I would like to take notes (i.e., type text), on a completely black screen with very light gray text, so as to be unobtrusive in a dark room. Further, I want a true full-screen mode -- without status bars, without menu bars, and without scroll bars -- just plain text on a blank, dark screen.

I can actually get pretty close in MS Word 2007 (for Windows) using full-screen view and a black page background. There are still scroll bars, but it's not bad. However, newer versions of MS Word do a worse job of it, not letting you remove, nor control the color of, status bars.

Windows or Mac is fine. I'm willing to pay.

Any recommendations?


There are many distraction-free editors out there. They typically run in fullscreen mode, and hide (or don’t have) any UI elements, so it’s just a textarea and keyboard shortcuts by default.

A free/libre¹, cross-platform², and actively maintained³ editor is FocusWriter.

It shows the GUI when you move your mouse to the edges of the screen.

It uses TXT, and also supports RTF and ODT.

It comes with default themes, and you can create your own theme, too:

Screenshot of the GUI used for theming the editor. It allows to choose a color, a background color, an image, the color for misspelled words, the font, the font size


Screenshot of the editor: 'blues' Screenshot of the editor: 'retro' Screenshow of the editor: 'new' Screenshot of the editor, showing an image as background

All screenshots from the official website.

¹ Licensed under the GPL.
² Available for GNU/Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X.
³ The last version, 1.6.4, was released two days ago.

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  • 1
    +1 for the search term "distraction-free editor" -- I didn't know how to search for what I was describing. – MM. Mar 13 '17 at 0:50

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