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Tools for Writers

Whether you’re a blogger, journalist, or writer, you know that the days of pen and paper alone are long gone. These days, you have a huge arsenal of tools at your disposal, from word processors, to content management systems, open courses, organization, and more, many of them open source and even free. Read on, and you’ll learn about 100 open source tools that can make your life as a writer easier, or even just as a student pursuing an online degree program.

  1. Open Source Writers Group: Join this group to get lots of great writing resources.
  2. OpenOffice Writer: OpenOffice Writer offers a fully featured, familiar, and easy to use word processor.
  3. wikidPad: Use this wiki-style notepad to keep your ideas and notes together, and even cross-reference information.
  4. AbiWord: AbiWord is one of the most popular open source word processors available.
  5. WordIt: WordIt is a simple, small word processor with advanced features.
  6. Amaya: With this web editing program, you’ll be able to update and edit your content right on the Web.
  7. Bean: Use this lightweight word processor to easily write and edit.
  8. PDF Creator: PDF Creator offers a simple way to create new PDF files.
  9. Scribus: Use Scribus as a writing tool and desktop publishing solution.
  10. yWriter: Designed specifically for writers, yWriter will keep you focused and organized.
  11. Jarnal: Jarnal offers a great way to take notes, annotate documents, and more.
  12. Kword: This tool offers frame-based word processing.
  13. RoughDraft: This tool is great for organizing stories or screenplays.
  14. NotePad++: NotePad++ is the open source version of Microsoft’s NotePad.
  15. NeoOffice: In this open source suite, you’ll find a word processor for Mac users.
  16. TiddlyWiki: TiddlyWiki is a wiki style notebook that makes it easy for you to take notes or hang onto ideas.

Publishing, Sharing & Content Management

Students and aspiring writers can share their writings with these useful tools.

  1. MediaWiki: You’ll be able to easily publish and edit your webpages with MediaWiki.
  2. Joomla!: Joomla is a very powerful open source content management system.
  3. Cabos: Cabos is a simple, easy to use program for filesharing.
  4. FireFTP: This FTP program works directly with Firefox, so it’s easy to get your content online.
  5. Gnucleus: Gnucleus offers Gnutella search and download filesharing.
  6. Drupal: Drupal is a powerful open source content management system, supporting websites, blogs, communities, and more.
  7. Sun Weblog Publisher: Make publishing from StarOffice and OpenOffice super easy with this extension for WordPress, Blogger, and other blogging platforms.
  8. Plone: This content management system is built on top of Zope.
  9. Azureus: Azureus is a very powerful client for BitTorrent.
  10. XOOPS: This dynamic web content management system is extensible and object oriented.
  11. WebGUI: WebGUI offers a web application framework and web content management.
  12. NVU: NVU is a fully featured web authoring system.
  13. Filezilla FTP: Put your writing files on the web easily with FileZilla.
  14. Opencms: Opencms is a professional and easy to use website content management system usable in open source environments and commercial components.


Here you’ll find blogging platforms and more.

  1. Thingamablog: This blogging application offers effortless authoring and publishing.
  2. Pebble: In Pebble, you’ll find a lightweight open source blogger that’s written as a web application.
  3. Juice: Use Juice as a podcasting client.
  4. WordPress: Bloggers can use open source WordPress to create a customizable blog.
  5. SnipSnap: This free, easy tool offers blogging and wiki functionality.
  6. DLOG4J: DLOG4J offers WYSIWYG blogging and comment editing, RSS, and more.
  7. Blog: This software allows you to manage a multiple topic blog and create journals.
  8. PowerBlog: PowerBlog is an open source, Windows-based desktop blogging client.
  9. Blojsom: Get a simple, lightweight blog package in Blojsom.
  10. Piwik: Use Piwik to monitor your blog’s stats.
  11. Google Blog Converters: This software allows you to easily move blog posts and comments over from service to service.
  12. Roller: Roller is an open source J2EE blog platform.
  13. Blogunity: Blogunity offers community based blogging software.

Dictionary & Spell Check

Make sure your writing is impeccable with the help of these tools for students of writing.

  1. GNU Aspell: GNU Aspell offers advanced open source spell checking.
  2. WordNet: Use WordNet, and you’ll be able to look up loads of language data.
  3. JaLingo: Look up dictionary words right from your desktop using JaLingo.
  4. SpellJax: Make sure your spelling is perfect with SpellJax.
  5. WordWeb: WordWeb offers a dictionary as well as a thesaurus.
  6. Word Count Plus: Find out how many words you’ve written with the help of Word Count Plus.
  7. Bibus: Use Bibus to make sure you’re properly citing your sources.
  8. StarDict: Use this tool to look up words in your own dictionary desktop.
  9. WBOSS: This open source script will allow you to paste text and find spelling errors.
  10. GNU Style and Diction: Use GNU Style and Diction to ensure that your writing is free of cliches and other common problems.
  11. Graviax: Get a quick grammar check using this tool.


These tools will give you the power to keep everything together.

  1. Research Assistant: Keep your research organized with this useful tool.
  2. EverNote: With EverNote, you can store and organize your writing information.
  3. Celtx: Celtx makes it easy for you to keep all of your writing organized, especially if you use lots of special formatting.
  4. Sonar: Use Sonar to keep track of your publishing submissions.
  5. LyX: Using LyX, you can organize and format your writing.
  6. StorYBook: Keep all of your data coherent and organized with the help of StorYBook.
  7. Tellico: Use Tellico to easily manage any collection, whether it’s your writings or reference materials.
  8. TreePad Lite: With the help of TreePad, you’ll be able to keep track of your notes, reference materials, and more.
  9. SAMM: Stay on top of your writing submissions and more with SAMM.


These tools will help you explore and become inspired.

  1. XMind: Map out your concepts with the help of XMind.
  2. Prompts: Use Prompts to get inspiration and get your creative juices flowing.
  3. Freemind: With this mind mapping tool, you’ll be able to explore all of your great ideas.
  4. Comapping: Comapping allows you to map ideas in real time with multiple users.


Stay in touch and collaborate with the help of these tools.

  1. Zimbra: Use this email solution that offers backup and recovery, anti spam and anti virus, and more.
  2. Pidgin: Use Pidgin to connect multiple IM accounts at once.
  3. Rubrica: Rubrica is an address book manager for GNOME.
  4. Asterisk: Asterisk is a complete telecommunications platform.
  5. Gaim: You’ll be able to chat on just about any platform with this tool.
  6. Mozilla Thunderbird: Mozilla Thunderbird has lots of great features for email, including powerful spam filtering.
  7. Miranda: Miranda is an instant messenger that supports loads of different systems.


Prepare videos, audio, images, and more for the web and beyond with these tools.

  1. GIMP: With this powerful image editor, you’ll be able to prepare images for publication.
  2. VirtualDub: VirtualDub is a video capture and processing utility.
  3. Miro: Miro is a fully featured video tool for you to use.
  4. ImageMagick: ImageMagick makes it easy for you to create, edit, and compose bitmap images.
  5. Gallery: Gallery is an open source photo sharing project with basic photo manipulation.
  6. Paint.NET: Paint.NET is a graphics editor that offers a great interface.
  7. Pencil: You can create hand drawn animations with the help of Pencil.
  8. MediaCoder: MediaCoder: MediaCoder is a free universal batch media transcoder.
  9. Inkscape: Bring your writing work to life with original drawings, maps, and other illustrations.
  10. Artweaver: Get creative and add artistic effects with Artweaver.
  11. Audacity: Audacity is a simple sound recording tool.


Here you’ll find a variety of tools that make working easier. 

  1. Launchy: Launchy will make it easy for you to get all of your important programs open with just a few keystrokes.
  2. ZManda: Make sure you back up your important information with the help of ZManda.
  3. Mozilla SeaMonkey: Mozilla’s Sea Monkey offers an all in one solution for web editing, chatting, email, and browsing.
  4. Spreeder: Do all of your reading faster with the help of Spreeder.
  5. Docvert: With Docvert, you can convert old files into a new, more usable format.
  6. ASuite: ASuite offers a great way to keep your important documents and more on your USB drive.
  7. Writer’s Tools: This all around tool will help users of OpenOffice with document backup, translation, and more.
  8. TrueCrypt: Using TrueCrypt, you’ll be able to send material in a secure way.
  9. Eraser: With Eraser, you can remove sensitive data from your hard drive.
  10. Mozilla Firefox: Use this open source browser for research and more.
  11. phpMyVisits: Use this software for website statistics, audience measurements, and more.
  12. PeaZip: PeaZip is a great tool for extracting and packing writing file archives.
  13. EyeOS: EyeOS makes it easy to create a mobile desktop, so you can work from anywhere.
  14. SuperShredder: Make sure your sensitive files are shredded with SuperShredder.
  15. txt2tags: Get your text coded easily with this open source program.