IA Writer for the Apple iPad helps you focus on the words

Posted November 3rd @ 8:01 pm by Roger C. ParkerPrint

IA Writer, available for Macintosh computers & Apple iPads, can improve your writing by focusing your attention on the words, not their formatting.

The more you write, the more you’ll appreciate the way that Information Architect’s Writer offers a welcome alternative to the complexity and distractions of today’s word processing programs.

Instead of menus and options, Writer puts the emphasis on the words, with all words set in the same typeface and type size.

I find this focus encourages me to write slower and more carefully. Later, I can always apply formatting, after I’ve chosen the right words.

Enhanced FocusMode 3-line focus

The screen capture, above, displays a recent blog post as I was writing it, using IA Writer on my iPad in FocusMode.

FocusMode puts the emphasis on the 3 lines that you’re currently writing or, as shown above, editing. The remainder of the text on the page is grayed out.

Other professional writing features

Touch the top of the screen, and a few additional options appear, to help you save your project to email your project, save your work under a different filename, or start a new  project.

One of the nicest features is that Writer displays how much you’ve written in 2 ways, words and characters.

Equally important, you can also display the estimated reading time of what you’ve written 2 ways

  • Estimated reading time for the whole document.
  • Estimated reading time from the beginning to where the cursor is located.

As a professional writing tool, IA Writer also offers the ability to move the cursor character- by-character to the left the right. Even better, you can advance the cursor word-by-word through the file, greatly simplifying editing.

How much does IA Writer for the iPad cost?

In line with the exceptional value offered by most iPad apps, IA Writer for the iPad costs just $4.99 on the Apple iTunes site. (The IA Writer for the Macintosh costs $9.99). To me, these prices are a small price to pay for a fresh, back-to-basics writing tool that can help you put the focus on your words, not their formatting. If you’re an IA Writer user, share your experiences; if you’re not, let me know if you think it might be for you. Share your impressions, below, as comments.

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  1. Jo
    February 9, 2012

    One thing that is great about iA Writer is that you can sync your documents between your Mac and iPad over the cloud.
    Another app that I like to use, especially when I am stuck (writer’s block, anyone?) is OmmWriter. This app takes a more zen approach to distraction free writing, through soudscapes and background images.
    I wrote reviews of both apps on my blog on how to use iPad and Mac in academia. You can find it at academipad.joachim-scholz.com

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