Justin Lowery, May 25, 2011
The trend of minimalist text editors has really been taking off lately, both on iOS and on the Mac. Byword is an app that came out fairly recently, offering a clean, simple, relaxed atmosphere for writing that has a nice vintage feel to it. The app has both light-on-dark and dark-on-light writing modes, for writing that’s easy on the eyes during the day or at night.
The app’s most popular feature is its distraction-free full-screen mode, which is the mode users will likely spend the most time in. It’s designed to give you a typewriter-like distraction free typing environment. If full-screen mode isn’t your thing, the app also offers a more traditional but equally clean and simple windowed mode. This will be useful to those who need to do multitasking, such as viewing reference materials in a browser window while writing an article or paper.
This newest version of Byword features built-in Markdown integration, which will be great for web writers everywhere. Markdown is a language created by Daring Fireball‘s John Gruber for writing plain text documents that have easy-to-understand embedded formatting. It allows you to format blog posts and other documents with headings, bold and italic text, links, images, lists and more, all with a very simple and easy syntax. Many writers greatly prefer Markdown to writing their posts in HTML format, because it produces much more easily human-readable files, and requires much less typing and effort than HTML to produce.
Byword includes five beautiful typographic presets to give you a variety of writing environments to choose from. This editor is not for those who want a million features and 13 toolbars, but rather for those who are sick of the feature bloat, complexity, ugly user interfaces, and distractions that have become rampant in the realm of text editors and word processors.
If you’re always getting frustrated and distracted by all the unnecessary cruft that comes with most traditional text editors — such as, Heaven forbid, Microsoft Word — Byword may be just the ticket to a more enjoyable and focused writing experience. This update to Byword is available now in the Mac App Store for $9.99, or as a free download to existing users.Follow @macgasm