Focused: the Best Distraction-Free Writing App

2 min read

Focused is an simplified word processor that eliminates distractions while you write. Its Zen mode keeps your writing front and center, while its built-in Markdown formatting means your work will look great no matter where on the Web you publish it.

But it’s not only helpful for composing: it makes sharing what you’ve written a snap by integrating with your social media accounts. Whether you write for a living or just for fun, look no further. Here’s how to put Focused to use:


Focused strips away all the distractions of a typical word processor. All you see is a blank page to type on. You can make a few adjustments by clicking the “T” button on the left hand side of the screen: changing the theme and text color, adjusting the column width, and changing the zoom.

If you need to read over your text or check your formatting, click the “glasses” icon to switch to read-only mode, which shows you how your text will look when published.

focused composing

Formatting with Markdown

Nowadays, most writing gets published online, but most CMS program’s can’t register style changes from standard word processors.

Markdown is a formatting language that preserves the hierarchy of your headings and bolded, italicized, and underlined words for online publication. To use it to format your writing, click the “Format” tab and select how you’d like to transform a word.

Markdown also lets you add hyperlinks directly to a piece of text.

focused markdown

Zen Mode

The app’s interface is already simple, but Zen Mode takes its distraction-free approach to the next level. When you enter Zen mode, the text window will fill your entire screen and play soothing ambient music, letting you focus on the task at hand.

To enter Zen mode, press (command+y) or click the “Zen” tab and select “Enter Zen Mode.” That tab also lets you control the music.

focused zen mode

Sharing your work

Sharing your work is simple. Click the “Share” button on the left-hand side of the text window and select how you’d like to export your writing. As mentioned, the app lets you save your text as HTML, so it’s easy to post online. You can click the “more” tab to sync with your social media accounts, letting you publish to your profile right without having to log on.

focused share

With its pared-down interface and web-ready formatting, Focused by Setapp supports both casual and serious writers. Tune in, let it fill your screen, and finally get that essay done.

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