WriteMonkey review

An almost perfect tool for writers – just words on a page

TechRadar Verdict

An almost perfect tool for writers. Its interface is pared-back, but still packed with little touches that make it easier to commit your words to the page.


  • +

    Can be run from a USB stick

  • +

    Gives you only what you need

  • +

    Customizable status area


  • -

    Options menu isn't clearly organized

  • -

    Steep learning curve

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When writing, it's all too easy to get distracted and operate far below your optimum performance. WriteMonkey aims to rectify this by providing you with a distraction-free working environment that lets you concentrate fully on what you're doing.


Where to download: http://writemonkey.com/

Type: Word processor

Developer: pomarancha_

Operating system: Windows

Version: 2

If you're used to full-fat word processors like Microsoft Word, WriteMonkey will seem very strange at first; the interface is sparse and empty, and you might feel that you are missing out. In reality, this is far from the case - all the tools you need are there, they're just well-hidden. This is a sparse-looking, yet deceptively powerful, distraction-free word processor.

There's a lot to love about WriteMonkey, and the simplicity which is at its very heart is precisely what makes it so great. Its stripped back restraint really is something to behold, and for anyone whose job it is to write, it could prove to be a real boon.

As an added bonus, WriteMonkey is a portable app, so you can stick it on a USB drive and use in on whatever computer you happen to find yourself at. You're likely keep discovering plenty of things to increase WriteMonkey's appeal further as you work with it – such as support for Markdown and CSS.

WriteMonkey is a near-perfect tool for writers. Everything has been brilliantly thought out with writing in mind. This may seem like an obvious thing for a word processor, but so few developers get it right that WriteMonkey really stands out.

User experience

It's a bit weird to start with, to say the least, and anyone accustomed to a plethora of menu and toolbars who jumps into WriteMonkey is in for something of a surprise. However, the whole point is to encourage and enable you to focus on words and nothing else. The lack of screen furniture means you won't be distracted by thinking about whether you should make use of the various formatting options your word processor offers; you're just meant to get on and write. Of course, those options are available for when you need them, but you have to look for them in the context menu.

The program is described - quite beautifully - as 'zenware', and this is quite an apt label for it. It's a simply wonderful experience once you settle into WriteMonkey's different approach to things. The interface is not completely barren. At the bottom of the screen there is the all-important running word count (essential for any wordsmith), a subtle little clock, and access to the Scratch Pad, which can be used to switch between files, and use bookmarks and headings. You can tweak this information area to display other details too, but that's up to you.

Latest updates

The latest version of WriteMonkey features a new spellchecking engine, an improved plugin engine, the ability to perform a 'replace all' action on a selection of text, and the ability to show and hide white spaces. For more details, see WriteMonkey's release notes.

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Sofia Elizabella Wyciślik-Wilson
Freelance writer

Sofia is a tech journalist who's been writing about software, hardware and the web for nearly 25 years – but still looks as youthful as ever! After years writing for magazines, her life moved online and remains fueled by technology, music and nature.

Having written for websites and magazines since 2000, producing a wide range of reviews, guides, tutorials, brochures, newsletters and more, she continues to write for diverse audiences, from computing newbies to advanced users and business clients. Always willing to try something new, she loves sharing new discoveries with others.

Sofia lives and breathes Windows, Android, iOS, macOS and just about anything with a power button, but her particular areas of interest include security, tweaking and privacy. Her other loves include walking, music, her two Malamutes and, of course, her wife and daughter.

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