The Word Processor With No Distractions


Focuswriter word processorRemember when a word processor was like a computerised typewriter? When the screen was mostly empty, so you could get on with your writing without being continually distracted? And when there was loads of space for your text?

Sadly, over the past few years, word processing software has become incredibly powerful but very difficult to use. The amount of screen space available for actual text is drastically reduced, to be replaced by ribbons, menus, scroll bars, status lines, toolbars and the like. Most of which you don't actually need, 90% of the time.

That's why I rather like Focus Writer. It's a minimalist word processor. About as minimalist as it's possible to get, actually. The screen contains a background texture (which you can customised), a sheet of virtual paper on which you type, and absolutely nothing else. There's a menu bar, of course, but it only appears when you move your mouse to the top of the screen. It's the same with the scroll bars, which only appear when your mouse is at the side.

Focus Writer has some useful features. It keeps track of how many words you've written during each session, and you can set goals if you have a deadline to meet. It even opens where you last left off, which is something that Microsoft Word only managed to do in the 2016 edition.

Focus Writer is free, and a new release was published last week. So you may want to update your copy if you're already a user of the program. If you're not, start with the portable Windows version for simplicity, which is a 40 MB download from

The program is malware-free according to VirusTotal and Web of Trust.

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Great software
I agree with the comment, that wishes FocusWriter had a zoom option, or some way to increase the size of the font on the screen
Having to put up with small type font is a deal breaker for me

Yes I know - Microsofts 'WordPad' and 'Notepad' dont have a zoom function either
However, the ability to increase the size of the font, by scrolling the middle wheel, is such a lovely feature of other word processing software like Word, and saves my eyesight considerably

If there was a zoom function, then it would be indispensable software, including the word count notification function - which is great !

I use EditPad Lite for text entry and editing. If i want it to look pretty, i load it into Serif PagePlus.

Runs natively and installs easily on Linux.

I tried this years ago and now I see it's become more polished. It's more bloated than gedit or any other simple test editor, but has more capabilities, and simpler than LibreOffice ... but a few less capabilities. And some extras that might be a good fit for the journal writer. So, take your pick.

I haven't figured out how to zoom in, though, and on most themes I can't read the text. So I stick with the plain color.

It installs in a minute on Linux; I have Mint and just used the Ubuntu directions. Add the repository by opening a terminal and pasting this in:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gottcode/gcppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install focuswriter

These are not malware infections. They are false positives generated heuristically by two of the most notorious programs for false detections. Why anyone would want to use either of these to "protect" their system beats me. MC - Site Manager.

I just ran a scan of Focus Writer on Virus Total and it showed 2 malware infections!!!