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!


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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. The developer has also stated that document picker integration is coming soon.

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

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Best text editing apps for iPad: Drafts

Drafts is one of the most full featured writing and Markdown apps available for iOS with support for things like Text Expander Touch, URL actions, message actions, themes, fonts, and tons more. Have a great action you think a fellow Drafts user would enjoy? You can do that too with action export and import, which supports JSON, CSV, HTML or Markdown format. If you can think of an action, Drafts can most likely make it happen.

If you live and breathe inside actions while writing and do most if not all of your work on iOS, look no further than Drafts.

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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.

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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.

If you frequently share your writing on social networks or want a beautiful Mac client to compliment your iOS solution, get Write.

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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. Like some of the other candidates here, there's also support for importing your TextExpander Touch snippets so you can use them inside 1Writer as well. You've also got lots of social sharing options, a few themes to choose from, and sync support with Dropbox.

1Writer provides a beautiful writing experience and if you don't need Mac support, you may appreciate its simplicity and ease of use over others.

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 October 2014.

Allyson Kazmucha

iMore senior editor from 2011 to 2015.