Jutoh is a writing and ebook formatting software for indie authors and publishers. In this article, we'll break down everything you need to know about this software. By the end, you'll be able to decide if Jutoh is right for you!
- Jutoh's pricing and system requirements
- Jutoh's key features
- What I like (and don't like) about Jutoh
- Is Jutoh right for you?
Table of contents
- What is Jutoh?
- How Much Does Jutoh Cost?
- Jutoh System Requirements
- Jutoh's Major Features
- What I Like About Jutoh
- What I Don't Like About Jutoh
- Is Jutoh For You?
- Consider Atticus For All Your Formatting Needs
- In-depth ebook creation capabilities.
- Wide range of import and export options.
- Preview Kindle books (with separate Kindle Previewer).
- Preview EPUBs (with separate Adobe InDesign or similar program).
- Low cost.
- Limited free trial
- Error identification.
- Writing goals.
- Wide compatibility.
- Only creates ebooks (no print-ready PDFs).
- Dated interface.
- Cluttered interface.
- Too many options/distractions.
- Considerable learning curve.
- Not intuitive.
The Bottom Line:
For most authors, Jutoh will simply be too much and too complicated. It has some great features, but they get lost in all the clutter, and the tool doesn't really offer anything that other tools don't already. The lack of a print-ready PDF option is also a major drawback.
Unless you're an author who puts a lot of images, tables, and graphs in your books, you'd be better off using a tool like Atticus to format your books. While you may pay slightly more for a different tool, the time and effort it saves you will be well worth it.
What is Jutoh?
Jutoh is an ebook writing and formatting tool from UK-based Anthemion Software Ltd. It includes a number of features designed to help authors craft and generate ebooks for every major online retailer. Essentially, it's a complex word processor designed for all kinds of ebook formatting.
Created by Harriet and Julian Smart, it has been around for many years, although it doesn't often get the mainstream attention that other formatting tools do.
At a glance, the tool is a bit overwhelming. There's a definite learning curve new users will need to overcome, which means a significant time investment. It is a powerful tool, but its distracting features are probably overkill for most self-published authors.
How Much Does Jutoh Cost?
Jutoh has a couple of different purchasing options available. There are two different tiers: Jutoh Standard Edition and Jutoh Plus. At the time of this writing, they're on version 3 of the software. The prices are as follows:
- Jutoh 3 Standard – $45 for lifetime access.
- Jutoh 3 Plus – $90 for lifetime access.
The Plus version includes everything in the standard plus mass book personalization, code editing, HTML templates, scripting, and custom compile messages.
They also have two different upgrade options.
- Jutoh 3 Upgrade – $20
- Jutoh 3 Plus Upgrade – $45
While some upgrades are included, the larger improvements come with a small fee, as you can see above.
Does Jutoh Offer a Free Version?
There is a trial version of Jutoh anyone can use. However, it features limited functionality. It also stamps any chapters formatted in the free version with “CREATED BY JUTOH – PLEASE REGISTER TO REMOVE THIS LINE.” So if you don't mind having these words at the beginning of each chapter, you can use the trial version to format up to 20 documents (chapters).
You'll also get periodic prompts asking you to purchase a license.
Jutoh System Requirements
Jutoh is designed to work on a wide range of operating systems. These include:
- Windows – (Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, and Windows 11)
- Mac – (Yosemite and Big Sur)
- Linux – (32- or 64-Bit)
You can also use Jutoh on Intel Chromebooks with Linux in developer mode. As of this writing, this tool does not run on iOS or Android devices.
Jutoh's Major Features
There are quite a few features in the latest version of Jutoh. However, most indie authors likely won't need to use more than a handful of them. We've identified 7 of Jutoh's features to break down in this article.
- Import and Export Options
- Formatting Options
- Read-Aloud Option
- Error Identification
- Writing Goals
- ODT Creation
- Table Support
Import and Export Options
You have a lot of options when it comes to importing and exporting files with Jutoh. You can import file formats, including DOCX, plain text, ODT, HTML, Markdown, and CBZ (comic book). You can also import an existing EPUB ebook—which is the standard format for ebooks across the board. Since most people write in Word, it's no surprise Jutoh allows you to import a Word document. But if you have one of these other file formats, you can import them as well.
Exporting is a similar story. Exporting options include EPUB, ODT, MOBI, HTML, CBZ, and Markdown. Most authors won't need to export anything but an EPUB, but it could be good to have these options, just in case.
Jutoh has an abundance of formatting options. So many, in fact, that it can be hard to know where to start. Unfortunately, Jutoh is anything but intuitive. The interface is designed to work on a chapter-by-chapter basis, making it difficult to make changes to the entire document without going through and making them to the individual chapters. And even that isn't the easiest thing in the world.
You can create a style sheet to use for a given project, but this takes time and you have to look up how to do it. Some formatting options don't show up on the working screen, so you either have to open a new preview tab to make sure everything looks right or compile a book, open it, and look through it.
Still, there are plenty of options at your fingertips if you want them—and are willing to take the time to learn how to implement them.
I was happy to learn that Jutoh has a read-aloud feature. This is something that I think more and more writing tools will have as AI technology advances.
The voices offered through the tool are definitely robotic, but it's better than nothing. That said, the read-aloud feature that comes standard with Microsoft Word is of better quality as of this writing.
When you compile your book, turning it into an EPUB or other popular format, Jutoh will automatically check for errors. This is an excellent feature that can help you identify things you didn't catch in your editing pass.
It catches things like overly large images, variations in body text size, large tables, accidental line breaks, blank paragraphs, and unresolved links. It even checks to see if you've created a table of contents. As an indie author, you want to ensure you put the best possible product out there in the world, and this feature helps you do that.
The writing goals options in Jutoh are pretty great. They have two pre-set options for this: write a book of 100,000 words, or write 1500 words daily.
But you can also add your own goals, customizing them to your liking. For example, if you want to create a daily goal of 500 words, you can do that. Unfortunately, there's no way to set certain goals for certain days of the week. Still, that's a minor issue that is easy to work around.
While you can't create a print book with Jutoh, you can export an OpenDocument Text (ODT) file, which you can then use to create a PDF. If you have OpenOffice or LibreOffice, you can use the ODT file from Jutoh to create a print-ready PDF. However, you'll still have to do the work to make sure that your margins are all correct and that the finished product looks like a professional print book.
If you're a nonfiction author writing a book with lots of graphs and tables, you'll be happy to know that Jutoh provides table support. You can import tables with your document or create new ones inside Jutoh.
Other Notable Features
Here are some other useful features that are worth mentioning here without going into too much detail.
- Storyboard Planning Tool
- Formatting for Fixed Layout Books
- Quick View Functionality (Only one section or chapter at a time)
- Highly Customizable (Once you overcome the learning curve)
- Table of Contents Wizard (For building your ToC)
What I Like About Jutoh
While far from my favorite tool, there are still some things to like about Jutoh.
This writing software is affordable. And, like Atticus, there's no subscription fee and no fee per book formatted. However, unlike Atticus, if you use the tool for long enough, you can expect to pay a small additional fee for major upgrades. When considering the price, it also bears remembering that this tool doesn’t format for print-on-demand books.
Compatible With Major Operating Systems and Word Processors
It's great that Jutoh is available on Windows, Mac, and Linux. And they don't require you to get a new license for the different systems. It's one license per user, not per device or system.
It's also nice to have all the options in terms of file formats. The vast majority of indie authors will only need two options: DOCX and EPUB, but for those outliers, Jutoh could be a big help.
Tips, Recipes, and Prompts
Included with Jutoh is a wide array of writing tips and prompts, which can help authors break through writer's block. They also have what they call “recipes,” which are designed to help people plot out their stories.
This is nice, but it can be easy to get sucked into these features when you should be getting your writing done. After all, you can spend hours looking up new writing prompts or messing around with the storyboard feature. While it feels like work, it could be just another creative way to procrastinate.
Of course, this totally depends on the individual and their writing style. For some, these prompts and tips will be of great help.
What I Don't Like About Jutoh
Now that we've covered the major positives, let's take a look at some of the (perceived) negatives.
Jutoh has been around for many years, and you can definitely tell at a glance. The interface is dated, and even the home screen is designed to look like a computer desktop from the early 2000s. While this is merely a cosmetic complaint, it's the first thing I noticed when testing out this tool.
Cluttered With Options
There's a fine line between too much and just enough. And for most fiction authors, Jutoh is on the wrong side of this line. In the world of indie publishing, there's already too much to worry about. From writing and marketing to cover creation and editing, the last thing indie authors need is to be bombarded with even more options when trying to turn a Word file into a beautiful ebook.
And when there are other, much simpler tools available, it doesn't make a lot of sense to opt for one with features you probably won't even use.
No Print-Ready PDFs
With so many formatting tools out there doing both ebooks and print books, it's easy to overlook the fact that Jutoh is only for ebook creation. Granted, they do offer the ability to export ODT files, which can be used in a roundabout way to create print-ready PDFs. But this simply creates more work for authors. This is a major drawback, especially since savvy authors know that the more formats they offer, the better their chances of selling their books.
My biggest complaint with the Jutoh software is the learning curve. It seems like a slightly more complicated version of MS Word. The thing is, most people have been using Word for years and so they know how to use it. For anyone who hasn't used Jutoh before—or isn't necessarily tech savvy—this ebook creation software will take some getting used to.
Much of the considerable literature that guides you through using Jutoh's ebook creation mentions technical details the average user may not be familiar with. This can make for a frustrating and time-consuming learning experience.
Is Jutoh For You?
Jutoh was an amazing piece of software when it came out over ten years ago. Back then, it was ahead of the curve. And the necessarily complicated interface was designed for somewhat tech-savvy users. But now that self-publishing is at an all-time high, there are many other options available that do the same things Jutoh does but in half the time (or less).
That said, some of its more niche capabilities are great for certain nonfiction authors. If you're publishing a book that has lots of charts, tables, images, and foot/end notes, then you may want to consider Jutoh.
Or, if you're offering your services as an ebook formatter, you could certainly learn this software and widen the range of books you take on. If you're making money with the software, it would certainly be worth the time spent learning its ins and outs.
Consider Atticus For All Your Formatting Needs
Atticus is an all-in-one writing and formatting software brought to you by Kindlepreneur. We created this tool not only to create great print and ebooks but also to give authors a way to do it quickly and easily.
With Atticus, you can enjoy a simple, uncluttered interface. In only a few minutes, you can create a book and see how it will look on multiple devices and in print—without ever leaving the app.
Like Jutoh, you can use Atticus on Mac, Windows, Linux, and even Chromebook. It's available through all the major web browsers, as well. It offers many of the same options as Jutoh, but with one major difference. In Jutoh, you have to deal with the minutia yourself. In Atticus, that's all taken care of.
With a few clicks, you can apply formatting to the entire book. You can create a table of contents, change chapter titles, and choose from over a dozen pre-made print-on-demand templates. All with just a few clicks.
You can export an ebook in the EPUB file format for use on Amazon Kindle, Google Books, Apple, Barnes & Noble, and every other major online retailer.
And you can do it all without devoting hours of your creative time and energy to learning a complicated new tool.