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How to edit text super fast in distraction-free editors

Do you easily get distracted when you are writing with social media, your cellphone, etc.? This is a list of free apps to help you stay focused on your writing. You may also want to read our article How to enter the flow state.

Minimalistic text editors

Minimalistic text editors

  1. If you only want to concentrate on your writing, FocusWriter is a simple, distraction-free writing environment. It utilizes a hide-away interface that you access by moving your mouse to the edges of the screen. _It is just about you and your text. It is free and simple.
  2. For Mac users to write without distractions. WriteRoom is a full-screen writing environment. Unlike the cluttered word processors you’re used to, _WriteRoom lets you focus on writing.
  3. Q10 is a simple, small, fast and powerful text editor, designed and built with writers in mind, which runs in Windows. It is a full-screen editor, so you will be able to focus on your work and avoid distractions. It also provides live text statistics, such as word, page, and character counts. You can download and use it for free.
  4. WriteMonkey is a Windows writing application with an extremely stripped down user interface, leaving you alone with your thoughts and your words. It is light, fast and free. WriteMonkey


  5. JDarkRoom is a popular, simple full-screen text file editor with none of the usual bells and whistles that might distract you from the job in hand.
  6. Vim is a highly configurable text editor for efficiently creating and editing any kind of text. It is included as “vi” with most UNIX systems and with Apple OS X.

A gentle and practical introduction to Vim

Create a file: vim file_name. Vim has different modes of operation. The main modes are:

  1. Normal. This is the default mode. It is used for simple editing. Esc switches to Normal mode.
  2. Visual v. It is used for selecting and highlighting text. To switch to Visual mode, press v, the bottom line should indicate ‐‐VISUAL‐‐, the user is in Visual Mode.
  3. Insert, i. It is used for inserting and modifying text.
  4. Command line, : it is used for operations like saving and exiting.

Vim provides a built-in tutor to teach you the basics, just type: vimtutor. Vim has an extensive help system: :help, :help subject.

To quit the editor without saving, type :q!. To save your changes (write your changes to the file), type :w. Finally, to save and quit, :wq.

To start editing the file content like you would do with any other text editor, switch into insert mode by pressing the i key and type in any text before the cursor or pressing the a key and type in right after the cursor.

To move in the text in normal mode you can use the arrows keys or H (left), J (down), K (up), and L (right). You can type x to delete a simple character, dd an entire line, d$ from current position to the end of the line, u to undo the last change or press CTRL-r to redo changes. You may want to copy from the clipboard: Ctrl + Shift + V.

Copy/Paste: Press v to enter visual mode and move your left and right arrow keys to select and deselect some text, then press y to copy or yank the text (d: cut in Visual Mode) in Visual Mode to the clipboard. Finally, hit p to paste it (or put it) somewhere else. Vim



Useful commands: :set number it shows line numbers in the editor; !python mySourceFile.py (run it). Copy and Paste: yw (yank or copy a word) + p (put/paste), yy (yank or copy an entire line) + p(put/paste) or y$ (yank/copy to the end of the current line) + p. Forward Search /text, Backward search: ?text, n moves to the next match.

Neovim is an hyperextensible Vim-based text editor. vim-plug is a minimalist Vim plugin manager.

# Install vim-plug in Linux, Neovim
sh -c 'curl -fLo "${XDG_DATA_HOME:-$HOME/.local/share}"/nvim/site/autoload/plug.vim --create-dirs \
# Install vim-plug in Windows, Neovim, PowerShell
iwr -useb https://raw.githubusercontent.com/junegunn/vim-plug/master/plug.vim |`
    ni "$(@($env:XDG_DATA_HOME, $env:LOCALAPPDATA)[$null -eq $env:XDG_DATA_HOME])/nvim-data/site/autoload/plug.vim" -Force 
set encoding=utf-8 " Sets how vim shall represent characters internally. Utf-8 is necessary for most flavors of Unicode. 
syntax enable " Enables syntax highlighting. 
set noswapfile " Disables swap files. 
set scrolloff=7 " There are always at least 7 lines visible above and below the cursor.
" Allow backspacing work like in most other programs 
set backspace=indent,eol,start
set tabstop=4 " The width of a tabstop, a Tab in the file counts for 4 spaces. 
set softtabstop=4 
set shiftwidth=4 
set expandtab " The tab key will insert spaces instead of tab characters. 
set autoindent " Automatically indent lines 
set fileformat=unix 
set ruler " Show the line and column number of the cursor position.
set mouse=a " Enable your mouse 
let mapleader = ';' " Set leader key 
set number " Print the line number in front of each line. 
set clipboard=unnamedplus " Copy paste between vim and everything else 
set spelllang=en,es,cjk " Spell languages 

" To use vim-plug, we add a vim-plug section. It specifies a directory for plugins and list the plugins with Plug commands. 
call plug#begin('~/.vim/plugged') 
Plug 'morhetz/gruvbox' " (*1) Adding gruvbox, a bright theme with pastel retro groove colors.

gruvbox is a bright theme with pastel ‘retro groove’ colors and light/dark mode switching in the way of solarized. First, you need to add Plug ‘morhetz/gruvbox’ (*1) to your .vimrc and run :PlugInstall. Second, we use it: set background=dark, colorscheme gruvbox (*2)

Plug 'jiangmiao/auto-pairs' " Insert or delete brackets, parens, quotes in pair.
Plug 'preservim/nerdtree' " The NERDTree is a file system explorer for the Vim editor.
Plug 'tpope/vim-commentary' " A plugin that allows for easy commenting of code. Use gcc to comment out a line.
Plug 'norcalli/nvim-colorizer.lua' " A high-performance color highlighter for Neovim which has no external dependencies!
Plug 'vim-airline/vim-airline' "Setting up a status bar for vim that's light as air
Plug 'vim-airline/vim-airline-themes' "This is the official theme repository for vim-airline.
Plug 'plasticboy/vim-markdown' 
" Initialize plugin system
call plug#end() 

set background=dark " Set up the dark mode. (*2)
colorscheme gruvbox  " Set up the grubbox theme. (*2)
let g:airline_theme='gruvbox' "Set up the status bar's theme.

if (has("termguicolors")) 
set termguicolors

lua require 'colorizer'.setup() " One line setup for the nvim-colorizer's plugin.
" NERDTree Ctrl+T toogle NERDTree view.
nnoremap <C-t> :NERDTreeToggle<CR>

" F11 Toggle spell. To correct the error, you can press Ctrl, X, followed by s 
nnoremap <silent> <F11> :set spell!<cr>
inoremap <silent> <F11> <C-O>:set spell!<cr>
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