 • 0 agrees and 2 disagrees Disagree   Agree
    • 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. Guest • Apr 2017 Disagree   Agree

    Free Web

    True Novelist icon





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Scrivener Comments

Comment by AB6hyF0
about Scrivener · May 2020 · Helpful Not helpful Report as spam

You will find a plenty of reviews of Scrivener on how good it is. But this program has its bad side.

  1. Scrivener save files can get corrupted. We don't know when and why. Backups made by Scrivener can fail too.

  2. Scrivener 3 (Mac) save format is not compatible with Scrivener 1 (Windows). Scrivener 3 beta (Windows) is not made for work and has fixed expiry date. Exporting then importing save file back and forth is not that smooth.

  3. So, when will Scrivener 3 for Windows out? It has been like forever.

If you're on Windows, take a look at SmartEdit Writer (free).


Comment by xlin
about Scrivener · Oct 2017 · Helpful Not helpful Report as spam

Wine compatible.


Forget wine compatibility. I installed my scrivener on wine and it worked for quite some time, then suddenly for no reason that I could fathom it would save something that could't be read. Something in the WINE directory structure was not set up right. I looked for a solution and finally came across an "unofficial" linux version 1.9. This has some problems - I had to install aspel-dev to fix spelling and the toolbar buttons don't all work (the menu does however) all in all, the linux install is better even if it still needs work. I don't fully trust it so I make multitudinous copies.