iA Writer

iAWriter-00This is not a sponsored post. I just loved this application and I think bloggers might love it too.

I talked earlier about Markdown – Please refer to Formatting our posts. I noticed that there are a lot of people use HTML in formatting the posts.

When you want to write, I assure you that you can do it using any application: Notes applications, MS Word, Apple Pages, Google Docs, or even a text file.

So, why iA Writer?

There are a lot of wonderful features mentioned by the company itself or through the online reviews about this application. For me:

  • Simply, it’s beautiful and smooth. One might like to write more.
  • Fully supports markdown with HTML when needed; and easily switches between editing and preview modes.
  • Posts are stored in txt files. The benefits of this point alone need a separate post 🙂
Focus writing & Syntax highliting

How it works?

Despite its simplicity, there are a lot of helpful & advanced hacks – many are hidden.

Notes are saved as txt files on your computer or on clouds along with media files if any. You can organize the files through folders and tags in addition to smart folders that come with custom sorting options.

A notes starts in editing mode but switching to preview mode and vice versa is easy. I wish they have the option to keep the preview mode as default.



If connected to WordPress, you can share the file as a new draft on WordPress. The app will upload the media and do the necessary changes if any. I’m publishing this post using it!

Writing a Book or Novel

My experience here is limited. However, I know books, novels, or thesis usually have parts and sections. One txt file might not be enough. I believe though that folders can be of a help here – but what about page numbering?!


The Issues

  • Mainly, page numbering is an issue. You can’t identify at which number the page numbers start for each txt file.
  • Tags don’t accept more than one word.
  • Printing Table of Contents to PDF has issues.
  • Despite the ability to break a page using markdown (e.i., by using +++ code), there should be an option to show pages breaks if any.
  • Footnotes. 1
  • Page layout is limited. If you are into columns, you need to use HTML/CSS.

Does it replace notes and word processing app?

iAWriter-10The simple answer is no. The idea of iA Writer is to make writing easier and more pleasant. There are scenarios where advanced apps might be needed. Personally, I do use it as my main notebook and word processing application – at least for now! In general, MS Word, Apple Pages, and Google Docs are painful with large data.

However, the complications start when I write a lot of HTML inside a note (for formatting purposes). The note will be messy then in Edit mode. Keeping Preview mode on all the time isn’t handy. Unlike articles and books where modifications are less or none after publishing, we tend to modify notes often. Other complications are attaching files to notes and drawing.


It won’t hurt to give iA Writer a try. There is a free trial and the price is affordable. Just hope they don’t move to paid subscription as in Ulysses or periodic high upgrade price as in Scrivener. I haven’t got the chance to try all competitors’ in this field! iA Writer is more than enough for my needs and it’s available on Mac, Windows, Android, and iPhone.

Have you tried this application or any similar ones?

  1. Footnotes come at the end always (as in here) ↩︎

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