FocusWriter Portable - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

FocusWriter Portable

CNET Editors' review

Microsoft's Word and its clones dominate the word-processing scene, but some alternatives are worth a look, especially when they take a different approach. Take FocusWriter, for instance. It encourages focus and productivity with a full-screen view and a pared-down interface and features such as autosave, goal-tracking, formatting, spell checker, and find-and-replace. FocusWriter Portable is a fully portable version of this versatile freeware. You can save it on a USB drive and run it on any compatible Windows PC.

FocusWriter opened with a plain gray screen displaying our cursor. Hovering over the top edge produced a menu bar, while at the bottom we could show a word count, goal tracker, and time display. Clicking Ctrl+M minimized the full screen view. We typed out some text and clicked Save. FocusWriter let us save our document as a Rich Text file (.rtf) or OpenDocument Text file (.odt), both of which opened easily in Word. We tried FocusWriter's spell checker, formatting, search, themes, and other tools and settings, all of which performed well, most with a familiar feel. The only theme we saw was the default setup, but we could easily create themes by clicking Modify as well as import and export themes. Under the Settings, we could set writing goals in minutes or words, enable typewriter sounds, configure the spell checker and toolbar, and set the way FocusWriter counts words and letters.

It's hardly surprising that a tool designed to boost a writer's productivity and focus would start by minimizing the infinite distractions that are just a click or peek away. We like the idea, and also the way FocusWriter focuses on the essentials yet keeps many useful features available for when you're ready for them. Add in portability that lets you run it in airports, bars, and other places writers turn up, and we have a winner.

Publisher's Description

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All User Reviews
  • All versions:

    4.1 stars

    out of 9 votes

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

    4.7 stars

    out of 3 votes

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

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1-3 of 3

  • 5.0 stars

    "Oh, Sublime Grey!"

    December 16, 2013  |   By D__Blaze

    Version: FocusWriter Portable 1.4.4

    Pros

    Oh, sublime grey!
    The rich hue of everywhere
    Everywhere, all at once!
    Oh, mesmerizing ash,
    You hypnotize like a goat;
    We will both stare until you fall over
    Dead.

    Stare, goat!
    Decipher the microfiche behind my retinas.
    Assault my Fourth Amendment rights!
    Reach your tongue into the corners of my evening,
    Curl about my house and fall asleep.

    You are not a webcam, grey!
    You don't recognize the
    length of my lashes when I look
    Beneath.
    You are greyness, grey!
    You lie beneath.

    Colors are the lavish luxuries of life,
    Greyness is a flute.
    Play any zany tune you like,
    It's up to you.

    Halfway between darkness and light,
    A silverine goddess meets a
    Glistening knight.
    With ropes of platinum threads your grasp tightens and you
    Stare, beyond my eyes.
    You stare, stare, stare, stare, stare,
    You stare like a crucified Jesus Christ.
    Nothing is either black nor white.
    Grey is the nuanced color of the wise.

    Greys are the skies we inhabit.
    Greys are the ashes of mind.

    Greys are goats about to die.

    Cons

    I know of none.

    Summary

    A word processor that makes the screen grey to reduce distractions while writing

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Just not sure"

    October 31, 2013  |   By schmeer

    Version: FocusWriter Portable 1.4.4

    Pros

    Hope to find some.

    Cons

    I'd like to see the top bar all the time. Spell checker does not seem to work. It's on to check as i write but does nothing. Click to check words i know are totally wrong but it does nothing.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "An indispensable tool in any writers arsenal"

    October 15, 2013  |   By Ninjaflow

    Version: FocusWriter Portable 1.4.4

    Pros

    Background images
    Fullscreen
    Daily goal count

    Cons

    None if you know what this is and what this is not

    Summary

    I am a writer by profession and I use plenty of softwares. Evernote for daily document management, finaldraft for scripts, but this tool is simply a pleasure to use. For a creative writer you sometimes simply need to get in the mood. The whole feature of background images for fullscreen is brilliant. Very very glad I found this (totally by chance)

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