Writer's Cafe - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

Writer's Cafe

CNET Editors' review

Writer's Cafe from Anthemion Software is designed to help writers of fiction organize their thoughts and their projects. It provides a journal, notebook, research tools, exercises, tips, and more. Designed in cooperation with novelist Harriet Smart, Writer's Cafe is suitable for professional and aspiring novelists alike. It's optimized for novels and screenplays but suitable for a wide range of writings. Writer's Cafe is free to try, but some features aren't available in the trial version. However, it's enough to give you a feel for whether it's right for you.

Writer's Cafe opens with an optional tip that we found not only more extensive but also more useful than typical tool tips. A tabbed navigation panel called the Organiser, an icon-based toolbar, and a desktoplike main view give Writer's Cafe the feel of a typical Windows app rather than a complex word processor. With labels such as Journal, StoryLines, and Names, the program's various functions are easy to find and open. A built-in reference library is also a click away, though some reference extras, such as the included PDF copy of Smart's "Fiction: The Facts," require registration to access. With a Getting Started Guide, manual, tips, and other support, Writer's Cafe offers plenty of help getting started, but we just clicked the program's Start button. To make a long story short, Writer's Cafe is based around StoryLines, the key tool for structuring your fiction writing projects. This tool not only has the aforementioned word processing capabilities but also fiction-specific features divided into two sections, a composition and an editing section bearing labels such as Outline, Notes, Story, and Characters in the former, and Summary, Content, and Annotations in the latter. Writer's Cafe has plenty of interesting extras, too, such as the built-in timer and a virtual version of magnetic refrigerator door poetry. Since the menu toolbar offers quick access to each tool in the entire Writer's Cafe suite, we never got lost.

We like the approach Writer's Cafe takes to writing fiction as much as its methods. Writer's Cafe is like your favorite spot in a new neighborhood that has lots of interesting things to see and do, once you get your bearings.

Editors' note: This is a review of the full version of Writer's Cafe 2.30. The trial version is restricted to 20 cards and 20 scraps, and does not display the "Fiction: The Facts" e-book.

Publisher's Description

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All User Reviews

Results 1-5 of 5

  • 2.0 stars

    "When comparing with the free alternatives, why bother?"

    November 10, 2011  |   By mroftalp

    Version: Writer's Cafe 2.30

    Pros

    Fairly workmanlike, but obviously not designed by a writer!

    Cons

    Not impressive when compared with YWriter (Free free) designed by a successful Writer AND programmer

    Summary

    Like most products today, the claim of "FREE" for a simple sample tends to make prospects angry, especially when a long learning curve is involved.
    Far better to be honest and offer a STATED time trial. But today, the genuinely free products out there are too hard to compete with - even OpenOffice makes it easy today.

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  • 2.0 stars

    "A trick. This is not free software."

    March 14, 2011  |   By MelbyAndAssociates

    Version: Writer's Cafe 2.30

    Pros

    Not what I'm commenting on.

    Cons

    You are not downloading free software. It tricks you into downloading it, but you do have to purchase it. Get yWriter from SpaceJock.com. It is free and terrific!

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (3) (1)

  • 5.0 stars

    "VERY USEFUL"

    December 25, 2010  |   By ActionTerry

    Version: Writer's Cafe 2.28

    Pros

    Is as it is described and then some.

    Cons

    I have noticed no cons at all.

    Summary

    Great tool for those interested in writing and need assistance with collecting your thoughts and organizing yours ideas and more!!!

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Developed As A Complete Writing Studio"

    November 6, 2010  |   By ok4mi2

    Version: Writer's Cafe 2.28

    Pros

    I thought the program had a good deal of features and, if not that I am cash strapped at this time and cannot afford purchasing it, I loved it. I did not use it much beyond looking at most of the features and trying a couple of writing projects.

    Cons

    It was hard to learn how to work with so many features but I am a novice with this software.

    Summary

    Must try it for more time and learn how to use the bulk of the program features.

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  • 3.0 stars

    "Not Free- Trial Version Only"

    November 3, 2010  |   By Belletrist

    Version: Writer's Cafe 2.28

    Pros

    The app works well and is nicely laid out. It takes what I had previously in several different apps and puts it all into one.

    Cons

    Regardless of its listing as being "free" you can not access all of the features without "buying" a product key. This makes it a big disappointment.

    Summary

    I will most likely remove the app. There are too many open source programs out there and we all can't afford to shell out bucks for every app that comes along. I went looking for freeware and got this through deception.
    Had I been looking for an app to purchase, i would have chosen this after trying a number of others.

    Updated on Nov 4, 2010

    Wrong Wrong Wrong! I need to change my review to a much better ascertainment of assets. The app is indeed free although some links take you to a costly registration. In other words, it appears at times you need to purchase a registration to access the full version like many trial versions but - and it is a big BUT - it seems they give you the full version for free. I venture to guess that it was once as a trial and was redesigned as a free app.
    I am glad i didn't remove the app and persisted in using it from different angles. The only thing missing is an actual place to write. You can perform all of the ancillary activities but it appears you still do your actual writing of material on a word processor of your own choosing.

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Writer's Cafe