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Ywriter – A Comparison With Scrivener

Getting frustrated with a standard writing tool like Microsoft Word is often the starting point which leads to a number of questions.

Is there something better out there? How can it benefit me? Is it worth the cost? Whose opinion can I trust?

Two of the most popular upgrades for writers seeking something better are Scrivener and Ywriter. Scrivener is relatively well-known and used by bestselling authors such as Michael Hyatt. But Ywriter is another option well worth considering.

Read on to discover –

  • What Ywriter Is
  • Ywriter’s Strengths
  • Ywriter’s Weaknesses
  • How Ywriter and Scrivener Compare

Ywriter 101

Ywriter was created by programmer and writer Simon Haynes of Spacejock software. His experience in those two fields allowed him to program something to meet the exact needs of writers such as himself.

Ywriter provides the standard writing environment that you would expect from any word processor, along with a number of organizational features and options that offer a greater range of benefits than found when using Microsoft Word or Google Docs.

Ywriter allows you to organize your writing into scenes and chapters. It has also built into the software particular sections for characters, locations and items. This allows you to keep track of your scenes and chapters, as well as the people and places that populate them, quickly and easily.

Ywriter’s bread and butter is running on Windows. There are versions available for almost every version of Windows out there, and betas in development.

There are also beta versions of Ywriter available for iOS and Android. These are currently in development so probably aren’t the best choice for your primary writing software if you use these platforms.

Ywriter Strengths

The main strengths of Ywriter are as follows –

  1. Windows version is totally free
  2. Cool data such as quickly showing how often a character has appeared
  3. Dedicated programmer who uses his own software and releases updates
  4. Shorter learning curve than Scrivener due to less functionality

The main attraction for a lot of people will be the lack of payment needed to get started using Ywriter. If you are on a very tight budget, this is a major attraction. However, there are ways to save money on Scrivener which we will get to shortly.

A lot of writers have reported how much they enjoy the fact that aspects such as characters and locations are hardcoded into Ywriter and are integral to the software. It’s worth exploring this aspect of the software for yourself to see if it benefits your own creative process.

The fact that Ywriter has been created and is regularly updated by someone who both programs and writers is a major draw. It’s good to know that every feature found in Ywriter has been chosen and put together by a real writer who know what it is to be on the frontline of creative pursuits.

Finally, Ywriter is in many ways simpler than Scrivener, and takes less time to learn. Whether you see this as a strength or not depends entirely upon your perspective. If you want something you can jump into without worry, Ywriter might be the way to go.

Ywriter Weaknesses

Some of the downsides to Ywriter include –

  • No support for Mac, Ywriter runs on Windows in its main iteration
  • Less functionality than Scrivener
  • Less customizability than Scrivener
  • Worse mobile options

If you use Mac, there is no point in checking out Ywriter. It is intended for Windows. Scrivener is the far better bet for Mac users, and is even promoted directly on the creator of Ywriter’s website.

Ywriter also lacks the customizability of Scrivener. Whereas in Scrivener you can choose whether to make use of locations and characters, these options are hardcoded into Ywriter. While it may be easier and more immediate to make use of the features provided by Ywriter, taking the time to get to grips with the flexibility of Scrivener provides a richer wealth of options.

Also, if you enjoy the mobile features Scrivener offers through its iOS version, Ywriter is unlikely to be a great choice for you. It has beta versions which are mobile friendly but these lack the functionality and stability of Scrivener’s more established apps.

Ywriter VS Scrivener

If you want to skip the detail and just understand how Scrivener and Ywriter match up, consider the following short and sweet comparisons –

  • Ywriter is better for Windows users who are happy to use totally free software with less functionality than the paid option, Scrivener
  • Scrivener is the only option for Mac users
  • Scrivener has better mobile apps than Ywriter
  • Ywriter has a shorter learning curve due to its lesser functionality
  • Scrivener is more customizable and richly-featured

If you are a Windows user who is leaning towards Ywriter based on price alone, it’s worth at least checking out Scrivener first. You can download a fully functional free trial of Scrivener here. It’s worth using this free trial in conjunction with Ywriter, as you will be able to get a feel for how each compare, side by side, without paying a penny.

If you eventually decide that Scrivener is a better fit for your needs, but you still want to be thrifty, use a Scrivener coupon to make the software as affordable as possible.

Ywriter and Scrivener Final Thoughts

There are a lot of similarities between Ywriter and Scrivener and both are great choices that offer higher levels of functionality than standard writing tools such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs.

Ywriter is a great choice for Windows users on a budget, although it’s still advisable to try out Scrivener for free first, just to make sure it isn’t a better fit.

For Mac users, mobile users, and Windows users who are prepared to learn the ins and outs of Scrivener in return for a higher level of functionality and customizability, Scrivener remains the smartest choice.

If you have experience using Ywriter, or have tried both Ywriter and Scrivener, we’d love to hear from you in the comments!

Mike Thompson

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