Free Scrivener Alternatives

Updated: Sep 19, 2020

[NOTE:  This post was originally written in September 2016.  Some features or functionalities of the reviewed programs may have changed since then.]

I recently tried out Scrivener, after hearing about it over and over again from multiple professional writers.  While there were things about the program I loved, it was a little difficult to master, and it also lacked some functionalities I wished it had.  Plus, it costs $40, and though I was using the free 30-day trial, I wasn’t yet convinced that it would meet my needs enough to purchase it.   I wanted to see what else was out there.

So… I looked.

And I found a lot of options.

So, I dug deeper.  I spent many hours testing out multiple programs, mostly free, and comparing their features to Scrivener and to one another.  I read tutorials, I tested out the programs, I created a partial story to try out the software’s functionality… I even took screenshots.

Then I compiled them all and compared them, and what resulted was the chart below.

This chart is by no means exhaustive.  There are plenty of software programs I didn’t try.  I also can’t guarantee the chart is perfect.  It’s possible I missed a feature here or there because it was just difficult to find within the program, or that perhaps some of these programs have been updated or changed since a few weeks ago when I tested them.

However, if you’re looking for writing software and you want to know what’s out there and how it compares to a leading software like Scrivener, then I hope this chart will be helpful to you.

A note: Green checkmarks mean YES to a feature, while blank boxes mean either a general “no,” that I couldn’t find the option in that program or that the option doesn’t apply.  If I took time to put a red X in a box, take that as an emphatic NO.

If you want further information on any of these software programs, be sure to read the individual blog post for each in my Software Review series.

(Visiting a chain of blog posts takes time, I know!  If you’d like to download a PDF of my screenshots and reviews for 10 different writing programs all in one handy resource, instead, please scroll down to access the link to my PDF Info-Book or CLICK HERE!)

And now, THE CHART:


If you want to read my in-depth review of each of the programs in the chart above, check out my "Free Writing Software Review” series posts.

Or, you can see all the comparisons in one place...

Scrivener & Scrivener Alternatives Book Cover

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