The first free to download text editor I’ve decided to review is called Q10 (Scrabble reference I think). It saves files in .txt format only (which is fine by me for certain things) and its default mode is full-screen with no toolbar (press F1 for a command list), yellow on black in Courier 12. It also makes a pseudo-typewriter noise at each keystroke but luckily you can disable that, though it did take me 2 attempts. Along the bottom of the screen it shows a clock and the number of words, lines, paragraphs, characters, any or all of which can be turned off.
The two features that enticed me were target-setting, and a built-in timer. Targets can be set in terms of words, characters, lines or pages (you define how long you consider a page to be) but it’s worth noting that it’s an overall target, not a session target. By which I mean that if you already have 600 words of a story when you open the file to edit, and then you set a target of 500 words it will show that you’ve already hit your target – you’d have to set a target of 1100 words for it to alert you when you’ve written an extra 500 in today’s session. Once a word target is set, it shows what percentage of your target has been written, next to the wordcount.
The timer is really geared for sounding an alert, so if you have the sound turned off as I do, all you get is a piece of text by the clock at the bottom of the screen (where you also briefly get a useful ‘alarm set’ confirmation message), which is easy to overlook. I was hoping to use this feature for doing my 5 minute free bursts but once I’d got into the flow I never noticed the timer message so it’s not much use to me. The search continues.