Blogger extraordinaire Ro Molina stopped by to give her take on Focus Writer, writing software for writers.
Where to get it:
How Much: Free, with option to donate
Available for: Windows, Mac, and Linux
Best for: Novel, short-story writers, poets, general writing
A few years ago, a submarket exploded for minimalist word processors. Many writers were tired of programs with features they had no clue how to use, cluttered layouts, toolbars stacked on top of toolbars and bloated file sizes that were slow to run. The trend for simpler, faster gave birth to a bunch of nifty programs such as Q10, WriteMonkey, ZenWriter, CreaWriter and, my personal favorite, FocusWriter.
Installation (for Windows at least) is virtually fool-proof. Unzip the downloaded file and click the “FocusWriter” application icon. The program opens up with a simple default theme and four toolbars that only appear when you move your cursor over them. To the right is a text scrollbar, to the left, a pop-out scene index (more on that below), on the bottom are live stats for your writing as well as a list of all your open documents, while on top is a feature toolbar that you can customize to only show the functions that you want it to. Just like that, you’re ready to write. Unfortunately, there’s no news about any potential mobile device app development in the future, but for the time being you can run the program from a USB stick – open the README file to find out how.
Aside from being easy to set-up and use, it’s also easy to customize to your liking. FocusWriter’s theme builders are simple but give you a full range of options on how you want your writing to appear on the screen.
FocusWriter is fast, easy to use and, best of all, free (though I highly encourage donations to the creator – a program like this is worth it).