8 Best Text Editors for iPad (Free and Paid)

Apple has long been pushing for the iPad to become a replacement for laptops. With a wireless keyboard, the iPad can function as a web browser, a media player, a spreadsheet and word processor, and as a text editor. The latter two are what most people do when working – write essays, draft emails, notes, scripts, and articles. So, does the iPad have what it takes to actually replace a laptop? To do that, it has to have a really good text editor. So, this time we discuss the Best Text Editors for iPad.

➀ Drafts

ipad text editor free

Drafts from Agile Tortoise is one of the many text editors for iPad available. Drafts is easy to use. It sports a clean interface for typing and its menus are nicely integrated with the keyboard. Plain text can easily be arranged for blogs using Markdown. Drafts does more to notes than being drafts. These notes are brought over to the popular app of choice and don’t need to be retyped or copied. Features include light and dark mode, dictation, integration with Siri and other popular apps.

Drafts is free for download but offers in-app purchases and subscription for more features. The new features are quite good and worth it for pro writers, but even then the subscription model can be begrudging in the long run when users are not active. One-time payments are always best.

➁ iA Writer

ipad text editor

iA Writer from Information Architects GmBH is definitely one of the best text editors for iPad, as a four-time Best of App Store winner, and a great review by The New York Times. If anyone remembers WordPerfect, that is what iA Writer is. iA Writer is WordPerfect for the iPad. It presents a simple distraction-free writing environment that lets writers focus on their thoughts. It is quite simple to use, and the work is created as plain text so files can be easily exported and edited elsewhere for refinement. And even though projects are in plain text, users can still embed links, pictures, and tables that can be previewed. Features include dark and light mode, focus mode which focuses on the current sentence, quick search for projects, spelling and grammar checker, style checker, ability to export to Word, WordPress, HTML, and PDF.

Information Architects is quite confident with iA Writer that this app is a no-trial flat purchase of $29.99. Which is good as there’s no subscription to worry about. The price is quite reasonable, and updates and bug fixes will come anyway.

➂ Pages

free text editor for iPad

Pages from Apple is not to be dismissed. It’s always good to have an app straight from the ones who know their hardware and operating system the best. It means that there will be fewer technical issues to worry about. Pages is a free word processing app from Apple which can also be used to write simple text notes. It’s Apple’s own version of Microsoft Word. Yes, it’s overkill for simple text files but the interface does look clean enough and the app itself is intuitive and easy to use. Features include real-time sharing and collaboration, access cloud documents, document templates for creating various document types, export to Word, EPUB, and PDF.

Pages is free for download from Apple Store, which is a necessity if they want to push the iPad as a great writing tool. As a full-blown word processor, however, its many options can be a bit distracting compared to the others listed here.

➃ Werdsmith

ipad text editor free

Werdsmith from Werdsmith Pty Ltd. is a great app made for writers as there are several modes in which the interface adapts — Simple Text, Novels, Poem, and Screenplay. Yep, definitely for writers. The app itself is easy to use. The writing prompts are basic but can be of help. A paid subscription unlocks a Ghostwriter feature. The default dark red background and control theme is just beautiful, especially for writers who work with novels and poems of a gothic genre. There are five themes and beautiful writing fonts available, three of them are in dark shades of red. Features include AI-generated writing prompts, cool background themes, various modes for different work, writing reminders, file export to Word, PDF and other formats.

Werdsmith is free for download so users can try it, and if they’re satisfied, they can subscribe for about $100 per year or $48 per month. It’s pretty steep but users can go with the free version if they don’t mind the nags. Werdsmith is full of features but not too distracting unless you dig deep into the interface. Overall, a bit expensive but one of the Best Text Editors for iPad.

➄ Byword

text editor for ipad

In contrast to Werdsmith, if you’re simply out for a good full-featured text editor for your iPad and don’t want to shell out much, then Byword by Metaclass’ might just be for you. Byword is a good text editor for simply taking notes or creating blog articles, thanks to its inclusion of Markdown to help with plain text formatting. Features include light and dark mode, syncing to all devices, document search thru iOS Spotlight, Split-screen support on iPad, word and character counters, spelling and grammar check, blog publishing to Medium, WordPress, Tumblr, and Blogger. The interface looks clean and distraction-free.

Byword charges $5.99 straight out for download, but that’s a good $5.99 investment. Foregoing just one coffee order nets you a useful text editor that can be used to capture ideas or straight out publish them into a blog. Keep in mind though, it’s a text editor, not a word processor so it only works with plain text formats but will display properly with Markdown.

➅ Editorial

text editor ipad

Editorial is an intimidating app name for an iPad text editor from omz:software. But does it make the cut as one of the Best Text Editors for iPad? For a flat fee of $4.99 dollars, it has no qualms for charging outright instead of allowing a free trial. Omz is confident enough about the product.

Editorial not only works as a plain text editor, but with Markdown and Fountain Preview, is a good blog editor as well. Editorial is unique in this list as it can be used to create drafts for Python scripts for Python programmers. It also has a built-in browser to use for quick searches, though this isn’t recommended for writers looking for a distraction-free writing app. Editorial itself is easy to use thanks to its Smart Keyboard. Its Text Snippets feature also makes writing easier when inserting dates and frequently used text. Features include markdown editing, light and dark themes, python scripting, built-in browser, Dropbox sync, a folding feature that hides the rest of the document allowing for more concentration of an article’s sections, and text snippets.

For a small price of $4.99, Editorial is a good choice for an iPad text editor compared to the others on this list. The built-in web browser however is a temptation for people looking to write without distractions. There’s always the power button on the router because it’s all too easy to exit from airplane mode.

➆ Ulysses

text editor app for ipad

Ulysses presents itself as a pleasant and focused writing experience. Ulysses is not just a text editor but an excellent writing tool. Features include easy access to all works using a Unified Library, a built-in proofreader with grammar and style check for up to 20 languages, export to Word, PDF, and HTML, and publish to WordPress and other blogging platforms.

Ulysses is free to download and experience for old and new writers. The app is subscription-based, though there is a discount for students. For pro writers, a subscription won’t be too substantial in exchange for a smooth writing experience.

➇ 1Writer

text editing app ipad

1Writer from Ngoc Luu is another powerful text editor for the iPad. The interface is quite clean with menus integrated into the keyboard and small bits up top. Its ease of use is better enhanced with full-text search and custom actions that can even be programmed if the user knows Javascript. 1Writer can also do full Sync or Selective Sync to local and cloud storage such as iCloud and DropBox and can also export text to other apps. Features include light and two different dark modes, 20 different fonts, passcode feature to keep ideas private, in-app web browser for quick searches, multiple windows, drag and drop, checklist support, export to PDF and other popular apps.

1Writer charges $4.99 but still offers in-app purchases for other features. Though a flat fee would be nicer, the ability to expand instead of buying a new version is appreciated. Like Editorial, the built-in web browser is a temptation against distraction-free writing.

So, these are what we think are the Best Text Editors for iPad. Some are paid while others are free. Everyone needs a text editor to jot down thoughts and ideas, and these powerful editors can also help those ideas become real.