Key Features#

novelWriter is a multi-document plain text editor using a markup syntax inspired by markdown to apply simple formatting to the text. It is designed for writing novels, so the formatting features are limited. Your novel project is organised as a collection of separate plain text documents instead of a single, large document.

Below are some key features of novelWriter.

Focus on writing

The aim of the user interface is to let the user focus on writing instead of spending time formatting text. Formatting is therefore limited to a small set of formatting tags for simple things like text emphasis and paragraph alignment. When you really want to focus on just writing, you can switch the editor into Focus Mode where only the text editor window itself is vissible.

Keep an eye on your notes

The main window can optionally show a document viewer to the right of the editor. This view panel is intended for displaying another scene document, you character notes, plot notes, or any other document you may need to reference while writing.

Organise your documents how you like

You can split your novel project up into as many individual documents as you want to. When you build the project, they are all glued together in the top-to-bottom order in which they appear in the project tree. You can use as few text documents as you like, but splitting the project up into chapters and scenes means you can easily reorder them using the drag and drop feature.

Keep track of your plot elements

All notes in your project can be assigned a tag you can reference from any other document or notes. In fact, you can add a new tag under each heading of a note if you need to be able to reference a specific section. Note tags are organised into categories with specific reference keywords.

Get an overview of your plot elements

In the Outline tab on the main window you can see an outline of all the chapter and scene sections of your project. If they have any references in them, these are listed in columns. You can also add a synopsis to each document, which can be listed here. You have the option to add or remove columns of information from the outline. A subset of the outline information is also available in the Novel tab under the main project tree.

Building your manuscript

Whether you want to compile a manuscript, or export all your notes, or generate an outline of your chapters and scenes with a synopsis, you can use the Build Novel Project tool. The tool lets you select what information you want to include in the generated document, and how it is formatted. You can send the result to a printer, a PDF, or to an Open Document file that can be opened by most office type word processors.


novelWriter with default system theme:


novelWriter with dark theme: