My new favorite word processor is one without many features, and in fact, it’s main feature is a mostly blank screen. This word processor is JDarkRoom, which is based upon the WriteRoom tool for Macs.

There is a similar tool for Windows users, DarkRoom, but DarkRoom requires Microsoft’s .NET 2.0 framework. I don’t like installing big programs, like .NET and I like applications I don’t have to install, so I have been using JDarkRoom.

JDarkRoom running on my Dell Vostro notebook

JDarkRoom does require Java, which is pretty common and easy to install. I prefer the JAR file, which keeps me from having to install JDarkRoom, but both the Windows installer and the JAR file can be found here. Because it is written in Java, JDarkRoom can be run on any system that can run Java, including Windows, Mac, and Linux.

JDarkRoom, and WriteRoom originally, have implemented an amazing idea; either program presents a writer with a completely dark screen, allowing a writer to concentrate on the task at hand, writing, and only writing. Everything else is located off screen, so the writer (hopefully) will not spend time on email and Facebook while trying to write. And Lifehacker recognized the productivity potential of JDarkRoom.

This would be a great tool to use when writing a novel for National Novel Writing Month (Nanowrimo), which begins tomorrow.

I am tagging this post as open source, but I believe the project might not be open source. The developer, whose blog is here, distributes JDarkRoom free of charge.