yWriter 5

yWriter 5

Editors' Rating:
Average User Rating:
out of 27 votes
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Quick Specs

File Size:
Date Added:
October 23, 2012
Operating Systems:
Windows 98/Me/2000/XP/Vista/7
Total Downloads:
Downloads Last Week:
Product ranking:
Additional Requirements:
Microsoft .Net Framework

Editors' review

yWriter5 helps you to organize your ideas and build new scenes and chapters as you work on completing a novel. You can add all of the elements your novel needs, including characters, locations, and items, and then refer back to these at any time to keep your writing flowing and your details consistent.


Nice setup: The interface is arranged nicely, with a list of Chapters on the left and spaces to add new Scenes, Characters, Project Notes, Locations, and Items on the right; This tabbed interface makes it easy to switch between categories and to see what kind of progress you're making in different areas as you assemble the structure of your story.

Good guide: From the moment you open it, yWriter5 helps you take advantage of all available features. The New Project Wizard shows you where to start with your initial project, and there are helpful tips that pop up in various situations as well. There is also a Sample Project you can look through to get a sense of how all of the features of the program work and what it's capable of. And you can consult the Quickstart Guide or full User Manual from the Help Menu.


Specialized for fiction: This program is really only useful for writing fiction. While you may be able to customize it a bit for other uses, there are better tools out there for writing non-fiction that provide more of the tools and structure that kind of writing requires.

Bottom Line

yWriter5 is a well-crafted program with a lot of upside for fiction writers. It's a free app, and it will help you keep all of your ideas clearly organized as you work, which both improves the quality of your work and can help you finish faster. While it's not the right fit for every writer, it's worth checking out to see if there are any aspects of the program that might be useful to you.

Publisher's Description

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All User Reviews
  • All Versions:


    out of 27 votes

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


    out of 4 votes

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

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    Results 1-4 of 4

  • 3 stars

    "Nice Software - SNEAKY ADD-ONS"

    June 07, 2013   |   By LeahStorm

    Version: yWriter 5


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


    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.


    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.

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  • 3 stars

    "Fair product"

    May 03, 2013   |   By rastaca

    Version: yWriter 5


    Simple, helpful in completing your story from start to end


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

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  • 5 stars

    "Best of the bunch"

    January 31, 2013   |   By lambacuk

    Version: yWriter 5


    On the whole intuitive, and not too prescriptive.


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


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

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  • 5 stars

    "It helped me to write a novel"

    December 14, 2012   |   By nook-writer

    Version: yWriter 5


    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.


    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.


    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!

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