How to Install Zimmwriter on Mac OS – Unofficial Guide

Introduction

Below is a step-by-step guide on installing Zimmwriter on Mac OS using the free and open-source Wineskin. There are other ways to install Zimmwriter on Mac OS, but this method creates a convenient Mac app for Zimmwriter (technically just a wrapper on top of the Windows Zimmwriter app). It’s quite easy to install, so don’t be intimidated by the command line you will see later in the guide.

Step 1 to 4 cover the initial setup of Wineskin. This only needs to be done once.

Step 5 and 6 cover the installation of Zimmwriter Mac app. This will need to be done again when you want to update Zimmwriter to a newer version.

Step 7 is for every time you run Zimmwriter.

The uninstallation guide is at the end of this document.

Disclaimer: The open source apps used in this guide are free to use. The authors of the apps nor I are liable for any consequences from the use of these apps. Proceed at your own risk.

Tested to be working on Mac OS Ventura 13.0.1 on 6-Core Intel-based iMac.

The step-by-step guide:

1. Open the Terminal on Mac OS: Press F4 to open Launchpad and find the Terminal app.

2. Install Brew

    2.1. Go to https://brew.sh and copy the command to install Brew.

    2.2. Paste into the terminal and execute. If prompted for password, enter your Mac password. The cursor doesn’t move as you input your password, but input it anyway and then press ‘return’ on your keyboard. Wait until it’s done.

    2.3. [Skip this step if the installation is successful] If you see the message below, follow the instruction to finish installation of brew. There are 2 lines starting with ‘echo’ and one line starting with ‘eval. Copy, paste, and execute one by one.

 ==> Next steps: 
- Run these three commands in your terminal to add Homebrew to your PATH:

3. Install WineSkin

    Copy and paste the following command into the terminal:

brew install --cask --no-quarantine gcenx/wine/unofficial-wineskin

(website here: https://github.com/Gcenx/WineskinServer)

4. Setup Wineskin Winery:

    4.1. Open Wineskin Winery in Launchpad (F4) or the Application Folder. 

    4.2. Press the ‘Update’ button if clickable.

    4.3. Press the ‘+’ button and the ‘Add Engine’ window will open. 

    4.4. From the dropdown, choose the latest version (currently it’s WS11WineCX64Bit22.0.1-2), then press ‘Download and Install’ and ‘Ok’.

    4.5. Wait until it’s done downloading, the download window will close automatically.

5. Download and extract Zimmwriter: https://www.rankingtactics.com/zimmwriter-help/

Safari on Mac OS automatically extracts the downloaded file to a folder called ‘zimmwriter’ in the Downloads folder.

6. Create a Mac app for Zimmwriter:

    6.1. In Wineskin Winery, press ‘Update’ at the Wrapper Version section, if clickable.

    6.2. Press “Create New Blank Wrapper”.

    6.3. Choose a name for the wrapper e.g. Zimmwriter, then press ‘Ok’.

    6.4. Wait until it’s done in a few minutes. It may look frozen but it’s not. If any error pops up, just click cancel.

    6.5. When done, click on “View wrapper in Finder’. Alternatively, press F4 to open Launchpad and your new app will show up at the last page.

    6.6. Double click it, and press “Install Software”, then either “Copy a Folder inside” or “Move a Folder inside”.

    6.7. Browse to where you extracted Zimmwriter, and choose the Folder (not the files inside). Click ‘Choose’.

    6.8. Choose Executable: From the dropdown, choose the path that ends with ‘start_64bit.bat’, then press ‘Ok’.

    6.9. Press Quit.

7. Run your Zimmwriter Mac app:

    7.1. Press F4 to open Launchpad, your new app should be at the last page.

    7.2. Sometimes it may take up to 30 seconds to show up. Just wait for it. A blue icon will appear on the menu bar.

    7.3. When asked for permission, press ‘Ok’. This is only done once.

    7.4. Set up Zimmwriter as normal (input your email and license key). This is only done once.

    7.5. Set up trigger buttons. Use CTRL+SHIFT for less interference with other apps. CTRL+NUMBER sometimes corresponds to tabs in some other apps e.g. Visual Studio Code.

    7.6. Change the output path to any other location of your choice. You can do this from Zimmwriter’s option menu. It’s recommended not to use the default file output path. By default, the output folder is inside the app. Any files within the app will be deleted when you delete the App. 

[Do the following after installation and running Zimmwriter]

Check CPU usage in Activity Monitor (open Launchpad with F4 button and find Activity Monitor). In the CPU tab, see percentages at the bottom part of the window. Total CPU load is System + User. If CPU usage seems abnormally high when using Zimmwriter, Wineskin might not be fully compatible with your system and you might need to use other installation methods.

For benchmark, on a 6-Core Intel iMac, CPU usage during idle is 4-15% (mostly at 9%), CPU usage when Zimmwriter is actively generating an article is at 28-35% (mostly at 30%).

How to Uninstall Zimmwriter or any app made with Wineskin:

  1. In the Finder app, go to the Applications folder
  2. In the Search field near the top right of the Finder window, type ‘wineskin’.
  3. When you see a folder named ‘Wineskin’, double click on it.
  4. You will see a list of apps (wrappers) you made with Wineskin.
  5. Drag the app you want to uninstall to Trash.

From here, continue to How to use Zimmwriter on Mac OS.

How to fix Wineskin so that Zimmwriter starts without having to select ‘AutoIt3_x64.exe’

In the earlier versions of this guide, the method uses ‘AutoIt3_x64.exe’ in one of the steps. It causes Zimmwriter to keep asking for the location of ‘zimmwriter.a3x’ every time the Zimmwriter Mac app starts. However this inconvenience has been rectified in the current version of the guide. By selecting ‘start_64bit.bat’ during the installation, Zimmwriter will start automatically without extra steps.

Users that have followed earlier versions of the guide can fix this issue with the following steps:

  1. Open Finder > Application.
  2. At the search bar, type ‘wineskin’.
  3. Double click the Wineskin folder
  4. Right click on your Zimmwriter Mac app and click ‘Show Package Contents’
  5. Double click on the Wineskin file/icon
  6. Click ‘Advanced’
  7. Click ‘Browse’
  8. Navigate to Program Files and then into your Zimmwriter folder.
  9. Select ‘start_64bit.bat’ and press ‘Choose’.
  10. Close the window.

Now Zimmwriter Mac app will start automatically without the need to select ‘zimmwriter.a3x’ during startup.


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One response to “How to Install Zimmwriter on Mac OS – Unofficial Guide”

  1. […] file with ‘start.bat’. The detailed instruction on how to do this is in the installation guide (look near the end of the […]

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