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OmmWriter alternatives for Windows

OmmWriter for Windows?!

OmmWriter for Windows?!

It’s been almost exactly one year since I first read about OmmWriter, a so-called “distraction-free writing environment”. The point of such a program is to cover the entire screen, so you will no longer be seduced by flashing icons, pop-up messages or other enticements in your task bar, but instead devote your undivided attention to writing. The whole thing is then embellished with a pretty wallpaper and soothing ambient sounds. But unfortunately, this program was only available for Mac OS.

While there were some similar applications for Windows, they were not quite as beautiful, nor could they display background images or play sounds. But now, one year later, I’ve actually found two programs that are comparable to OmmWriter: FocusWriter and CreaWriter. I’ve tested both of them and come to the following results:

FocusWriter

As the ratio of pros and cons already suggests, I like FocusWriter very much. Its only shortcoming – the inability to play background sounds or music – is not crucial in my opinion, because you can achieve the same result with an MP3 player running in the background.

FocusWriter

FocusWriter


FocusWriter with open menus

FocusWriter with open menus

Pros:
  • background image can be chosen freely
  • adjustable text area transparency
  • adjustable text and background colors
  • text formatting like bold, italic, or underlined
  • keyboard click and carriage return sounds
  • adjustable text area size
  • font and font size can be chosen freely (only for the whole text though, not for single words)
  • scrolling via mouse wheel or scroll bar
  • can open multiple files at once
Cons:
  • no background music or ambient sounds

CreaWriter

CreaWriter is free, but unfortunately the free version lacks some features that can only be unlocked by donating. Basically I have no objection to that, but I always find it somewhat pointless to take money for something that is available for free elsewhere in the same or even better quality.

CreaWriter

CreaWriter


CreaWriter with open menus

CreaWriter with open menus

Pros:
  • background image can be chosen freely
  • music/ambient sound can be chosen freely
  • adjustable background transparencies
Cons, because only possible after donating:
  • text and background colors not adjustable
  • no text formatting like bold, italic, or underlined
  • no keyboard click sounds
  • text area size not adjustable
Other negative points:
  • font not freely adjustable (only 3 basic types: serif, sans-serif, and monospace, and only 3 sizes: small, medium, and large)
  • no scrolling via mouse wheel or scroll bar (only with arrow or Page-up/Page-down keys)
  • can only open one file at a time

Conclusion

Apart from that, it might be worth mentioning that the text area in CreaWriter has rounded corners, while this is not the case in FocusWriter. However, I didn’t want to include that in the list, because it’s no real advantage or disadvantage – some people prefer it one way, others the other way.

I personally like FocusWriter better. It seems better thought out, designed and programmed than CreaWriter, especially the menus. I can’t really explain it, it’s just my impression. The entire “look and feel” seems more professional to me. The fact that the program cannot play music is hardly essential either – you can simply open an ambient sound of your choice in your default player and set it to “repeat”.

OmmWriter look

In theory, you could even use the original Ommwriter sounds for that: All you have to do is download the .dmg file from ommwriter.com and open it with TransMac. In the “Resources” folder you will find the three MP3 files that come with the free version, as well as three background images.
There are a few greatly shortened sounds from the paid version available on the OmmWriter website, as well as low-res screenshots of the new background animations. Despite their shortness, the sounds still make nice loops, and the images can be used well in FocusWriter despite their low resolution.

Direct links to the new OmmWriter sounds: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]
Direct links to the OmmWriter wallpapers: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]

However, the whole thing becomes more individual, if you use your own favorite photos or inspiring wallpapers (e.g. nature, universe, NASA image galleries). Beautiful sound loops can also be easily found via Google.



Comments

  1. 6th April 2011
    5:57 pm

    Ginchen flag

    @munishp:
    I would probably prefer Ommwriter over FocusWriter, because

    1. there are several wonderful ambient tracks included
    2. instead of a background image, you can choose a “chroma therapy” background, i.e. smoothly changing colors

    The only reason for me to use FocusWriter is that I don’t have a Mac. ;)

    lovedymo:
    I agree, all the Ommwriter tracks are very beautiful.

  2. 6th April 2011
    4:23 pm

    lovedymo flag

    Ommwriter amazing soundtrack: “Typewritten, Vol. 1.” (David Ummmo). Best software music ever!

  3. 6th April 2011
    1:12 pm

    @munishp flag

    Hi,

    First of all i just want to say what a brilliant post this is and I like the blog too. What i want to know is, what do you prefer Ommwriter or FocusWriter?

    thanks for your time

    @munishp

  4. 7th February 2011
    1:59 am

    Farida flag

    Thank you so much for the informations! Really helpful.

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