WriteMonkey is the right writing tool

Write better and faster with this superintuitive freeware.

It would be easy to describe WriteMonkey as a cross between a desktop note-taker and a full-featured word processor, but that wouldn't do justice to this simple but effective freeware writing tool. The developers hint at a Zenlike intuitiveness designed to encourage free flow of thought and enable you to capture it fresh. Statements such as "editing is for another day" suggest a stripped-down app, but under its humble robes, WriteMonkey carries a full complement of word-processing tools, including many unique features. It's fully portable, too.

With its classic yellow typeface on a black background, WriteMonkey's interface certainly creates a sense of focus, especially when it's in full-screen mode. There's also a smaller Scratch mode that doesn't hide the desktop; the Esc key toggles between the two views. We actually prefer the full-screen view, which uses tiny hash marks to delineate documents. We right-clicked the interface to call up the main menu and discovered WriteMonkey's shocking secret: more than 30 context menu entries that let us customize the program seven ways from Sunday. We could change the look, color, typeface, size, layout, language, and much more; save, print, export, and markup text; insert symbols, italics, boldface, and other effects; and even save our preferences as Profiles. We could also access WriteMonkey's unique Jump feature, which is an enhancement of its built-in Bookmarks tool, as well as its other unique features such as the Repository, Inline Comments, and Segment Focus. We could even enable realistic old-time typewriter sounds to go with the classic typeface. Among the changes we made in the Preferences was to select the Always Save on Exit option to integrate WriteMonkey with Firefox via the It's All Text extension. What else? Multimonitor support, integrated backups, timed writing, a visual progress bar...in a word, "lots."

WriteMonkey's Web site offers a lot of documentation and assistance, including user forums and comments, but this program proved intuitive in design and execution. We found the Help Card especially useful: pressing F1 opens a page of shortcuts and keystroke combos that help make WriteMonkey almost unconsciously intuitive, once you've learned a few quick commands. Obviously, we like WriteMonkey; it's a keeper.

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