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Q10 Review

Since I used Q10 to write virtually all of my NaNoWriMo novel, I thought the least I could do for the guy who wrote it (other then make a donation, some one remind me to do that some day!) was to write some propaganda for him.

Q10 is a full screen text editor designed around the Philosophy of maximum productivity with minimal distractions. I am using it to write this very blog post infact, before I copy and paste it into my Drupal FCKEditor.

Here are ten of the reasons why I love Q10:

1. Distraction free

There are no formatting toolbars or drop down menus. It is full screen so everything else on your computer is hidden from view. Even the info bar at the bottom can be turned off.

It's literally just you and your words.

2. Light weight

Because it has a very tight feature set, it has an extremely small executable that will fit on virtually any pen drive. It will also fire up in a blink of an eye.

It's a nice change from typically overbloated Word Processors

3. Opens your last edited file on start up

Q10 assumes that you just want to continue working on whatever you were last doing. Why waste valuable seconds searching through your Hard Drive or scanning recently opened lists?

4. Easy to read

Staring at a bright white background can be hard on my eyes, and contrasting that with black text can be very distracting.

By default, Q10 has a black background and yellow/orange text. If it's still too hard for you to read, you can customise the colours any way you want to.

5. Word count targets

You can set a Word count target for yourself. The info bar at the bottom will show what percentage complete you have reached.

Personally, for NaNoWriMo I found it handy to just leave it at 1666 (The daily NaNoWriMo word count target). So for the second day I had to reach 200%, for the third I had to reach 300% etc etc.

6. Auto Save

Why click save every minute when Q10 can do it for you?

Also, you can have it autosave by number of paragraphs. If you set that option to one and your computer freezes later, you can rest easy knowing you have lost, at very most, a single paragraph from your entire body of work.

7. Alarm Timer

Q10 allows you to easily set an alarm, which is great for reminding you when you're supposed to take a breather.

When the time runs out, it also shows you how many words you've typed in that time. This makes it perfect for Word Wars! (Though I chickened out of participating in any such wars during NaNoWriMo)

8. 'Notes' functionality

Any paragraph that starts with '..' is considered a 'note' in Q10, though personally I think they work more like bookmarks.

You can jump to any note in your text file through a menu. Since all of my Chapter headings for my NaNoWriMo novel started with .. I could go instantly to any part of the story I wanted to work on.

9. It's for PC

Sure, there are some great full screen text editors out there. Unfortunately they are mostly Mac releases like Bean and WriteRoom.

Q10 is unashamedly a Windows only release.

10. It's free

Okay, so it's only Gratis (Freeware) and not Libre (Open Source), which might become a problem as the code base hasn't been updated in a while.

But software you don't have to buy to use or share is certainly nothing to be sneezed at. (Especially since some of the alternatives cost a pretty penny!)

If you want to give Q10 a shot, grab it from the Official Website here.



Sam (not verified)

I downloaded this after you mentioned it in your last post. I really like the look of it and the design philosophy behind it. It's exactly what I was looking for when I went on a mad search a couple of years ago. At the time, the best I could dig up was TextPad (admittedly great - but this is better). I honestly didn't think that a true full-screen editor for Windows existed.


I am a writer who is easily (EASILY) distracted. It takes me a long time to get into the writing 'zone' and only a small distraction to get out of it. Having a proper full-screen editor takes away the tempting taskbar and all the distractions it links to (Note: I already unplug my internet connection when I'm writing).


And, with my sensitive eyes, the ability to write on a black background is very welcome (That was the main reason I started using TextPad).


So thanks! The novel I'm working on will probably continue to be written in MS Word, but I do plan to use this for other projects.

Earok's picture
Joined: 02/06/2009

Glad you like it mate =)

I think I have sensitive eyes as well (Hence why it's nearly impossible to take a photo of me standing outside on a sunny day without me screwing up my face!) so yeah, the dark background was great. If I didn't find Q10, I might have actually considered writing my novel in the Blitz3D IDE!

Yeah, I think most people get distracted easily, even with Q10 I would randomly ALT-Tab into Firefox! From what I understand, the trick to productivity is just as much about minimising distractions as it is about finding motivation