Plain text support in FocusWriter

For a long time FocusWriter could only read and write plain text files. Way back in version 1.3.0 I added support for rich text and basic RTF files, and I later added support for basic ODT files.

When I added support for rich text I split FocusWriter into two modes: plain text mode and rich text mode. However, many users who are new to FocusWriter have found it confusing to switch modes to enable or disable rich text, and they don’t always realize that FocusWriter can save plain text files as it defaults to rich text files.

In the spirit of the principle of least surprise, I have changed the development version of FocusWriter to behave like other word processors. You will now be able to insert formatting into any file that is open, even if it is a plain text file. FocusWriter will then ask you if you want to discard said formatting if you attempt to save it as a plain text file, and if you do not it will pop up the “Save As” dialog with ODT as the default format. It will only ask you if you have added formatting, unlike some other word processors!

You will also be able to switch a file’s format in the “Save As” and “Rename” dialogs, and it will prompt you about discarding formatting if you switch it from ODT or RTF to a plain text file. These changes have removed the need to explicitly toggle rich text support, so I have removed the menu options “Make plain text” and “Make rich text”.

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4 Responses to Plain text support in FocusWriter

  1. Well, despite I never have the problem switching modes, I think the new way to implement it is very good and smart. As always, congratulations and thanks a lot.

  2. abvblogger says:

    This is nice. I just have one request: please allow the user to choose the default save as file format. For a person using your program full-time, it doesn’t make sense to change to txt or rtf from odt every time.

  3. Graeme says:

    You should be pleased to know then that I have already implemented that and you will be able to choose a default save format in the next feature release sometime later this year.

  4. abvblogger says:

    That’s awesome. I look forward to it 🙂 Thanks for letting me know.