When writer started it ran on one device (iPad 1) and was used by a few thousand writers. With over a million people from various fields working with our app on a wide range of devices, we cannot make one-fits-all decisions anymore. We now offer a wide range of options to fit the various use cases, professional and personal needs. We are giving our best to limit the options to the absolutely necessary. What is and isn’t necessary is based on user feedback. There are some options in our settings that might puzzle you. Rest assured that each and every switch in there is useful to a rather large group of people regularily using our app.

iA Writer for Mac groups preferences into five tabs:


  • Appearance – Choose between Light and Dark themes for iA Writer
  • Dock icon – Choose whether to show the light or dark icon in the dock while running iA Writer
  • Gestures – Toggle this to disable swipe gestures used to bring in the Library and Preview panes or scroll the Preview and Editor in sync
  • Toolbar – Set the visibility of the Toolbar
  • Automation – Turn on support for URL commands
  • Medium – Add your account to iA Writer
  • WordPress – Add your WordPress account to iA Writer


  • Default extension – New files will be saved with the extension provided here
  • Preferred action – Determines the behavior of ⌘N; either create files currently shown folder of the Library or prompt for a save location upon ⌘S


  • Font – Select between monospaced or duospaced
  • Text size – Choose between small, medium, and large sized text
  • Focus scope
    • Sentence/Paragraph – Determines how much text is held in focus at a time
    • Typewriter – Keeps the caret centered in the middle of the screen without fading text
  • Spelling and grammar – Decide how iA Writer checks your spelling and grammar, if at all
  • Smart substitutions
    • Copy/Paste – Automatically removes word-bordering whitespace
    • Quotes – Replaces straight quotes with curly quotes
    • Dashes – Two hyphens in a row are converted to an emdash
    • Text Replacement – Toggles replacements from System PreferencesText
  • Indent text using – Choose whether the tab key inserts four spaces or a tab character
  • Limit line length to – Choose the maximum line length iA Writer will display


  • View options – Elect to show filename extensions and text excerpts in the Library
  • Organizer – Choose which sections to display in the Organizer
  • Files – Toggle these options to keep folders at the top of the library list, show text excerpts for each file and show or hide the Sort and Filter bars
  • Sort by – Choose to sort documents in the library by modification date, name, or kind


  • Markdown processing
    • Hide hashtags – Hashtags in your document will not be shown in Preview/Export
    • Process metadata – Hides MultiMarkdown metadata from the Preview
    • Apply smart punctuation – Turn on to prettify punctuation in the Preview (e.g., Convert straight quotes in the editor to curly quotes in Preview)
    • Single return starts a new paragraph – Allows for “lazy paragraphs” by only requiring one return to create a new paragraph—instead of the usual two needed for Markdown documents
  • Default templates
    • Center Headings – Toggle to center or left-justify headings (H1, H2, etc.)
    • Number Headings – Automatically number headings in Preview
    • Indent Paragraphs – Indicate new paragraphs with indentation instead of vertical space
  • Preview
    • Invert Colors – Preview uses Night Mode when the Editor is in Day Mode and vice-versa
  • Printing & PDF Export – Choose whether to include a Title page, headers and footers in your printed documents and exported PDFs
  • Author – Custom templates can make use of this name: e.g., on a title page
  • Custom templates – Add or remove custom templates here using the +/- buttons or dragging them into the field

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