VS Code – A tool for writers


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 Codethe coding editor I have fallen in love with?

But what exactly are my needs for a writing editor?

  1. A distraction free writing environment
  2. Should count words
  3. Awesome if it can count characters
  4. Spell Checker
  5. Markdown support
  6. Markdown Preview when writing would be so awesome
  7. Auto-save constantly
  8. Lives on the cloud – accessible from all devices

So are these requirements met with VSCode? VS Code – A tool for writers?

Yes!
1. A Zen mode and a Fullscreen mode (this shows the word and character counts).
2. VSCode has plugins for Word counter and character counter and spell checkers.
3. It has beautiful themes (I’m now enjoying the yellow pad looking Solarized Light Theme). I can install fonts (enjoying Hasklig with ligatures).
4. 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.
5. Auto-save – yes.
6. 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:

  1. 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.

  2. 750 Words:
    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

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