Dark Room - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

Dark Room

CNET Editors' review

The freeware Windows app Dark Room, based off the Mac software WriteRoom, looks a heck of a lot like the classic text-adventure game Zork. It's a black background with a CRT-style green foreground color for your text that aims to offer a distraction-free application for writing. There are few bells and no whistles: this lightweight text editor is without buttons, menus, or anything else that might disturb your concentration. You can either accept the default preferences and start typing into a new document, or hit Ctrl , to open up the Preferences.

Because Dark Room starts in full-screen mode by default, you won't be able to see the menus at the top of the application. To access the Preferences from the "View" menu, exit full-screen mode by hitting the F11 button, then select "View." From the Preferences dialog, you can change the color and size of your font, the color and size of the Dark Room "page" (the writable area of the screen), and the color and opacity of the background (behind the page), as well as a variety of advanced settings, such as the ability to open documents in Dark Room from the Windows context menu, multiple monitor support, neutral highlighting, and autosaving.

Basic text-editing features like "Copy," "Paste," and "Find," help you do slightly more advanced tasks, but that's about it. Users can't make global replacements, for example. Dark Room's shortcomings, though, only serve to enhance the sense of focus it can bring to your writing.

Publisher's Description

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All User Reviews
  • All versions:

    4.2 stars

    out of 33 votes

    • 5 star: 17
    • 4 star: 11
    • 3 star: 2
    • 2 star: 0
    • 1 star: 3
  • Current version:

    4.1 stars

    out of 31 votes

    • 5 star: 15
    • 4 star: 11
    • 3 star: 2
    • 2 star: 0
    • 1 star: 3
  • My rating:

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1-10 of 30

  • 4.0 stars

    "Love the application"

    February 3, 2012  |   By CarlatFSJ

    Version: Dark Room 0.8b

    Pros

    Easy to use and setup on my windows xp machine.
    -Starts up with the last doc I was writing
    -works in both full screen and window mode

    Cons

    nothing to report as yet. Will update later.

    Reply to this review

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Can't use It."

    April 27, 2010  |   By Cat5012

    Version: Dark Room 0.8b

    Pros

    None. I can't find the file

    Cons

    I downloaded Dark Room and was really excited. It looked like a neat product. It downloaded in a zipped file, Firefox is supposed to open it, but it doesn't. It says it can't find it. I'm really disappointed. Usually I rate Cnet's products high.

    Summary

    Just can't find the file. I wish it downloaded in just a regular file. Now I can't even find it to delete it. Can't really rate this.

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Nice and very useful for authors who get distracted"

    March 12, 2010  |   By UncleMoosebuzz

    Version: Dark Room 0.8b

    Pros

    The black screen keeps my eyes focuced so I can get the job done. Nice color text. Perfect for what I wanted.

    Cons

    I couldn't figure out how to shut it off - so every time I tried to do something different, I was still 'in the dark' (computer moron waves here) so I had to get rid of it until someone can help me control it.

    Summary

    If you are an author/writer/student, who gets distracted by all the bells and whistles around your computer screen, this is great. Black screen with non-offending neon text. You just type and go. Wonderful!

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Don't be afraid of the Dark"

    February 7, 2010  |   By Arionex

    Version: Dark Room 0.8b

    Pros

    Flawless design, comfortable and easy on the eyes, simply great.

    Cons

    It lacks of an Updated Version that is all.

    Summary

    Bottom line is as follows, the efficiency of this app is flawless to a degree but it lacks minimum features. It's a must have.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "A WRITING TOOL FOR CREATIVE WRITERS"

    September 18, 2009  |   By Redrik

    Version: Dark Room 0.8b

    Pros

    No distractions.

    Cons

    Having to use other software for formatting, spell checking etc could be seen as a disadvantage but that would only apply to the less creative.

    Summary

    The first thing I did was start writing. What began as a "how does this thing work" quickly turned into a short story I didn't know lurking inside me. Clearly the "no distractions" concept works for me! I have sometimes been regarded as eccentric but aren't most of us?

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  • 5.0 stars

    "One word: Simple"

    February 19, 2009  |   By allfghhgf

    Version: Dark Room 0.8b

    Pros

    -small
    -simple
    -full screen
    -fast
    -easy to use
    -really clears up writers block
    -word wraps(unlike notepad)

    Cons

    -simple fonts

    Summary

    This is great if you don't like the complexity, and speed, of MSWord and if you like the word wrap that notepad doesn't have.

    it is also very small so putting it on a flash stick is very easy and does not take up any space.

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  • 3.0 stars

    "not the best"

    February 9, 2009  |   By ResourcesOnline

    Version: Dark Room 0.8b

    Pros

    Cool way to focus on what you are doing

    Cons

    None......

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  • 4.0 stars

    "cool looking utility, not very real world practical"

    December 1, 2008  |   By josephfuentes

    Version: Dark Room 0.8b

    Pros

    simple, attractive eye candy. While I think it gets its basic job done, writing a text file, its real purpose is to catch attention while you're at an internet cafe or somewhere publc. I know I've gotten the looks.

    Cons

    You have to break out of input mode (by pressing Esc) to get to tools like copy, paste. At that point it just turns into another txt processor.

    Summary

    It's like a MAC. Pretty to look at but not much there.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "A great and unique word processor"

    November 23, 2008  |   By MyObsession

    Version: Dark Room 0.8b

    Pros

    Fast and easy to use, very customisable for such a small program, ultra portable and no distractions.

    Cons

    Lacks image support (not a problem for writing - its ultimate purpose), and lack of save options (only in .txt and not .doc etc, which would be even better)

    Summary

    This program is great for anyone that likes to write without distraction. It's also great for doing coursework when there are so many other distractions (Beware the internet shortcut etc). Though it's not clear, the program is quite customisable. By pressing Esc and choosing Edt > Preferences (or using the shortcut), the font and size can be changed, as well as the font colour and background colour. Though the program is dark room for obvious reasons, if people fancy white text on a red background, it is simple and easy enough to do. The program is also super fast and low maintenance as there is no install, which means save the folder onto your desktop and there it is - also handy to carry around if you don't want to lug Open Office on your flash drive, just for image support and formatting.

    Though it lacks image support, this really is a program for hardcore writers, which to them I'm sure makes it a must have program. It would be great if you could save as a MS Word, MS Works, or Open Office Doc, just to make it that bit more great - but otherwise a great all round which gets the thumbs up from me.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "perfect for what it's made for. I enjoy using it."

    October 29, 2008  |   By Paddygrn

    Version: Dark Room 0.8b

    Pros

    easy to use

    Cons

    don't have any dislikes so far

    Reply to this review

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Results 1-10 of 30

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Dark Room