Distraction-free writing tools like Q10 help writers focus on words.
Q10 is the nearest PCs get to acting like a typewriter. It is a stripped-down Windows word-processor without ribbons or menu bars. It doesn’t distract.
All you see is text. Your words appear as you write – and nothing else except for a greyed-out status bar across the bottom of the screen. There’s a deliberately-limited set of function keys, including one to toggle the status bar on and off.
In practice this Spartan approach means there’s nothing other than your words to look at and no opportunity to play around with the way a document appears on screen.
Writing with Q10
It may be stripped down, but Q10 is a real word processor – not a text editor.
Out of the box it displays brown characters in the Courier typeface on a black background. You can change the standard setting – I increased the character size and switched to the more readable Calibri typeface. I also added the New Zealand spelling dictionary.
I could almost switch to using Q10 instead of Microsoft Word 2010.
Microsoft Word 2010 has little I need for day-to-day writing that I don’t get from Q10.
There is no reason why I couldn’t send stories written in the .txt format used by Q10 – especially when I cut and paste copy directly into editorial CMS or file stories in the body of emails. But Word is the industry standard and editors expect to see copy arrive in the .doc or .docx format.
It is years since I worried about formatting a word processor document or included graphics, tables or lines. I never move beyond a single typeface when I write. I use bold for headlines and occasionally use italics, but neither is essential.
So why haven’t I switched from Word to Q10? In my next post, I’ll tell you why.