Writespace is a fullscreen writing environment for Word, developed with WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation) as an add-in.

Writespace is inspired by Dark Room (http://they.misled.us/dark-room) for Windows and Write Room (http://www.hogbaysoftware.com/product/writeroom) for OS X. One advantage of Writespace is the built in spellcheck support (English, French, Spanish and German).

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The program is quite simple, but I've been missing a plug-in for Word like this one. I've been using the excellent Dark Room editor, but unfortunately it doesn't have support for spell checking or Word integration.

News

May 07 2010 - Created new installers for both Word 2007 and Word 2003. No code changes.

Oct 16th 2009 - New release, version 1.3 - Removed annoying animation for row/col when typing. Added F4 shortcut for Properties dialog. Added command line program (works well in Windows 7 taskbar). Added sample command line program to run Writespace with IronRuby. IronRuby can be downloaded from http://ironruby.codeplex.com.

March 9th 2009 - I just checked in code which gives Word 2003 support due to many requests. It is still not ready for release, because I may need help with the setup/deployment, so if anyone has experience in packaging Word 2003 add-ins, please contact me.

IMPORTANT NOTE

Always, always, always keep a copy of your orginal document or text before you try out or use Writespace so you can revert if things go bad. Writespace is work in progress and has not yet been tested enough to be called "stable".

System Requirements

NOTE: I need help with specifying the requirements to run this, but personally I'm on Vista, .NET 3.5 SP1 and Word 2007.

Downloads and Installation

The add-in is installed as a ClickOnce application, but it's not possible to host ClickOnce installers on Codeplex, so you will either have to download the binaries as a zip or download the source and run it from Visual Studio 2008.

Shortcuts

Writespace supports the following shortcuts from within the writing environment:

CTRL+Mousewheel - Zoom in/out
CTRL+F - Search
F3 - Find next
F4 - Options Dialog
CTRL+G - Go to line
CTRL+M - Toggle between monitors
ESC- Exit to Word
CTRL+S - Save

Writespace also supports the standard Undo/Redo/Select/Cut/Paste functionality you are used to.

Word Integration

Writespace is started from the View-tab of the Word 2007 Ribbon, just click the "Writespace" button and the text of the current document is grabbed and put into the Writespace full screen editor. When you escape from Writespace, the text in the Word document is updated with the text from Writespace. Note that Writespace removes all formating of the text, so italics, font size, bold text, is removed and converted into the font, color and size Writespace uses. Word documents containing tables, pictures and other "non-text" content will not be possible to move to the Writespace editor, and you will get an error dialog if you try this. This is to protect you from messing things up.

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Text Formatting

Writespace does not have any support for formatting the text. You can select the size, color and type of font, which will affect the whole editor, but that's it. This may change in the future though. Note that if you enter the Writespace editor from an existing document in Word, the formatting of that text will be removed and converted to plain Writespace text.

Spell Check

Writespace uses the built in spell checking support which comes with WPF. Language is set from the options dialog. Unfortunately WPF only supports English, French, German and Spanish at the moment. If you still want to spell check your text, just escape back to Word and let it handle that for you.

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Drag/drop Margin

The left and right side margin can be changed without leaving Writespace. Just move the mouse over the left margin until it lights up, and adjust the size of the margin until you are satisfied.

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Drag the margin with left mouse button and release. The new margin size will be saved to settings automatically.

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Find

Press CTRL+F to display the find dialog. Press F3 to find next, next, next... as you are probably used to.

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Goto Line

Press CTRL+G to display the goto dialog which helps you go to a specific line in the text.

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Multiple Monitors

Press CTRL+M to toggle between multiple monitors.

Status Bar

The editor has a descrete status bar to show information about file saved and it also displays the current row and column in an animated, fade-out way if you place the mouse in the lower right corner. Feedback about the status bar and the row/col informaiton is appreciated.

Mousewheel Zoom

The font size can also be changed without leaving the writing environment. Just hold CTRL and use the mouse wheel to zoom in our out of the text. The current size will also be saved to the settings.

Options

It's possible to set color, font, size and margin from the options dialog. It's also possible to enable/disable spellchecking by specifying the language.
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Writespace Re-use

The Writespace editor and options dialog have public classes, methods and properties which makes it possible to run it from other .NET compatible languages. This will be better documented in the future but there is optional downloads available with Version 1.3 - a command line program and also a sample IronRuby program which both opens up Writespace and manages open/save of text files.

Writespace in Windows 7 TaskBar

The optional download, the command line program, should work well if pinned to the Windows 7 TaskBar:
Win7Taskbar.png

Last edited May 7, 2010 at 2:58 PM by JohanDanforth, version 29