Based solely on the number of Mac writing tools released in the past few years you would think the world has recognized that the internet is a large soapbox and everyone can take a turn telling everyone else what they think.
Except in the case of YouTube, it all starts with the written word and apparently it has never been more popular than today, and with more choices of tools to get what you think down on digital paper.
Apple ships TextEdit and Pages with every Mac, so it’s easy to get started at both ends of the spectrum. Over the past few years I’ve written my fair share about today’s distraction-free-cum-minimalist writing tools, but here’s another one. It’s called Paragraphs, a minimalist Mac app billed as ‘just for writers,’ and other than the price tag there’s not much to it. Maybe that’s the point.
Paragraphs is simple, somewhat distraction free, mostly minimalist; all word processor buzzwords for limited features but with a price tag anyway. Again, that’s the point. The idea behind Paragraphs is limited features and plenty of focus on why you use a word processor in the first place. To write.
You won’t have to rummage through a toolbar to format text. You won’t have to learn or memorize crazy markup commands. The toolbar is a popup and it’s instantly self explanatory.
What’s not to like? Formatting is anything but complicated. It’s obvious and basic. No floating palettes of tools and options to clutter the screen.
Sit down, open Paragraphs, start writing. The settings are simple with multiple layout and font options that make any document look good, but without the need for a night class at the nearby community college to learn how to use Microsoft Word.
As you type all the tools fade away. There’s even a Dark Mode to match OS X Yosemite and El Capitan so you’re still safe in the 21st century, just devoid of all the distractions.
Paragraphs is one of those typical Mac apps that just works. If you’re bred on Word you might find it a difficult transition to go from overly burdensome to no burden at all because what Word does simply cannot be done in Paragraphs, but, again, that’s the point. Write what you think. Publish wherever.
If there’s a nit or two for Paragraph it comes this way and that way. First, there’s a price tag than is anything but minimalist. Second, there’s no iPhone or iPad version, and the latter has become a writing tool for many of us on the go. Using the same tool and keeping files synchronized between devices would be a big plus.