Word 2007 is distracting. There are plenty of low distraction writing tools out there. I’ve used Q10 and Darkroom on my PC. Both are good. I’m told Mac users have something called Bean. I can’t comment, I’ve not had a Mac in five years. And there are web-based alternatives.

I’d like to see is Microsoft Word 2007 tweaked for distraction-free writing. Like it not, Word is the industry standard. As a professional writer, I’m usually expected to turn in copy as Word files. I’m sometimes expected to use Word’s abysmal review and comparison features (don’t get me started).

My problem with Word is that it is massively overpowered for everyday writing. And overpowering to look at.

So what is required?

Get rid of those ribbon bars, the menu bar and the never-required left-right scroll bar. In fact get rid of almost everything. Default to the draft view with standard fonts and a handful of standard styles. Allow for all the Word keyboard commands. Can you see where I’m coming from here?

Whisper this, Microsoft’s Live Writer is almost what I’m after. At least it would be without the screen clutter. I’m writing this with Live Writer now and it’s functionally all I need.

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