Best Writing Apps for Mac that You Should Use

Best Writing Apps for Mac that You Should Use

I am asked one question more than anything, and it’s about the app I use to get my writing done. In asking this question, people often forget that writing is not one task. It comprises many tasks, and each task has a dedicated tool. For example, while writing a blog post like this, I need to research, take notes, create an outline, write the post, edit the post, and only then it’s ready for publishing. All these phases of writing happen inside different tools. Today, I will talk about one of those tools which is what everyone means when they ask about writing tools. It’s the writing app itself. Since I use a Mac, I will talk about the best writing apps for Mac. But, many of these apps are also available on Windows.

Best Writing Apps for Mac in 2020

Before we get into this article, there’s one thing that I want to make clear. There is no one best writing app. The best writing app for you may differ from the best writing app for me. It not only depends on personal preferences but also upon the writing that you do. A good academic writing app will differ from a blog writing app. So, in this article, I have mentioned best apps (according to me) for different writing requirements along with some runner-ups. Remember, what is a runner-up in this list maybe the right app for you. So, don’t just read the article, check out the apps and decide for yourself. With all that said, let’s look at the best writing apps for Mac that you should use in 2020, shall we?

1. Ulysses - Best Overall Writing App

I have said repeatedly that Ulysses is my favorite writing tool and I love it to death. I have used Ulysses to write all the posts published on this website. I have published a long and in-depth tutorial review of Ulysses in an earlier blog post so I will not talk much about it here. However, I will give you a sneak peek into the software by mentioning the features I love the most. First, I love the user interface of the app. It brings a modern and clean writing interface, free of distraction, and makes writing enjoyable. Ulysses is not like your conventional text-editors and uses markdown which is a lightweight markup language used for formatting and enhancing the plain text.

1. Ulysses - Best Overall Writing App

The benefit of Markdown is that you can format the text without having to remove your fingers away from the keyboard. You can format text and export it in any format you desire including PDF, DOCX, rich-text, plain-text, HTML, and more. One of the biggest powers of Ulysses is its organizational prowess. You can create libraries, groups, sub-groups, sheets, and use keywords and tags to organize your writing. The best part is that since Ulysses gives you access to all your libraries in one place, everything you have written in the past is just a quick search away. Other awesome features include the ability to set goals, in-line images, quickly accessible notes, and more.

1. Ulysses - Best Overall Writing App for Mac

I use Ulysses for writing blog posts. But the software is powerful enough to handle long-form writing projects like a novel. That’s why I have given it the best overall writing app position. You can mold Ulysses to fit your writing needs. Its excellent organization structure paired with distraction-free writing style gives it an edge over other writing apps. From taking notes to writing short blog posts to writing a full novel, Ulysses can handle everything.  Ulysses also lets you theme your editor to make it exactly the way you like it.

There is a dark mode along with several themes that you can install to give your text a unique look. If you like what you read here, you can give this app a chance. It comes with a 14-day free trial. The only caveat with Ulysses is that the app has switched to a subscription-based pricing model. I pay for it because I find it worth the money, but you might disagree with me. If that’s the case, look at the other apps on the list.

Get Ulysses: 14-day free trial, ($4.99/month or $39.99/year - special student pricing available)

2. Scrivener - Best Novel Writing App

While Ulysses can handle your novel writing needs, there’s an app out there that is more suited for all the novel and book writers out there. Scrivener is the app I am talking about and it is by far the best novel writing software you can find. You can use Scrivener for any long-form writing project including books, novels, scripts, a business project, or even a dissertation. Scrivener makes it easier to tackle long writing projects by allowing users to break the project into smaller chunks.

2. Scrivener - Best Novel Writing App 1

In Scrivener, you start by creating a project. While creating a project, you can either choose from one of the many templates that come pre-installed (templates for novels, books, scripts, and more), or you can start with a blank project. Once you create the project, Scrivener will launch the project window which includes three main parts. The first is the binder which houses the main manuscript, research area, and everything else that you want to keep inside the project. The second part is the main editing window where you will write. Unlike Ulysses, Scrivener gives you a normal rich-text editor, something we are familiar with. Lastly, there’s the inspector where you can save the synopsis for each document, add notes, comments, metadata, and more.

2. Scrivener - Best Novel Writing App 2

The best part about Scrivener is that although you can break the project into smaller chunks which makes it easier to tackle, you can review the whole project at once. To help with that, Scrivener offers different viewing modes including Scrivenings view, Corkboard view, and Outline view. The Scrivenings view allows you to see your complete project in one place while the Corkboard and the Outline view allow you to get an overview of the project. My favorite viewing mode is the Corkboard view because it helps me in visualizing the whole project and understand if I need to add or delete something.

2. Scrivener - Best Novel Writing App 3

Other features include a different section for research, multiple export options (export as a manuscript, a hardcover novel, ePub for iBooks, or MOBI for Kindle), character research, exceptional search feature, and more. With the latest Scrivener 3 update, the app looks more modern and refined. Apart from improving all the existing features, Scrivener 3 also brings several new features including Writing Statistics that can help you in keeping track of your daily writing, the ability to export in Multi-markdown format, enhanced outlining feature, a new styles system for text system, and more.

2. Scrivener - Best Novel Writing App 4

I won’t deny that Scrivener is not as straightforward as Ulysses and you will need to invest a considerable amount of time to learn it. I wanted to create a tutorial for the app to help our readers, but the folks at Scrivener have already done a great job with the tutorials. You can also check out our Ulysses vs Scrivener article to find which one is best for you. If you are someone who tackles large writing projects on a regular basis, the time that you invest in Scrivener will surely pay its dividends in the long term.

Get Scrivener: $44.99

Novel Writing Apps for Mac - Runner-ups

1. Shaxpir 4

Shaxpir (pronounced as Shakespeare) is a writing app that focuses all its energy on novel writers. The dedication to novel writers makes it one of the best novel writing apps on the market. It comes with all the features that an author needs. It has separate spaces for writing your manuscript, doing research, and brainstorming ideas. The USP of Shaxpir is its world-building feature where you can create characters, places, themes, and more. It’s one of the most fleshed-out world-building tools on any writing app that I have encountered. Shaxpir not only allows you to brainstorm and create characters and places but also create connections between them.

1. Shaxpir 4 Novel writing apps 1

Shaxpir’s writing environment is good too. The left panel is for a workspace. This is where your stories and ideas live. You can use it navigate between your world-building notes and manuscript. The actual editor is the rich-text editor that we are familiar with. Like Scrivener, Shaxpir also allows you to break your writing into chunks using sections and sub-sections. Shaxpir also tracks your progress. I love the fact that it opens with your writing history whenever you open the app. Other features of Shaxpir include margin comments, concept art, custom themes, cloud backup and sync, goal tracking, eBook, HTML, and DOCx publishing, and more.

1. Shaxpir 4 Novel writing apps 2

Another great thing about Shaxpir is that it allows users to analyze their writing using its Prosecraft tool. It’s an AI-based linguistic tool that analyzes your writing and gives you a reliable measurement of the different aspects of your prose, like vividness, passive-voice, adverbs, and emotional story arc. It also lets you compare your prose with the writing of your favorite authors so you can find out where you stand. This is a good tool for writers who want to enhance their writing.

1. Shaxpir 4 Novel writing apps 3

Shaxpir is available on both macOS and Windows operating systems. There’s also a web app so you can use it on any device as long as you remember your login ID and password. The best thing about Shaxpir is that all its basic and important features are free to use. The features that are behind paywall include the Prosecraft, multi-device sync, automatic pop-up thesaurus, version history, and more. So, you can see, all the writing and world-building tools are present as a part of the free plan. This is great for budding writers who cannot afford to spend money.

Get Shaxpir 4: Free, $7.99/month for Pro

2. Storyist

If you like the concept of Scrivener but don’t like the app itself, check out Storyist. There are so many similarities between Storyist and Scrivener that there’s no point in mentioning all that here again. Just understand that if Scrivener has a feature, Storyist probably has it too. Just look at the image below, even the UI looks eerily similar. Storyist offers a cleaner and flatter look than Scrivener. To me, it feels a little easier on the eyes.

2. Storyist

Storyist is also more colorful which makes different parts like goal tracker, outliner, and more stand out. It also offers a better selection of themes. Other than that, if there are differences, they are so minute that it will be hard to figure them out. In my eyes, both Scrivener and Storyist are equally great apps. It’s just that I found Scrivener first and ended up using it. I can see a parallel dimension where Storyist is what I end up using. You should check it out before making your mind.

Get Storyist: $59

3. iA Writer - Best Clean Markdown Writing App

I have been using iA Writer for far too long to remember and it still is one of my favorite writing apps. The biggest benefit of using iA Writer is that you are getting a no-nonsense writing interface. When you launch the app, all you see is a big blank page and a blinking cursor. Just like Ulysses, iA Writer also uses markdown for formatting and allows you to export your files in various formats. Talking about the user interface, it offers one of the simplest and cleanest UI you can find on any writing app. There are three panes, navigator window, editor window, and the preview window.

3. iA Writer - Best Clean Markdown Writing App for Mac 1

You can either edit in the three-pane view or do what I do and hit the ⌘D keyboard shortcut to go into focus mode which not only closes the left and right pane and just shows you the editor window but also grays out all the other text other than the paragraph/sentence (can switch between the two options by going to app’s preferences) on which you are working on to give you a more immersive environment. While You are at it, you can also hit ⌘T shortcut to enter the typewriter mode which ensures that you are always writing in the middle of the page and all the written text moves up instead of your cursor moving down. Typewriter mode helps me focus as I don’t have to move my head and I can just keep banging on my keyboard.

3. iA Writer - Best Clean Markdown Writing App 2

I also love the Night mode on iA Writer which comes in handy in my night-long writing sessions. Also, one of the best features of iA Writer is the “Syntax Control”. The feature scans your document and highlights your adjectives, nouns, adverbs, verbs, prepositions, and conjunctions. Features aside, you know what the best part about iA Writer is? It’s the fact that you are getting all these features for making just a one-time payment of $29.99. If you love markdown and want something simple, intuitive, and productive try out iA Writer.

Get iA Writer: $29.99

Clean Markdown Writing Apps for Mac - Runner-ups

1. Byword

Byword is one of the oldest and most reliable markdown editors for Mac. The app is also available for iOS and iPadOS devices and offers online sync. The app is straightforward. You get an easy-to-use Markdown editor which offers a clean user interface.  It has an ambient dark mode for late-night writing sessions. Like iA Writer, Byword also supports all the keyboard shortcuts which make text formatting easier.  

1. Byword

Byword is a good option for web content writers as it allows you to publish articles directly from the app itself. You can publish to WordPress, Tumblr, Blogger, Scriptogram blogs, and Evernote notebooks from Byword. Other features of the app include typewriter scrolling mode, word, and character counters, spelling and grammar checking, support for voice over API, iCloud sync, version history, and more.

Get Byword: $10.99

2. Typora

Another great markdown-based distraction-free writing app for Mac is Typora. What differentiates Typora from other markdown editors is its seamless experience for both writing and reading. It creates that experience by removing the need of a preview window and converting your Markdown text into rich-format as you type it.  So, you get a live preview of how your text looks when you are using markdown. This feature is appreciable and users who fear markdown will like it more. Many of my friends use Typora over iA Writer, Ulysses, or Byword for this feature alone.  

2. Typora

Typora is powerful. Apart from supporting simple text, it also supports images, tables, code fences, mathematical formulae, diagrams, inline styles, themes, and more. Other features include a good file organization structure, file import and export, outline panel, focus and typewriter viewing mode, auto-paring of brackets and quotes, and more. Typora is in beta on macOS and hence free to use. I am tracking this app for more than a year and it still is in beta despite offering more features than a paid app. So, you can enjoy it while the freebies last.

Get Typora: Free

4. Highland 2 - Best Screen Writing App

If there’s one kind of writing that needs specialized writing software it’s a screenwriting. Screenplays require a set formatting standard that is hard or at least time-taking to do in a normal word processor like Pages or Word. If you want to make your life easier, you need to choose a writing app that handles the formatting for you. And Highland 2 is probably the best app for that need. The app applies accurate formatting to text as you write. It automatically recognizes all the parameters like character name, scene, scene headers, dialogue, and more and formats them accurately.

4. Highland 2 - Best Screen Writing App for Mac 1

The software is also very lightweight and can open even large documents in seconds. I also love the “Navigator” in Highland 2 which gives you a roadmap of sections, scenes, synopses, and notes. Another great feature is the revision mode that tracks changes in different colors. Apart from screenwriting, Highland 2 also supports automatic formatting for manuscripts and novels. That said, I find Scrivener to be a better novel-writing app.

4. Highland 2 - Best Screen Writing App for Mac 2

Other features of Highland 2 include sprints and goals, writing history and stats, scratchpad, checklist, title page images, and more. Long-time screenplay writers will be happy to know that Highland 2 also supports FDX files from Final Draft which is the standard screenplay writing app used in the industry. The reason I prefer Highland 2 over Final Draft is that it’s both easier to use and easier on the pocket.  That’s not surprising if you know that it’s made by Hollywood screenwriter and novelist, John August, writer of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Big Fish, Aladdin, and the Arlo Finch book series. He is a writer himself so he knows the pain point of using costly and bloated software.

Get Highland 2: Free with watermark, $49.99

Best Screen Writing App for Mac - Runner-ups

1. FadeIn

Like Highland 2, FadeIn is also an easy to use and lightweight screenplay writing software. Unlike Highland 2 which is available only on Mac, FadeIn is available on Mac, Windows, and Linux. So, if you like Highland 2 but work across multiple operating systems, this is a better choice for you. To be fair, it’s not as good looking as Highland 2 and might turn some people off, however, the feature set is second to none. You get all the features you expect from a good screenwriting software such as automatic text formatting, autocomplete typing, collaboration, good organization and navigation, clean writing environment, revision support, and stats and writing session tracking among others.

1. FadeIn

If you write on the go, FadeIn can serve you better than Highland 2 as it offers mobile apps for iPhone, iPad, and Android. Highland 2 doesn’t offer any mobile apps. If there’s one thing that I don’t like about FadeIn (apart from its aging look) it has to be it not going full screen on Mac. Maybe it’s a bug, but I could not get it to go full screen in one week of testing this app. Also, it’s a lot costlier than Highland 2 so there’s that.

Get FadeIn: $89.99

2. Final Draft 11

No screenwriting app list can be complete without mentioning Final Draft 11 as it’s the app that Hollywood screenwriters use. It’s the industry-standard and you will have to deal with it. Final Draft is used by 95% of the industry, so there’s no way to escape. While both Highland 2 and FadeIn support its file system, many people don’t want to deal with the hassle of managing different applications and hence use Final Draft. If you are looking to get a job in the industry, Final Draft is a software that you need to learn. And if you don’t want to deal with using multiple apps, maybe you should use Final Draft.

2. Final Draft 11

While I have made it sound like it’s a chore to use Final Draft, there’s a reason it’s the industry standard, and that’s its feature set. Final Draft is the most feature-rich screenwriting app that you can find. From normal features like automatic formatting and revisions to pro features like timeline management and advanced brainstorming tools (storyboards, story maps, beat board, and more), it packs in all. It also offers real-time collaboration that is useful for teams of writers who are working on a project. All these features, make Final Draft an indispensable tool for writers working in the industry.

2. Final Draft 11 - Screen writing app for Mac

I ranked Highland 2 above Final Draft because of two reasons. First, Highland 2 is cleaner and easier to learn. Final Draft 11 comes with a learning curve. Also, the software has become bloated with features that not everyone will use. Second is its pricing. Thanks to its prominence in the industry and big-feature set, Final Draft commands a high price. The regular version sells for $249.99 and every year they come with a new version with a few minor upgrades that command an upgrade price of $99. Yes, you can get it on discount several times during the year but even on the discount, it costs $159.99 which is more than thrice the price of Highland 2. It makes little sense to buy it unless your work requires it.

Get Final Draft 11: 30-day free trial, $249.99

5. Manuscripts - Best Academic Writing App

Till now we have talked only about the creative writing software. But what about students or people who spent their life in academia? For them, none of the above apps will make sense as their needs are different. They have to deal with tables, equations, citations, figures, formatting and more, and frankly, none of the apps mentioned above can handle those requirements. To them, I suggest Manuscripts. It’s a writing app that is for students and scholars.

5. Manuscripts - Best Academic Writing App for Mac 1

First, its editor is perfect for students. It not only allows you to enter text easily but also handles images, tables, and figures effortlessly. You can even create figures including graphs and pie-charts directly inside the editor. It also features an easy-to-use table editor which allows you to create beautiful tables. It supports LaTeX markup language allowing you to write complex equations. And, you can add citations with ease. It even supports the importing of citations from various reference libraries including  Mendeley, Zotero, Papers 3, Bookends, and EndNote.

5. Manuscripts - Best Academic Writing App for Mac 2

You can export your project into Microsoft Word, PDF, Markdown, HTML, and even LaTeX. There are so many features I have not discussed like an awesome navigator, powerful outliner, focus mode for writing, theme support, and more.  The best part is that the app is free forever. There’s no subscription and no hidden charges. If you are a student, there’s no better writing app for you out there. So, just click on the link to download it and check it out right now.

Get Manuscripts: Free

Best Academic Writing App for Students - Runner-ups

1. Pages

Well, this will not surprise anyone. Pages is the built-in writing app for macOS that comes free with the Mac. Over the years, the iWork team at Apple has worked a lot and taken Pages to a new height. The app is powerful and supports all the features you expect from a powerful rich-text editor.  Now, that it supports Apple Pencil on iPad, you can even create digital hand-drawn images to add flair to your academic writing projects. Another good new feature of pages is the collaboration feature. If you are working on a group project with multiple members, you can use a Pages document to collaborate effortlessly. You can track changes, add highlights, and have threaded conversations with your team.

1. Pages

Pages is also known for its awesome set of templates. There are beautiful templates that you can use as a starting point. Its stylizing tools are second-to-none. You can personalize text-styles, stylize fonts, add beautiful graphics, and more to make your project stand out. One lesser-known but one of my favorite features is the audio notes features. I frequently add audio notes to my writing when I am thinking out loud. There are tons of such hidden features in Pages. So, launch it and use it for your next project.

Comes Pre-installed (Mac App Store download link in case you deleted the app)

2. Microsoft Word

Whether or not you like it, Microsoft Word is considered as the standard word processor in academia. There are many reasons for it. First, it has been around for so long that people are just used to it. Second, it’s a powerful word processor so you will not find a missing feature. And finally, it works across platforms (it even has a web version now) so pretty much everyone can access it. If you are used to Microsoft Word and want to continue using it, there’s no harm in it. I also think it has been around for so long that everyone knows the basics of Microsoft Word so there’s no learning curve attached when getting started.

2. Microsoft Word

The only major flaw of Microsoft Word is that you can no longer buy it. You have to get it as a part of Office 365 subscription which bundles six apps; Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneDrive, OneNote, and Outlook. The whole bundle costs $69.99/year which is not cheap. Although, if you are a student, you can probably get it for free from your institute. Also, the slightly less powerful web app is free forever.  If pricing is no concern for you, this is the standard word processor that you should get.

Get Microsoft Word: $69.99/year - (Mac App Store Link)

6. Diarly - Best Journal Writing App

Journal writing is personal in nature. And yes you can use any writing app for creating your daily journal. But I prefer to use a separate app that keeps all my journal entries secure. There are many powerful journal writing apps available for Mac and you can choose any of them. My favorite is Diarly. Diarly is a clean and simple journal-writing app for Mac. It allows me to enter journal entries and secure them behind a password. You can add daily entries with automatic date and time stamps. It syncs via iCloud so all your entries are safe in the cloud. It also has a companion iPhone app that comes in handy in many situations.

6. Diarly - Best Journal Writing App

Many people prefer a much more powerful journal app called, DayOne, and it is our first runner-up choice. But for me, Diarly is better because it provides a cleaner writing environment which helps me jot down my thoughts. Also, it has just the necessary features so I am not bogged down by UI challenges. There’s support for themes, adding images, adding location, markdown formatting, and that’s about it. One of my favorite features of Diarly is that it allows me to create a template. So any time I start a new entry, my template is there for me. I like to start my entry with a few questions about my day and the template thing helps a lot.

6. Diarly - Best Journal Writing App for Mac

Overall, I prefer Diarly because it’s the best replacement for a physical journal. It has all the benefits of a software journal and none of the shenanigans that might turn you off. You can get Diarly for free with limited features or pay $15.99/year to unlock everything. You can also get it as a part of the SetApp subscription that has been a great thing for me as I am a SetApp subscriber.

Get Diarly: Free, $15.99/Year

Best Journal Writing App for Mac - Runner-ups

1. Day One

Day One is an award-winning journal writing app for Mac. If you search for the best journal writing apps, this is what everyone will recommend. That’s because it has been around for a long time and it is powerful. You can add text entries, photo entries, and even record voice entries. It syncs everything across devices. There’s a nice “On this Day” feature that shows you the entry you made on the same date last year. If offers powerful rich-text formatting that people are familiar with and lets you password-protect your journals.

1. Day One

In every way, this is one of the best if not the best journal apps that you can get. That said, I don’t prefer it. There are many reasons for it. Foremost is the UI which I feel is a bit too crowded. I am always ready for extra features but journal writing is hard for me and I need a clean writing environment where my thoughts can flow. I also prefer markdown editing over the rich-text editor. And finally, it’s a bit too costly, coming at $3.99/month or $34.99/year. But if you want all the features like audio notes, book printing, flashbacks, streaks, shareable records, and more, and love the rich-text editor, check it out.

Get Day One: Free, $34.99/year

2. Journey

If you want a journal-writing app that is as powerful as Day One and also works on Windows and Android devices then Journey is the app for you. It even has a Linux and a web app so you can access your journals on any machine. When it comes to features, it has everything and I mean everything. It supports text, audio, and video notes, online sync, multiple journals, mood tracking, reminder, themes, throwback entries, various export options, and more. If features are what you want, look no further than Journey. It’s a powerful journal entry app that works everywhere.

2. Journey

The only thing that I hate about this app is its convoluted pricing system. It’s free with limited features on iOS, Android, and Web but costs $19.99 on the Mac App Store. Then there’s an additional $2.49/month (billed annually) charge if you want to unlock all the features on mobile apps and web and sync the journal across devices. In a way, it’s good that you can pay a onetime fee of $19.99 on Mac and use it forever. But then you will lose the important sync feature that might be a dealbreaker for some users.

Get Journey: $19.99,  ($2.4/month - billed annually for sync)

7. Google Docs - Best Real-time Collaboration Writing App

Sometimes we work in an environment where we collaborate with others in real-time. And while both Apple Pages and Microsoft Word have introduced this feature, none work better than Google Docs. Sync on Google Docs is instantaneous, and it never feels that you are waiting for the other person’s work to finish uploading. Also, Google Docs is free to use which makes it great for people on a budget. Functionally, Google Docs nails all the basic features. You have comprehensive formatting options and it supports image and figure insertion.

7. Google Docs - Best Real-time Collaboration Writing App

That being said, it’s nowhere near as powerful as either Word or Pages. But then again, how many of us advanced features on Word and Pages. Most of us use the basic rich-text editing features and for that Google Doc is great. And it wins hands-down in online real-time collaboration. So, if real-time sync is what you need, Google Docs is the best option on the market right now.

Get Google Docs: Free (Login with Google Account required)

Best Real-time Collaboration Writing App for Mac - Runner-UP

Apart from trying out Apple Pages and Microsoft Word, there’s one more app that is quite good at real-time collaboration stuff and that’s Quip.

1. Quip

Quip is not just a writing app but an online document service that gives you access to docs, spreadsheets, slides, in-line chat, and more. In Quip, documents are fluid. For example, you can create a word document and then insert a spreadsheet inside that document. It’s also a hub for all your team communication. You can chat in real-time either by using separate messages or just in-line with documents. It’s a great app, and I have used a lot with my colleagues to collaborate on projects. If you don’t like Google Docs, Word, and Pages, you can try it. It offers a powerful free version so you won’t have to pay money at the start.

1. Quip

Get Quip: Free, starts at $10/month/user

8. Hemingway - Best Grammar Conscious Writing App

For many writers, English is not their first language so they might find it difficult to write good prose. Thankfully, there are several writing apps on the market that can help you improve your grammar. While there’s no substitution to learning the language, these apps can help you out when you are in a pickle. My favorite grammar conscious writing app is Hemingway. It can help you cut down the dead weight in your writing by identifying problems in your prose.

8. Hemingway - Best Grammar Conscious Writing App for Mac

It highlights wordy sentences in yellow and more egregious ones in red. It also highlights adverbs, passive voice, and dull, complicated words. This will give you a chance to fix your writing before you hit that publish button. Talking about publishing, it allows you to publish articles to Medium and WordPress. You can also export to Microsoft Word or in text and PDF formats. You can test it for free on the web and if you like it, you can get it for $19.99.

Get Hemingway: $19.99

Best Grammar Conscious Writing App for Mac - Runner-ups

1. Grammarly

Grammarly is a powerful digital writing tool that uses artificial intelligence and natural language processing to parse your text to find grammatical errors. It’s much more powerful than Hemingway when it comes to detecting silly mistakes such as extra space, spelling errors, wrong use of the comma, and more. However, Hemingway is better at suggesting overall structural problems in your writing. You can get the paid version of Grammarly to test out its pro features which claim to identify structural mistakes but it’s too costly.

1. Grammarly

Pay $29.95/month or $139.95/year to get access to the pro version. To be fair, when you sign up to use the free service they do send you a 50% discount coupon and even three months of free premium from time to time. So you can check out the pro version before you have to pay for it.

Get Grammarly: Free, $29.95/month or $139.95/year

2. ProWritingAid

Another powerful and costly grammar checker is ProWritingAid. What I love about ProWritingAid is that it segments your error in different tabs allowing you to deal with them easily and learn to avoid those mistakes over time. It checks your style, grammar, readability, overused words, use of cliches, and more. I like ProWritingAid a lot. In some instances I prefer it over Grammarly. The reason it’s the second runner-up is two-fold. First and most important is the fact that it’s not a writing app. Yes, you can start your piece in the app but the editor is featureless and you will have a hard time writing in the app.

2. ProWritingAid

It is better suited as a grammar checker and not a writing app. Second, the app is costly and comes at $70/year or $240/lifetime. I believe that this app is great for checking grammar but I understand that not everyone can afford it. But if pricing is no concern for you and you already have a primary text-editor and just need a grammar checker, then it might fit your needs.

Get ProWritingAid: Free, $70/year or $240/lifetime

Best Writing Apps for Mac: Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, these are all tools in a writer’s arsenal. And it’s you who will get the writing done. That said, the right tools help a lot. I have created a list of the best writing apps and hope that there is one app for everyone here. If you are looking for specific types of writing apps that are not on the list, let me know by commenting below and I would love to help you out.