novelWriter User Guide#

Release Version: 2.1-rc1
Updated: Monday, 18 September 2023 at 08:08

novelWriter is an open source plain text editor designed for writing novels assembled from many smaller text documents. It uses a minimal formatting syntax inspired by Markdown, and adds a meta data syntax for comments, synopsis, and cross-referencing. It is designed to be a simple text editor that allows for easy organisation of text and notes, using human readable text files as storage for robustness.


The project storage is suitable for version control software, and also well suited for file synchronisation tools. All text is saved as plain text files with a meta data header. The core project structure is stored in a single project XML file. Other meta data is primarily saved as JSON files. See the Project Storage section for more details.

Any operating system that can run Python 3 and has the Qt 5 libraries should be able to run novelWriter. It runs fine on Linux, Windows and macOS, and users have tested it on other platforms as well. novelWriter can also be run directly from the Python source, or installed from packages or the pip tool. See Getting Started for more details.


Release 1.5 introduced a few changes that will require you to make some minor modifications to some of the headings in your project. It should be fairly quick and straightforward. Please see the Format 1.3 Changes section for more details.

Useful Links