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To download Bear from the Mac App Store, you need a Mac with OS X 10.6.6 or later. Learn More.


By Shiny Frog

Editors’ Choice

Open the Mac App Store to buy and download apps.


Bear is a beautiful, flexible writing app for crafting notes, prose, code and now sketches!

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 portability
• Effortless, secure, and private multi-device sync via iCloud
• Touchbar support
• Custom app icons to match Pro themes
• 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 1.4

Welcome to Bear 1.4 for Mac! Visit the Bear Notes & Prose Blog for more information, tips, and news:

**Introducing Autocomplete for Tags, Notes, and Code!**

We are _delighted_ to release Autocomplete, but we didn’t stop at #tags—it’s for notes and code, too!

* Start typing a #tag, and Bear will suggest existing tag names.
* Many popular tags now have icons in the Bear Sidebar so they are more identifiable!
* Link other notes or build a wiki by typing double brackets: [[ and then the name of a note. Bear will suggest notes for you to instantly link.
* Start a code block, and Bear now autocompletes commands from over 20 programming languages.

**A couple final goodies in Bear 1.4**

* Effortlessly swipe left and right on the Editor to hide and show the Sidebar and Note List.
* Two new themes for Bear Pro customers: DuoTone Light and Snow.
* Printing notes from Bear now uses a darker text color for easier reading.
* A standard round of bug extermination to help Bear purr even better for you.


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Customer Reviews

It’s a note app, and its absolutely amazing!

Ill start by saying that I have been using Bear off-and-on since it was in beta and keep coming back (i’m a tinkerer, so I do this with almost all apps) because it is just so great at being a NOTE taking app. You can copy out as almost any format and import in markdown is absolutley amazing! Would I write a dissertaion in it? Probably not, but I would keep all my reference notes in Bear for it.

With that said, the rate of consistent upgrades and amazing feedback by the developers (both in their forumns and in Reddit) has been so great that I am moving full-time to Bear (something I haven’t done with a note taking app in years!) because I truley believe it is the best out there now, and love to see how active the deveopers are in responding to feedback and improving the app! Can’t wait to see whats ahead.

Cumbersome, hard to use, and I was double-charged

I’m giving it two stars because the one-star reviews seem to upset Bear’s fans, but I found it unusable. Like many here, I find Evernote’s attempts to do everything cumbersome and unnecessary. I was hoping for a easy-to-use alternative. Unfortunately I have a lot of notes in Evernote, and conversion without tags was a huge challenge. It also used my iCloud storage, which Evernote did not, a move which would have become costly. I found the interface un-intuitive. I also accidentally enrolled in both monthly and yearly Pro membership, which it allowed me to do. It then went ahead and double-charged me for several months. I didn’t find the error until I ended the subscription.

If you like it, enjoy it, but don’t waste everyone’s time by flaming me for having a different experience. I’ve seen a fair amount of that here. Thanks.

Amazing App

Switched over from Evernote, and it’s been a perfect fit. I’m not anti-Evernote. I think it’s a great app, but it just didn’t feed my needs. For me, Evernote was like using a chainsaw to cut paper. It tried to do too much. Evernote is a giant RV and Bear is a VW camper van (without the mechanical issues).

PROS: lightweight, simple, clean, flexible, perfect for Markdown users, tagging allows for super easy and simple organization (and a folder-style hierarchy), doubled with the iPhone app it’s a perfect desktop/mobile combo. Love the text-editor style themes.

CONS: I’d like to be able to bulk export ALL of my text files, not as one bear-formatted export, but as a group of individual raw text files. Other than that, I can’t think of anywhwere this app falls short for me.

View in Mac App Store
  • Free
  • Category: Productivity
  • Updated:
  • Version: 1.4
  • Size: 11.5 MB
  • Languages: English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, 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