yWriter 5 - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

yWriter 5

CNET Editors' review

yWriter 5 is an unusual but interesting bit of freeware that takes a coder's approach to writing a novel. Simon Haynes, a bestselling novelist and programmer, developed it to help the aspiring author by automating many of the tasks common to fiction writing. It's basically a specialized word processor that breaks down the elements of a writing project into discrete pieces that can be refined individually and then strung together, much the way a coder approaches a large programming job. Chapters, scenes, characters, and plot elements can be defined, developed, edited, and automatically integrated into the project. You can even drag and drop elements such as new or altered characters or locations into the narrative. It won't suggest plot twists or offer creative suggestions, but it does help the writer focus on the creative process by looking after the housekeeping.

The program downloads and installs easily and free of adware and other malicious software (as is all software on Download.com). It also uses local config files, not the Windows Registry, so it's completely portable. The clean, businesslike interface resembles a spreadsheet more than a word processor, but you don't have to write in it--you can create content in your favorite program and use yWriter 5 to keep track of it. A PDF Quickstart Guide illustrated with many screen shots makes it easy to set up your first project. A sample project shows what yWriter 5 can do in the hands of an experienced writer.

Not only does yWriter5 do something no other software does that we're aware of, but it also does it well. It's completely free to download and use.

Publisher's Description

More Products to Consider

  • Apache OpenOffice
    Take an open-source approach to office productivity.
    Download

    Installed

    Smart Install
  • Free PDF to Word
    Convert PDF files to Microsoft Word format.
    Download

    Installed

    Smart Install
  • Microsoft Office Co...
    Open, edit, and save files using the new file formats in 2007 v...
    Download

    Installed

    Smart Install
  • Adobe Reader XI
    View, navigate, and print PDF files.

    This download is served from an external site

    close

    NOTICE: This link will open a connection to a third-party site. CNET cannot ensure the security of software that is hosted on external sites.

    Continue to download

    Sponsored Products

    Visit Site
  • Free JPG to PDF
    Convert JPG, BMP, TIFF, PNG images to PDF files.
    Download

    Installed

    Smart Install
  • All-Business-Letter...
    Get a comprehensive library of 4500 sample business letters and...
    Download

    Installed

    Smart Install
  • All-Business-Docume...
    Prepare any business documents from 6000 professionally written...
    Download

    Installed

    Smart Install
  • Text block Writer
    Organize research papers, articles, books and whatever related ...
    Download

    Installed

    Smart Install
  • Microsoft Office Wo...
    Create and share content with the help of a comprehensive set o...

    This download is served from an external site

    close

    NOTICE: This link will open a connection to a third-party site. CNET cannot ensure the security of software that is hosted on external sites.

    Continue to download

    Sponsored Products

    Visit Site
  • PDF to Excel
    Transform PDF documents to Excel documents.
    Download

    Installed

    Smart Install
  • PDF ReDirect
    Create, encrypt, and merge PDF files.
    Download

    Installed

    Smart Install
  • WorkTime
    Keep track of how you use your PC.
    Download

    Installed

    Smart Install
  • Kingsoft Writer 201...
    Process documents and save them in various formats.
    Download

    Installed

    Smart Install
  • yWriter4
    Use a novel writing application.
    Download

    Installed

    Smart Install
  • PDFCreator
    Render PDF files within applications that support the print fun...
    Download

    Installed

    Smart Install
  • Microsoft Office Vi...
    Develop your own custom solutions visualizing various data.

    This download is served from an external site

    close

    NOTICE: This link will open a connection to a third-party site. CNET cannot ensure the security of software that is hosted on external sites.

    Continue to download

    Sponsored Products

    Download

    Installed

    Smart Install
  • Book Writer
    Organize project files for writers and students.
    Download

    Installed

    Smart Install
  • Kingsoft Office Fre...
    Read, create, and save files seamlessly in Office 2007/2010 and...
    Download

    Installed

    Smart Install
  • FreeOCR
    Recognize text from images using the open source Tesseract OCR ...
    Download

    Installed

    Smart Install
  • Practical Scriptwri...
    Handle script formatting for movie, stage, and TV.
    Download

    Installed

    Smart Install
  • WorshipCenter Pro
    Create slides for song lyrics and display them with professiona...
    Download

    Installed

    Smart Install
  • Emunge
    Perform various operations on text and produce output.
    Download

    Installed

    Smart Install
  • Graham Process Char...
    Chart your business processes.
    Download

    Installed

    Smart Install
  • Advanced Word to Pd...
    Convert Word, RTF, and TXT files into PDF documents.
    Download

    Installed

    Smart Install
All User Reviews
  • All versions:

    4.4 stars

    out of 27 votes

    • 5 star: 19
    • 4 star: 4
    • 3 star: 2
    • 2 star: 0
    • 1 star: 2
  • Current version:

    4.0 stars

    out of 4 votes

    • 5 star: 2
    • 4 star: 0
    • 3 star: 2
    • 2 star: 0
    • 1 star: 0
  • My rating:

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1-4 of 4

  • 3.0 stars

    "Nice Software - SNEAKY ADD-ONS"

    June 7, 2013  |   By LeahStorm

    Version: yWriter 5 5.2.0.5

    Pros

    It's free, its organized. It's well thought out for fiction novels.

    Cons

    As you install this, Right after the welcome screen, there are THREE pages of add-on nonsense. The first page has TINY little boxes you must uncheck or you get tool bars added to your browser. The next 2 pages, you have to click the [Decline] button which is off to the left and very faded. I find this an unscrupulous practice.
    SPACEJOCK: Why not just ask for donations? Ethical people will donate to an effort they appreciate, you don't have to covertly cram your money-making toolbars down our throats.

    Summary

    Overall, I like it. it will serve me better when I write a fiction novel. So far all 4 of my books are non-fiction, so this is not quite the right fit, but maybe I'll find a way to customize it and make good use of it.

    Reply to this review Read reply (1)

    Was this review helpful? (1) (1)

  • 3.0 stars

    "Fair product"

    May 3, 2013  |   By rastaca

    Version: yWriter 5 5.2.0.5

    Pros

    Simple, helpful in completing your story from start to end

    Cons

    Packaged with Trojan. Make sure you decline the add-on and use the advance install to avoid the unwanted toolbar install.

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (0) (0)

  • 5.0 stars

    "Best of the bunch"

    January 31, 2013  |   By lambacuk

    Version: yWriter 5 5.2.0.5

    Pros

    On the whole intuitive, and not too prescriptive.

    Cons

    Some features are to my mind unnecessary but they can be ignored.

    Summary

    Like others, I've tried a number of writing programs from Writer's Cafe to new Novelist - yWriter5, overall, is the best one.

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (1) (0)

  • 5.0 stars

    "It helped me to write a novel"

    December 14, 2012  |   By nook-writer

    Version: yWriter 5 5.2.0.5

    Pros

    yWriter 5 helped me to keep all the vital information related to my novel in one place. Characters' info (description, bio, notes, etc.), locations, items (like Frodo's ring) - everything in the same writing environment, in the same program. Create scenes, assign them to chapters, instant word count, and your progress tracking.
    Bottom line, I don't need anything else.
    yWriter does what I need. After all, David Eddings wrote his novels in longhand.

    Cons

    I didn't find any particular cons in yWriter 5. I wish it allows you to keep a list of characters open as the Storybook does, but it is not a big deal for me.

    Summary

    I've checked several programs, including the Writer's Cafe, Scrivener (for Windows), and Storybook 4. The first two are for the writers who write non-linear style and thus did not worked for me. I read good reviews about these programs, but found them not suitable for my purpose. I don't use index card (real or virtual) and I don't really thuse nitty reference features. Those, I think, are mostly for the research papers. The Storybook is free and its interface looks very nice, but you have to pay for the Pro edition if you want to export the files into any format. I also had problems with fonts (too tiny for me, and I couldn't figure out how to change the default)
    What I needed was a way to keep a list of names, locations, scenes, something to help me track all those characters (who, where, why).
    I used to keep a list of names in one spreadsheet, outline with chapter by chapter in another, list of scenes in a third, images in a separate folder. I tracked my writing time and counted words using my own forms. I've ended up with dozens of files. I had to update this file and that. I've designed a timeline for my novel in Visio. So I used Word, Excel, Visio (and Notepad).
    With yWriter you don't need them. Well, the Word will be useful when you start the final editing, but until that the yWriter will keeps everything in one place. Create your scenes and take a look at the storyline - you will be able to see your timeline from different POVs. You can changes the order of scenes by dragging them around. You open a project and can easily get to the characters description to find his/her date of birth or some other details, look at the image of mountain you would like to describe, create or combine scenes into a chapter, export text as HTML or RTF or text.
    There is a built-in word counter and the program follows your progress.
    After testing several programs, I found the yWriter5 is the best for my needs. (I'm about to finish my 95,000-word fantasy novel!).
    My advice: try several programs and look for the features you really need. If you don't know exactly what you need, no program will help you to write. The best approach will be to start writing in WriteMonkey until you encounter some problems (like too many characters, or scenes). Then you can search for a program that helps you to solve those problems. yWriter5 did exactly that for me. I'm sure Steven King doesn't use any programs, but then, again, I'm not him. Good luck.
    And, by the way, thanks, Simon Haynes. Great job!

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (3) (0)

Results 1-4 of 4

Add Your Review

Log in or create an account to post a review.
You are logged in as . Please submit your review for yWriter 5 5.2.0.5
Add Your Review

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited.
Click here to review our site terms of use.

Submit your reply

Submit

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited.
Click here to review our site terms of use.

cancel

E-mail this review

Submit cancel

Report offensive content

If you believe this comment is offensive or violates the CNET's Site Terms of Use, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the comment). Once reported, our staff will be notified and the comment will be reviewed.

Select type of offense:

Offensive: Sexually explicit or offensive language
Spam: Advertisements or commercial links
Disruptive posting: Flaming or offending other users
Illegal activities: Promote cracked software, or other illegal content
Submit cancel

See more CNET content tagged:

Previous Versions:

Error

close

ERROR MESSAGE

If you think this is an error, please contact CNET TechTracker Support for further assistance.

Ok

Running Request

close

loading

Smart Install Software

close

CNET TechTracker will now automatically install software without requiring further action by you. (Note: This feature automatically accepts associated EULAs and third party applications on your behalf.)

You have selected the following software to Smart Install:

CNET TechTracker will attempt to install this software without interrupting you again. If an application requires manual installation, CNET TechTracker will download the installer and prompt you to take further action.

Proceed with Smart Install?

Confirm Standard Install Cancel

Submit a problem report for yWriter 5

close

Please describe the problem you have with this software. This information will be sent to our editors for review.

Problem:

The CNET Installer isn't working as expected

The download link does not work

The software has a newer version

The software contains malware

Other

Description:

Please select a feedback type.

Please enter a description.

Submit Problem Report

Problem Report submitted

close

Thank you for submitting a problem report! The Download team is committed to providing you with accurate software information.

OK

Installed

Smart Install

About CNET Installer

The CNET Download.com Installer is a tiny ad-supported stub installer or "download manager" that helps securely deliver your downloads from Download.com's servers. We also include offers for carefully screened software that complies with Download.com Software Policies as part of our Installer process. Learn more

yWriter 5