Installing on Mac OS X

2012 update: Mono is no longer recommended for running yWriter. Instead, you need to install Wine and then use a few simple commands to set up your system.

Download yWriter5 here, and follow the instructions for running Wine/yWriter5 on the same page.

Below is the older tutorial for getting yWriter running under Mono. (No longer the recommended option.)

yWriter5/Mono on OS X
Tutorial by Greg Kennedy, July 2010

yWriter5 is a handy word processor designed for people writing novels and lengthy documents. It helps organize your thoughts and has cool features to reduce the chaos of writing. It's also free. Compare to Scrivener, zWrite, etc.

Though there is no OS X installer or guide on the site itself, you can get yWriter5 working on OS X - using the free Mono library, and the Linux version of the software. Here's how.

  • Step 1: get Mono.

Mono is a platform-independent language that lets people write GUI-driven applications and run them on multiple operating systems without needing to recompile. Lucky for us, yWriter5 is a Mono app (written in Visual Basic 2008), so if we get a Mono library for Mac, we can run yWriter5. Browse over to and click on the Download link.

Click on Mac OS X, then click Framework next to the architecture you're on (Intel or PowerPC). If you're not sure which one you have, you can use Universal. Let the download complete and open the DMG image. Double-click the package icon, follow the prompts, and Mono will be installed.


  • Step 2: get yWriter5.

  • yWriter5 is provided free-of-charge by Spacejock Software. Head over to their website, and click on Linux Version using the menu on the left.

  • This page has lots of info on getting yWriter5 working in Linux. You can read over this if you like. The important part - the download link itself - is located midway down the page under the section "Upgrading to a new version of yWriter5". Download the latest zipped version.

  • Once the download is complete, expand this zip file if it isn't done automatically. Inside here is a subfolder called "bin", and within this is the actual yWriter5.exe file we are looking for. I recommend creating a new yWriter5 folder in your Applications directory, then copying the contents of bin, like this:

  • Step 3: run it!

  • Open up a Terminal window (I usually just do a Spotlight search for "Terminal"). Type in

cd /Applications/yWriter5
mono yWriter5.exe
  • yWriter5 should start right up! Use this same set of commands every time you want to run it again in the future.

    Note for first-time usage: For some users, yWriter5 won't start up properly and seems to hang on the splash screen. If you're getting this, press Ctrl+C in the Terminal window to quit the application. Try restarting it with this command:


  • This should allow yWriter5 to create its necessary files and get past the loading screen. In the future you shouldn't need to do this again - use the startup instructions at the beginning of Step 3.