Leo Editor for Writers

  Chris George    Feb 15, 2018
Leo Editor for Writers

Level:All levels

Good writing is knit from skeins of information, our creative ideas, and our perspiration. Getting it all together in the same place at the same time can be a challenge. Leo Editor is a program that helps writers by keeping us organized and productive. The creativity, as we all know, will always be left up to us.

Keeping people organized and productive is what Leo is all about. Leo is a unique programmer's editor, with an extensive feature set. Leo is flexible; it is a capable editor, an outliner, and a personal information manager without peer. It is also an excellent tool for seeing any writing project through from start to finish.

Leo creates living documents. Ideas can be organized and reorganized gradually and then inserted into the appropriate place in a project. Outlines become fluid, allowing infinite depth and by using clones of nodes, arbitrary levels of complexity. Features that were designed for programmers work very well for writers too. A search for a character name quickly returns all nodes containing it as clones attached to a new node, making it easy to make changes to character attributes or quickly finding the scenes where that character has a presence.

Leo makes it easy to maintain one document and publish to whatever format you want, whenever you want. Leo is a great choice for academic writing as well. It supports bibtex for references and can handle Latex and Mathjax output. It understands both rST and Markdown markup if creating complex formatting in a document is a requirement. Leo can output .docx, pdf, html, and many more formats.

Outliners impose structure on documents. Sadly, they can also impose structure on our thinking, making creativity a lot harder. Leo is different. Instead of imposing structure, it allows you to impose your own infrastructure, and then be as creative as you want. This brings the necessary chaos of creativity to heel when it is time to produce the document. The node structure creates ultimate flexibility when it comes to ordering scenes in chapter. Say good-bye to copy and paste and hello to drag and drop.

Leo can help all writers manage information. Plotters and planners will love it, but even those whose style is more free flowing will benefit from having the information they need at their fingertips when they need it.


  • Designed to organize all types of information; images, mp3s, URLs, poems, witty conversation. The sky is the limit.
  • Search and organize search results using clones to focus on topics.
  • Extensive toolkit to make writing more productive using abbreviations and clones of nodes.

Should You Download?


  • Leo is extensively customizable.
  • Clone nodes; one node can link to any other. Think of one leaf belonging to more than one tree.
  • Abbreviations convert an arbitrary typed string into another arbitrary string on the page.
  • Organizes information so it makes sense to you and helps you quickly find it when you need it.
  • Manages time and information to keep you productive and writing, all in one place.
  • The interface is entirely accessible using the keyboard. No need to lift your hand to use the mouse.
  • Text only, reducing formatting distraction.


  • Text only, reducing formatting distraction.
  • Complexity can be overwhelming at first.

As a software tool, Leo is far more complex than any other tool I have ever used in my day to day writing. I estimate that after using it for over a decade, I actually use less than 5% of what it is capable of. But that 5% is 100% more helpful than the features of any other software I have used to help me write. I began using Leo in 2007. The longer I use Leo, the more valuable the information in it becomes to me. I recommend it highly to all writers.

Leo is written in python, runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux, and is released under the MIT license.

Download now from: leoeditor.com

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