iA Writer Writing App
I am always up for trying out a new writing App for blogging. In this case it is an App that has been around for a very long time called iA Writer from Information Architect. There are several different Apps you can use for focused writing on the Mac. Currently, I am using Ulysses which is a very cool App. However, iA Writer has its strong points as well. Just to get used to the App, I am writing this article in it.
iA Writer Writing Environment
iA Writer has many features similar to other focused writing Apps. As far as I can tell, its writing features are excellent and on par with other Apps. Here is what the main window looks like:
It is pretty much like many other writing Apps which is fine, this is a very utilitarian layout. While we are considering the layout, you can hide all of the sidebar stuff and just write. And, of course, you can go into full screen focused writing mode which is very helpful if you are writing more than a paragraph.
There is no way I can cover everything there is to know about iA Writer in one article, but I wanted to mention a couple of other things here. There is a “Preview” mode for having a quick look at your document. The images you insert by dragging only show up as a link in the Editor. Use “Preview” to see what it all looks like. iA Writer lets you make Smart Folders and also uses Hashtags. I am keeping all my articles in iCloud so I can access them on the iOS versions of the App. Of course, iA Writer has Dark Mode which I prefer for writing longer documents. And there are the usual text formatting options. Also, iA Writer uses the Markdown language as so many other text editors do these days. There are lots of other Settings which I will cover at a later time.
iA Writer Images
You post an image in iA Writer by just dragging it into the window:
In the Editor it shows the title of the image. To actually see the image you have to click on the Preview icon at the top of the iA Writer window. I have only tried .png’s and .jpeg files which work fine. I don’t know what other types of images it can handle.
Images look just as good as in other Text Editors. There are no real controls inside iA Writer for editing images, you have to edit them in another App before inserting them into your document.
iA Writer Blogging
The writing environment of iA Writer is top notch. I am enjoying using it. However, for a writing App to work for me it has to be able to send articles to my WordPress blog site. IA Writer’s blogging process to WordPress is a little convoluted, but it works. I should mention you can send articles to Medium and Ghost if you are using those services. And, of course, you can save documents in several different formats for print.
iA Writer lets you post to a WordPress hosted blog directly. However, if you are hosting your WordPress site on a third party service you have to install JetPack into WordPress for it to work. The basic version of JebPack is free. Instead of having all the WordPress setup features in the App like Ulysses, iA Writer sends your blog post into the WordPress Editor using the JetPack Plugin. While in the WordPress Editor you do your settings for the post and then publish it. That is not as seamless as Ulysses, in fact it is a little awkward, but it works. You are doing the same thing such as scheduling the post, adding the Featured Image and stuff like that. The free version of JetPack works just fine for this procedure. 1
There is one advantage of setting up your blog post in the WP Editor. You can preview the post right there to see how it looks, to see if everything will flow OK.
iA Writer has a Mac and iOS version of its App. I have only used the Mac version, but will probably test out the iOS versions as well. It costs $29.99 on the Mac App Store. I do not believe it is a subscription, will have to do more research on that. I am not sure what the iOS versions cost.
I will cover the iA Writer Preferences in a day or two. There are lots of ways to setup this excellent App.
iA Writer is a very good App for focused writing. I am liking it. I will have more information of some of its features and the Settings area in another article as I am becoming more familiar with how the App works.
- This is no big deal, it just takes a little getting used to ↩︎