WordFlow logo One of the tools I use quite a bit for writing is the Google Chrome web browser. Yes, you read that correctly. A web browser is one of my main writing tools. And not just to access web-based applications like Typerighter.com, TextDrop, or Google Drive.

Thanks to a myriad of apps and extensions for Chrome, I have a choice of some great writing tools. Many of them suit my main way of writing — with plain text and Markdown.

One app that I recently crossed my gaze is WordFlow. Let’s take a look at it.

Simplicity itself

WordFlow is simple. Just a tab in your browser, into which you start typing. There are no features to get in your way. You just write, and that’s it.

WordFlow in action

The only feature that you see is the running word count in the bottom-right corner of the WordFlow window.

When you’re ready to save your work, just click chevron at the bottom of the screen to open the toolbar.

WordFlow toolbar

This is where it gets interesting. You can, obviously, save your work to your hard drive. But if you use a service like Dropbox, Ubuntu One, or Box and have one or more of the folders on your computer synchronized with one of those services, you can easily share your files with your other computers or devices. How? By saving the file you’re working on to one of those shared folders.

Saving a file is easy, too. Again, click the chevron to open the toolbar. Then, click the downward arrow icon. WordFlow saves your file.

Best of all, you don’t need to be online to use WordFlow. You can use it when you don’t have an internet connection. I’ve found WordFlow to be very useful when I’ve been on transit or in a place where there’s no wifi.

Changing options

While WordFlow doesn’t have too many features, there are a few options you can set. Click the chevron at the bottom of the screen to open the toolbar. Then, click the wrench icon.

WordFlow settings

You can set:

  • The font
  • The background colour (to either black or white) of the editor
  • The extension for files — .txt (for plain text) or .md (for files formatted with Markdown)

Nothing fancy, but for writing you don’t need much more.

Any drawbacks?

There are a few. Remember when I mentioned that you can make your files available to your other computers or devices by saving them to a service like Dropbox? Well, it’s not quite that easy. You can’t choose the folder in which WordFlow saves files. It uses your default download folder.

When create or save a new document, you can’t give it a name. WordFlow saves it as untitled.txt or untitled.md (depending on the extension you chose).

Finally, you have to pay for WordFlow. It’s not expensive; only $2. But for some, having to pay $2 for this app will seem outrageous. I think that it’s worth the price.

Final thoughts

WordFlow is among the better editors available for the Chrome web browser. It does have a few quibbles, ones which I hope the folks behind it will address in upcoming releases. But even as it stands, WordFlow is a simple but very useful tool for writing.

This work, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.