Are you fed up with all the doodads and distractions of a typical word processor? Imagine rolling a clean sheet of paper into your virtual typewriter. No tool bars, no pop ups, nothing to distract you – just a plain screen so you can think and concentrate on your words as you write. Minimalist writing applications like Write Room for the Mac have gathered a cult following of writers who crave the simplicity of a blank screen. A few simple tweaks and Google Docs will give you the ideal writing environment. It’s easy when you know the secrets.
Here’s how to set up Google documents for distraction free writing:
- Open a new document, click on the View menu and select “Fixed width page view.” This setting will give you a virtual page on the screen.
- Go to the edit menu and select “Document Styles.” From here, you select the font, line spacing and even the document background color. There’s a check box where you can make these the default styles for all new documents. I like Tahoma 14 pt. because it gives nice contrast that’s easy to read on screen.
- Go to the View menu again and select “Full-screen mode” to make the tool bar and menus disappear. You’ll see a blue message at the top right of the screen “Full-screen mode; press ESC to return to normal mode.” Click on the X to make that go away if you find it distracting.
- Now all you have to do is put your browser into full screen mode. Simply press F11 and you’ll have a distraction free writing environment.
- Google remembers all your settings so you won’t have to. Just open a new document, go to full screen mode and you’re ready to write with zero distractions.
You can easily switch back and forth between full screen and normal views. Google documents have a full compliment of keyboard shortcuts so you may not even need the menu until you’re finished. You can return to the menu to add the final polish before you publish.
Google Docs gives you more than a distraction free writing environment. When you use Google Docs, you can access your documents from any computer with an Internet connection. Best of all, Google Docs works with all the major browsers, doesn’t care what operating system you have and won’t cost you a dime.