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Writing Tools on Ubuntu

When you come to Ubuntu from the Mac or Windows worlds, you start looking around for programs that you used on your old system. Sometimes you easily find versions of your favorite tools and sometimes it can be a challenge and lead to frustration. This post will help you find the programs that I use when I write fiction. They are not in any particular order.


My primary writing application is Plume Creator. It works like Scrivener, so if you use that tool, you will feel at home with it. You can get it here and just double click on the file after it downloads to bring up the Ubuntu Software Center to install it.

I also use LibreOffice and that comes pre-installed with Ubuntu. This is the equivalent of Microsoft Office for most writer’s needs. Comes with spreadsheet apps and a word processor that works just like Word.

Another great writing program is Focus Writer.

For simple and quick plain text editing, I use Scribes.


My favorite dictionary is GoldenDict and you can find that in the Ubuntu Software Center. I like it because it lets you use various online sources including the Urban Dictionary and Wikipedia. I always have this app open full screen on its own desktop.

AiksaurausGTK is a thesaurus and nothing else. Again, this baby is open when I’m writing. You can find that in the Ubuntu Software Center.

Image Manipulation

If you are like most writers, you have lots of images that you use for inspiration when you write. I store mine in my novel folder on Dropbox. When I need to view them, I use ImageViewer which is built in to the OS. When I want to modify them quickly, I use Pinta Image Manipulator. Pinta is in the Ubuntu Software Center but you should make sure you get the latest 1.4 version for best results. This is actually based on the code used for Paint Plus on Windows.

If you are serious about Photoshopping something, use Gimp. You can find that in the Ubuntu Software Center. The latest version of Gimp is pretty awesome.

Lastly, I use Inkscape to do any vector based images, like maps. You can find that in the Ubuntu Software Center.

Ebook Creation

I no longer build up my own ebooks, but when I need a quick one made, I use Sigil. I also have been known to dable with Calibre for ebook organizing on my laptop.


These days, I’m always using my phone to take notes. I use Evernote on that and on my Ubuntu, I sync with Evernote using EverPad. EverPad even has a lens. So be warned, Lensmen!  Okay, bad Sci-Fi joke.

Of course Dropbox is well integrated into Ubuntu and I recommend everyone use it or UbuntuOne to back up your writing.

That’s just about all the apps that I use when I write or work on author related things. If you can think of anything else to add, please leave a  comment and tell us about it.

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