ZenWriter – A bit of writing bliss


I just downloaded and bought ZenWriter from BitsDuJour. I’d never heard of this app before, but after using it for few minutes I knew I wanted it. I do a lot of writing, not just for this blog but in general. Normally I use Microsoft Word, which I enjoy immensely, but Word has gotten to the point of being so big and bloated that it almost gets in the way of writing. The grammar check and AutoCorrect as excellent, but it has so many features that no one ever uses and the menu system these days is just a labyrinth. I’m constanly looking for something else and I think I may have just found it.

ZenWriter is a scaled down text editor that ditches formatting, menus, toolbars and just about everything and presents a simple writing space. But it makes that writing space extremely effective. The entire screen is a blank canvas so that you’re not staring and options you won’t use. It puts up a soothing picture as a background, it can change the contrast from "day" to "night" so you have a brighter or darkerscreen. Right now I’m looking at a darkened beach picture with white text overlayed on top. I think it’s the nicest writing environment I’ve used. There is a little clack coming from the speakers like an old typewriter and some gentle music. Those are both part of the program and can be turned off it you don’t like them.

The focus is on writing so don’t expect any formatting options, grammar check, the fonts are sparse, no tables, no hyperlinks, no pictures, no footnotes or anything else like that. It’s just a space to write and honestly it works really well. The system is so Spartan it took me a few minutes to figure out how to save what I was working on. But the simplicity is the strength. There are no distractions. You aren’t looking for the program to do something. You just type. You get a blank screen and you can type like mad and let it fill up. It’s not for writing reports or emails or research papers and you’ll need to proofread whatever you’re working on but if you want to get your thoughts down and get a program that doesn’t step all over itself ZenWriter is one hell of a tool.

Normally, it’s a mere $10, but on BitsDuJour you can get it for $6. And I personally think you should. It’s an editor made simple. It strips away the debris and gives you a writing space you want to work with. And if you get stuck you have a great background to look at.

If you like writing I’d say check this little app out.


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