I’ve been a fan of Byword for quite some time. At first, I rejected the idea of plain text as a viable format to use for writing. This, now, I blame largely on the programs that deal with plain text files.
Notepad is perfectly serviceable, and I have written many a website on it, but for fiction, it leaves something to be desired–presentation.
And it is this that Byword excels on. Byword is a markdown editor, which is a text editor that used Markdown syntax. It is also distraction free. For example, right now my entire screen is just a blank canvas with words, and a small stat menu at the bottom which updates with the umber of words and characters.
When you are writing, very rarely do we need to format. Primarily we are dealing with two basic items: paragraph breaks and italics. For Markdown, italics are created with astericks. This means that this is now this. And, even in plain text files paragraph breaks work about the same.
You can set the veiwable font anyway you want, which is a part of the presenation. And from there, you can write.
Add in a new feature which allows for blog posting, and here I am, writing this post on my computer in ByWord. Now, why would I want to do that? Mostly, I find it easier to write these things up outside of WordPress. It lets me wander away if I want, and work on it later.
It also gives me an offline version of my blog. I have a folder with txt files from my posts, there, safe, should anything happen to the server.
ByWord lets me just work, rather than allowing me to get in the formatting parts. And, let’s be honest, formatting is, for the most part, the job of the publisher. Even if that is you, now is not when you should be doing it.
Plain text is nice and clean, but when you need it, ByWord will export to docx, rtf or PDF for you. There are other apps, such as Marked 2 (which I also recommend), which will help with formatting and exporting.
But I need…!!!
Of course. There are always needs, and just as Word cannot be replaced by Scrivener, or WordPress, Byword is a tool that has its place in your workflow. For most, it will sit with first drafts and writing practice. But you could use it for the whole thing, too.