FocusWriter == Focused Writer

I’ve been writing a lot lately. I started out writing in vim since that is my tool for everything. That lack of good spell checking eventually sent me to LibreOffice. That seemed like over kill considering that I was writing plain text files (ok they are actually structured text files with markdown - but that is pretty plain text in my book).

The thing that was really pushing me over the edge is that LibreOffice on Quantal does not remember where you opened the last file. Since I was editing a lot of files in the same directory, I ended up having to constantly navigate back to where the files live. It is a small but seriously annoying thing. After fighting it and a couple of other issues for a few days, I decided to go looking for alternatives.

A quick search for word processors for Linux largely pointed me at LibreOffice and GoogleDocs. I had already thrown out LibreOffice. GoogleDocs wasn’t going to work because of the work flow I would need to use on the files once they are done. The next thing on the list of AbiWord. I haven’t loaded it up in a long long time. It was Gnome’s answer to Word. So far it seems like it has been left behind as the focus has shifted to the previous two choices. It was as fast and lite as I remember it. Unfortunately, it suffered from the same file opening issue that got me to look for a new choice.

I was about to throw in the towel when I got directed towards FocusWriter . Here is an app that is focused on writing. It runs on all the platforms. It handles multiple open files with tiny tabs at the bottome of the page. And as a bonus it provides typewriter noises. I never knew I needed typewriter noises, but I can tell you that I feel like a much better writer now that I have them.

If you want to see a review of a slightly older version checkout this one from Omg!Ubuntu.

There are two other bonuses. It is now in the universal repository for Ubuntu so you can easily install it with an sudo apt-get install focuswriter. It does not suffer from the forgetful file select!

The only problem left was that it looked like a grey blob when I started it up. No worries it has themes! So with some quick changes I can get plain black on white with Inconsolata (My favorite programming font of all time). The best news is you can now install it from apt (ttf-inconsolata or fonts-inconsolata depending on your version of Ubuntu).

In the event, that you would like to take it for a spin - here is my theme: XT-Black_White-Inconsolata

It is amazing what the right tool can do.