Review: Writer for Mac OS X Helps Do Nothing But Write

Your Mac already has a text editor(TextEdit) included, right? Then why use another? Writer, is specifically aimed at writers, bloggers, novelists(well, you get an idea) who want a no fuss simple interface to write. You can leave behind all distractions as you work in the full screen mode. Also included is a nifty word count tool & pinning mode.

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Writer for mac os x

Writer For Mac OS X

Created by LSD Programming, Writer is as minimalistic as a text editor could get. You cannot even format text or add pictures – for the simple reason that it is not meant for that purpose. Moreover, exporting text is so simple. If you are a blogger, you must have come across the dozen HTML tags attached with text written in Microsoft Word? However, a very important tool viz. word count is included. As a writer, I often need it but find it missing in most basic text editors. Here’s a screenshot showing the minimal interface.

Review writer for mac plain text editor 1

As observed by the creators of the app, elements other than the ones needed can be distractive and adversely affect your creative workflow. The beautiful fullscreen mode dims out the rest of the screen and show you just the writing space and the word count.

Review writer for mac plain text editor 2

In order to exit the fullscreen mode, press Command + Shift + F on your Mac’s keyboard. You can use the same shortcut to once again activate the fullscreen mode.

Another nifty tool that this app includes is writing speed statistics. Press Command + I to view statistics like time dedicated to writing current document and average typing speed in WPM(Words per Minute).

Review writer for mac plain text editor 4

You can export your document in three formats – .TXT, .RTF(rich text format) and 2007 Microsoft Word format(.DOCX). I wondered why they haven’t included PDF export at first. But then I realized there isn’t any formatting to maintain thus rendering PDF useless. Also, I can always generate PDF on my Mac by hitting print(Command+P) and save/mail PDF to anyone.

The last but definitely most handy tool is Pinning. Notice the pin in the top right corner of the window. You can toggle this to keep the window on top. So when you make any other application like Safari active, the writer window will still stay on top of it. I love this feature. Makes writing reviews so much easier.

Writer pin top window

Other features in Writer:

  • Three fonts – Serif, Sans & Mono. You can set separate defaults for fullscreen & windowed modes.
  • Check Grammar & Spelling as you type
  • Autosave documents

Conclusion:

I really liked the ability to pin the document window. Priced at ten dollars, Writer definitely has a price advantage over WriteRoom which is a similar app providing distraction free writing space on Mac. Anyone who uses the computer to write a lot should look no further and get a copy of Writer.

On another note, the forthcoming Mac OS X Lion is going to add OS wide full screen feature. That might render these apps somewhat less useful. I spent some time previewing Lion and was amazed by the way full screen apps worked in separate Spaces, and also how documents are automatically saved along with Version History. Look out for our full Lion review coming soon.

Where to get Writer?


You can get a free trial of the software here. If satisfied, purchase it on the Mac App Store for $9.99.

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