looking for a text editor for iphone for serious work

iOS & iPadOS

Hello everyone, I would like to use my iphone for some serious work. Either for learning foreign languages or writing scientific papers. The editor should be able to do speel chcek, open multiple documents, move text around, do the line spacing, footnotes, just the usual stuff that ms word does. I have heard that there are editors such as ulysses and by word, as well as other editors such as word or voicewriter or mbraille. However, I don't know which one of these if any would be the best. I do not think taht mbraille can open multiple files for instance. Also the editor should be able to open word and pdf documents and save the files as word files or at least if I open the file in ms word the formating should be the same. Thank you for your suggestions. In short, does anyone use iphone for creating scientific papers or learning foreign language as I described it?



Submitted by Anna Beige on Friday, January 27, 2017

I don't like spellcheck on iOS. It's basically just autocorrect.
I don't know what to tell you. I use Scrivener on iOS to write documents, I like it a lot more than, say, iA Writer, which I had used for over a year.
I've actually looked into this. I've tried Pages, which I didn't like.
It always comes back to the fact that spellcheck is horrible. What I end up doing, with Scrivener, is exporting the document into .docx format and sending it to Dropbox to spellcheck on my computer.
Scrivener probably isn't what you're looking for, plus it was twenty dollars.
I don't know why Apple would want people to replace their computers with iPad Pros when iOS isn't nearly as flexible as a computer.

Submitted by zdenek on Friday, January 27, 2017

Hi Anna and others. Why do you think that the editor that you are using scrivener may not be a good choice? What is it lucking? How does it compare with the byword or ulysses? Well, to answer your question why to use text editor on iphone, because the iphone is more portable than computer. The price would not be an issue if the editor is good. Thank you for your suggestions.

Submitted by Carlos Taylor on Friday, January 27, 2017

In reply to by Anna Beige

If you like the features of Microsoft Word on your computer and wish to open and save in the MS Word format, why not try MS Word for iOs? I have Word, Excel, and Powerpoint installed on my iPhone and they appear to work reasonably well. I just don't use them all the time to point out any shortcomings.

Submitted by peter on Friday, January 27, 2017

I asked Apple Accessibility about spell checking with iOS. Their response is below and was very helpful:

"Thank you for your email. On the topic of spelling corrections, one suggestion we would make is to ensure both “Check Spelling” and “Auto-Correction” is on in Settings > General > Keyboards. In addition, we suggest to try turning on “Speak Auto-text” in Settings > General > Accessibility > Speech > Typing Feedback. With all 3 features are on, as you are typing if you misspell a word you will hear a sound effect followed by VoiceOver reading to you the suggested correction(s). To enact the correction just press the space bar and VoiceOver will read again the correction that was made. If you wish to manually replace a misspelled word, you will need to use the edit rotor to select the misspelled word first, cycle through the list of options and activate “replace.” This will activate a menu that will contain the approprate spelling replacements. Refer to the linked manual below.


Also, both Pages and MS Word are fully functional sophisticated word processing programs that should fit your needs.

Hope that helps.


Submitted by Tangela on Friday, January 27, 2017

I do a lot of writing on my iphone, and primarily write in Scrivener for its ability to quickly move between documents and organize them in whatever way you think best. You can also then merge all documents in a given folder easily if you should want to do that.

Then Voice Dream Writer has a spellchecker that's incredibly easy to use and the acapela voices for listening to your text with high quality voices.

That's a great idea! I just bought Voice Dream Writer, and I like it. I still prefer Scrivener, but since VDW has a spellchecker that I can actually use, I'm happy.
I have a question. I can't figure out how to see the list of suggested words to replace a misspelled word. I see how many words are misspelled, and can go through them just fine, but I can't figure out how to see suggestions/choose which suggestion to use. I looked at the manual, but I'm still a bit stuck.

Submitted by Tangela on Saturday, January 28, 2017


So what you need to do is go to tools, check spelling. You'll be presented with a list of misspelled words, which you can flick up and down through. When you see a word you want to correct, do a three finger swipe right, which will put you on the word finder. Make sure "phonetic search" is selected. You'll be presented with a list of suggestions. Swipe up or down on them to hear the actions in the actions rotor. Double tap when "replace" is selected, and the new correction will be made. Then just 3-finger swipe left again to get back to the list of misspelled words.

Hope this helps. I promise its not as tedious as it sounds, and with some practice you'll be able to do it quite quickly.

If you need me to upload an audio demo or something let me know.

Submitted by Anna Beige on Saturday, January 28, 2017

As the subject line says, exporting to plain text was what caused the double spacing. Exporting to ritch text format works with no strange issues.

Submitted by zdenek on Saturday, January 28, 2017

Hello guys this is interesting threat. So what text editor we are now talking about, as far as double spacing is concerned. So what is the difference between word scrivener, byword and ulysses? Or why are you using particular editor? Many thanks again. Zdenek

Submitted by Jim Homme on Monday, July 17, 2017

Besides what everyone else has mentioned here, VoiceDream Writer uses a formatting syntax called MarkDown. You can get a program for Mac and PC called Pandoc that will handle footnotes, bibliographies, and conversions to many formats. So I would think that a good possible Workflow, once you have gotten Pandoc, would be to write on your phone, Save to DropBox, then convert with PanDoc.

Submitted by Bellsfurmama on Monday, July 17, 2017

I love to write and have been using notes. But notes is aweful. It won't read back what I have written and my work is loaded with typos because it just isn't as good.

What is the best MS word equivalent? Is Scrivener the best? Can you arrow back through what you have written to proof it like you would using Word?

I'm not sure if Word will work on my Ipad. I can't remember if I have tried that one or not. Does it work like the PC version?

Thanks guys!

Submitted by Remy on Monday, July 17, 2017

Hi all,

For those using word, pages or scrivener, how do you deal with text navigation? I'm a PC writer mostly, and am very used to being able to quickly navigate by headings and especially paragraphs. I've noticed with Pages/Word, that isn't really possible. There's a difference between reading mode and writing mode on both, and just because I select a line of text to edit and double click it, doesn't mean my edit cursor is going to appear there. Writing is intuitive enough with a Bluetooth keyboard or M or the native braille keyboard, but text navigating is not, unless I'mr eally missing something. I'd love to do more serious writing on my Ipad, but I also want to be able to move seamlessly between it and my PC while preserving my text formatting.

Which brings me to another problem. Voice Dream Writer seems to be very intuitive in a unique way, but also seems ot lack the ability to import most document formats. I'd love to be able to export my nicely marked up dream witer document into Word, then open it on my PC, then re-import back into Dream Writer? Is this really not possible?

Submitted by Bellsfurmama on Friday, July 21, 2017

I have had issues with reading what I have written in Notes and some in pages as well. Document navigation needs improvement.

Submitted by OldBear on Friday, July 21, 2017

I'm going to give Pages a second chance. I've been able to work with a document this morning by keeping Pages in edit mode when both reading and editing. Not sure how long documents will work out, though. I think there were some problems with that in the past. It seems to have most of the features I need now.

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