Are you a writer looking for resources on the web? In this post, we share 30 essential websites and web apps for writers.
Remember when writing was done with a stack of reference books and a typewriter you could beat someone to death with? Modern writers and journalists have it easier with access to the internet and all its resources.
The internet is a growing galaxy of information, links, content, and web apps. It’s also only useful to the average writer when they know what to do with it.
Web tools can make a writer’s job easier. Converting files, checking for synonyms, researching topics, or checking up on your own writing are all tasks web apps can simplify.
Here are 30 essential websites & web apps for writers.
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This article lists 30 useful web apps for writers.
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30 Essential Websites & Web Apps For Writers
Conversion & Compression
File format (or size) can create a huge headache for writers when files are shared between platforms. Use these tools to convert, compress, or view files on any computer and most smartphones.
Compress2Go is for making larger files smaller. Inboxes often have size limits which stop larger files from sending, and this solves your problem.
When file compatibility is an issue, you (or a reader) might not be able to open or edit the content. Use Online Convert to convert documents, media, and other files instantly, online, and for free.
Online Document Viewer is for quick reading when you don’t have a program that supports the file format. It can open most documents in your browser, even much older formats.
Do you have a photo or screenshot that’s too small to be useful for a blog post? Use TinEye (Number 25) to find a larger version, or use Photo Enlarger to digitally enlarge your image.
ZamZar is a free online file conversion tool. It’s a great alternative to Convert Files, and converts most things (including audio, documents, and video files).
Definitions & Dictionaries
Writers use words in interesting ways – well, the good writers do. Looking up definitions or alternatives is often necessary. Use these tools for quick, easy wordsmithing with online help.
Dictionary.com is one of the world’s largest online dictionaries. It gets points for its reliability, accuracy – and vast library of word alternatives.
Etymology Online is great because it allows writers to search for the etymology of any imaginable word. Results appear with references and more resources for writers to look up. Love wordplay? You’ll love this web tool.
Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is a world standard. Here’s the online version, sporting more than 600, 000 different word entries for the English language.
Thesaurus.com is your free, online thesaurus whenever you need one. It’s a much more beefed up version of your average thesaurus, and related words can keep you clicking for hours. Don’t forget to write, too!
Translate.com is a free translation website as an alternative to options like Google Translate. It supports multiple languages, and it’s been well-rated for its accuracy – but always check with more than one translation tool.
Editors & Word Processors
Even though Microsoft Word is a standard word processor everywhere, online alternatives become useful when you’re on the move. Check out these editors and word processors for opening, editing, or sharing files online.
Dropbox Paper is one alternative to Google Docs. If you already have a Dropbox cloud or account, consider signing up for Dropbox Paper to move some of your writing online. Often, sharing is easier when documents are on the cloud.
Evernote is a note-taking app, and most writers will find it handy. Free accounts have limited space, and only two devices can be linked. Paid accounts have access to more features.
Google Docs is linked to your Google Services, including Gmail and Photos. For many writers, editing or sharing writing through Google Docs is a lot more convenient.
Hemingway Editor is a popular writing app with a focus on editing on the move. It’s also available as a Desktop option, and comes highly recommended for writers in the editing phase.
Reedsy is an online writing tool that’s built with the idea of convenience for the writer. Need to write, edit, or just jot down an idea? This can help you do it. Files can even be shared directly from Reedsy.
Nobody’s grammar is perfect. Writing should always be checked for grammar, originality, and readability before it’s considered a done draft. Use these grammar tools for better results. [You can also buy The Complete Grammar Workbook.]
Cliche Finder is a free tool that examines a piece of writing for its cliché content. Have you said something that’s been said too much, or used too often? Use this to let you know.
Copyscape looks for content originality. It searches through the vast online database of Online Writing and compares what you’ve pasted into the search box. If there’s writing too similar to yours out there, it lets you know.
Grammarly is one of the most advanced grammar checking tools on the internet. It checks for proper English grammar, but also looks for word redundancy, duplication, and many other important writing elements.
Language Tool allows writers to check on their grammar. What’s great about this is that it supports 20+ languages – far more than most other tools that do the same thing in English. Great for the multilingual writer.
Readability refers to writing aspects like sentence structure, and how easily the human eyes will take to it. Readable offers a free online readability test for your writing, and is more reliable than the average word processor. (Must-Read: Why Readability Statistics Matter)
Search engines can search for more than just keywords. Advanced search engines for deeper (or more specific) types of research are out there. There are many. Start with these.
Search engines track everything you’ve searched before, and your next search results might be biased as a result. As a writer or journalist, this can skew your writing perspective. Use DuckDuckGo for a search engine that doesn’t rely on previous search biases to calculate results.
Google Scholar is much like Google Books, but looks only through academically related resources from your search results. For facts-based research, use this.
Wish you could see what a website had on it five years ago? Researching a removed website page? The Internet Archive (and its Wayback Machine) takes snapshots of websites past. Type in an appropriate URL and go back to the future.
Keyhole is a search engine that looks for mentions of links, tags, and hashtags. It’s great for tracking the history and shares of specific links, including where your own article links are ending up.
TinEye is a search engine specifically for reverse searching images. It looks for possible duplicates and similar images. For finding sources it’s incredibly useful.
Last, we get to word tools. These tools are for finding antonyms, researching acronyms, and SEO keyword research.
Acronyms can be confusing at the best of times. Often, one acronym might mean something else in a different part of the world. Use Acronym Finder for a little help. Their database lists an incredible 4 million.
Antonyms are opposites, and Antonyms For is for when a writer just can’t think of the right word. It’s free, vast, and useful whenever a writer gets stuck.
WordCounter measures word count. It’s a simple web tool, but it’s handy for checking segments, sections, or chapters for matching up with what you need. Just copy and paste.
Wordstream is a web tool that looks for keywords and their use online. When you aren’t using Google Trends, mouse over and use this.
Wordtracker is a strong alternative (or complimentary tool) to Google Trends. If you’d like to know more about specific SEO keywords and how they’re being used online, use this free keyword research tool to look them up.
If you want to improve your writing, buy The Complete Grammar Workbook.
By Alex J. Coyne. Alex is a writer, blogger, and card writer. His articles have appeared in publications like Moneyweb, The Citizen, CollegeHumor, Funds For Writers, and others. He also ghostwrites, and writes the daily Prime bridge column for Bridge Base Online (BBO). Get in touch at alexcoyneofficial.com.
If you enjoyed this, read his other posts:
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