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Using the Writer for Mac desktop app (BETA)

Who can use this feature

  • Users enrolled in our Team and Enterprise plans.
  • Users on macOS Big Sur and newer versions.

Generate content from Writer anywhere using our new MacOS desktop app! Using our new app, you'll be able to brainstorm new content, escape writer's block, and generate fresh ideas for whatever you're working on, no matter where you're writing. If you're part of our Knowledge Graph beta, you'll even be able to ask your Knowledge Graph a question!

What's in this article:

Installing the desktop app

To install the app, download the .dmg Writer installer and double-click the file to open it.

Drag the Writer app into your Applications folder.

The Writer app is now installed. Writer will appear in your Applications folder and the Launchpad.

The first time you launch the Writer app, you'll be asked whether you want to open "Writer.app" downloaded from the Internet. Select Open:

Granting permissions

  • Accessibility - This allows us to insert content into your writing. Without this permission, the app won't work (see Troubleshooting below).
  • Login items — This allows the Writer app to run in the background automatically every time you start your computer.
  • Screen recording — This allows the Writer app to take a screenshot of text, read that text, and use it as part of a prompt.

Accessibility permissions

Open your accessibility settings by clicking the Open Accessibility button within the app's startup screen or by navigating to  > System Settings > Accessibility.

Select the toggle next to Writer to grant permission. You may be asked for a password or a Touch ID to verify the change.

Login items permissions

Open your login items settings by navigating to  > System Settings > General > Login Items. Select the toggle next to Writer.

You're all set! Time to get started with the Writer desktop app.

Screen recording permissions

Open your screen recording permissions settings by navigating to  > System Settings > Privacy & Security > Screen recording. Select the toggle next to Writer:

For users operating macOS Ventura, the Writer app will be added to  > System Settings > General > Login Items>Open at Login. Users operating an older macOS version will see Writer under  > System Settings > General > Login Items> Allow in the Background.

Logging in via the desktop app

Logging in

If you're already logged into your Writer account on the Web, the Writer app will recognize you and log you in automatically.

If you aren't logged in on the Web, the Writer app will ask you to log in:

Select Get started to be brought to the login screen.

Onboarding

Once you're logged in for the first time, Writer will guide you through a series of onboarding slides navigating you through the desktop app. You can navigate between the slides using the • dot icons below. If you wish to exit the Getting started onboarding flow, click Got it on the final slide, or click the X button at any time:

Click the Writer icon in the top navigation bar, then select Getting started to bring back these onboarding slides at any time.

Launching the commands widget

Click the W icon in the navigation bar to launch the commands widget:

You could also click the app icon in the doc to launch the commands widget:

Auto-update

The Writer for Mac OS app is autoupdated in the background, which means it always detects if there is a new update of the app is available. When a new update is available, the app downloads it in the background. You can access the updated version after unlocking your screen, or by relaunching the app.

Using the Writer for Mac app

Rewrite text

Love using rewrite to get your drafts perfectly polished? Now you can rewrite text on the go: just paste your text into Writer for Mac and let us know whether you need it simplified, shortened, or downright Shakespearean!

Start an Ask Writer session

Enjoy the full functionality of our open-ended Ask Writer feature – anywhere! Start a new session, then add relevant sources. Let Writer know exactly what you need, and chat back and forth to refine your outputs. When you're satisfied, select the copy icon to copy your output to your clipboard.

Using commands to generate content

When you're on a roll, the last thing you want to do is switch tabs! Now, you can generate content and break out of writer's block, no matter where you're working, using our commands feature.

  1. Select the W icon from your top navigation bar or your dock to open the commands menu.
  2. In the text field, simply type in a command to generate the exact content you need. (For more information about using commands in Writer, see here.)
  3. Select the Copy icon to copy your output to your clipboard.
  4. If the Writer for Mac app detects an editable field, you can select Insert to insert your output directly where you're working.

Starter ideas

Got writer's block? Starter ideas will help you get past the blank page stage, whether you're generating shortform content like a product description, or longform content like a blog post.

Select Starter ideas, then select a prompt for shortform or longform content. Writer will generate content. If you want to try again, select Regenerate in the bottom left corner of the widget. If you want to copy the content, select the copy icon. If you want to insert the content directly into the app you're writing in, select Insert to add your content wherever your cursor is located.

Recent prompts

Once you've used the app's commands widget to generate at least one prompt, you'll see the Recent prompts menu option appear. This menu only includes prompts generated by you through the commands widget within the desktop app. It will not contain prompts generated in the Editor, or prompts generated by other users in your Team.

Selecting a recent prompt won't regenerate the same content. Writer will run your prompt again from scratch, creating entirely new content!

Capture text from screen

If you haven't already granted screen recording access to the app (see Granting permissions) click the purple Allow screen access button to open up your System Settings.

Transform work without the copying and pasting! The Mac OS app allows you to capture text on your screen, then incorporate it into a command:

  1. Select Capture text from screen.
  2. Use the screen capture tool to select the writing you wish to capture.
  3. After Writer captures the selected text, either enter a freeform command into the text field or rewrite this text.

Generate from this text

If you've captured text from your screen, Writer can transform that text into a headline, a frequently asked question, a LinkedIn post, and more.

Ask your Knowledge Graph a question

Are you part of our  Knowledge Graph beta? If so, you can use the app to ask your Knowledge Graph a question. Simply select Ask your Knowledge Graph, enter a question, and Writer will generate an answer which you can insert into your work.

Other settings

Updating settings

Need to update which Organization you're using, or which Team settings you'd like to apply?

Within the top navigation menu, select Settings:

Within the commands widget, select the sliders icon, then select Settings:

Sign out


To sign out from the top navigation bar, click the W icon and select Sign out:

To sign out from the commands widget, click the sliders icon and select Sign out:

Quit

While you can close the command widget by pressing the X button in the top right corner, the Writer app will continue to run in the background. As long as the Writer app is running, you will see the W icon in your top navigation bar.

To quit the Writer app and stop it from running in the background, click the W icon in the top navigation bar and select Quit:

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