WordPress plugins and themes for writers

Write Environment

Article from Issue 159/2014

You can transform WordPress into a powerful and flexible writing environment with these tools and techniques.

Although WordPress is first and foremost a publishing platform, it's flexible enough to be adapted to other uses, too. As a writer, you can transform WordPress into a fully fledged writing environment that can be used for a variety of tasks: from capturing ideas and drafting articles to collaborating with other authors. In this article, I cover several plugins and themes that can help you turn a WordPress installation into a flexible writing environment.

Distraction-Free Writing Mode and Just Writing

The default editor in WordPress is a capable writing tool, but it's squeezed between other toolbars, widgets, and menus, which can be rather distracting. Fortunately, WordPress features the so-called Distraction-Free Writing Mode (DFWM) that behaves more like a regular word processor (Figure 1). To activate DFWM, just press the dedicated button in the main toolbar or use the Alt+Shift+W keyboard shortcut.

The DFWM editor offers only bare essentials: a toolbar with a handful of formatting tools, the main writing area, and the word count feature. The interface elements fade away when not used, leaving nothing to distract you from writing. The buttons in the main toolbar cover the basics, but if you find the selection limiting, the Just Writing plugin [1] can remedy the situation. Once installed and activated, the plugin adds a shortcut to the DFWM and an extended toolbar to the DFWM editor.


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