Distraction Free Writing is Coming to WordPress

May 4th, 2011
WordPress, WordPress News

A new distraction free writing mode has made its way into the WordPress trunk for the upcoming 3.2 release.

As the name implies, the goal is to create a simple screen that pretty much displays nothing but the text you type, though further options can revealed simply by moving your mouse.

If you’re running WordPress on the bleeding edge, we’d love to hear what you think! If you’re sticking with the stable release, like most of us, check out these handy screenshots from Automattician Stephane Daury.




  1. Joel Williams (4 comments.) says:

    I have this running, and to be honest I don’t see the point of it. Are the choices of adding categories or going to your Plugins menu really distracting people from writing?

    Features like this seem nice to have for a minority of people who a) realize the feature is there and b) actually want to use it.

    There are a few other more fundamental things that I would prefer get improved or fixed.

  2. Cory Howell (2 comments.) says:

    I’ve previewed this feature and really don’t see a lot of benefit to using it. Many of the elements it hides are utilized during the posting process in the first place so hiding them just creates additional steps & headaches. Any easier solution is just to expand that editor writing area (increase # of lines).

    Am I totally off-base here? Does anyone really find this useful or think they’ll use it frequently?

  3. Felix Ple?oianu (4 comments.) says:

    Wish I could say this is useful for me, but I always write offline and copy-paste the finished article in the Web interface, except for the most casual throw-away posts. And even then, I am not easily distracted. Still, I can see this being useful to some people.

  4. gestroud says:

    I see this as being more detrimental than beneficial, particularly for newer users. Hopefully, this will not be a default feature.

    • James Huff (184 comments.) says:

      There will be toggle button in the Visual editor toolbar. Given that it’s such a change, I doubt it will be default.

  5. Kathy (1 comments.) says:

    There are times I’d like less distraction and others when I need easy access to all the options. This isn’t a homerun yet but has potential.

    For now, I’ll continue composing in a text file format with my free version of Jarte when I need less distraction while composing posts.

  6. Isaac (1 comments.) says:

    I think this is really well done.

    Sure it doesn’t have all the features you might need when writing but that isn’t the point.

    The idea is to remove distractions so that you can just write. Then format later. I think it is a great idea.

  7. Paul says:

    I couldn’t believe this kind of thing is actually in ‘core’

    It’s been years that users keep on complaining about the Editor and Media Upload system, but received little attention from the core dev.

    and now we have this thing packed in core ?

    seriously, what’s the benefit of it ?

    • zaryl (3 comments.) says:

      I agree…
      the problem is with the Editor.
      imagine how difficult it is to write codes and other php scripts in it. surely it still can be done but it is inconvenient.

      although I also support other development, I think this sort of thing should be given higher priority.

  8. Aliza Shehpatii (1 comments.) says:

    This seems redundant to me, as most of the distractions occur outside of the browser, so surely this wouldn’t help?
    I agree if you need a larger writing space this could help, but i’m not convinced of it’s true value…

  9. Lincoln Adams (6 comments.) says:

    Apparently those who don’t find the value in this don’t write for a living.

    I love distraction free writing, so much that I use a plugin called Zen to completely screen out all the interface noise so there’s nothing left except my words.

    And while you can adapt the dashboard to reduce some of the clutter, that doesn’t help in cases where I actually need to use some of the screen options on a regular basis (such as setting featured images, adding tags, using custom fields, etc) Manually checking and unchecking the boxes that display these options becomes tedious. It’s better to have a simple lightbox type overlay that you can use exclusively for writing, and then when you’re done you can go back to the dashboard to wrap things up before publishing.

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