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Bear - beautiful writing app for notes and prose

By Shiny Frog di Matteo Rattotti e C. S.N.C.

Editors’ Choice

Open the Mac App Store to buy and download apps.


Bear is a beautiful, flexible writing app for crafting notes and prose.

Link notes to each other to build a body of work. Use hashtags to organize for the way you think. And yet, all notes are stored in plain, portable text.

Bear is perfect for everything from quick notes, to code snippets, to in-depth essays. A focus mode helps you concentrate, and advanced Markdown and other markup options are an online writer's best friend. Full in-line image support brings your writing to life, and keep yourself on task by adding todos to individual notes.

- Requires a Bear Pro in-app subscription. Learn more below.

Bear's simple tools take the effort out of writing, whether you need to hit specific word counts and reading times, or you need to convert your writing into PDF and Word docs. With Bear's custom markup shortcuts, you can add style and links with just a tap or keystroke.

- Requires a Bear Pro in-app subscription. Learn more below.

Bear works on your devices, so you can write wherever inspiration strikes. Use todos to stay on task across every device.

Bear can instantly search all your notes, but it can also focus on specific things with Search Triggers. Use @task to find all your todos, @tagged “ideas” to find your notes that are waiting to blossom, or @files to find all notes with attachments.

• Rich previews while writing so you see prose, not code
• In-line support for images and photos
• Advanced Markup Editor that supports and highlights over 20 programming languages
• Use Cross-Note Links to build a body of work, quickly reference other notes, and more
• Quickly add todos to individual notes to keep yourself on task
• Multiple export options including HTML, PDF, DOCX, MD, JPG, and more
• Smart Data Recognition of elements like links, emails, addresses, colors, and more to come
• Hashtags to quickly find and organize notes however you like
• One-tap formatting on iPhone and iPad with a custom shortcut bar
• Focus Mode hides notes and other options when it matters
• All your notes are stored in plain text for the ultimate in portability
• Effortless, secure, and private multi-device sync via iCloud
• Regular updates to keep you and your writing current


Also available from Bear:

Bear Pro - Sync and more

• Sync notes between all your devices
• Advanced export to PDF, HTML, DOCX, JPG
• Eight gorgeous app themes to get just the right writing environment, with more themes on the way
• Keep the Bear updates coming

$1.49 monthly, $14.99 annually


Price may vary by location. Subscriptions will be charged to your credit card through your iTunes account. Your subscription will automatically renew unless canceled at least 24 hours before the end of the current period. You will not be able to cancel the subscription once activated. Manage your subscriptions in Account Settings after purchase. Any unused portion of a free trial period, will be forfeited when the user purchases a subscription.


We'd love to answer your questions or just hear what you think about Bear. Find us online at: (
Twitter: @BearNotesApp
Our forum:


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What's New in Version 1.1

This is *by far* our largest update since releasing Bear! We have huge additions and improvements for both the iOS and Mac versions, including a few extra perks for Bear Pro subscribers. Grab your favorite beverage, give this extensive list a once-over, and check for updates to get a great big hug from Bear 1.1!

## General
* Bulk delete & rename tags - Are your Bear tags starting to outnumber your Pokémon? We’ve made it easier to clean them up.
* New free theme - Our second free theme for all Bear users is focused on readability. It’s called High Contrast, and it’s good for visually impaired or Dyslexic people.
* 75% more fonts - Free and Bear Pro users get three more font choices: Georgia, Courier, and Open Dyslexic.
* Font all the things - Your font choice now also affects the note list.
* Infinite nested tags - Did you know you can nest tags in Bear? Well, you can. And now you can nest an /infinite number/ of tags. Careful with this one.
* Exclude search terms - Sometimes, certain words just aren’t invited to a search query. Now you can exclude words by adding a (-) before them. For example: recipes -broccoli

## Editor
* Highlight all the things - Free and Bear Pro users now get syntax highlighting for more languages: Perl, Ruby, Scala, C#, Go, CoffeeScript, SCSS, Tex, R, MatLab.
* New shortcut to discontinue a list, including checklists.
* New shortcut to move paragraphs up and down.
* Undo completed tasks - Yea, the point is to actually complete tasks and feel all warm and fuzzy inside. But sometimes you have to return the warm and fuzzy for a later date. Checkbox actions are now undoable.

## Exporting
* Export to TaskPaper - Ask and ye shall receive.
* Syntax in exports - JPG, PDF, and HTML exports now include code syntax highlighting (Bear Pro required).
* Better Word exports - Improvements in the DocX styles. (Bear Pro required)
* Preserving the time-space continuum - Modification and Creation dates are honoured in export for TXT, MD, DOCX, taskPaper and HTML.

## Importing
* Import from more apps - In addition to Evernote and Vesper, Bear can now import from even more apps and formats:
* Day One
* .TaskPaper files
* .webbloc files
* Escape tags - If you /don’t/ want to create new tags when importing something, you now have the option to escape any tags that are found. Escaped tags will look like #tag in your imported notes.

## Mac
* TouchBar support - Bear for Mac gets touchy feely. The TouchBar on the new MacBook Pro puts Bear’s formatting options at your fingertips.
* Drag to tags - Save a lot of tagging time by dragging and dropping one or more notes onto a tag.
* Voltron all the things - Select multiple notes in the list and merge them to create one super note. Well, it’ll be one big note containing all the previously selected notes, but it won’t save the universe or anything. Or will it?
* Support for Quadro - Quadro is an amazing new app that turns an iPad or iPhone into a sort of external TouchBar for a Mac (or PC!). You create a visual panel of shortcuts for automating your everyday apps and tasks, the keep them just a tap away on your iOS device while you work on your desktop device.
* Quicklook support - Quickly preview any note attachments by clicking them and pressing the Space bar
* New Firefox extension - Firefox joins Safari in the esteemed category of “Browsers for which We Built an Extension.” Select some stuff, click our new Bear extension, and automatically capture it to a new note. You can even set default tags for captured items in the extension’s preferences.

## Extra
* Automate font changes - We added new xcallback url for apps like Workflow and Launch Center Pro to changing Bear’s font.


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Customer Reviews

The Perfect Balance

I have used several note taking apps. Green, Blue, Yellow, White. They all had things I liked and things I didn’t like. Bear strikes the perfect balance. It looks beautiful and it is very easy to use. I never considered using tags to organize notes before, having spent decades using the folder/file method. But after a few minutes using tags, I relaized they are like super folders and files all in one. Simply use one tag like a folder, for example: #TravelLog. Then tag the notes with a destination like #Paris. Now the Paris notes will have their own tag “folder” and also be included in the TravelLog tag “folder”. Or you can use forward slashes: #TravelLog/Paris if you prefer to nest the Paris notes in the TravelLog tag “folder". Then the TravelLog tag has an colapsable arrow next to it so you can hide the Paris notes in the sidebar. I gladly paid the $15 per year pro upgrade to get syncing on all my devices and to help assure that the developers will continue to develop the app.

Great, but a recent bug with the update to 1.1

I LOVE Bear for taking notes in my lecture classes! It helps keep me organised on the small scale I currently need for school. I love being able to quickly strike through, underline, or bold things as I type! Also, being able to add lines between notes for different class days is great. I also love the new Open Dyslexia font. I am dyslexic, and it really does help me a lot when I’m typing quickly to take notes, and rereading them later on. I do hate that the new “free” theme is unavaliable despite what was said in the update description. It claims to also help with dyslexia, and I would love to give it a try if they can get that little bug fixed. Otherwise, I’ve had no real problems with this app!

Not motivated to move on this one

The update to include more themes and fonts is welcome, but they are not consistently available among my devices.
I don’t see why there are sharing extensions for iOS but not MacOS.
I keep looking at this piece of software and want to like it, but honestly there’s not much there beyond Apple’s Notes app.


Without the Bear Pro annual subscription and sync, the app is useless for me, because sync is only available with a subscription. I am not inclined to subscribe because:

1) The app itself is basically a Markdown editor, and it has lots of strong competition in that space.
2) I am rather appalled that a developer is charging for iCloud sync. Competitors don’t.
3) There have been reports of sync not working well. Why should I pay to find out for myself?
4) Using hashtags for organization is not enough for me.
5) I don’t like the design that much.

This is at best a decent app, and certainly not a great one.

Bear - beautiful writing app for notes and prose
View in Mac App Store
  • Free
  • Category: Productivity
  • Updated:
  • Version: 1.1
  • Size: 6.4 MB
  • Languages: English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Traditional Chinese
  • Seller:

Compatibility: OS X 10.10 or later, 64-bit processor

Customer Ratings

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Top In-App Purchases

  1. Bear Pro$1.49
  2. Bear Pro$14.99