Writer's Resources

This is a list of resources of interest to writers.

Writer's Resources Topics

Table of Contents:

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Internet Resources

  1. Looking for research material? See if there's a FAQ on your subject at http://www.faqs.org/faqs/
  2. Webster's online dictionary and thesaurus are accessible from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary.htm.
  3. A style manual is finally available over the Internet. You can find it and many other great reference materials at http://www.bartleby.com/.
  4. How to set your e-mail program to send plain text that anyone receiving e-mail can read, http://www.geoapps.com/nomime.shtml. This is very helpful if you're sharing your writing via e-mail.
  5. More on story formatting problems and other writing related topics from Kathryn Andersen's, http://katspace.org/computers

If one of the Internet resources links above is out-of-date, you can report it by entering its location number from the list in the box below and pressing Report:


If anyone has any dictionary, spelling, readability indexing or other writing related freeware they'd recommend, please let me know. See also, my list of Open Source Software Recommendations for mention of more interesting software.

Writing Tools

  1. StarDict is a useful, cross-platform dictionary program that lets you search and access dictionary, thesaurus and encyclopedia entries on your PC. Older versions (both standard and portable) are available at Sourceforge. I personally prefer the portable versions. With the portable version I'm currently running, it looked like it had some extra files that I didn't need for running it and were just taking up space. I only needed the StarDict directory under the app directory, not in other locations as well. You can customize GTK settings by editing or changing gtkrc in the StarDictPortable\App\StarDict\Gtk\etc\gtk-2.0 directory. Check the StarDict and XDXF projects at Sourceforge for reference materials to use with StarDict.
  2. A simple to use DOS spell checker is at http://ftp.lyx.org/pub/pc/garbo/pc/spell/ezspell.zip
  3. Hunspell is very popular spell checker that works on Unix, Windows and other platforms. See http://hunspell.sourceforge.net for more information.
  4. AutoHotkey is a wonderful, Open Source automation utility for Windows. Some of its users have written autocorrection scripts for this tool that will work with almost any Windows application or editor. For details, see http://www.autohotkey.com/forum/topic8057.html. You can find links to 2 autocorrection scripts for AutoHotkey here:
  5. Gnu style and diction utilities for Unix can be found at http://www.gnu.org/software/diction/diction.html. There's a Windows port available from the GnuWin32 project at Sourceforge.
  6. A program for DOS that displays the Gunning-Fogfinder readability index is available from http://ftp.lyx.org/pub/pc/garbo/pc/education/fogfinde.zip
  7. A DOS program with source that gives the functionality of wc plus reabability information can be found at http://ferguson.home.xs4all.nl/. Look for wc24 under the freeware and filters links.
  8. Also search your favorite gnu, delorie gcc or gnuish msdos archive for wc. It's a word count program that counts lines, words and bytes in a file. It started out on Unix, but there are versions available for many operating systems. A copy of wc is available with msys.
  9. Check out some of the Command Line Interface applications at http://www.jaredandcoralee.com/CLIapps.html for tools that may help with your writing. You'll find file converters like antiword, dictionaries, thesauri, spelling and grammar checkers and more listed there.
  10. The Free Software for DOS site has other good suggestions for editors, dictionaries and text utilities that will work with some variety of DOS or in DOSBox. See http://reimagery.com/fsfd/index.htm#siteidx
  11. Here's one way to write a rhyming tool and a link to an online version of it.
  12. Need to convert your printed writing back to ASCII? If you have a scanner, you may want to test out this Optical Character Recognition program http://www.simpleocr.com/

If one of the freeware links above is out-of-date, you can report it by entering its location number from the list in the box below and pressing Report:

Editors and Word Processors

  1. SciTE is my current favorite programming editor and it's useful for writing stories too. Check my article on SciTE Tips for help with customizing SciTE and ideas for using SciTE with your own writing projects, plus information on where to get it. There's also information on a spell-checker that can be used with SciTE or other programming editors that understand gnu compiler error output formats.
  2. Lyx is a cross platform 'what you see is what you mean' style editor. See http://www.lyx.org/
  3. Scibus is another interesting cross platform 'wysiwym' editor. See http://www.scribus.net/
  4. Wordgrinder is a cross-platform console based word processor. See http://wordgrinder.sourceforge.net/
  5. Pedit is a DOS editor which replaces EDIT and has many features including a spell checker and thesaurus and column blocking and editing abilities. See http://www.goldshell.com/pedit/
  6. Libre Office is a full office suite. See http://www.documentfoundation.org
  7. Abiword is an Open Source word processor. A portable apps version is available for flash drives. See http://www.abisource.com
  8. Edwin is a highly customizable editor for DOS. See http://ftp.lyx.org/pub/pc/garbo/pc/editor/edwin15c.zip
  9. A DOS version of Word is freely available. For details, see http://downloadsquad.switched.com/2005/11/25/free-file/
  10. A DOS version of the WordPerfect editor is available. It's a no frills, bare bones version of the editor based on the popular DOS word processor. Also check the WordPerfect for DOS Updated web site which includes tips for continuing to use DOS WordPerfect and links to WordPerfect related tools. See
  11. To print from an old word processor program that no longer supports the latest printer connections (especially in versions of DOS such as DOSBox), output to a file and then send the file to your printer with another application. Some word processors such as WordPerfect let you output to a file in Postscript directly when printing. In some cases, you may need to redirect your printer port to a file using various software. Once in file format, you can:

If one of the freeware links above is out-of-date, you can report it by entering its location number from the list in the box below and pressing Report:


I've read so many books on writing I can't remember them all. However, I'm listing some of the ones I've added to my library or found useful.


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(c) Copyright 1999 by Laura Michaels
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Last Modified: 20130225