Setup on Windows¶
This is a brief guide to how you can get novelWriter running on a Windows computer.
Unlike other operating systems, Windows does not come prepared with an environment to run Python applications, so you must first install Python. After that, running novelWriter is straightforward.
This is a zip file containing only the files you need to run novelWriter on Windows. In order to make it run on your system, you must first have Python installed (Step 1). Thereafter, a script will do the rest of the job (Step 2).
Step 1: Installing Python¶
If you already have Python installed, you can skip this step. If you don’t have it installed, you can download it from the python.org website. novelWriter should work with Python 3.6 or higher, but it is recommended that you install the latest version of Python.
Make sure you select the “Add Python to PATH” option during installation, otherwise the
command will not work in the command line window.
Step 2: Installing novelWriter¶
Extract the novelWriter zip file, and move the extracted folder to a suitable location. You should
probably not keep it on your desktop or in your downloads folder where it may be accidentally
deleted. Instead, move and rename it to for instance
After you’ve got the folder where you want it, open it and double-click the file named
windows_install.bat. This will open a command line window and run the setup script to install
dependencies, and add desktop and start menu icons.
To update novelWriter, simply replace the folder containing the old version with the extracted
folder of the new version you’ve downloaded. After this, you may need to run the
windows_install.bat script again to update icons.
As long as your system has all the dependencies installed, you can also run novelWriter directly
from the extracted folder by double-clicking the
If you installed novelWriter with the method described above, you can uninstall it again by
double-clicking the file named
windows_uninstall.bat. This should open a command line window
and run the setup script to remove the main dependency packages and remove desktop and start menu
After that, you can simply delete the novelWriter folder.
If you want to remove Python, it has its own uninstall tool. Just keep in mind that the Python package manager may leave some files on your system.
If you want more control of what’s happening during the install process, or want to do the steps yourself, you can run the install steps below from a command line window from inside the folder containing either the minimal package, or the extracted full source package.
pip install --user -r requirements.txt pip install --user pywin32 python setup.py win-install
The first command will install the three main dependencies of novelWriter using the
Python Package Index install tool. The packages are
PyQt5 for the GUI,
lxml for handling
XML data files, and
PyEnchant for spell checking.
The second command installs a Python tool for Windows that assists the setup script in installing icons and setting a few registry keys.
The third command runs the setup script that creates the icons for your desktop and start menu, and adds the necessary registry keys so you can also launch a project by double-clicking a novelWriter project file from your file explorer.
The above steps can be reverted by running:
python setup.py win-uninstall pip uninstall pywin32 pip uninstall -r requirements.txt
There used to be a Windows installer, but this is no longer provided. See the installer issue
for more info on why. You can still create the installer yourself if you want to. It can be
generated with the provided
setup.py script. use the script’s
help command to get further