'Typed' Is The Best Minimalist Writing Software Out There

“I try to create sympathy for my characters, then turn the monsters loose.”

This Stephen King musing is one of the many interesting quotes that greet you when you open up Typed, the new minimalistic writing software from the creators of the award-winning Clear note-taking app.

There’s a new quote whenever you open up Typed. It’s a nice detail that helps writers get in a writing mindset, and that’s really what Typed is all about.

At its heart, Typed sets out to solve a common problem for writers: focus. Instead of the harsh rulers, guides, and toolbars of Word or Pages, Typed removes the cluttered layout so you can focus on your writing and nothing else.

Typed even has a full-screen option called “Zen Mode” that expands to fit the entire screen, and yet the only thing you’ll see is your words floating against a serene background of white, beige, or black.

Typed screenshotRealMacScreenshotYou can change the background page colour easily in Typed.

Zen Mode also plays some music while you write, but it’s the right kind of music, the ambient kind that keeps the mind moving instead of demanding your full attention.

It’s important to note that Typed is a Markdown editor, meaning it uses Markdown, which is basically a web language for writing on the web that preserves the structure of your document. It will even generate web-friendly HTML versions of your documents for you.

One of the biggest potential issues with minimalist writing programs can be formatting, or lack thereof, but Typed thankfully offers the best of both worlds.

Most people will prefer the default “Responsive layout,” which scales the size of the text to fit whatever size you decide to make the window. If you need to customise and tweak the layout, there’s also the familiar “Format” toolbar that includes options to insert a block quote or change the body or heading of the text.

Another nifty feature is that Typed keeps a live word count, which is great for when you’re writing without page breaks.

That’s a recurring theme of Typed: For normal use, everything but the bare essentials fade into the background, but if you need more, a lot of the familiar tools from other text editors and word processors are there.

Other minimalist writing programs sometimes forfeit too much in the name of simplicity, but Typed does a great job of keeping a distraction-free design aesthetic while giving writers the tools they may need as they type out a blog post, start a chapter of a novel, or just jot down some notes.

Typed is only available for Mac, unfortunately, and that’s my only gripe. As someone with a PC at home and a Mac in the office, it would be great to be able to use Typed in both places.

If you want to give Typed a try, you can purchase a copy for $US19.99 right here.

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