FocusWriter Review: A Simple Writing Program for the Mac

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FocusWriter is supposed to help a writer stay focused on what a writer is supposed to do: write. There are a myriad of distractions out there begging for a writer’s attention, and FocusWriter knows that. Unfortunately, that’s all it seems to know about writers.

Download and Installation (4 out of 5)

FocusWriter can be downloaded at the developer’s website. Once downloaded, just open the .dmg file and it will mount on your Desktop with the application inside. Put it were you will and get writing!

Features (1 out of 5)

FocusWriter does offer a distraction-free writing environment. You can enlarge the writing area to block out your whole screen (or not) and you can choose what sort of color or picture you want in the background (sort of like a Desktop?) while filling the rest of the page with your marvelous gems of wisdom. However, beyond these features, FocusWriter is nothing more than a very simple text editing program, not even better than TextEdit.

You can choose what sort of font you want and the size: good. You can change the color of your writing page: good. You can even set daily goals for yourself in terms of word count and time: both good. Automatic saving is possible: good. However, there is no formatting ability: bad. Files are saved, yet I didn’t get to name it or even find out where on my computer it is: very bad. Does it only save one at a time? Where are they? Where? What is the point of this?

Also, it seems to have problems running with other programs at the same time. Alone it works all right, but it still doesn’t register the words as I type immediately. Yeah, that’s not a good thing!

Usefulness (1 out of 5)

If you are just practicing writing, or you don’t really care about formatting or any of those fancy things, you might find FocusWriter useful. However, most professional writers know that formatting is very important, as is being able to find the file you worked on for hours!

FocusWriter seems like freeware with a lot of good intentions, but it doesn’t quite follow through. Plus, it seems a little useless. If you get distracted so easily by your own Desktop picture that you can’t write, change the picture!

All in all, it’s silly software with none of the features a writer needs. I’ll stick with Word.

Overall (2 out of 5)

I can’t see the point of FocusWriter. It has none of the features I need as a writer and the features it does have are kind of silly. Maybe someone out there can see what I’m missing. If you think you can, give it a try.

Download FocusWriter.