FocusWriter is a distraction-free writing app that helps you stay focused on what you’re writing by providing a totally clean writing environment. The program runs immediately in full screen once you run it, leaving you with only a blank page and your cursor mouse. But it doesn’t mean that it has nothing else to offer. In addition to the basic text editing functions, there are timer, real-time stats, spell checker, daily goal tracker, theme changer, tabbed document browsing, and typewriter sound effects.
FocusWriter 1.4.1 takes over the entire screen with a grey area once it is loaded. If you aren’t convenient with how it looks, you can change the appearance the way you want using its theme changer, but let’s talk about it later.
Its toolbars are always hidden since from the start. Even if you switch to windowed mode by pressing F11, they are still hidden. The only way to reach the toolbars is to mouse up to the top and mouse over to the bottom part of the screen. The toolbars are vanished into the background again as you move mouse away from it.
The toolbar at top is where most functions are located such as opening a file, saving, searching text, underlining sentences and so on. Nearly each of them is associated with a customizable shortcut key so you can access most without even touching your mouse.
On the other hand, the only way to see the toolbar at bottom is to use your mouse. It is where you can view the document tab area and some additional information such as real-time stats like word count and your daily goal.
In windowed mode, while the toolbars are kept invincible, you can view Windows taskbar. This makes it easier to switch screen if you are multitasking and if you aren’t fond of the Alt-tab thing, while still leaving you some free-distraction writing space. You can also see the title bar of the active document, but I don’t think it serves any useful purpose and thus I wish it had an option to get rid of it when entering the windowed mode.
When it comes to theme, FocusWriter looks boring by default. I don’t mind with the full grey color, but the default font size is too small. Moreover, I got trouble on finding how to change the font size as it is hidden well inside the theme changer. But as soon as I found where to change it, I began to like this app. Its theme changer helps a lot in making the screen looks much more convenient while still providing a free-distraction writing environment.
The theme changer lets you choose font, change font size, add image to the background, adjust foreground transparency level, change the width of the writing area, and more. If you don’t have time to create a good theme, then I suggest you to download FocusWriter custom themes from Scrybr collection. Take a look at these two examples below.
You can modify any theme to make it more to your taste and then save it.
Other nice features beside the ones already mentioned above include but not limited to auto saves, flexible smart quotes, session management, and document save to txt, rtf or odt.
Interested? FocusWriter 1.4.1 is available for free for Windows, Mac and Linux.