There are hundreds of programs available to help writers no matter what your genre. Here at PWW, we LOVE free, so without further ado…
7 FREE Tools for Writers
OpenOffice — OpenOffice is a FREE alternative to Microsoft Office. OpenOffice is compatible with Microsoft Office documents and I have used it professionally for three years. I’ve never had cross platform formatting problems and find it a suitable replacement. OpenOffice is easy to use. The interface is similar enough to Office to make it easy to figure out as soon as you install it. There are tons of documentation to execute any task you can do with Office.
FocusWriter — FocusWriter is a fullscreen word processor designed to remove distractions from the writer. This tool is LOADED with features including: autosave, themes, music player, goal tracking, and spell checking. FocusWriter removes flashy menus and covers toolbars so you can focus on your writing project. If you are easily tempted by the Internet, instant messenger, or other programs, FocusWriter can help.
Wordnik — As they say on their website: “All the words, and everything about them, for everybody.” Wordnik is fast-growing dictionary of words in today’s language and how to use them. You can become a member of the community and add works or your opinions about words. There is nothing to download. Wordnik works right from your favorite browser as a kind of word search engine. It’s worth a bookmark.
Zoho.com — Zoho is a complete in-browser business suite. That means there is nothing to download. If you are limited in download space based on the device you use to write, Zoho might be your answer. The less room you use for programs, the more space you have for writing. Zoho documents are compatible with Office, you can export as a PDF, as well as a number of other formats.
Storybook — Storybook is a free, opensource plotting software. If outlining isn’t quite your style, Storybook will help you organize your novel. Storybook helps you keep track of your scenes and characters as you craft your story. This prevents plot mistakes and eliminates the possibility of elements of your books not adding up in the end. Storybook allows you to work on your novel as a multi-level project in manageable chunks.
yWriter5 — yWriter5 is a lot like Storybook. It helps you organize your novel in small bits instead of trying to memorize, digest and organize a huge amount of text all at once. The maker of yWriter5, Scott Haynes, also makes a myriad of other tools and FREE software to help writers complete their projects. Since Scott is an author, you can count on usefulness and quality from his work. ALL his software is free.
JaLingo — JaLingo will bring a convenient dictionary to your desktop where you can check the spelling and meaning of words. JaLingo will work on any operating system. JaLingo is also equipped with a simple drag and drop feature that allows you to drag and drop words directly from webpages. In addition, you can conveniently search and find words in JaLingo from the convenience of your desktop.
And One Honorable Mention
Liquid Story Binder XE — Liquid Story Binder is second to none when it comes to writing software. It is distributed widely across the Internet as Shareware, but you can get a license for less than 50 bucks. I know this is a list of free software, but LSB XE merits a mention since you can try it before you buy it. There is nothing you can’t do with LSB XE. It does it all from organizing and plotting to creating dossiers of your characters. It’s more than worth a try.