VS Code – A tool for writers
September 07, 2017
Can this be? VS Code – A tool for writers?
Writers use various tools to write. For digital words, we have many options of text editors, word processors and apps. I have used OneNote, Evernote, Google Keep, the WordPress built-in editor, 750 words — in addition to the old-school style of college-rule notebooks, yellow pads and Moleskine journals — for various kinds of writing — blog posts, free form writing, brainstorming or stream-of-consciousness dumping.
However, till now, I had not used a text editor. So why not try to use VS Code – the coding editor I have fallen in love with?
But what exactly are my needs for a writing editor?
- A distraction free writing environment
- Should count words
- Awesome if it can count characters
- Spell Checker
- Markdown support
- Markdown Preview when writing would be so awesome
- Auto-save constantly
- Lives on the cloud – accessible from all devices
So are these requirements met with VSCode? VS Code – A tool for writers?
- A Zen mode and a Fullscreen mode (this shows the word and character counts).
- VSCode has plugins for Word counter and character counter and spell checkers.
- It has beautiful themes (I’m now enjoying the yellow pad looking Solarized Light Theme). I can install fonts (enjoying Hasklig with ligatures).
- Markdown support and Preview with Auto-Open Markdown (opens in a preview window side-by-side when writing) and Instant Markdown (opens in a new browser) plugins. Even a plugin to convert markdown to pdf, html or text exists.
- Auto-save – yes.
- To save on the cloud, I’m going with the nerdy git + bitbucket. And for the truly obsessive, you can sync bitbucket to Google Drive via Zapier.
So yeah, VS Code is really awesome!
So what does VS Code not have, that I miss? Flashy Distracting Features That I still love like from:
- OneNote: I love the feature where different text boxes can be moved around like a bunch of stickies on a piece of paper. But admittedly, that is not a distraction-free environment. Great for brainstorming – not so great for distraction-free writing.
I love the distraction free environment, the simplicity of the interface.
I love the badges
I loved the word counters and the notification when you reach 750 words.
I love the statistics.
I love the Seinfeld style – Don’t break the chain strip which counts the days you have shown up to write and met your goal.
I loved that it use the text-analysis system called the Regressive Imagery Dictionary to calculate the various emotional content of each day’s entry