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As a writer for several sources, I often need to focus very hard on getting the work done. But it can sometimes be difficult. My main distraction is the internet. If something in my Firefox browser doesn’t catch my eye, then I am busy arranging and re-arranging my toolbars in Microsoft Word. So when someone recommended the free program JDarkRoom to me, I decided to try it out in the interests of productivity and not getting fired.

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Normally in a Make Use Of review, we focus on the unique features of each app. But in this case, the best features are that there are basically NO unique features. JDarkRoom is a word processing program which consists solely of a black screen with a green writing font. Using it makes you feel like Nero in the Matrix.

How is this good you ask? Precisely that if you’re looking for a way to get a document typed out in record time without being distracted, this is the thing to use. There’s no fancy toolbars to arrange, no irritating paperclips in the corner asking you if you need help, no flashy graphics. Just a black screen to type away on. In fact I typed this article using JDarkRoom and I was able to type faster than I have ever typed before.

This type of program would be useful for say students trying to get a thesis typed out or a business-person assigned to make a presentation with a short deadline.

As well as the plain screen, JDarkRoom also banishes all distractions by filling up the entire screen. So you don’t even see your Windows task bar at the bottom. Other programs are relegated to the background. If you need to view another screen for any reason, you can toggle between JDarkRoom and the other screen by using the ALT + TAB key.

The program has quite a few useful options to make this a worthwhile contender in the word processing field.

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    * If you don’t like the way it currently looks, you can change the font and the background color.

    * You can copy text to the Windows clipboard, auto-save your work and get a word count.

    * When the file is finished, you can press F3 to save the file to your computer. You will then be asked to choose your file format such as a text file or a MS Word file (if you choose MS Word, you will need your MS Office disk to download and install a converter tool).

    *Once you have the text exported to a file format, you can then print it out.

Sometimes the best programs are the simplest ones – and JDarkRoom is as simple as they come.

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