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I’m not real big on full-screen writing applications, but I know quite a few people who use Q10 on a regular basis. This is considered to be a distraction-free way to write stories, articles, or just about anything that is text-based. It isn’t a feature-packed app like Microsoft Word, but it includes a lot of the things that writers really want including spell check capabilities.

I’ve got a full list of features found in Q10 below, but one of my favorites is the autosaving configuration options. You can, of course, have it save based on a certain time interval specified in minutes, but you can also have it save after a number paragraphs. I like the concept of saving based on the amount of content that has changed rather than on a set time interval. It would be even cooler if you could do it based on sentences, but I’ll take what I can get.

Here’s a better breakdown of the features available in Q10:

  • Full-screen
  • Live text statistics – Word, page and character counts are updated live as you type.
  • Programmable page count formula – Specify what formula to use for page count calculation.
  • Customizable look and paragraph format – Change the colors, line spacing, first line indent, paragraph spacing, font…
  • Perfectly portable – A single self-contained executable file. That’s all. Easy to use with a pendrive, so you can carry your writing environment with you everywhere. Q10 will remember the last file you worked on, even if the drive letter assigned to your pendrive changes from computer to computer.
  • Easy to use timer alarm – Perfect for timed writing sessions and word wars. When the time is over, it will tell you how many words you wrote in that period.
  • Spell checker
  • Notes – Any paragraph starting with “..” is considered a note. You can get a list of all notes in the current document and jump instantly to any of them.
  • Target count – Displays completed percentage. You can choose units: words, pages, lines, paragraphs or characters.
  • Partial counts – Keep track of the extension of current chapter or see how much content you’ve produced in the current writing session. You’re free to use partial counts as you like: up to four counters with customizable labels and units: words, pages, lines, paragraphs or characters.
  • Autocorrections and quick text – Unlimited autocorrection entries to fix on the fly those persistent typing errors. Unlimited quick texts list for frequently used words or phrases, like character names, places, etc.
  • Standard and clean text format – You will be able to open your work with any text editor or word processor.
  • Typing sound effects – Get that typewriter feeling again. For the trivia lovers among you, the typing sounds were taken from the movie “Amélie”.
  • Small, fast and stable – Less than 360Kb in size, you don’t need huge frameworks or runtimes to use this beauty.
  • Autosaving – You can ask Q10 to save your work after some number of new paragraphs, or after some time has elapsed. If you’re really paranoid, set Q10 to save every paragraph.

There is really only one disappointing thing about Q10, and it’s that there have been no updates since 2007. There isn’t much that the developer could really add to this without making the application overly complicated/bloated (thereby defeating its purpose), but it’s always reassuring to see regular updates.

Q10 Homepage (Windows only; Freeware)