By Hog Bay Software
Open the Mac App Store to buy and download apps.
>>> Get ready for school with WriteRoom: Your favorite app for taking notes, writing papers, and so much more! <<<
Write without distractions. WriteRoom is a full screen writing environment. Unlike the cluttered word processors you're used to, WriteRoom lets you focus on writing.
• Fast handling of large documents.
• Live word count, reading time, and more.
• Shift line up, down, left, and right commands.
• Select word, sentence, and paragraph commands.
• Everything you’d expect from a native OS X Lion app.
• OS X Lion style and single screen style full screen modes.
• Automatically log your writing sessions to a spreadsheet.
• Use themes to save, switch, and share your favorite settings.
• Choose your own background images, paper textures, and typing sounds.
“But if, when it comes right down to it, full screen is your r grail, and the ultimate antidote to the bric-a-brac of Word, then you must enter the WriteRoom, the ultimate spartan writing utopia.”
— Virginia Heffernan, NYT
“Unlike practically everything else in our digital lives, WriteRoom's minimalist interface implies a truly flattering proposition: It's you, not the software, that matters.”
— Jeffrey MacIntyre, Slate
“WriteRoom’s minimalist interface also frees you from the nagging urge to fiddle with margins, fonts, and other settings, leaving you with nothing to do but write.”
— Nathan Alderman, MacWorld
“A perfectly balanced, indispensable part of any Mac writer’s toolkit.”
— Craig Grannell, Mac Format
What's New in Version 3.2.1
* Fix: Sandboxing issue with QuickCursor
* Fix: Sandboxing issue when changing between plain text and rich text
* Fix: Crash when using Shift Left in some circumstances
OK, but has issues
It's great at what it does when it does what it's great at. Full screen, distraction-free writing is its forte. Interaction with the OS and other features - not so much. Full-screen is kludgy at best. Since that's the entire point of distraction-free writing, it seems like the first thing you'd want to get right, but alas... It can and will cause the application to crash and be unable to re-open. Opening a document in full screen while WriteRoom is already running makes it full screen as the default desktop, making everything else on that screen inaccessible. You have to exit full screen then make it full screen explicitly for it to work. Sounds are great, but crippled: the space bar needs its own sound. Sessions are really cool, but they're incorrectly formatted: there's no space after the headers and the first line of session data so you have to manually edit the session file or it doesn't show up in Excel correctly. There needs to be a markup export feature. I had to buy another app to parse my output. The auto-indent feature is beyond useless and annoying as hell. If someone thinks its useful, please give the rest of us the option of getting rid of it.
It's a great concept but execution is pretty flawed. To be fair though, none of these stop me from using it. Mostly because I'm too lazy to try and find a competitor.
I'd been using TextEdit for the majority of my writing (school and recreational), but I wanted a more proficient document software where I could control the page margins and such (college is very particular about papers being submitted in MLA). So, about a month ago, I purchased WriteRoom (mostly because of the price). I was disappointed. I feel like I have less control over the format of my document, as I can no longer change font, size, or italicize only a certain portion of my text (it has a meltdown whenever I try to italicize something). The full screen mode froze my computer.
The one thing I really liked about the software was the live word count. As an aspiring author, I found the live word count useful for tracking me progress, and it also came in very handy during NaNoWriMo. But, beyond that, I was disappointed by this software. About five minutes ago (after WriteRoom froze yet again), I transferred my book back into TextEdit, which has proven to be more reliable.
Useful but clunky
I was a big fan of this product several years ago, but it seems to be devolving and doing away with much of modern app design.
There's no Preferences pane. There's an auto-indent "feature," useless and extremely annoying for any non-coding application, that can't be turned off. Changing the font in one document will change the font of all other documents using that theme, meaning you have to create a new theme for every new document.
On the plus side, the option to universally change your background and font colors is wonderful. Highlighting the current line is wonderful. Typewriter scrolling is wonderful. The full-screen option is seamless and infinitely better than the ones packaged with Pages or TextEdit.
This is an application with a lot of great options, but it's somewhere between a coder's application and a writer's word processor, and straddles the line uncomfortably. It's also, as far as I can see, the best option out there for a simple, relatively straightforward, small-size word processor.