Communities

Writing
Writing
Codidact Meta
Codidact Meta
The Great Outdoors
The Great Outdoors
Photography & Video
Photography & Video
Scientific Speculation
Scientific Speculation
Cooking
Cooking
Electrical Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Judaism
Judaism
Languages & Linguistics
Languages & Linguistics
Software Development
Software Development
Mathematics
Mathematics
Christianity
Christianity
Code Golf
Code Golf
Music
Music
Physics
Physics

Dashboard
Notifications
Mark all as read
Q&A

Do fullscreen writing environments help for writing? Why? [closed]

+0
−0

Closed by System‭ on Oct 4, 2015 at 17:21

This question was closed; new answers can no longer be added. Users with the reopen privilege may vote to reopen this question if it has been improved or closed incorrectly.

I recently found out about full-screen writing applications like OmniWriter and DarkRoom and I'm interested in using them, but I'm skeptical as to whether or not these are actually useful for improving productivity. Based on experiences, do these applications really help one towards writing? Why or why not?

Why does this post require moderator attention?
You might want to add some details to your flag.
Why should this post be closed?

This post was sourced from https://writers.stackexchange.com/q/1813. It is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

0 comments

8 answers

+1
−0

I've used TextRoom and Bean (plain text mode in both) - I just typed stuff in Markdown markup, converted it to HTML, and did all of the further editing in OpenOffice.org/LibreOffice.

My own theory is that when I'm writing, it's not really the distractions that count - it's the access to the features. If you write stuff in full-featured word processors, you can spend all day tweaking useless little details in formatting. In these programs, you have zero control over formatting, as it should be. When I type text, all I really care is support for UTF-8 and typography (pandoc, the tool that I use for Markdown conversions, does the smart quotes and en dashes for me, and the LanguageTool in LibreOffice does the rest of the fixups), support for text files with long lines, and a way to enter emphasis (just do this in Markdown).

And as far as user interface goes, all I really need is that the text is readable. WYSIWYG programs force you to look at the text in the "final" form, which is probably not the same as the final final form anyway. TextRoom and Bean, on the other hand, just let me edit the text with blue background and white text. No need to dig up WordPerfect 5.1 and run it in DOSBox. =)

I'm in big favour of the Unix toolbox approach: there's no single tool that does all aspects well, but if you have a bunch of individual tools that do one aspect well, you get things done one way or other.

Why does this post require moderator attention?
You might want to add some details to your flag.

This post was sourced from https://writers.stackexchange.com/a/1820. It is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

0 comments

+1
−0

I don't believe that full-screen writing on a computer, which is designed expressly to allow you to multitask, helps to eliminate distraction.

The problem with becoming distracted is not in seeing the edge of your Facebook window behind your writing app: it's having Facebook open at all, or letting it invade your mind.

I do, however, find it visually pleasing to write in a full-screen editor, and use them for that reason.

Why does this post require moderator attention?
You might want to add some details to your flag.

This post was sourced from https://writers.stackexchange.com/a/2232. It is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

0 comments

+1
−0

Full-screen writing environments help me focus but I bounce back and forth between two specific tools depending on the eventual destination of the writing.

The two I use most often are Scrivener and Blogo.

Scrivener is a full-featured writing environment for the Macintosh only. [Edit: Scriveer is apparently available as a beta for Windows, as well. Great!] It has a quite beautiful, powerful and customizable full-screen mode. I use Scrivener to organize notes and research and write longer articles and short stories.

Scrivener

For blogging, I really enjoy using Blogo. It also has a full-screen mode that's ideal for banging out something quick but unfortunately it's not very customizable. Still, it's a much better interface for tumblr than the native, Web-based one. (I've found tumblr to be a good place for writing experiments that are easily created and easily disposed of.)

Blogo

Why does this post require moderator attention?
You might want to add some details to your flag.

This post was sourced from https://writers.stackexchange.com/a/1816. It is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

0 comments

+1
−0

I use Q10 a lot and find that it really helps me focus. But I'm not certain that it is all down to the fact that it is full screen. It also has keystroke sounds and a carriage return like an old style typewriter which I'm sure help keep me writing.

It's a love it or hate it thing though.

I always a have a browser open and use Alt+Tab to flick between the two windows when I need to check external sources.

Why does this post require moderator attention?
You might want to add some details to your flag.

This post was sourced from https://writers.stackexchange.com/a/5702. It is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

0 comments

+1
−0

I created one of my own because I have a windows computer and I like to program. I have a version on my work computer to help with notes and keeping a log of what I'm doing. The home copy is more personal.

Here are some of the features I added an why I like them:

  1. Typewriter 'Tap' and Carriage Return Sound - I started on a manual typewriter and this brings back a few memories and is nice feedback. Recently I purchased a keyboard that happens to be a little loud.
  2. There are no formating features, bullet points, numbering, spell check or even bold type. There are only 3 font sizes and the font type is fixed. Just get words/thoughts on the page/screen and forget about formating.
  3. Everything automatically saves. - Don't have to think about it. There's a timer and auto save on close.
  4. Archives to Evernote. Nice backup feature and a way to get at it from other computers/devices.
  5. There is only one file that gets date/time stamped when you open/use right-click menu. This is more like diary/journal. Again, less to think about, just write. The only organization is the chronology of the entries.
  6. It is full screen always, but can be made semi transparent. You can have a picture in the background if you prefer for inspiration or to breakup the monotony of a plain background.

I've thought about adding a timer. This could make you keep some sort of writing schedule or free up your brain by not having to worry about making some appointment. Kind of a time management strategy.

Why does this post require moderator attention?
You might want to add some details to your flag.

This post was sourced from https://writers.stackexchange.com/a/1858. It is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

0 comments

+1
−0

If you're an Office 2007, Office 2010 user, you can use Word with no Ribbon. I do this when I'm working on some creative writing.

It's a combination of things. I like using Word 2010 but want to see as much of the document as possible. Minimising the ribbon helps but if I'm in the thick of a writing burst I don't want to distract myself with anything on screen I don't need.

Press ALT then v then u

Press esc to make the ribbon return.

Why does this post require moderator attention?
You might want to add some details to your flag.

This post was sourced from https://writers.stackexchange.com/a/1821. It is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

0 comments

+1
−0

In general I find that discussions over the tools associated with writing are distractions from writing itself, in much the same way that I used to distract myself with endlessly tweaking my IDE/text editor when I was an undergrad CS major. We do this because tweaking and experimenting is easier than doing the thing itself. It's a form of procrastination, but it's a "productive" kind of procrastination--unlike gaming--we're better able to fool ourselves into thinking that we've accomplished something.

(This phenomenon's close cousin is incessant checking of social networks, IMing people, refreshing email, etc.)

--

All that being said...

My preferred tool is determined by the type of writing I'm doing. When I'm writing fiction (rare), I like a fullscreen environment, specifically DarkRoom, because it's just me and my characters. That being said, Notepad is my favorite writing application. I compose emails, replies to people (like this one, for instance), and I even wrote ~85% of my thesis in Notepad before moving it to Word.

Why Notepad? Well it's basically pure writing. There's nothing between you and your words: no UI bells and whistles. No distractions, no formatting beyond what you can do with whitespace and capital letters. (That's really all you need when you're doing an initial draft, anyway.) But you can look at other open windows, which is helpful when I'm composing a reply to someone, or need to reference another document or webpage.

One of these days I'm doing to re-write it to get rid of the bugs that've been in it since at least Windows 95. One of these days...

Why does this post require moderator attention?
You might want to add some details to your flag.

This post was sourced from https://writers.stackexchange.com/a/1873. It is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

0 comments

+0
−0

If you're easy distracted by shiny things (or Twitter, your RSS feed, Facebook page, chat window, weather updates, email, or desktop photo) then having a program which blocks them all out may help keep you focused on your work. So it depends on your workflow and your weaknesses.

Why does this post require moderator attention?
You might want to add some details to your flag.

0 comments

This community is part of the Codidact network. We have other communities too — take a look!

You can also join us in chat!

Want to advertise this community? Use our templates!