Product Review

Focus Writer

Daniel Midson-Short
November 20, 2019

FocusWriter was the weakest writing app I tested. It’s nothing else, but just an alternative to Microsoft Word. It’s literally a text editor. That’s it. There are many other alternative writing tools like the world’s leading spell checker Grammarly.

There isn’t anything special that I could mention other than the fact that it’s the only writing software (in this test) which is absolutely free. 

However, you pay the price by not having all the essential features you saw in the above applications like versioning, storyboard, writing templates, etc.

So, does it have anything good that could make it worth at least for a trial? Well, there are some plus points.

But giving it a try? I leave it on you. Let’s explore in this FocusWriter Review.

Disclosure: These reviews are reader-supported. We might earn a small commission if you purchase something through our site. Learn more.

Our Verdict

Focus Writers is for those who are looking for a free alternative, however, I won’t recommend you to go for it, especially if you need to improve your writing style. We recommend Scrivener , ProWritingAid , or Write! App .

Focus Writer Limited Features

Free
PROS
  • Straightforward user interface
  • Completely free!
  • Better Customer Service than any other apps
  • Can run on Mac, Windows & Linux computers
CONS
  • No writing templates
  • No way to save previous versions of a copy
  • Cannot share content and collaborate with others
  • Traditional ‘Cut and Paste’ method
  • Limited export formats

Grammarly Best All-Around

$11.66 /mo – before discount
PROS
  • 86% out of 86% accuracy
  • 16+ billion database
  • 150k+ word limit
  • 5 devlice limit
  • Includes plagiarism
  • 1-hour response
CONS
  • Only supports English
  • Expensive without our link

Grammarly Premium Walkthrough Video

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✅ Less VAs, interns, employees

✅ Save 6-100+ hours/week

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FocusWriter Pros

#1 FocusWriter has a very straightforward, distraction-free user interface where all you see is a blank white paper. There’s no tabs, navigation buttons; you can’t even see your computer’s clock. The full-screen mode makes it great for writing.

So, it does an excellent job of keeping the writer immersed in writing. It does improve the writing environment overall. For minimalist writing, that’s all you need. There are no other screen options or a background image, which makes the writing process smoother.

#2 The next benefit of using FocusWriter is it doesn’t cost anything. It’s yours forever for free.

#3 FocusWriter performed much better in customer service than most of the prominent app included in this test.

The maker of this app, Graeme Gott himself deals with the users’ grievances, and this dude is fast in his email game.

I sent him an email to ask a few questions about FocusWriter, and he got back to me within 24 hours.

#4 You can run FocusWriter on Mac, Windows, as well as Linux computers.

Now, I know it’s not something significant considering it still doesn’t offer anything for the Android and iOS platform, but I didn’t know whether to add it to the pros or cons section. 

That’s why you can count it as a sympathy point before you start going through the long list of cons.

FocusWriter Cons

#1 Though there are some writing themes available in the app, you won’t see any writing template. Neither it has any facility to create one on your own.

#2 There’s no way you can save the previous versions of your current copy. Once you’ve made any changes, the older copy is gone forever.

#3 You can’t share your content and collaborate with others. If you enjoy collaborative tools like Google docs, then FocusWriter isn’t for you.

#4 Interchanging different sections in the same document is also a pain. Unlike Scrivener, where all you need to do is drag and drop; you have to follow the traditional ‘Cut and Paste’ method on FocusWriter.

That becomes tiring when you need to work on full-fledged books or novels.

#5 FocusWriter provides a limited number of export formats. It only supports plain text, and a small subset of ODT, RTF, and Docx file.

While this app won’t allow you to export to WordPress in 1-click, Wordable will allow you to export from Google Docs to WordPress seamlessly. It will not only clean and properly format your HTML, but also compress images, open links in a new tab, automatically set featured images, or create a table of contents, and lots more.

#6 It also doesn’t provide any specific solution to note down rough ideas or random thoughts quickly.

FocusWriter Pricing Plan

As mentioned earlier, FocusWriter is a free of cost software. However, there’s an option to donate some amount to the maker of this app that ranges from $5 to $100.

But it’s optional, and you can set the donation amount as $0.00 if you want.

Do I recommend FocusWriter?

In one word, no.

It’s just a simple word processor, not a modern writing app. And if writing is the only thing it does, then MS Word or Google Doc is also not bad, right? I’d rather stick to a word processor software or another spell-checking app.

There’s no reason I would recommend you to try FocusWriter unless you want to experiment yourself.

Conclusion

Writing is one of those activities an average adult does every day. Whatever your writing goals are, you need the best writing tool.

Whether it’s writing stories, blog posts, letters, social media posts or as simple as writing an email to your boss.

And a writing software makes this whole process of jotting down words easier and brings more fun. If writing is your profession, and book writing takes a lot of your time, you’d rather invest in the right software program or spell-checking app.

After analyzing all the five apps, I found Scrivener to be the overall champ. It’s an all-around app any type of writer can use. On top of that, its price is also well under budget.

Final Draft would be an excellent pick for professional screenwriters and novelists. Though it’s a bit pricey compared to the other tools, the features cover the cost.

If you own Apple products and looking for an app that grants you cloud storage as well as allows you to access your files in all your Apple devices, then Ulysses is made for you.

iA Writer is a perfect fit for those who like simple, user-friendly software that could be run on any device regardless of its operating system.

And finally, Focus Writers is for those who are looking for a free alternative. But I won’t recommend you to go for it, especially if you need to improve your writing style.

Now, I would like to turn it over to you:

What kind of writer are you? Do you write novels, screenplays, blog posts or just a hobby writer? And which software you want to try first? What is more important to you when considering a writing tool, editing or word processing? 

Let me know by leaving a comment below.