Distraction Free Writing

Ray Aguilera's picture

Distraction Free Writing

There was once a time when I was obsessed with bells and whistles. If there was a new feature in a piece of software, I wanted it. More sliders, buttons and fiddly bits was always better.


Lately though, my tastes have changed dramatically. Once my bread-and-butter app, (so much so that it automatically opened on startup) I can't remember the last time I opened Microsoft Word. And I doubt I'll ever go back. These days, I'm finding myself living more and more inside simple text-editors for grinding out writing projects, grocery lists, html, and pretty much everything else I do on my Mac.


WriteRoom in full-screen mode


One of my favorite new writing tools is WriteRoom by Hog Bay Software ($24.95). The genius of WriteRoom is that it's stripped-down interface doesn't let you do much besides write. Essentially, WriteRoom gives you a full-screen blank slate, with no buttons, menus, or other distractions. WriteRoom can even be set up to completely obscure all your other open windows. So instead of fiddling with tables, line-spacing, or your iTunes playlist, you can just sit down and write. As it turns out, rather than being a limiting experience, the ability to focus 100% on content is quite liberating.


WriteRoom's preferences offer a full range of customizations


Lest you think WriteRoom is a bare-bones piece of software, there are plenty of configurable options to get it working how you want. You can fully customize the appearance of the WriteRoom screen, including colors, fonts, line width and transparency of the fullscreen view. WriteRoom also features configurable auto-save options, and an optional live word count.


WriteRoom is an extremely useful tool for anyone who needs to focus without the distraction of extra features, or other windows to grab your attention. A free trial is available, and software is well-supported by an active community of users at the Hogs Bay website. The developer is extremely responsive to questions and user requests as well. WriteRoom is an affordable and indispensable tool for eliminating everything that can distract you from the task at hand.


Ray Aguilera is a writer and food geek in the San Francisco Bay Area.



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Don Parr

Ray, welcome to the "less is more" club of the 21st Century :). I've been a fan of Hog Bay Software and WriteRoom almost from WriteRoom's inception and version 1.0, which I believe is still free. Though I continue to try new or updated text editors, I find myself consistently being drawn back to WriteRoom, what a testament to my favorite text editor, for all the reasons you mentioned in your very well done and wonderful article. Thanks for sharing your views on this marvelous app.

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