7 Mac writing apps
similar to WriteNext

Like to use WriteNext for writing, but want to try a native Mac app instead? Here are some of the best distraction-free writing apps for Mac, that are similar to WriteNext.
Paper Icon

Paper

Super-clean writing space with a lot of configurability that stays out of sight when you don’t need it.

  • Gorgeous plain-text writing environment
  • Silky-smooth typing experience
  • Deep personalization options (Pro)
  • Minimal Markdown formatting
  • Syncs with iCloud
  • Publishes drafts to Medium, Wordpress or Ghost
  • Exports to PDF, HTML, RTF or clipboard
  • Works seamlessly across your iPhone, iPad and Mac
iA Writer Icon

iA Writer

Get focused. iA Writer offers a unique writing experience that lets you concentrate and clarify your message. Used by half a million people worldwide, its powerful interface is crafted to cut out noise, let you focus on what you want to say, and help you structure and trim your text. Available for Mac, iOS, Windows, and Android.

Simple and Powerful

No rulers, no formatting bars. iA Writer provides the crisp, uncluttered environment you need to write well, supported by discrete, powerful features, from Content Blocks, to Syntax Highlighting.

Focus and Flow

Focus is the key to good writing, and the guiding principle behind iA Writer. With shortcuts and simplified settings, you can keep your hands on the keyboard and your mind in the text.

Ownership and Control

We think every craftsperson should own their own tools, so when you download iA Writer, you own it. No forced subscriptions, microtransactions, or compatibility concerns. Your work, your files, your app.

Hack Your Syntax

Highlight parts of speech to improve your writing. Spot superfluous adjectives, weak verbs, and unwanted repetitions. Developers have long used syntax highlighting to improve their code. Now you can hack your text.

Power of Style Check

Style Check is like having a personal editor-in-chief on your device, carefully reviewing your text for redundancies, clichés and filler words as you type. It’s simple, different, and powerful.

The Original Focus Mode

Focus only on the sentence or paragraph that you’re working on. Introduced in 2010 with the original iA Writer, Focus Mode has since been copied by many writing apps. This is the original, and still (we think) the best.

Flexible Content Blocks

Swap sections around, add media, and construct your content with flexible building blocks of text, .csv tables and image files. Stitch separate chapters together into one master file. Express yourself through experimentation.

Optimized Typeface

We have created an innovative typeface for iA Writer, specifically designed to enhance the writing experience. The family comes in three flavors: classic Mono, Duo for larger screens, and Quattro for small devices.

Parallel PDF Preview

iA Writer now offers a live, paginated PDF preview, parallel to the text you are editing. Instantly see how your document translates into PDF pages, as you edit.

Advanced Markdown to Word Export

iA Writer features one of the most advanced Markdown-to-Word export functions available anywhere. Quickly export your Markdown documents to MS Word (and back too!). Includes support for tables, images and footnotes.

Focused Icon

Focused

Get Focused, start writing. We think Focused is the new benchmark for markdown writing apps that will enable you to really focus on your work.

Distraction-Free

No clutter, no distractions. Just a perfectly crafted set of tools to help you write and stay focused on the task at hand.

Word Count

Need to hit a word count, or stick to a character limit? Focused keeps you on target without cluttering your workspace.

Versions

The dog will never eat your homework again - Auto Save keeps your content safe, with Versions support to retrieve an edit.

Soundtracks

Filter out life’s distractions with 8 calming soundtracks that aid your focus, allowing you to concentrate on your writing.

Sharing

Focused is built to help you write for the web without the need to know any code - Focused generates it all for you.

Shortcuts

Never leave the keyboard again, with comprehensive keyboard shortcuts to help you structure and format.

Zen Mode

Whether you’re writing a paper or a blog post, you’re at your most productive when you focus. In addition to Focused’s minimal design, Zen Mode heightens your focus with a choice of eight carefully selected soundtracks. Perfect to help you relax and create great content, no matter what your deadline may be.

Typewriter Mode

Stay focused on the paragraph (or sentence) at hand with typewriter mode. Vertically center your copy and choose whether you want to fade out the surrounding text for even fewer distractions.

iWriter Pro Icon

iWriter Pro

iWriter Pro is elegant and minimalist text editor with built-in MultiMarkdown support.

Clean and Simple

iWriter Pro is designed to be easy yet powerful text editing app. It provides distraction-free writing experience with a bunch of handy features.

Markdown Highlighting

Markdown is a good way to format your text, apply styles, insert lists and block quotes. iWriter Pro automatically highlights text as you type.

iCloud Support

Use iCloud to store your documents. You can easily create, view and edit your files on Mac, iPad and iPhone devices.

Byword Icon

Byword

Markdown app for writing in plain text efficiently. Available for Mac, iPhone and iPad.

Write

Draft a blog post, write that story or complete a school report wherever you are. Use Markdown to format text with easy keyboard shortcuts, subtle syntax highlighting, word counters with live update, and much more.

Sync

All your documents, on all your devices. With iCloud and Dropbox, you can create documents in Byword on your Mac and access them on your iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. And vice versa. You can edit them from anywhere, on any device you use.

Export & Publish

Byword includes complete Markdown support. Preview your documents in app, export to HTML, PDF, rich text, or publish directly to Medium, WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr and Evernote.

Simpletext Icon

Simpletext

The Simplest Writing App for Mac, iPad and iPhone

There are many writing apps for you to choose from today, so why bother with yet another one? Because Simpletext is different — it’s thoughtful simplicity provides an experience unlike any other writing apps you have used before.

Simpletext started as a passion project because I couldn’t find what I was looking for. Most apps were trying to do too much and ended up bloated with features I don’t need. So I built Simpletext based on a simple premise — what if there’s an app that refuses to do more, choosing instead to do just one thing, and do it well? For Simpletext, that one thing is writing.

Why Simpletext?

Most people would say Simpletext is lacking in features, and they’re right. In fact, Simpletext began the opposite way — by listing down everything I didn’t want in a writing app. The idea is to create a dumbed-down writing app that inspires you to do nothing else but write. In order to achieve this, Simpletext is centered around four cornerstone principles:

Zero Clutter

Simpletext provides a quiet space to write with absolutely nothing to distract you from writing. There’s no visual clutter — the intent is to create a space that helps you connect with your voice and get into the flow.

Beautiful Typography

Simpletext comes with three professional fonts for you to choose from, handpicked to ensure the finest writing experience. They are: (1) Akkurat Mono by Lineto Type Foundry (Monospaced); (2) Graphik by Commercial Type (Sans Serif); and (3) Valkyrie by MB Type (Serif).

Plain Text Only

Simpletext supports only plain text, which is lightweight and platform independent. It will never have rich text formatting, images, tables, etc — the focus is solely on writing, not formatting. This also ensures your words are always accessible on every device, now and in the future.

Fully Native

Simpletext is a fully native app developed in Swift and runs natively on Apple silicon. It uses only Apple’s framework and UI components, the way they’re designed to be used without any custom workarounds. This means less code, less bugs and better overall performance.

Ulysses Icon

Ulysses

The Ultimate Writing App for Mac, iPad and iPhone. Powerful features and a pleasant, focused writing experience combined in one tool, made for people who love to write and write a lot — this is Ulysses.

Like 12 Fingers, 25 Hours a Day

Some things simply work better when you’ve got the right tool. Ulysses’ well thought-out features boost your productivity through the entire writing process; its distraction-free interface keeps you in the flow so you can get things done.

Projects Cannot Get Too Big

Be it college essays, blog posts, or the next Great American Novel: No matter what you’re working on, Ulysses is equipped for managing writing projects of all sizes and ambitions.

Built-In Proofreader and Editing Assistant

Write with confidence: Ulysses’ built-in grammar and style check helps you avoid mistakes and meet the right tone. Available for over 20 languages, it offers suggestions for capitalization, punctuation, semantics, redundancy, style and more.

Let Your Words Shine

After you’re done writing, Ulysses can turn your texts into beautiful PDFs, Word documents, ebooks and even blog posts. Everything is just a click away, with on-the-fly switching of styles and a live preview built right in.