Why iA Writer is «The Editor.»

Why iA Writer is «The Editor.»

I’ve already for two months and ten days, switched entirely from Byword to iA Writer. And am as happy as a writer can be. There is a lot to be explained, but one single thing sets iA Writer apart from all others:

iA Writer has the best iCloud synchronization I ever have experienced

For me it’s magic. It’s like Steve Jobs is still alive and has been involved. If I write a new note on my iPHone and goes to my Mac, the note is there. And the synchronization is stable. For me, it hasn’t failed once.

The iCloud synchronization was Bywords Achilles heal. Every time I switched device and opened Byword it started synchronizing, and it could take many minutes. After finished synching, often my new file still wasn’t present. Then I had to throw Byword out of memory and let it synchronize again and again. It could take hours.

Byword failed to be my daily editor because it didn’t manage to synchronize my notes.

Just of the sake of completeness. iA Writer is a Markdown editor. It let you add small hints to your text and magically convert it to HTML. All when letting you work in pure text. And also saving it in pure text.

After these two months writing on iA, I’ve come to love the tool for other features too. It has so many nice details that help me as a writer. Even better, it is so beautiful and clean, that the badly hurt minimalist in me rejoice – many times each day.

iA Writer full screen Focus mode

Writing these words, for instance, I’m in full screen and Focus mode. That means that only the sentence I’m writing has regular appearance – the rest is slightly dimmed. I also regularly pull on the Do not disturb mode on my Mac or iOS device when writing.

Don't disturb in Norwegian

The cleanness and the silence leaves me, the editor and my writing, peacefully alone.

Deep down, on the right bottom of the screen, I normally have some statistics visible. Since I’ve evolved to a blogger by heart, I need to to know how much I’ve written, and how long the reading time is.

I can let the toolbar hide temporally and always. But I tend to have it on. The possibility to switch to it’s other modes is super effective for me. The toolbar gives me:

  • Statistics mode – quantifies what I’ve done
    iA Stats
  • Syntax mode – let me highlight grammatic elements
    iA Syntax
  • Format mode – shows me shortcuts for Markdown markup
    iA Format

It’s just what I need to get my job done. My favorite is Table in Format. Its sets up a Markdown template for a table. I never have to go to my Markdown cheat page any longer.

When I’ve more or less written the text and begin to edit and revise, I pull up the preview pane. On my 15″ MacBook I get an optimal edit mode, where I can read my text in a beautifully rendered typefaces to the right, and make changes to the left.

iA with preview

And still we haven’t talked about iA Writers ability to highlight adjectives, nouns, adverbs and conjunctions. A feature so immensely important for me who isn’t a foreigner to the language. With it, I can see when I repeat the same word too much. And I promise I do that all the time!

So, dear Information Architects, the friendly people making iA Writer, you have made a jewel of an editor. I’ve just a small detail I wish you could fix.

Please let the key Esc terminate full-screen mode. My trembling old fingers don’t like to hunt down the little small, green icon on the right top of the screen.

If you write, buy iA Writer. For me who has repeatedly shelled out thousand of dollars for MS Office, iA Writer is a bargain. iA is a minimalist’ dream tool!