Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Make MS Word distraction-free without the need of add-ins

I just wrote about Writespace, the add-in that transforms Word into the perfectly integrated and feature-rich distraction free writing app. But if you're not into installing all kinds of add-ins, or just that you don't like the claustrophobic feel of distraction-free writers, here's how you can transform Word into a distraction-free app with the same look and feel (in less than 20 seconds).

This article is focused on beginners. Obviously if you're even a "moderately-expert" computer user you figured out what this article says just by looking at the picture above.

To quickly make Word go distraction-free, go to the View tab and uncheck the box that says Ruler in the Show section in case it is checked (not checked by default). That's about 10% of the distraction gone. For the next step, you double-click any tab. The ribbon will disappear and just the tab names will be visible. 85% more distraction gone. You can still access all the stuff by clicking the tabs and double-click it again to bring it back.

For the rest 5% of the distraction (not pictured above), you can click the Web Layout under the section Document Views of the View tab (or simply use the little button in the bottom-right corner to switch to the layout.

You will be left with an almost white page to write on. Enjoy!