For writers and bloggers, the choice of a text editor can make a huge difference in productivity. The best tools simply fade out of the way and let you write, then magically transform your work into published format with a click. That's the case with developer John Saddington's new app, simply named Desk (US$29.99). After using it for a few days, it has become my default text editor, replacing a half dozen other apps that were clogging my Applications folder. My apologies to all of those other developers...
When you're typing, user interface items simply disappear from Desk - you're actually typing on a blank page. Move your pointer with mouse or trackpad, and you begin to see some of the elements. At the bottom of the page you'll see exactly when the current document was last saved, a character count, a word count, and reading time. That last statistic gives you an idea of how long it will take an average reader to fully digest your post.
In the right sidebar is the typical scroll bar as well as a vertical toolbar that provides useful functions - a tool for creating new local posts and seeing your local drafts, a way to publish your work to a number of different blogging systems including the ever-popular WordPress with one click, a preview mode so you can see how your document converts over to published formats, and a help button.
Many bloggers are probably asking themselves right now "So what about Markdown support?" What's fascinating about Desk is that it doesn't force you to use Markdown for text formatting (sorry, John Gruber) although you can if you are familiar with Markdown syntax and wish to use it. Double-clicking any word or phrase in a document brings up a WYSIWYG text ornamentation pop-up with such common items as bold, italic, underlined, headings 1-6, block quote, links, numeric or bulleted lists, and justification.