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myTexts, yet another way to reduce writing distraction

Brett Terpstra
July 27, 2009
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myTexts, a new app from MOApp, caught my attention recently. It's another "distraction-free writing" app with some nice touches and a reasonable price tag. This genre of apps basically time-warps you back to the days of full-screen, menu-free, plain text word processing. The most popular of the comparable applications would be WriteRoom, which is in active development and, I believe, the original app in this category. myTexts adds some great touches to the idea.

First, myTexts uses a database to store your documents, with auto-save and auto-backup. Your entire document library can be searched, including the title, full text, document notes and user-assigned tags. Documents can be exported in a variety of formats, ranging from plain text files (.txt) to Word documents (.doc). You can even export XML/HTML. Tags assigned in the app are written to exported documents as OpenMeta tags, making Spotlight searching more efficient, if you're a "tag" kind of user.

Fonts and colors are customizable, although you only get two choices (shades of grey) for the background. There's a sidebar containing your document list, as well as notes and tags for the current document. Notes for the current document can also be popped up in a floating, always-on-top window which you can quickly paste to from other applications and which dims when not active. The sidebar automatically hides and can be triggered with a mouse-over, or you can disable the mouse trigger and call it only with a keyboard shortcut. There aren't a lot more features, but everything is keyboard-navigable and quite well-polished, especially for such a young application.

Like WriteRoom, myTexts is a Cocoa application and its editing area is fully-compatible with System Services, the OS X spell-checker and third party applications such as SpellCatcher X.

myTexts is available as a free trial, and can be purchased for 12 Euro (about $17US), making it slightly cheaper than WriteRoom (also downloadable as a free trial). If you're in the market, I'd suggest giving both apps a try, as they both have their own feel and features. The WriteRoom wiki lists a few other apps in this category, and I'm pretty sure WriteRoom 1.0 is still available as a freeware app if you don't want or need the frills.

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