A markdown-like text editor designed for writing novels and larger projects of many smaller plain text documents.
It is designed to be a simple text editor that allows for easy organisation of text files and notes, with a meta data syntax for comments, synopsis, and cross-referencing between files, and built on plain text files for robustness.
Version 1.5.1 released on October 23, 2021.
Read the Release Notes.
Easy Project Overview
novelWriter allows you to break down your novel in whatever way you need, and your documents can be dragged and dropped, and organised into folders.
Cross-references to your project notes are defined by convenient meta keyword/value tags. You can even insert comments.
The Outline tab gives you a quick overview of the structure of your novel in terms of your chapters and scenes.
It also shows you all the associated meta data and cross-references in user defined columns.
Build & Export
The Build Novel Project tool lets you assemble all your files into a single document. You can filter what to include and make a draft of your novel, or an outline showing all your notes.
The result can be printed or saved to HTML, Open Document, Markdown, Plain Text, or PDF.
Dark Theme & Syntax
novelWriter defaults to your system’s colour theme, but also comes with an optional dark theme.
You can also choose from a number of light and dark syntax highlighting themes, and between four Typicons icon sets for dark and light backgrounds.
Any document, including the document you’re editing, can be viewed in parallel in a separate view panel.
Editor Focus Mode
In Focus Mode, the editor covers the full window, hiding away the project tree and the view panel so you can focus on the text.
Follow Links & References
Tags and references are clickable so you can quickly navigate between your notes while writing. Documents open in the view panel will also have a list of all other documents pointing back to it.
Download & Setup
Ubuntu: A PPA is available for easy installation and updating:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:vkbo/novelwriter sudo apt update && sudo apt install novelwriter
Debian: Download the debian package and install it with:
sudo apt install ./path/to/downloaded/package.deb
The PPA will also work on Debian, but see Linux Setup for how to add the key.
Minimal: Download the Minimal Package file and extract it to a suitable location. Make sure dependencies are installed. On Ubuntu and Debian run:
sudo apt install python3-pyqt5 python3-lxml python3-enchant
You can install a launcher and icons by running:
python3 setup.py xdg-install
Further Details: Linux Setup
Pre-Requisites: Make sure you have Python installed. Version 3.6 or above is required. If you don't have Python, you can download the latest version from python.org. Make sure you select the "Add Python to PATH" option during installation.
Installation: Download the Minimal Package, extract it to where you want to
keep the novelWriter program files, and run the
file inside the extracted folder. This will install the Qt libraries and a couple
of other needed packages from PyPi, and set up desktop and start menu icons.
Further Details: Windows Setup
Pre-Requisites: Make sure you have Python installed. Version 3.6 or above is required. These instructions assume you're using the Homebrew version of Python. For further instructions, check the Python brew docs.
Install dependencies from PyPi with the following from command line:
pip3 install --user pyobjc -r requirements.txt
You should also install the enchant library for spell check support:
brew install enchant
Installation: There are no dedicated install scripts for macOS yet. It will be
added at some point. Contributins from Mac users would be appreciated. You can run
novelWriter by executing the
Further Details: macOS Setup
For older versions, please check the Releases page.