# Open Source, Cross-Platform writing project app

https://novelwriter.io/

Found this in my RSS subscriptions today. It works on every major platform, and it has "Markdown-like" syntax support. I don't know what the limits are, but some Markdown support is better than none *insert joke about MS Word*

Author at Zettelkasten.de • https://christiantietze.de/

• This looks interesting. Looking in the documentation, though, it makes no mention of exporting to TeX or use of pandoc. That's not necessarily bad, but delineates some of the limits -- good for a novel or essays, but likely not a thesis.

• @Sociopoetic said:
but likely not a thesis.

Depends on your field. My doctoral thesis never went anywhere near TeX or pandoc (which latter maybe did not exist a decade ago when I finished). RTF was perfectly adequate for what I did. As it was for the book I wrote a decade before that.

• Good point -- people still hand in manuscripts to publishers using MS Word .doc/.docx files. It's wild when you come from an IT/comp.sci. background, but it seems to work just fine

Author at Zettelkasten.de • https://christiantietze.de/

• edited January 2021

@MartinBB and @ctietze, my academic work started in the humanities and I first discovered LaTeX for its handling of foreign alphabets and logic notation (useful for linguistics, philosophy, and literature)1. I still didn't use it then. Now that I work in a more technical field (geography), I'm frankly amazed that more people in said field don't use at least Markdown, if not TeX. Especially when one considers th

So while I see your point that not every field needs so much under the hood, I'd also caution against TeX being only for computer science or math. Maybe this is because I've become a devotee of plain text. Still, there's a lot of benefit for humanists in such an approach.

1. My undergrad thesis used a Word Processor (Open Office, I think) and I kept having issues with diagrams rendering properly. In hindsight, TeX would have fixed this, with TikZ. ↩︎

• edited January 2021

@Sociopoetic said:
I'd also caution against TeX being only for computer science or math.

I don't think either of us was suggesting that. But I do recall that a few years ago on the Scrivener forums a professor who taught in China expressed some scepticism that so many PhD students seemed to stampede in the direction of TeX when (in his view) they did not need to. So I suppose I would caution against thinking you have to use a certain solution when it may not be necessary. I think I had one diagram in my thesis, and it was a jpg inserted into the text. Sometimes simplest is best.

• @MartinBB said:
Sometimes simplest is best.

You're right, certainly. I think part of it means figuring out what "simple" means here. For many people, a word processor is simple. For others, a more plain-text approach is simple. No workflow or tool will be universally useful.

• I think that the claims that word processors are inadequate for big and complex documents is a myth. Most likely those who have experienced problems never learned to properly create a document with this type of software. Word processors are all WYSIWYG and operated with tool panels for your mouse, providing the false illusion that everything is fixed once it looks ok. One example of that would be pressing the return key multiple times instead of adding a page break (we've all done that, admit it 🤭)

Instead of learning Latex to fix their problems they could have spent less time in learning to do the same thing with the tools they are already familiar with.

I'm using Libre Office for more than 5 years now. It is simple because it reflects on how I learned using computer and how I was taught IT in school.

That's not to say I hadn't my struggles. Solutions are buried deep in the settings and in the forums - sometimes they help you, sometimes they troll you.

my first Zettel uid: 202008120915