Write In Peace With These Distraction-Free Editors

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distraction free writingHave you taken a look at a plain and simple white sheet of paper recently? If you haven’t, you really need to get away from your computer. There’s nothing more clutter-less than a clean sheet of paper. Perhaps that’s why many do their best work on it. There’s nothing wrong with fancy text editors like Microsoft Word and Google Docs of course. But isn’t there something about all that visual clutter which gets in the way of your writing?

I have felt it. Visual clutter – thanks to menus and other markup features – have often cemented my writer’s block. So, I have tried out quite a few distraction-free text editors in a grand attempt to chip away. And yes, I have won a few battles with the minimalist text editors by my side.

So, here am I rounding up the Effective Eight. Take your pick from the gang of distraction-free editors:

Q10

distraction free writing

Q10 is a free minimalistic text editor that comes in two flavors – with and without a spell checker. You can write in a full black screen that keeps you focused on just the writing. The extra features are specifically designed for writers so that they can write comfortably. The developer himself is a fiction writer, so he does know what’s required.

Features you might like:

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  • The Q10 layout is completely customizable.
  • You can install Q10 or alternatively use it as a portable app in your pen drive.
  • Q10 gives you character, word, and page counts. You can also specify your own setting for page counts.
  • A timer alarm feature helps you create timed writing sessions.
  • With a “..” at the start of a paragraph, you can create notes to annotate your writings.
  • Q10 has a spell-checker, auto-corrections as you type, and quick text for frequently used words or phrases.
  • Q10 has a very nice typing sound effect that recreates the feel of a typewriter.

Operating system: Windows only.

Ommwriter

distraction free text editor

Ommwriter is simple minimalistic word processor that is usable on the Mac, Windows, and iPad. There are two versions – Dana 1 and Dana 2 (with more audio and visual features). Dana 1 is free while Dana 2 is the paid version.

Features you might like:

  • Ommwriter gives you a full-screen canvas with a nice serene background.
  • The coolest feature on Ommwriter is probably the ambient sound effects in the background.
  • Choose between four fonts, four font sizes, three background images, three music loops, three typing sounds.
  • You can also export the finished text to PDF.

Operating system: Mac, PC, and iPad.

Read: Meet Your Writing Deadlines In A Distraction-Free Writing Environment With OmmWriter

WriteMonkey

distraction free text editor

WriteMonkey is as simple as they come when it comes to lightweight minimalist text editors. But under the simple interface, there are useful bells and whistles to give every aspiring writer some joy. Against the approximately 50 MB download of Ommwriter, WriteMonkey clocks in at just about 1.4 MB. Start out with the black background and green text for distraction free writing.

Features you might like:

  • You do not need to install WriteMonkey. Start it straight off or use it on your portable drive.
  • WriteMonkey is fully customizable with layout options. You can also create different profiles.
  • WriteMonkey has advanced statistics that tell you aspects of your writing like – word frequencies, lexical density, and approximate reading time.
  • WriteMonkey has separate downloads for language packs, dictionaries, typing sound schemes, and white noise loops.
  • WriteMonkey gives you markup support for formatting your text.

Operating system: Windows only.

Read: WriteMonkey – A Simple Text Editor For The Easily Distracted

JDarkRoom

distraction free text editor

Here is another simple full-screen text file editor without the usual trappings of a full-blown editor. It is a cross-platform text editor that needs Java 1.5 or greater to run. The Mac OS X comes pre-loaded with Java.

Features you might like:

  • At 283 KB, it is one of the more lightweight minimalistic editors around.
  • JDarkRoom remembers the last file that you were working on before closing the program.
  • JDarkRoom autosaves your work so you don’t have to remember to save it every time.
  • You can set writing goals and use JDarkRoom to track your work.

Operating system: Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Read: Eliminate Writing Distractions with JDarkRoom

TextRoom

distraction free word processor

Minimalistic, all-black full screen editors are often compared to dark rooms, as the purpose is the same. TextRoom lives up to the definition and also gives you a rich set of tools. One key difference from other editors so far in the list – you can insert images into your documents. Use it as a portable application.

Features you might like:

  • You can export your documents to Google Docs.
  • There’s a music player for playing back your own background music while working.
  • You can insert images and configure the writer with a background image.
  • The editor is completely configurable with an option to change colors and insert a background image.
  • A calendar feature allows you to set writing deadlines. You can also writing targets.
  • Brainstorming tools like a scratchpad and mindmap tool to beat writer’s block.

Operating system: Windows, Mac OS X, Ubuntu, Fedora and other Linux distributions.

Read: Two Minimalist Linux Text Editors That Make Writing Easy

Typewriter

distraction free word processor

The download bundle of Typewriter is only 146 KB and it runs on any machine which has Java installed. It is an extremely minimal writing program with features that just might make you write and not do anything else…because you can’t!

Features you might like (or dislike):

  • You can only write in one direction.
  • You cannot delete what you have written. You also cannot copy and paste. Though, you can save and print.
  • Typewriter allows you to switch between black text on white and green on black; full screen and window.

Operating system: Windows and Mac OS X.

FocusWriter

distraction free word processor

FocusWriter is an Open Source portable text editor with a nice ‘hide-away’ feature that allows you to hide the program menu and again bring it back by moving your mouse to the top edge of the screen. Otherwise the full screen interface gives you a distraction free platform for working on your writing.

Features you might like:

  • FocusWriter has theme support which let you customize its appearance. You can include your own images as background.
  • It supports multiple document formats like RTF and ODT (Open Document Format), and TXT.
  • You can open and manage multiple sessions if you are multi-tasking with different documents.
  • Timers and alarms enable you to set deadlines.

Operating system: Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Read: FocusWriter – Minimalist, Distraction-Free & Beautiful Text Editor

DarkCopy

distraction free writing

DarkCopy is the only online text editor in the list. There are others of course, but let this be representative of the online tools. It is actually a web-based clone of the Mac specific WriteRoom. The feature set is absolutely bare-bones. Just open DarkCopy in your browser window and start typing. No fancy stuff here, and the only option is between a full-screen window and without.

We have covered eight minimalistic text editors here, each with their own unique appealing proposition. Some of them are sans frills, while some of them come with extras. But each text editor has one aim – to make your writing as distraction free as possible. Which one achieves this goal for you? Any of the eight on this list, or do you have your own recommendation? Put the name in the comments. Let’s see if we can grow clutter up the list with a few more worthy ones!

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Comments (40)
  • FredFireStone

    I liked the webbased version of Q10 editor. I think you do not know that’s available at http://q10editor.net? Regards, Fred

  • Brenden Barlow

    while i dont write enough for this to be of much use right now, i feel in the future it will be very helpful.

  • Nikhil Chandak

    Q10 seems to be cool !

  • Anonymous

    I’ve been using WriteMonkey and like it so far. But a further look on some tools mention here makes me want to give them a try and TextRoom really grabs my attention. Thanks

  • Jo Brenden

    What is the best distraction free ONLINE text editor? I loved mytextfile.com, but it appers it has gone dead.
    I am looking for a online text editor with black backgrund, small font and wide space for writing.

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Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.
Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.