As part of my Never Ending Quest to find a replacement word processor for my much beloved WriteNow which was replaced by the free Bean, I’ve come to a conclusion.
Words Are Hard Work
To Mac veterans who remember WriteNow you’re a member of the glory years of word processing; the days when fast, lightweight, flexible, capable, and enjoyable could all be descriptive of an app.
Those days are long gone, replaced for a few brief years with Bean, the free Mac word processor that put to shame writing apps with a price tag (sadly, no longer under active development; hence the need for a replacement).
Far too many of today’s mini-word processors have become victims of marketing speak. Any app with very features is now referred to as minimalist.
Minimal features doesn’t mean minimal price tag, as evidenced by Writer Pro, which is more like TextEditor with minimalist features wrapped up in an easy to learn and use writing tool with a few extra features you’ve probably never used.
For example, there are no settings to distract you from your writing. The Sidebar makes it easy to view all the tools you need (provided you like a pure, spartan writing experience).
Write undistracted from complicated menus or control bars. Important stats are always available and include reading time, sentence, word, and character count.
Get geeky with auto-markdown which formats text on the screen. There’s a delightful sentence syntax control which fades out all but the current sentence you’re working on (takes a little getting used to), a night mode, fully formatted previews, and even iCloud sync for Mac, iPhone and iPad versions (arguably the most expensive iOS apps you’ll ever or never own).
Like features, settings in Writer Pro are to be avoided. They’re for chumps. Real writers just write and don’t get bogged down in the minutiae of anything other than basic formatting. The sentence-at-a-time workflow takes some getting used to. As does night mode, but I don’t write in a shed or a submarine.
Yes, Virginia there is distraction free mode and a handful of custom typefaces for optimal readability. Writer Pro is neither WriteNow nor Bean, and not really a replacement for either. It is a good, intuitive writing tool with little to distract you from writing (other than how much it’s costing you not to be distracted much while you write).