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Interesting Ulysses competitor – subscription-free

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Posted by MadaboutDana
Jun 14, 2019 at 12:47 PM


Hi folks,

Oh dear, should be doing more serious things, but I came across an interesting new writing app quite by chance. Okay, first things first: macOS only, I’m afraid.

It’s only been released very recently, and it’s called Novellus. Many more details can be found at https://novellussoftware.com, and a downloadable trial is available here: https://novellussoftware.com/downloads/Novellus.pkg

Now there are quite a few writing apps about, some better than others. This one really looks quite good, and this is partly because, like Ulysses, you can view “scenes” (as it calls text fragments) either individually, or as part of a sequence. It also has a very powerful grammar/writing checker in the form of the editor from PaperEdit, a separate app which is already quite well known. It also has some nice export options (PDF or ePub) and a pleasantly practical selection of features (so nothing as overwhelming as Scrivener, but still pretty comprehensive).

I’m enjoying it so far, and the developer appears to be responsive (the “download” button on the web page leads straight to the payable app in the Mac App Store, so he sent me a link to the trial version).



Posted by Hugh
Jun 14, 2019 at 12:54 PM


Thanks for this, Bill.


Posted by Listerene
Jun 14, 2019 at 02:50 PM


Novellus seems much more like a dumbed-down Scrivener than a Ulysses. For me, the issue with Scrivener is its (pretty awful) publishing. Haven’t used Novellus enough to asses whether it’s an improvement but it couldn’t be much worse.


Posted by tightbeam
Jun 14, 2019 at 03:11 PM


Is there a demand for another “great writing app” among Mac users? Is there a demand for *a* great writing app, something like Ulysses, maybe, among Windows users? Hmm…


Posted by satis
Jun 14, 2019 at 04:44 PM


Listerene wrote:
> Novellus seems much more like a dumbed-down Scrivener than a Ulysses.

It seems like a Scrivener competitor for $15 less than Scrivener. But it includes the company’s other app, a Scrivener-compatible document and grammar analyzer called PaperEdit, which sells for $15 by itself. If the app runs well and people don’t need all the features of Scrivener, it could fill a niche at the right price.

Lots of niche apps in the Mac sphere. We don’t here much any more about Highland 2, the Markdown-based app by screenwriter John August that is minimalist but has some nice features for writers (goals, sprints, themes, word cloud analysis, revision mode, templates, navigator overview), which I like a lot but struggle to choose instead of Ulysses or IA Writer.


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