After seeing Writer on App Storm, I decided to download and start using it. I’m not usually the kind of person that tries every text editor that he finds but Writer piqued my interest.
The first thing I noticed when I viewed Writer in the Mac App Store was just how simple it was. It doesn’t seem too difficult to keep text editor clutter-free but it sure seems like there are a lot of developers that manage to do so. The application window only has two buttons (aside from the standard close, minimize, and zoom buttons). There’s a fullscreen button along the bottom and a pin button at the top that will keep Writer above other windows regardless of whether it’s active or not.
I don’t ever use the fullscreen button in text editors because, as much as I like the idea of distraction-free writing environments, I usually need to look at another application window when I’m writing anything. Whether it’s an image in preview, an email in Sparrow, or a web page in Safari, I need to see what I’m writing about.
The pin button, however, is my new best friend. Like I mentioned regarding fullscreen-mode, I usually need to see another window when I’m using a text editor, and it can get quite frustrating to find it when I’m juggling other application windows alongside it. The pin button settles all of it. I just click the pin, move all my windows around to where I’d like them or click through a couple links in Safari and Writer never moves, it stays right on top where I need it.
The only other bit of chrome in Writer’s interface is a word counter in the bottom-right corner. I’m always interested in how many words an article that I’m composing has — not that it matters much — I like seeing how much I’ve actually written in comparison to how much I’ve written in the past. I used to have to wait until I was ready to publish by pasting my text into the WordPress admin panel before I knew how many words I had written. It was either that or paste the text into Word Count Tool. This wasn’t exactly ideal. And, now I can see exactly how many words I have written up until this point (389, if you were curious).
Writer also, offers a statistics window that can be displayed using a keyboard command. The statistics window displays the number of words written using the application, how many man-hours have been spent in the app, and your average words per minute while typing in it.
Writer allows you to use custom fonts and offers a high contrast mode if you’re into that sort of thing. I use Baskerville at 16 point and keep high contrast mode off.
Writer really is a joy to use and is well worth the $2.99 I spent on it. It may not offer all of the features of other text editors, but I think Writer strikes the perfect balance offering the right amount of features without having a cluttered user interface. And, it also happens to have one of the best icons I’ve ever seen for a text editor — I love that little typewriter.