UberWriter Text Editor Review – A Writer's Dream Come True
key review info
- Application: UberWriter 12.11.05
- Reviewed on:
- Clutter free interface
- (4 more, see all...)
UberWriter is described by its developer as a simple markdown editor, but it's so much more than that. It has only a handful of features and some people might be disturbed by its simplicity, but in the end everyone will love it.
If you are a writer or someone who is spending a lot of time writing texts in various office suites or other editors, you might want to reconsider your software of choice. You might even be satisfied with your current application and you might think that you don't need it, but five minutes after using UberWriter you will be a believer.
I need to set something straight right from the start. This is not free software. It's being sold on Ubuntu Software Center for the measly sum of five bucks and some of you might have a problem with that. I bought the app from Ubuntu Software Center and I still can't believe how useful and fun it is to use it.
As far as I can discern, that is the only place where you can find that application and that's really a pity. The users of other distros might want to try it, but it's going to be hard. There is an old Beta floating on the Internet, if you want try it, but it might not work.
A fair question would be, what is markdown? Long story short, markdown is actually a language, somewhat similar to HTML, but that can be understood by regular humans. If you ever opened an HTML document, you might have noticed that what is happening in there is actually difficult to understand, unless you are familiar with the HTML language.
In a markdown editor, users can write the formatting in a human way and then, if necessary, export it to HTML. If you want to have a list, all you need to do is write 1., 2., and so on, and the text will be formatted automatically. If you want to show a word in bold, you only need to place ** before and after that word and the action will be performed. Depending on how complex the editor is, there are many things you can do with it.
I installed UberWriter 12.11.05 from Ubuntu Software Center, after I purchased it. It's a really small app and there are a number of add-ons for people who want more from it. I only use it for writing, so they weren't really necessary. It comes with quite a lot TeX Live plugins and a few others, so you might want to check that out if you're interested.
The first thing that's going to shock any new user is the clear distinction made between the font and the background. Unlike other editors, it doesn't feature a white background, but something akin to white business card paper. I might even say that it looks a little like the results of a digital typewriter.
There are a few format options in the menus, but they are really basic and you can do it in the text anyway. The options that are really interesting can also be found at the bottom of the page, but they don't show up when you are writing.
In the bottom left there are three features, Focus Mode, Fullscreen, and Preview. Focus mode brings the phrase you are writing in the foreground and everything else is faded; this is meant to help you focus on what you are writing, without getting distracted by the text.
The Full Screen does what you imagine, but it also takes the application over the launcher and over the top bar. It's only you and the text, nothing else. The third option is called Preview and lets you see what it will look like in a page.
It stands to reason that you also have spell check and a live word and character counter, which are very useful and which disappear when you are writing.
I might be crazy about this app, but I noticed some issues with it. You can't change the width of the text, unless you fiddle around with the code of the app itself. It's not difficult, but it's also not OK. A bug with this issue was opened in July 2013 and it hasn't been corrected yet.
Then, there’s the other problem. It's hard to see how committed to this application the developer is. It works in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, but sometimes it crashes. Bugs don't get fixed and this could be an issue if the users paid for it.
The GoodI think that one of the comments posted for this application in Ubuntu Software Center perfectly sums up why this is a good application and why people love it: "This app screams 'write!' to me."
It's hard, if not impossible, to find something similar to UberWriter. It can be used as a simple editor or as a very powerful tool in the hands of someone who really knows what they’re doing. It caters to so many needs and users, and yet it's relatively unknown. The community needs to make UberWriter famous and maybe thus it will survive.