FocusWriter – Inspiration in Simplicity of Writing

FocusWriter – Inspiration in Simplicity of Writing

FocusWriter is a free writing program with a distraction-free working environment. It is available in versions for Windows, macOS, and Linux.

“A distraction-free working environment” is an unusual definition for a program. It encompasses the main idea of its creators. The goal is to maximize your focus on the content of what you are writing, rather than the means of writing. It seems that psychologists have also had their say here. The working environment is simplified to the maximum extent possible so that nothing disturbs you while you work (write). When you first launch the program, you will see only a sheet of paper with a wood texture background. And that’s in full-screen mode. If you switch from MS Word or another word processor, you may be confused at first. A word processor without menus and icons!? Of course, all these features exist but are hidden by default. You may feel that FocusWriter cannot be used for work (writing). Fortunately, this feeling lasts only briefly, and soon you will get used to the working environment.

FocusWriter - Minimalistic work environment

How does one work in FocusWriter?

You can access the menus by moving the mouse cursor to the edge of the screen. When the cursor moves away from the edges, only the sheet of paper and you remain visible. FocusWriter has minimal document formatting compared to standard word processors. You can define multiple levels of headings. The font formatting options are basic: bold, italic, underline, strikethrough, superscript, and subscript. For paragraph formatting, there are alignment options: left-aligned, right-aligned, centered, justified, and text indentation. The authors made an effort to remove everything unnecessary from it as well. This is not a program where you will extensively format documents.

The main menu for adjusting document appearance is not Format but Setting. Here you can customize the working environment according to your needs. Within the submenu Themes, you can define font size, type, color, background, etc. The authors believed that such settings should not be frequently accessed as they may prove distracting during writing sessions. It’s worth mentioning that FocusWriter does not support tables, images, or graphics.
In Setting you can adjust a timer that notifies you how long you have been working. You can set daily goals in terms of word count or time spent working. This is useful for motivation and consistency. You can enable background sounds and music. FocusWriter can even mimic typewriter sounds. There is a writing statistics report and proofreading support. Multiple document editing is supported.

FocusWriter has been translated into twenty languages. It supports file formats TXT, RTF, DOCX, and ODT (basic variant). All commands have keyboard shortcuts, so even mouse usage isn’t necessary. Even the program’s website is simple: you immediately download the application from its homepage. A portable version may be useful to some users. This allows you to have both the program (workspace) and all your texts (documents) on a USB drive.

Final thoughts on FocusWriter

This is a program aimed at writers, and journalists, who do not want to deal with the technical details of their workspace, but instead are completely focused on writing. For those with weaker concentration, it can have a positive impact on productivity. It supports the three major desktop platforms: Windows, macOS, and Linux. If it were available on mobile platforms, the program would lose its fundamental idea. The user interface is so simple that it must also be intuitive. When you read this text, there is no need to learn more about FocusWriter. You can start writing immediately. The only question remains: do you have an idea of what to write about?

The Download button links for Windows, Linux, and portable versions of FocusWriter respectively.
The macOS link is located HERE.

Windows, macOS, Linux



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