Computers are great tools as an aid to writing. There are apps and features that not only support actual writing but also help in marketing the final product.
But on the other hand, computers can create serious distractions – emails, facebook, twitter, web browser….. the list of things to do (other than writing) is endless. If you are a children’s writer faced with this dilemma, you need to check out the numerous applications available that promise writers a distraction-free world.
The most popular of the DF tools, this is a full-screen application that combines a clean writing space with adequate functionality. The edge of the screen hides the user interface, which can be used or ignored. The writer can use one of the four available themes or create her own. FocusWriter has a neat feature – the daily goal tracker that helps track the daily word count and writing time. Plus there’s spell check and tabbed document browsing.
This is a DF application for Windows, which allows a writer to complete an entire document without the use of the mouse. Formatting options are available including text bolding, italicizing etc. There’s a feature which is very effective for lengthy text writing and editing called Segment Focus. This feature only highlights the passage required. Other useful add-ons are spell checking, document back-ups, auto-save and an active user forum.
This is designed as a relaxing writing application, with three visual and audio themes that can be upgraded to five themes with a pay-what-you-want donation. The default screen configuration is stark and bare – a light gray background edged by a couple of trees. You can adjust the boundaries of the writing space available, use the shortcut key for major functions or use the toolbars available on the edges of the writing space.
Q10 is a portable DF tool available only for Windows. Q10 has an interface that has just a small bar at the bottom to display character, word count and page count. Even this tiny bar can be toggled off for a completely distraction free writing-space. Operation is only via keyboard commands and Q10 includes spell checking, creating work targets, text formatting – fonts, colors etc.
WriteRoom is a for-pay application ($24.99) for Mac OS X and iOS devices. It has a unique typewriter-scroll feature, which ensures that the active text stays in the center of the screen. This allows you to remain focused on the same spot instead of tracking the text down the screen. Plus all the GUI elements available, including the scroll bar and the toolbar automatically hides themselves when not in use.
So if the only thing standing between you and your writing is your computer distractions, these distraction-free applications may just help you to get your job done.