FocusWriter, a Free Cross-Platform Editor for Writers

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Clear your writing space and perhaps your mind too, with FocusWriter, a free cross-platform editor for writers.

FocusWriter works on Mac, Windows, and Linux.  I recommend this video tutorial explaining its features.

Don’t be discouraged by the small display size of text in FocusWriter.  That’s the default setting, but you can change it.  Here’s how:

  • Hover your cursor at the top of the screen and click on “settings.”
  • Then click on Themes, then Modify, then Text.
  • On that Text page you can select the font, the font size, and color.  By clicking on the background tab you can choose the color of the background on which the text displays.  You can also upload a photograph to serve as your writing background.  I’m using a black and white photo I took on a foggy day walking in the park.

I had to dig a little to discover how to use the scenes list window which appears on the left of your screen when you hover your cursor there.  The scenes list is for finding your way around quickly in a long document, instead of scrolling.  Let’s say you’re writing a long document and you want to place some markers within it to which you can return with one click.  To place a marker just hit the return key and then type ## and hit the return key again.  Every time you type ## you place a bookmark in the long text.  Those bookmarks include a few lines of following text, so that you can those lines in the scenes list window.  By clicking on any of those brief line excerpts you will immediately be taken to that place in your long text.  No scrolling required!

If you once used a typewriter and you miss the sound of the tapping keys and the carriage return, you can simulate that with FocusWriter under Preferences.   You’ll find other useful features there, like setting a timer, and getting a word count for your page, and saving what you’re working on in a session so that you can easily return to it later.

Although I have several other ways to put words on a page, I really like FocusWriter for my special writing projects.  Hope you do too!

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