Best text editing apps for iPad: Editorial, Byword, Writer Pro, and more!

Best text editing apps for iPad

Looking for the best iPad apps for text editing? iPads are quickly replacing laptops as the tool of choice for highly mobile businesspeople, reporters, students, and casual users alike. Not only is an iPad much easier to carry around than a laptop, there are lots of apps specifically tailored for writers of all kinds. If you're interested in the best text editing apps for turning those thoughts into letters, essays, reports, articles, novels, and more, these are the App Store apps you want!


Best text editing apps for iPad: Editorial

Editorial for iPad has a customized keyboard which makes it easy to pick out the characters you most frequently use. It supports Markdown and comes with a great resource center in case you're just learning. There's a built-in browser so you can preview your progress as you work. On top of these features, you also get snippet support, configurable actions, and so much more. We're talking full Python interpreted scripting. Yeah. Editorial also supports Dropbox sync to save and backup all your files.

If you write a ton of content in Markdown, love to script workflows in Python, and otherwise crave advanced features, get Editorial.


Best text editing apps for iPad: Byword

Byword supports not only iPad but iPhone and Mac as well. Complete with Markdown previews, publishing options to several different blogging platforms including Wordpress, Tumblr, Blogger, Evernote, and more, Byword also supports both Dropbox and iCloud syncing so you can use whichever you prefer. It's simple, to the point, and keeps your writing as its main focus.

If you're looking for a complete text editing suite that's simple to use and has lots of publishing options, you want Byword.

See also:

Writer Pro

Best text editing apps for iPad: Writer Pro

Writer Pro breaks writing into three different stages; note, write, and read. Easily swap between different modes to toggle views that are made specifically for that phase of writing. Aside from full Markdown support, Writer Pro boasts an extremely unique feature called Syntax Control that lets you highlight a specific type of word, like adjectives, so you catch frequent uses and repeats while editing. Just like its predecessor, iA Writer, Writer Pro also offers Focus Mode which dims all content but the current sentence you're working on.

If you want a text editor that can guide you through the entire writing process from start to finish, check out Writer Pro.

See also:

Daedalus Touch

Best text editing apps for iPad: Daedalus Touch

Daedalus Touch also supports Markdown and has support for iCloud sync, WebDav, and Dropbox. The file system itself is what makes Daedalus Touch unique. Instead of having folders and hierarchies, Daedalus Touch functions as a series of stacks. Start a new stack, name it, and start adding pages inside of it. It has always reminded me of a virtual desk and for many folks it'll be a file structure they enjoy. Daedalus Touch also ties in nicely with Ulysses III for Mac, an extremely powerful text editing and Markdown suite.

For a unique writing experience that takes file organization to the next level, Daedalus Touch is a must have.

See also:


Best text editing apps for iPad: Write

Write supports Markdown, with specialized keyboards on both iPhone and iPad versions, iCloud sync, and more. One of the best features of Write is its support for third party apps and social sharing. Clear, Evernote, Tweetbot, Google Drive, and Reminders are just some of the apps that integrate directly into Write. For those that use TextExpander, you can also import your snippets easily. Write's Remote Keyboard feature lets you pair your devices and use one as a keyboard for the other.

If you frequently share your writing on social networks, get Write. The Remote Keyboard feature is just an awesome added bonus.

See also:


Best text editing apps for iPad: 1Writer

1Writer is a complete text editing and Markdown suite that offers an extended keyboard layout and a great interface. For anyone who fancies using the Fleksy keyboard, you'll definitely want to check out 1Writer as it fully supports it. You've also got lots of social sharing options, a few themes to choose from, and sync support with Dropbox.

1Writer is a beautiful app and anyone who loves Fleksy will find writing in 1Writer to be an amazing experience.

Your vote for best iPad text editing and Markdown apps?

A lot of the text editing and Markdown apps listed above are the ones that us here at iMore and across Mobile Nations use on our iPad regularly. Now we want to know what you guys are using and why. Be sure to let me know in the comments!

Note: Originally posted August 2013. Last updated May 2014.

Allyson Kazmucha

Help and how to editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

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Reader comments

Best text editing apps for iPad


So I've tried a few journal apps, but really just want one long one like I used to do with my double pw protected Word doc for years. Is this a good combo for keeping a journal I can store in Dropbox and edit from Mac and iOS?

Agreed. I switched to Notesy which is pretty good. I see the new developer of PlainText wrote a comment - I'll have to reinstall and see the recent updates!


nvNotes is worth a try as well. I use it with nvAlt on my Macs synced with Dropbox. Its only drawback is no native iPad support yet, otherwise it's very good.

Looks nice. I see they have implemented the "Syntax" feature found in Writer Pro. Might be a reasonable alternative to Writer Pro if someone is looking for the syntax feature but not willing to pay the 19.99 for Writer Pro.

i agree but holy crap!!! how long are we gonna have to wait?? i thought it was supposed to be out in 2012, now it's gonna be at least mid 2014!!

Pages, but more for the footnote & endnote support as much as anything. Anyone know of a list of apps that support this?

Unfortunately Apple has lobotomised the latest Pages 5, removing over 90 features and adding heaps of bugs.

EndNote support being one of the features screwed up.

I think Wisdom writer can be compared with above apps, also it was free for sometimes. It has all rich text formatting with table and picture tools.

I loved Essay until it got bought by Evernote. I don’t love the Essay features as they’ve been integrated into Evernote. I used Elements until UX Write appeared, which is now my #1 choice. I occasionally use Pages too.

Pages is working well for me. I used DocsToGo but since I starting using a Logitech ultraslim keyboard folio case & the spell check doesn't work when using that keyboard so pages is now my main one & I really like it.

I was using evernote earlier as I do not write that much on ipad. In-fact I use my iPad to store a lot's of files so i was in need of searching something that can brilliantly manage my ipad files, then I came across files-finder edition for ipad and I was pretty astonished when I used the app and I found it's interface pretty similar to finder of Mac. Now, I can edit my files, sync my files over cloud networks, edit them, sort them. Besides of I got features like in built browser with download manager and file previewer etc.

"Not only is an iPad much easier to carry around than a laptop, there are lots of apps specifically tailored for writers of all kinds."

Really? Can someone actually write on a tablet? I cannot see how an iPad could replace a laptop for someone who has to do real work. Maybe I am missing something here, but even typing a simple reply such as this is cumbersome on a touch screen. And since the iPad cannot truly multitask, for me, at least, fetching data and searching for information while creating content is very slow and difficult. But it could be just me.

I am the developer of PlainText. I recently acquired it from its original developer and have updating it regularly. It is not as full featured as the apps here, but it does support iCloud and Dropbox and will soon support Markdown.

Staying with Byword for now, as it works on all devices. I would love to use Ulysses III on the Mac (it is the best Markdown editor for OS X by far), but the only mobile tool it works with is Daedalus Touch and, even if the article says otherwise, its Markdown support is abysmal (I do like the stacks concept, but that's about it).

1Writer for me. Simple, beautiful and constantly improved by the developer. It's the most similar to Byword but I just prefer it's interface slightly. Also supports Dropbox and iCloud which is great.

Sent from the iMore App

Funny that the page the iPad mini is sitting on in pic contains a grammar error. "Certain iPhone 5s parts leaks "my" be for budget iPhone" lol and this is for writing apps.

Byword stays on my iOS devices, BBEdit on my Macs. But I think I own most Markdown-supporting editors, rotating them out to keep up with their updates. Markdown shortcuts could be better in Byword and I have occasional, minor formatting issues with most of these editors, usually due to the different flavors of Markdown used, which I wish the app developers would list better in descriptions.

Happy for all the .md editor choices for Apple devices. Not much exists for Android in this area, and what does is no where close to the quality of any of the editors mentioned above.

I should have mentioned I use Marked 2 on my Macs. If you're really into Markdown, you already know about it and nvAlt from Brett Terpstra. Marked 2 is fantastic.

It amazes me that organizations like yours can so blatantly leave out one of the leading and most versitile iOS products out there!

Where is Drafts?! Drafts interfaces better than anything you reviewed and has complete URI support, has been around for a long time and has wonderful support!

I find articles like these are terribly bias and not useful in truly evaluating solutions for users, except for seeing what products advertise with iMore the most.