Dark Room Update (0.8b)

Since I have been using Dark Room more than usual, I figured I would put in a couple of features that I thought would improve the experience for everyone.

0.8b Release Notes


1. ADDED: Neutral highlighting
2. ADDED: Cursor blink rate control

Check out the Dark Room Project Page

Or, just download now.

Author: Jeff

Born a cantankerous old man, mellowed ever so slightly by age.

265 thoughts on “Dark Room Update (0.8b)”

  1. Great idea. Desperately want it for some piece of mind. Can’t get it to run on my machine (Windows XP). I get an annoying ‘Dark Room has encountered a problem and needs to close’ box.
    I’m technically challenged, any ideas?


  2. Ben…you did the right thing I’m glad the space is littered!

    jk I have used .8 and had no problems at all. I didn’t write anything huge for but a blog post it worked fine….gg!

    now all we need is spell checker and we would be all set πŸ˜‰

    jk great work

  3. The new features sound good. I really like this app, and, as I said on another page, hope to see rich-text (or doc support) by 1.0… πŸ™‚ Can’t stress this enough – would add 500% appeal to the masses, especially professional writers.

  4. Could I suggest a cosmetic change where the thickness and blink rate of the cursor follow the Windoze settings in Control Panel->Accessibility Options? This way, we would really be able to emulate the look of old consle displays where a blocky-looking, blinking green cursor would indicate the next entry point on the screen.

    Uh oh…how about the colour of the cursor itself? There isn’t an option to change it in the accessibility settings. Oh well, maybe it matches the colour of the text automatically. :>

  5. Whoops! Looks like cursor blink rate has been added already. Many thanks to jjafuller for that!

    Maybe, just maybe…there will be cursor width and colour controls for Dark Room further down the road. :>

  6. I need to say two things:
    1) My writing life changed since I discovered your nice piece of software. Thanks!
    2) Apparently 0.8b doesn’t support special characters (like Γ¨, ΓΉ and so on) anymore. This is a problem because I usually write in Italian!

  7. Filter: I agree with your positive comments. DarkRoom leaves my mind room to think.

    Re your (2), I am using (claims to be the most up to date), and I can get ΓΉ with CTRL+’ followed by U. ΓΊ is achived with CTRL-# – my problem is I can’t see how to get Umlauts (eg ΓΌ). The usual CTRL-” or CTRL-: don’t seem to work…

    My feature request: No more features! Apart from maybe having a square blinking cursor when in overwrite mode…. Otherwise, fix the bugs and the application’s done as far as I am concerned. I don’t want another application full of fancy functionality and tons of config settings to waste my time with πŸ™‚

  8. I agree with Peter: more features would spoil the beautiful simplicity of DarkRoom. I don’t want to think to anything but writing when I write.
    My problem with accented characters is that I have text (written with the prevous version of DarkRoom) full of “Γ¨”, “Γ¨”, “Γ ” and the like that are replaced by strange different characters when I see the same file in the new version.

  9. Uh oh…how about the colour of the cursor itself? There isn’t an option to change it in the accessibility settings. Oh well, maybe it matches the colour of the text automatically. :>

    i agree!

  10. I am an editor of a Japanese magazine called “Windows100%”,
    a magazine for MS Windows users with original CD-ROMs to offer readers data/software.This magazine has a circulation of 200,000 copies throughout Japan.

    For this time, I would like to introduce “Dark Room” to JapaneseWindows users, and would really appreciate it if you give me kind permission for including it on our CD-ROM.
    This software looks very sophisticated.
    So it will surely be exciting both for readers and us(editors) to be able to introduce it on our magazine.
    We would be really pleased if you give me kind permission for this sudden offer.

  11. It’s looking great at this point! Just one issue: When I set it to Load Clean Document on launch and Enable Local Cache File, the window title is “untitled”to start with, but then after a minute or two of typing, if I don’t save, the window title changes to “CachedContent.dat”.

    1. Paul
      Posted 2 December 2006 at 11:12 am

      It’s looking great at this point! Just one issue: When I set it to Load Clean Document on launch and Enable Local Cache File, the window title is β€œuntitled”to start with, but then after a minute or two of typing, if I don’t save, the window title changes to β€œCachedContent.dat”.

      Anyone knows why it behave like this, and how to prevent this from happening again?
      ΒΉ saving the file doen’t count.
      Another solution would prove that your synapses are at their peak and still functionning without any external boost :-)))

      Finally Dark Room has replaced notepad in Vista’s default .txt editor. Will it run as strong as it does now, when I’ll be using win7.
      Who knows.
      BTW, Thanks for the App. I’m into everything that’s light and easy on ressources, like the mp3 reader “Billy” from Sheep Friends soft.
      Darke Room is a brilliant piece of code.
      Thank you again for your “more than excellent” work.

  12. I just started noticing another annoyance: when I use Alt-Tab to return to Dark Room from another application, sometimes my typing does nothing — the cursor is blinking but seemingly not active until I click on the page with my mouse.

  13. Hi. Thanks for making this application, it’s my fave app of all time now πŸ˜€

    I shall also give u a link in my weblog to make sure more people use DarkRoom.

    Many thanks and keep up the good work!

  14. I think I’ve figured out that the Alt-Tab is registering as an Alt keypress after I return to Dark Room; so some invisible menu is activated, and I can’t type. Hitting Alt again on its own resolves the problem. This doesn’t happen in any other application; I wonder if Dark Room is listening for the keypress differently somehow?

  15. man you should document ctrl+1,2 and 5 keyboard shortcuts for single, double and 1.5 line spacing. I discovered it by accident and am really glad I did!

  16. Awesome tool! It’s just what I need! But every time I start it, it pops up a small dialog box that says “illegal characters in path”. When I continue, and try to save, I get an uncaught exception involving the same message. Any suggestions? (I can send you the debug text of the exception dialog if you want).

    Thanks! Paul

  17. Never mind — I just figured it out. Somehow, the name of the last opened file in the config XML file had ended up as empty. I fixed that manually, and things work fine. Thanks again for a great writing tool, proving once again that less is more!

  18. Well sirs you have been digged. Anyways, I thank you Jeff (I think?) for making such an awesome app. Words fail me to describe the experience of writing in Dark Room. Man! you rock!
    One question:
    -What do the little buttons (icons) in the right side do? I see four. Please I would like to know.


  19. i wonder if it’s a good idea – to make an option to blur background a little when DarkRoom is semi-transparent.
    What do you think about this?

  20. Just in case anyone else was as stumped as me πŸ™‚ the 4 buttons are:
    1. page up
    2. line up
    3. line down
    4. page down

    May be worth putting that on a baloon tip or somewhere under help (or even in an accompanying text file).

    Excellent app – can’t wait to try it out for real.

  21. OK tried it on a 2nd XP system – the icons for the buttons now display as nice up/down arrows (on the 1st system they displayed as top left arrow, 2 strange symbols and bottom left arrow) – that’s why I was confused. Their meaning is now clear – don’t know why it would be different on the first system.

    Feature suggestion – I’m going to wrap it so that it reads the clipboard on startup and saves to the clipboard on exit, plus have it run from a hotkey, so I can easily run it when faced with text entry in other apps. That way, it would only be a few keystrokes to fire it up from virtually anywhere, then get the results back in.

    Thanks once again.

  22. Hi,

    Just tried installing Dark Room .8b…. had to uninstall .net framework 2 beta and then installed the latest .net framework 2.0. I’m running XP with latest SPs and hotfixes. When I try to run the Dark Room exe file I immediately get a Dark Room has encountered a problem and needs to close. I sent the error report to Microsoft but no additional info was offered. Any ideas?


  23. asmodeus, that is actually a pretty cool idea, I’ll see if I can find a “simple” solution to that. I know how I could do it with directx, but I am trying to keep the program as generic as possible so that it will work on the broadest area of machines.

    shalpin, looks like you figured it out. I would guess the problem you had relates to fonts. The icons on the buttons are actually just numbers in a “special” font, either webding, or wingding or something like that. Also, I suppose suppose it would be possible to have it pull the text from the clip board on the load (and cache it), I would probably set this up with a commandline parameter that could be configured using a hotkey program. I wish I could remember the name of the one I was using, it was pretty cool, because you could use a hotkey to launch Dark Room, and it would also allow you to minimize to the toolbar. If I find it again I’ll post a link to it.

    Glenn, typically, that is usually caused by an some kind of problem with the .net framework itself, or a file permission problem. I would suggest that you look for a “cleaner” that removes all files associated with .net, and the do a completely fresh install. Also, what version of windows are you using?

  24. Very cool application.
    Reminds me of the good old WordPerfect (V.5) which also had a spartanic view (but the full power of word processing).

    You should add a small help text file containing the keyboard short cuts (though they are common through many Windows applications), and explanation of the symbols on the screen (I fgured out by reading the other comments here).

  25. Hi, and thanks for the great app.

    One problem I’ve run across is that I can’t use the Statistics shortcut, as Ctrl+/ would mean pressing Ctrl+Shift+7 on my (Finnish) keyboard. Could you a) either make that shortcut configurable or b) go for a simple ctrl+letter combo?

    Thanks again for this nifty piece of software.

  26. Awesome app. .. just really awesome. I’m a lot less tempted to flick back and forth between half a dozen windows when I can’t see them.

    One glitch I’ve noticed with using spaces instead of tabs. Lets say you press the space bar twice, then press TAB. It will simply insert n spaces instead of calculating the position of the next tab stop and inserting the difference.

  27. Looks great. Would like a sticky indent to suit my writing, is this possible? I’ve begun using text files for my GTD stuff, and the sticky indent makes reading the file much easer.

  28. Bug Report:

    I got this error after closing the program without saving the document, moving the entire Darkroom folder to a different drive, and attempting to launch Darkroom again.

    See the end of this message for details on invoking
    just-in-time (JIT) debugging instead of this dialog box.

    ************** Exception Text **************
    Configuration system failed to initialize —>

  29. hi,
    this is a feature request. i don’t know if this is the right place but it’s the only one i found.
    how about an option to hide the mouse pointer? maybe a keyboard shortcut or a setting in the options menu? because: when i write i write and i don’t point. πŸ˜‰


  30. Installed DarkRoom 11/17/2006 version onto a Dell Laptop w/XP SP2. When I click on the .exe, I get a 135 error, and the app terminates.

  31. Not a bug, more a feature request.

    It seems the text is not anti-aliased. Could there be an option to toggle anti-aliasing? Thanks.

  32. Absolutely svelte. Top dollar. Made my day. The name Jeffrey Fuller will be one to remember. Thanks. To me personally, the final touch of sophistication would mean losing the paging controls, defaulting to the free ProggyCleanTT font, not asking to save changes it I set it to ‘load stored buffer’+’autosave’, making ESC just hide it, making another global hotkey pop it up, and – yes – making a block cursor that does not blink (I pity the fool that thinks the earlier block cursors used to blink)

    Oh, and did I mention you will be a hero with a radiance akin to that of Linus Torvalds by open-sourcing it? πŸ˜€

  33. I really love darkroom. I like to write poetry, and sometimes I switch to it for that purpose, while I’m on the train on the way home. The totally dark screen clears my mind nicely.

    However, I seem to have a slight problem: when I double-click on a .pst file, which is an Outlook folder file, it launches darkroom – with rather slow results, as it loads the file as if it were text. I seem to be having difficulty disassociating the file type from dr. Has anyone else reported this?

  34. I’ve been looking for something like DarkRoom for at long time. Thanks! Looks great! πŸ™‚ I made wish list for an application like DarkRoom once. You’ve got most of it down already. I’m only missing:

    – Real time character and word count on screen. Plenty of space left and right. Optional via config.
    – Replace function
    – Spellchecking in different languages (+add words)
    – Possibility to add a word to the spelling dictionary that will only be recognized in the active document. (Use this to add character names or made up words specific to the document)

    My 2 cents πŸ™‚

  35. I’ve been using Dark Room for a while now, and just grabbed the newest version. Kudos on this great tool! I would like to see four things added, that I think would benefit me, and most every user:

    1. Spell check
    2. Search and replace
    3. Document all the shortcuts in a help dialog
    4. The ability to easily insert “symbols” like the “em dash”, whether that was through some kind of keyboard shortcut or popup dialog.

  36. No innovation!

    I’m disappointed. i can make the same thing with Word with white font and blue background in full screen. I have ever made a similar project in homework. 1 weeks to make my soft.

    Please, next time, post a useful soft.

  37. Ray, some of those features might make it in eventually. And, the error seems to be related to the file that it is trying to open when it launches. It is probably either the cachefile, which you should be able to delete if that tis the case. Or, it is trying to load some other file that is either not a text file or not a file (as in it was moved or deleted).

  38. Great program! I’ve got a problem with it, however, that would prevent my using it regularly. After using it, my system font and selected items settings (the colors used by XP for the system font and for highlighting things like icon tags in the interface) both stay set to the green used by DarkRoom. I would have to reset them after every use. Not practical. If someone knows a fix for this I will use DarkRoom frequently. It’s even cleaner than XyWrite ca. late 80’s.

  39. Update – I take that back, it doesn’t happen whenever I run the program. It just happened one time when I was changing the properties in DarkRoom. If it doesn’t happen during regular use and if the program proves stable, I’ll use it for all my writing. I write in an ASCII editor normally anyway, and this is much easier on the eyes!

  40. P.S. I have features I wouldn’t mind too, but I won’t suggest them. Once you start adding them (.doc support? RTF support?) you end up with a much larger, clunkier program, which seems to defeat the purpose.

  41. This is a great application, I use it all the time for homework, because then I don’t start to get distracted by all the other things on my computer. I however have two little requests:

    Firstly can you make the shortcut for the properties a letter? I use a french keyboard, and to get the \ character, you need to press ctrl+alt+# , so I can’t possibly press ctrl at the same time (I tried pressing the other ctrl key lol, it doesn’t work) so making that shortcut a letter would make it a lot more accessible for people who do not use querty us keyboards.

    It’d be also nice if there were automatic curly quotes. I usually export my text into Word afterwards, and then I have to change all my quotation marks to be curly, which makes it a little annoying ^.^

    But in genera, I think that Darkroom should stay really simple, as that’s what makes the beauty of it πŸ˜‰

  42. Jeff,

    It does appear to be related to the cache file. Deleting the cache file stops the error occurring. Of course, it comes right back the next time, because there is a new cache file. Changing the settings to load a clean document on opening seems to keep it from happening.

  43. oh, this is gonna be funny, but could you make a version for the Mac? WriteRoom went Shareware. It is too simple of an app (you could just use textedit, turn the text green, fill the entire screen, invert system colors and you get WriteRoom).

  44. Thank you so very much for this. I use Ulysses on the mac and have found nothing on Windows.

    Nice work. Thanks again.

  45. Jeff,

    Just an oddity, but if you have multiple monitors, it becomes really ovious that the new highlighting is achieved by changing the system highlight colors. Because if you highlight some text in Dark Room, then switch to another app with highlighted text, that app’s highlight turns green. Surely there’s a simple way to do this without changing the system highlight colors?

  46. Ray, you are absolutely correct. That is why I made is an optional effect. Unfortunately, I am unaware of a way to do it without changing the system colors. I am hoping there is support for it in .net 3, but I haven’t had a chance to dig into it yet.

  47. Simplicity at the core of everything! I love this app. Is it possible to create serbian latiinic documents and reopen them unchanged?

  48. Love the software. LOVE it…

    But I think you need to open source it. It’s too interesting to keep locked up… It seems everyone has a few ideas to try out, and they have to come to you to do it for them. Set it free.

    Anyway, great software and thanks for taking the time to actually sit down and figure it out for us.


  49. I’m not sure open sourcing this would be such a great idea. One of the things that makes this such a great app is that it is so simple and uncluttered. I am totally guilty of asking for a few “final features.” But I don’t really want some of the features others have asked for. If it goes open source, all kinds of things would likely be added that I don’t want and it would cease to be the simple, uncluttered app that I’ve come to love.

    Just my $0.02

  50. Ray, I think that the beauty of open source is that whatever set of features you want/don’t want can be added and subtracted. Dark Room Light, and Dark Room for example. You can have as many versions of the software as you want. Mozilla, Flock, and Firefox all use the same open source code.

    But I suppose it won’t really matter since I feel that someone will create an open source version of this (or add this functionality to their own open source software) before too long. Because it’s very useful.

  51. Hi,

    I’d like to report two bugs in Darkroom 0.8b.

    – Look at the Firefox’s menu color on this screen shot : http://k.gosse.free.fr/darkroom%20bug.JPG

    – When I open a file with the context menu integration, and close the file without doing any modification, the message “Your document as change” is displayed.

    Nothing critical, but the second one is a little annoying.
    Whatever, please keep up the good work πŸ˜‰

  52. I like to use your program as a way to read large amounts of text easily, and the black background and green font certainly help to that effect. Though I do have one problem and that is, that when I want to scroll text i have to either use my mouse’s scroll wheel or the navigation buttons. Therefore I was hoping that you would add a keyboard shortcut to the text navigation buttons, so that I could use a button on my keyboard to smoothly scroll the text.


  53. I’d love to see this add some external tool support (id be willing to help, what you need, a small lib? can i send a patch file?
    can i do a sample and send it to you so u integrate it
    a lil -> press X and Y chord and it’ll..er… compile or run thru a parser or mutator or anything, it’d be awesome to use it’s inmersion capabilities!

  54. cool app!!! I only add this comment to suggest three things, I think, must be taken into account for the next version:
    1) the option of justified format text
    2) the option of bolding and cursive format for some pieces of text
    3) less RAM consumption (something like Irfanview for text)

    I only suggest this features thinking of these as something possible, because my knowledge is not as advanced as to affirm they are feasible.

    Cool app.

  55. Just another vote for opensourcing this.

    I’ve love to add a few specialist features I’ve written into my own editors. They’re only useful to me but they’re so useful that I *need* them.

    I’d love to be able to use them from a Dark-Room environment but that’s not a reality at the moment… Unless you’re willing to give me a copy on a personal license… I’m willing to jump through NDA hoops to protect your work legally, if that’s what you want.

  56. Delete this comment, but just to add to my last comment:

    If you reply to my message, could you ping me an email with your response as my RSS tracker is really dodgy at the moment and I’ve been missing updates all the time. Thanks =)

  57. It appears that when you quit Dark Room with a file open, and then reopen Dark Room, the same file is still there. However, when you press Ctrl + S, it gives you a “Save as” dialogue. I’m not sure whether this is a preference or a bug, but it would appear that Dark Room has stored the file in cache without storing which file was being edited.

  58. Hi Jeff,

    I write and edit programming textbooks for a living, and absolutely love this app. Just downloaded it this morning and have already been using it to write new material. I’ve tried every Word feature under the sun to reduce clutter (including full screen), but there’s nothing quite like staring at a black screen.

    If I had any one feature request, it would be the ability to tie text files into a build mechanism, allowing me to integrate code listings. Also, rudimentary output to Word’s .doc format would be awesome. But no complaints, just a wish list.

    Great work!

  59. This looks like a really good program, but when I try to open it I get the following error. “The application failed to initialize properly (0xc0000135) click on OK to terminate the application. Any ideas whats wrong?

  60. Seem to be unable to turn off the automatic width option once enabled.

    Enabled autowidth, typed a few test lines. Decided to go back to the center column. Turned off the checkbox. Value was gone. Set to 60. Clicked okay. Text was full width. Hit f11 to go to fullscreen, text was full width. Hit Ctrl+, turned off check box again, set value to 30 clicked okay.

  61. It would be great to be able to specify where the “bottom” of the document is ala “typewriter scrolling” in Write Room

  62. Jeff, great great app. Many thanks. I’ve written about 3 times the amount I usually do since I’ve started using it.

    There is only one thing I would change/need and that is a version that can run from an USB drive on a computer that doesn’t have .net installed.

    It would be a perfect portable app, and allow me and undoubtedly hundreds of others to work from almost any computer, be it an Internet cafe computer, the in-law’s or a friend’s laptop.

  63. While it can be run off a USB drive, it does, unfortunately require .NET to be installed, since it was designed that way. I could have written from scratch, but that would have taken a lot longer. πŸ˜‰

  64. As ygtckr has said, the program is great except for being unable to save the file as unicode – I deal regularly with Slavic languages in both the Latin and Cyrillic alphabets and Dark Room currently saves these ‘unusual’ characters as question marks unfortunately.

  65. So….the next update comes out…when?


    My wish list:
    * A help dialog/screen that shows all the shortcuts
    * Search and replace
    * Spell check
    * Lose the Ctrl + Right Shift/Ctrl + Left Shift justification

  66. Bug report:

    When you change the background color to other than black, and the navigation arrows are enabled, the area beneath the arrows remains black.

  67. Ray, oh, you know…one of these days. I have to admit that I haven’t used windows much since I picked up my macbook a few months ago. πŸ˜‰

  68. Jeff, funny you should mention that. I’m seriously thinking about getting a Mac just so I can run WriteRoom. Okay, there’s also the fact that Windows is a slow, bloated pig and all my Windows computers have all slowed to an excruciating, torturous crawl. That rather makes me want to upgrade to a Mac as well. πŸ™‚

    If you’re not likely to continue development of Dark Room, have you thought about open sourcing it so development can continue?

  69. Hi! Thank you for this great small word processor, it remenbers me the nostalgical MS-DOS times…

    I’d like to report a little annoyance under XP: when Dark Room is lauched in a window and I use the text navigation buttons the desktop’s icons are blinking.

    Other than that, nothing to report πŸ™‚


  70. Another vote/request for hiding the mouse pointer after a few seconds/keystrokes, but it’s not a show-stopper.

    Best writer’s editor ever.
    Please do not open-source it.
    Thanks again!

  71. Robert,

    While I generally agree with your sentiment…if Jeff isn’t going to continue development, open-sourcing it would allow somebody else to do it.

    Just my $0.02

  72. I think it’s funny that you tried to make a minimalist Win editor and everyone seems to be asking for additional features. I also consider it funny that you didn’t just opt for one of the many DOS editors that work quite well in a full screen DOS window and do the same thing.

    Personally, after trying it, I’m going back to Editor2, a relatively small (100k) and fast standalone Win editor with lots of features that can be forgotten about unless one has use for them. … And which doesn’t insist one load something as bloated as .NET and its related files, just to run a plain editor.

  73. Jeff,

    Thanks for such a slick program. I found it on the Maximum PC CD-ROM this month – I think the August issue. No, September! Eek, that came early. The Dream Machine issue. But yeah, it’s on the CD and apparently the folks at MPC like your program.

    As do I. I use EditPad Lite for most of my stuff – it’s loaded with features. Ironically, I had it set to black background, green text. I’ll still use it when I need those features, but when I blog, I use Dark Room to write the text, then copy it into Blogger to do the linking and formatting. Dark Room does what I was trying to make EditPad do, but a hundred times better. It will never replace my souped-up text editor, but it will be a secondary one. I love it!

    I hope Maximum PC donated a little, because I can’t afford to. But oh well. I do run a blog, which isn’t very popular, but I do it for myself, friends, and family. I will plug Dark Room in the near future, so hopefully I bring you some business.

    One problem: Sometimes if you exit fullscreen to do something and try to get back, it doesn’t come above the taskbar, and doesn’t entirely fill the screen. Only solution I’ve found is to exit and start again. It doesn’t always happen, and it’s not a complete buzzkiller, but if it went away for good, the program would be better for it.

    Is this a feature or a bug? If you don’t save your file, it’s there again when you start the app. Perhaps the “Save?” dialog box could reflect this, like have the options be: Save as file, save in editor, discard text, don’t exit. Or however you’d word those, I always thought programs were too formal. If I were a programmer, my programs would be casual and informal – but I’m not, and it doesn’t make a program better or worse.

    Thanks again. You’ve made a really useful program and proved yet again (like Winamp with Mp3 players) that less can be more.

  74. Hey,

    First, thank you for (re)creating the perfect word processor! I gave away my IBM 5150 about ten years ago now, and I haven’t written anywhere near as much since! I desperately miss that simple amber-monochrome display πŸ™

    …which brings me to my next comment: Changing the .config xml file’s “ForegroundColor” string doesn’t seem to do anything. I’ve tried standard color names (eg, “Red”), as well as RGB code (#FF0000), but it just stays Lime green. I’m running Vista w/ .net 2.0. Am I doing something wrong? (Besides running Vista, that is πŸ˜‰

    Also, what I’m assuming are navigation arrows to most people are showing up as null character “boxes” for me. I’m certain this is because my stupid machine wants to display everything in “Segoue” (sp?) font…which I would LOVE to change to whatever font it was my old IBM used to use. (Something monospace & serif, if I remember — I’ll know it when I see it.) Changing the “Font” string doesn’t seem to do anything either, though I think that may be a problem with my Vista set-up. Is anyone else experiencing this?

    What do the settings “LastFileName”, “DataRecoveryMode”, and “LocalCacheFile” do? (I’d guess the local cache file would support the DataRecoveryMode option, if I set it to 1 instead of 0…but that’s just a guess. How close am I?)

    One more bit of beta-testing for you: I’ve noticed that, at the end of a line, typing a new character will advance the cursor to the next line, but typing a space won’t. The space is still there; it just doesn’t line-feed. (I’ll post a screen-shot here.) There are actually 7 spaces between the “f” and the “g” in the screen-shot; with the cursor placed just before the g, I’d have to hit backspace 8 times before it would delete the “f”.

    And finally, a feature request (or possibly just a question): Is there any way to control the height of the top margin of the typing area? In full-screen mode, mine starts right up against the top. I can change the PageHeight setting to increase or decrease the bottom border, but the top stays the same. I’d love to be able to center the typing area on the screen. Absolute zen that would be πŸ™‚

    Thank you again for putting this all together! As someone who suffers from ADHD, this is a life-saver.

    PS, sorry for the redirect address — spam-spiders give me the creeps!

  75. Just thought that I’d say that this app is wonderful. I saw it on the back of a Maximum PC magazine and simply had to try it out. It simply is great and keep the updates coming.

  76. Hi! This is a very nice program, so congratulations for that.
    Are you planning to include a scroll bar at some point? I really could use one, and I think others could too.

  77. I think I’ve found a few bugs.

    When you hover the mouse over the navigation arrows, they have the light-colored big box around them, and when you click on them, they get a thin border, indicating that they’re being clicked.

    So when you click the uppermost arrow, it shows the ‘focus border’, but it stays on after you’ve released the mouse button. When you click on somewhere else, it goes away.
    The third arrow seems to get no focus border (at least for me)
    The fourth arrow, when clicked on, shifts to the left a little bit.

    There also seems to be a bug with the copy-command. It appears like this:
    First, I make a text file. When it’s finished, I select all, then copy, and then hit ctrl+q (quit). Now when I try to paste the text that I wrote somewhere, I get nothing.
    However, when alt+tabbing into another window, I can copy the text without any problems.

    Well, that’s it for me. If this helps even a bit, I’m very glad πŸ™‚ Have a nice day!

  78. Hi again. I think I’ve found another issue.
    When you use the shell-integration feature (‘open with dark room’ option that’s in the right-click menu), and decide not to edit the file after all, Dark Room thinks the file has been altered and prompts a save reminder question.
    I’m not sure this is a bug, but I thought I’d report it anyway.
    Have a nice day!

    PS. I tried Dark Room on other computers beside my own (my OS is Win XP Media Center Edition), I could no longer see the little focus box that shows up around the navigation buttons (arrows) when they are clicked. The bottom one still moved to the left when clicked on, though.

  79. A few more πŸ™‚
    I found out that if you hold down the mouse button on a navigation arrow and press TAB, you can make the focus move to the next arrow. Shift-TAB also works.
    Now why I think this is interesting is because this isn’t possible with the third arrow (the slow down scroll arrow), which seems to me like it’s not stealing the focus of the text.

    So here’s how I think it is:
    The first arrow steals the focus when pressed down, and doesn’t give it back when released. (= you can’t write when you’re pressing down this arrow, and neither can you write when you release it. You have to move the focus to the text first)
    The second arrow steals the focus when pressed down, but gives it back when released.
    The third arrow doesn’t steal the focus at all.
    The fourth arrow acts like arrow #2.

    In addition to this, the fourth arrow shifts to the left when clicked. This is actually true for the third arrow as well, but to see this, you’ll have to hold down another arrow and use TAB (or Shift-TAB) to select the third one.

    If you select an arrow with this method (the TAB), you can try hitting enter to see if it works like the click. For me it doesn’t, but it’s interesting to see that the fourth arrow is the only arrow that gives the focus back when using this method.

    I think someone mentioned the fact that a space can’t apparently start a new line. This is no big deal (if you’re aware of it), but it’s a bit annoying.

    There’s also an issue in the windowed mode. When scrolling a document up and down, it works fine at first, but after setting a different window size, the text jumps a bit out of bounds, and after that you can only see half of the bottom-most line when you scroll down.
    It seems to me that there’s a (bottom) border of some kind in the standard-sized window, and that is lost when the window is resized even a bit to any direction.
    This doesn’t occur after you’ve switched to full-screen mode (after that it works flawlessly for me).

    Phew! That’s all for now. I’m looking forward to seeing an update (with an option for a scroll bar)! πŸ™‚

  80. I have got another suggestion: bookmarks.The program could create a bookmark for the file that is open, and store it in an external file. The next time that file is open, the user could choose to open the bookmark and continue reading from the point he\she stopped reading last time.
    Kind of like the ‘save session’ feature in some other applications.

  81. Excellent prog.

    For reference, Courier New at 9pt fits perfect on a pagewidth of 800 πŸ™‚

    Although I understand the need for minimalistic, I would be most pleased to see some sort of way to center and right justify text quicker and more accurately than tabs. THAT feature alone would make this good enough for college profs to pass out to their students to type papers on.

    One feature that could be EASILY added (atleast I think) is the mousewheel scroll rate. Although set to scroll to 3 lines at a time in IE and Firefox, your prog definently scrolls 1 line at a time, which makes me want to rip my hair out sometimes. Just including the option to change that would make my day πŸ™‚

  82. Hi, I really love this app, and I was wondering what graphics library you used…

    I’m currently trying to create a console interface (other than the dos shell) for an application I’m designing and this app you’ve written is exactly what I envisioned, I’m not asking for any source code (but any you could provide would help me out a lot), but if you could point me to the graphics library you used I would greatly appreciate it!

    If you don’t mind could you do so via email?

  83. Hallo!

    First: I’m from Germany and my English is not so good.

    # Dark Room has a bug #

    I use Dark room together with Notepad2 and sometimes (twice a day) I get an runtime error. You can see it at this screenshot:


    >>This problem is only

    1. That’s a weird one, we’re probably both referencing some of the same assets. I know there is some hackery in DR to do some of the fancier features that are not normally possible.

  84. Hi there!
    I found a bug!
    If you’re in windowed mode and have the window maximized by pressing F11 the window does not switch into fullscreen but to minimized state.

    Besides this nasty little bug the app is great! Thanks a million!


  85. GREAT program! Has anyone come up with the perfect background color/font color/font combo that would allow you to work for hours? My eyes hurt and I get a headache after about 45 minutes using the program on a Vista laptop.

    Thanks, and again GREAT program!


  86. Hey, Fantastic program.
    One bug. If You close an existing document and restart DarkRoom you find yourself at a screen that has your last file contents on it BUT it is not that file i.e you need to freshly ‘save as’ the file once you make changes.

  87. Hey, Great little tool! Just found a little bug though. Running 0.8b on Vista (not running as admin) and trying to set -“Open with darkroom” context menu integration- in the prefs screen results in an error. I don’t have sufficient permissions to set the registry key.

    The error message is:
    System.UnauthorizedAccessException: Access to the registry key ‘HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\Shell\Open with Dark Room’ is denied.

    Hope this helps.


  88. 1. I have Application Preferences set to Open clean document at start up.
    2. Launch Dark Room and it opens with blank document
    3. Press Ctrl-O and open a text document
    4. Press Ctrl-Q

    Possible bug: Prompts to save changes when in fact no changes have been made.

    I like this idea although I’m not sure I’d have any use for it as I’m not a writer. I saw a link to your site in a blog article about writing and came looking out of curiosity. Cool idea though.

  89. It also seems that Auto Indent is lost when reopening a document.

    1. Set Auto Indent to on.
    2. Create a document using the auto indent feature.
    3. Close the document/Dark Room.
    4. Open the Dark Room/document
    5. Navigate to the text where auto indenting was being used and attempt to edit the document where auto identing should be picked up and you will see that the cursor returns to the far left margin instead of the indented position.

    Still having fun… I may have to find a reason to use Dark Room. I hope so… I like its simplicity.

  90. First, is this project dead. No update since Nov. 2006?

    Great program! Really like the minimalistic approach. Please DO NOT add any formatting features!

    On the contrary I would like to have word count added to the editing screen. Could be an option to set it on/off?

  91. I lost the downloaded program all together after reopening my computer. Guess I did something wrong, I’ll try downloading it once again.
    Looks like a very useful program, thanks!

  92. Some of my preferences are not being saved. I tried to change the page width, but it keeps reverting to 0, which makes it the full width of my monitor.

  93. Great program, I’ve been using it for a while now!
    I _LOVE_ the fact that you have built in dual monitor support! that’s amazing!

    one nice option which I miss a little is an ‘always on top’ option. My RocketDock still stays over the program, distracting me at times πŸ˜›

    also, it might be nice to give some rtf support (ctrl-i for italics, ctrl-b for bold).. without the need for buttons πŸ˜›

    either way, keep up the great work!

  94. I’m just loving DarkRoom, and it has wonderful support for right to left languages (which I wasn’t getting from Q10) but it won’t save UTF-8 files! (I open a UTF-8 file and it opens just fine, but it wants to save as something else when I save)

    So at the moment I’m resorting to writing in Dark Room and then copy-pasting into notepad to save – it just helps my concentration so much to write in the full screen mode… but I just forsee a terrible accident with not being able to turn on the autosave for what I’m working on…

  95. Hello
    Great Work!

    But there is a little bug.
    If you change the settings and you click to OK, you will get an exception if the configfile is not present. Please catch this exception.

    A firefox like search bar would be great.

    Thanks !

  96. Hello!

    Running XP Pro SP2
    Using .NET 2.1
    Use “shell integration” from the Application Menu.

    FAIL: “Cannot open file C:\Documents”

    HKCR\*\Shell\Open with Dark Room\Command


    C:\Documents and Settings\UserName\My Documents\My Apps\Dark Room 0.8b\DarkRoom.exe %1

    should be

    C:\Documents and Settings\UserName\My Documents\My Apps\Dark Room 0.8b\DarkRoom.exe “%1”

    After this, it worked without issue.


  97. I just getting to know this great app. It can handle my mixed codetable texts (w.o.w.), it is simple and elegant (altough the net framework depedency is painfull). A great tool. The only real function lack i was able to find (i mean for me ) is the absence of search and replace/replace all. Any possibility to implement it?

  98. Thanx for the code. I haven’t used it extensively, but I was definitely looking to create less distraction. Word has far too much to fiddle with to ever get anything written! πŸ™‚ Anyhow, I did have a bit of a problem shortly after I installed your program. I fiddled with the slider in the options to adjust opacity. It crashed after that with an error that said something about illegal characters in the path. I couldn’t figure out where in the .config file the line was that was causing the troubled state. So, I just reinstalled the thing. I agree with many of the suggestions that it would be sweet to have spell checking and bold/italic, but it’s not the end of the world. I could always spell check it in Word later, and convert *n* and _n_ to bold and italic the way we used to do it in the old days. Much appreciate your work on this and hope you continue to develop it without blimping it out or making it too complicated.

  99. I have just discovered Dark Room, 10 minutes ago, and already wrote a page with it. Awesome! No distraction, no nothing. Love it!

    I am using it in an RTL language (Hebrew), and it just found out Dark Room is a little buggy with it.

    First of all, when you close Dark Room and reopen it, the text is aligned to the left, as default. Selecting the text (Ctrl+A) and aligning it to the right does the trick, however punctuation marks are messed up.

    For example,

    “This is a test!”.


    “This is a test.”!

    Notice the order of the marks.

    However, when I hit ‘end’ and delete using backspace, it deletes the characters in the correct order – first . then ” and only then !.

    I believe the problem appears only if there is a blank line after the text. IE, this will work fine:

    “This is a test!”. It will work fine.

    But this:

    “This is a test!”.

    will create the problem.

    Once again, everything I say regards to RTL.

    If you need further explanation, feel free to contact me.

    Love Dark Room πŸ™‚

    – Eli Baskin.

  100. An excellent, excellent program. Not sure how I’ve missed it for so long, because I’ve been looking for a Windows-based app of this kind for a while.

    One feature request. I am a compulsive Alt-Tabber, to the point now that when I’m writing and get stuck, it’s the first thing that I do, jumping off to some other program to read emails or browse the web, therefore taking myself away from the writing problem in front of me. As it’s an OS-wide function it might not be possible, but if you could add a checkbox to disable Alt-Tab application switching, that’d be pretty fly.

    Even if not, though, you’ve made me a much more productive writer. Thank you again.

  101. Love it – looked after seeing a post on /. about WrightRoom. Now, there is one feature that doesn’t seem to be working, the PageHeight function stays on Auto, taking out the check and putting in a value makes no difference. I would love to limit the height to about 50% of the screen, so I am looking at the center of the monitor instead of the bottom. Otherwise, LOVE IT!

    Thanks a million!

  102. Great program. A couple of comments:

    1. I use GeoShell rather than explorer as my “desktop” in windows. The Side effect of this is that the “usable” screen area is a bit reduced. The GeoShell bars and what not take up space on the very top and bottom of the window. When I use F11 to full screen DarkRoom, it doesn’t take this into account and since those bars are set to be “always on top” the first and last 1.5 lines on DarkRoom are obscured. Maybe it should check to see if the usable viewport is smaller than the actual screen size. If need be I can likely locate the Windows API calls to check this.

    2. I would love to have a copy of the source to modify for my own use once it is available.

    Have a great day and keep up the good work!


  103. Hey!
    thanks for this, the application is exactly what i have been looking for! i was wondering if there are any plan to include the old style square cursor that doesn’t blink like in writeroom? or the running word count? even if there is no plan, i am still stoked!!

  104. In Writeroom (by default), the furthest that the cursor goes is halfway down the screen. When a new line is started, the cursor stays in the same vertical position, but everything else moves up. This is very helpful for eye and neck comfort.

    Could you put that feature in the next version of Dark Room?

  105. I love DarkRoom, in fact I have it open in the background. There is one thing that is really irritating. It knows to open last edited document, however when I try to do Ctrl-S to save it, it says untitled and I need to show where the file it.
    Being a .Net project, that would be something I would fix in a minute, however I didn’t notice that this is open source? it is just free, as in piratebay :).
    Any suggestion, notice or whatever that would help me would be welcome.
    Again I love it and use it often, just this little thing is spoiling the fun.

    Thanks for writing it.


  106. One quick request: I would love to have the default width of the program in *windowed mode* to be the same width as in full screen mode. For instance, if I set width to 700, it would be 700 columns wide in full-screen and windowed mode.

    Other than that, excellent, excellent work! A very nice program!

  107. Hi,
    i’m using Version 0.8b of DarkRoom.
    Unfortunatly on my system (Windows XP SP2 with all updates till 14.02.2008) copying, pasting doesn’t work. I get an error dialog with the message: “An error occured while copying text”.
    Great software so far,
    greetings rf

  108. I’ve installed 0.8b today and enabled the context-menu shell extension. I’ve noticed that if I try to click “Open in Dark Room” a file that exists in a folder with a space in its name (say, C:\Program Files) I get an error (“Could not find C:\Program”).
    The solution to this is to fix the shell extension info in the registry – open RegEdit, go to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\Shell\Open with Dark Room\command, and change the command line there by simply adding quotes (“”) around the %1. That’s it.

    Should be ridiculously easy to fix.

    Great app – simple and convenient.

  109. After running DarkRoom, it seems the green-on-green highlighting now applies to the rest of my system, from the language bar in the bottom to Visual Studio’s Solution Explorer.

    Some might see it as a bug. Me? I like green-on-green. πŸ™‚

  110. Very well written piece of software – just keep this as clean and neat as it is! My very short wishlist for 1.0:
    1. Cleartype support! (screws down performance on system level, but I’d really like it on app level for readability)
    2. Option of totally non-blinking cursor, like in WriteRoom
    3. Unicode support

    Yours, Amadeus

  111. amazing. Truly amazing. Most of my bug notes and feature requests are aimed at improving handicapped accessibility for those of us using speech recognition. First: NaturallySpeaking like many accessibility aids puts up a toolbar. Unfortunately, full-screen mode (which is truly wonderful) slides underneath the toolbar. While I know this may seem counter to the goal of reducing distraction, the taskbar gives disabled users a significant amount of information helping them improve recognition accuracy. It would be nice to be able to keep that taskbar visible and to find full-screen as everything but the taskbar.

    Documentation: where do I find it? I can’t for the life of me figure out what the little glyphs are on the upper right hand side of the page let alone speak them so I can use them.

    Select-and-Say feature. I can’t quite tell yet but it looks like you may have Select-and-Say enabled automatically for NaturallySpeaking. If so, “woo hoo”. Select-and-Say is a really nice feature for anyone who’s keyboard use is extremely limited. If it’s not truly enabled but NaturallySpeaking is faking me out (usually in a way that’ll bite me in the ass later), I’m hoping that one of your volunteers can help us out in some way shape or form.

    Extra navigation. yes, this won’t help any tabs out (temporarily able-bodied) but again, navigation by voice could really use navigation by string, paragraph, sentence, word, or character.

    Something like:

    Jump to he said “Apple
    jump back three sentences
    jump two words

    we can handle the grammar if you can give us keystroke level access to this kind of functionality.

    Printing doublespaced 12 point Courier: my writer’s group and many editors want everything printed in doublespaced, some specific font at some specific size (usually 12 point Courier).

    And like many other fan boys, I am really pleased with this tool. Unlike many applications (i.e. open office, Firefox, Thunderbird, Microsoft word, etc. etc.) this application seems really lightweight (i.e. low resource consumption), and surprisingly speech recognition friendly right off the shelf. Thank you.

  112. great app! thanks!

    when i go into the menu to preferences, “open with dark room context menu integration” (using vista) – i get an error window with a root shell error

  113. I have been looking for something like Dark Room ever since I gave up using the TRS-80 computer. Dark Room may be the simplest word processor, and the closest I have encountered to my “all-time best” word processor – a program called AllWrite, for the TRS-80. AllWrite was an extremely capable program (the most sophisticated I know of for its time), allowing the user an incredible variety of formatting, while still keeping a very simple appearance. It operated on the basis of two separate portions of the program – one for text entry, and the other to display how the entered text would appear when printed. I LOVED the simplicity of the text entry page, which was much like Dark Room, and I urged the creators of the program to port it to the PC as the TRS-80 was being supplanted by the IBM products, but they chose (probably wisely) not to do so. I have checked out each new word processor I have encountered since then, hoping to find something similar.

    Thank you VERY MUCH for creating Dark Room, and for your generosity in sharing it. I have already set it up as my default word processor, and I look forward greatly to using it . If it remains my default word processor, I will transfer some money from my pocket to yours.

  114. My problem is that I absolutely love Dark Room but I cant copy and paste what i type in Dark Room to a regular word document which is where i have writing my novel for the past 6 months… any ideas?

  115. Whenever resuming out of sleep mode under Vista x64 while running multiple copies of Darkroom, I get Microsoft .NET Framework error messages, saying it cannot access user.config because it is being used by another program.

    ************** Exception Text **************
    System.Configuration.ConfigurationErrorsException: An error occurred loading a configuration file: The process cannot access the file ‘C:\Users\Mark\AppData\Local\DarkRoom\DarkRoom.exe_Url_jdcp5kfu5r5g4x3tcgdzhavfjxtavktc.8.0.0\user.config’ because it is being used by another process. (C:\Users\Mark\AppData\Local\DarkRoom\DarkRoom.exe_Url_jdcp5kfu5r5g4x3tcgdzhavfjxtavktc.8.0.0\user.config) —> System.IO.IOException: The process cannot access the file ‘C:\Users\Mark\AppData\Local\DarkRoom\DarkRoom.exe_Url_jdcp5kfu5r5g4x3tcgdzhavfjxtavktc.8.0.0\user.config’ because it is being used by another process.
    at System.IO.__Error.WinIOError(Int32 errorCode, String maybeFullPath)
    at System.IO.FileStream.Init(String path, FileMode mode, FileAccess access, Int32 rights, Boolean useRights, FileShare share, Int32 bufferSize, FileOptions options, SECURITY_ATTRIBUTES secAttrs, String msgPath, Boolean bFromProxy)
    at System.IO.FileStream..ctor(String path, FileMode mode, FileAccess access, FileShare share, Int32 bufferSize, FileOptions options, String msgPath, Boolean bFromProxy)
    at System.IO.FileStream..ctor(String path, FileMode mode, FileAccess access, FileShare share)
    at System.Configuration.Internal.InternalConfigHost.StaticOpenStreamForRead(String streamName)
    at System.Configuration.Internal.InternalConfigHost.System.Configuration.Internal.IInternalConfigHost.OpenStreamForRead(String streamName, Boolean assertPermissions)
    at System.Configuration.Internal.DelegatingConfigHost.OpenStreamForRead(String streamName, Boolean assertPermissions)
    at System.Configuration.ClientSettingsStore.ClientSettingsConfigurationHost.OpenStreamForRead(String streamName)
    at System.Configuration.UpdateConfigHost.OpenStreamForRead(String streamName)
    at System.Configuration.BaseConfigurationRecord.InitConfigFromFile()
    — End of inner exception stack trace —

  116. Is there a readme.txt for this program anywhere? I’d like to get a better feel for all the features of this program…and I’d also like to know what the “navigation” icons do. Clicking on them doesn’t explain much.

    Thank you.

  117. Love darkroom, really love it. One bug that bugs me tho:

    When i right-click on a text file and click “Open with Dark Room”, Dark Room loads with the error Could not find file 'C:\Documents'.

    So it looks like the Dark Room context menu mechanism can’t open any file with a space in its filepath. Awful rubbish when you want to open something in your “My Documents” folder.

    Surely it’s not just me that gets this problem?

    PS i will donate some cash, it’s a great program

  118. Hey

    Tried to run this app on my old computer with XP and it failed with a 135 error. This error was mentioned earlier, but I didn’t see a response. Is there a configuration detail I’m missing or am I running something in the background that’s preventing it from running?

    Thanks in advance

  119. Hey

    This is a great tool – thank you. Tried to run this app on my old computer with XP and it failed with a 135 error. This error was mentioned earlier, but I didn’t see a response. Is there a configuration detail I’m missing or am I running something in the background that’s preventing it from running?

    Thanks in advance

  120. I just tried this program and I think it’s a great idea!!

    I love the look of this. It’s so comforting.

    The only bug I have to report is that my tabs didn’t print! I guess for now I’ll have to use the convert tabs to spaces option to see if that works better.

    I’m so glad to have found this program. It’s well on its way to becoming a dream program of mine. I’ve always wanted something that looks so clean, that shows just the text with a light color over a dark background.

    That being said, I have quite the wish list:

    It needs a print preview option, so that we can see what we’ve done without having to use any ink.

    It ought to have a setting that sets the lines to break where it really would on the printer. It’s nice to be able to break away from that to help focus on the words and not the form, but sometimes it’s nice to know that what you see is what you get.

    I would love to see some after-the-fact pagination. For example, when I go to print I might want the program to add page numbers. I might also want it to keep paragraphs together by adding the necessary carriage returns. Or, if I’m going really fancy and writing a script, I might want it to automatically add “(MORE…)” at the bottom of the page to indicate that the same character will continue speaking on the next page, while simultaneously adding (cont’d). I specifically DON’T want to see any of this while I’m typing. I don’t want to know what page I’m on. I want the interface to look like a continuous piece with no interruption, hence the need for an after-the-fact paginator.

    Along those same lines, it would be nice if we had something that could add a title page.

    This program, which is already awesome, needs to have infinite customization with minimum interference. In addition to tabs that print (see above), I would like to see customizable tabs that go to a predefined spot every time. Going back to the script example, it would be great if I could quickly switch back and forth between margin sets, where the dialogue is inset from the bulk of the text. One of my dreams is to do these things without having to move my fingers too far from their normal places, like hitting “return” three times in a row to switch margins.

    As someone who doesn’t program, I still understand that all these things are a tall order. Let me know of any progress!

  121. Excellent program! I see a lot of good feature requests here, please try to keep it minimal and avoid screen clutter. That is why we love the program, don’t make it into an Office suite… πŸ˜‰

    I would love to have three things, and nothing more:

    1) Please let me specify the screen widht in *characters*, not pixels.

    2) Selecting a bold font doesn’t work. I’m not asking for bold and/or italic formatting in the document, but a bold font overal. I use 16 point Courier New and it is a bit thin. I’d love to use Courier Bold, but it doesn’t work.

    3) Adding left, center, right formatting would be very nice, but it’s not essential for me.

    Oh, and having Unicode support would be great.

    So, you see, I don’t ask for much, do I? πŸ˜‰

  122. BUG REPORT: when running multiple windowed copies of Darkroom, when you bring the computer out of sleep mode, you get repeating error dialogs (that just won’t quit) of the various copies of Darkroom trying to simultaneously open/read/write its preference file, but the file is locked.

    Solution: you should only lock the preference file, only when its about to be changed by a user change, and in the moment right before it is written to disk, and then the lock should be immediately released after the write. Further, do you really need to access the preference file /disk that often? It should only be needed to loaded in memory once when the program is first run, unless otherwise changed. I’m only 16 and an amateur programmer, but I know this. Minimize your disk accesses as much as possible

  123. A. “Open with Dark Room” doesn’t work when opening a filename with spaces (already mentioned).

    B. This could be a nice NFO viewer!

    C. The save file prompt sholdn’t appear when the file’s been NOT modified. This is VERY bugging.

    Thanks for precious yer time!

    I too am getting the same message that Remekit got (quoted below for clarity). What can we do? Will anyone please respond? We’re both running XP. Help?

    ps. I wouldn’t care if I didn’t LIVE in WriteRoom on my macbook…


    This is a great tool – thank you. Tried to run this app on my old computer with XP and it failed with a 135 error. This error was mentioned earlier, but I didn’t see a response. Is there a configuration detail I’m missing or am I running something in the background that’s preventing it from running?

    Thanks in advance”

  125. pss: the Exact text I’m getting:
    “The application failed to initialize properly (0xc0000135). Click on OK to terminate the application.”

    I hope it’s just something I have set wrong…

  126. Spring cleanup is here and one of the things I’m doing is uninstalling software, programs, apps I don’t use. Is there a way to uninstall Dark room. I’m using Win XP Pro with service pack 2.

  127. The config file cannot be moved from the local folder. Maybe add the availability to move it, or make the default location the current user’s
    c:\documents and settings\username folder. This would allow the exe to not carry the baggage of the .config file around with it. Plus it crashes the jit compiler when the file is moved.

    Thanks, the app is great!


  128. I have 4 little green symbols on the upper right side of my darkroom app. 2 arrow pointing to the top right corner and bottom right corner and 2 little circles or hearts or something with a line crossed through in opposite directions for each. What is this? I don’t know if you respond to questions but I see nothing occur when I use them although I just got this software and have only typed a few lines to test it and saved nothing yet..If you can help thanks Bill

  129. I just love this software. I was searching for this kind of word processor and I found it! If you like to write as I do, it is a pleasure to write with this piece of software. I hope you will continue to developp it and add more functions like bold characters etc… I will even pay for it!
    Thank you very much for the good work.

  130. Hi,

    Just wanted to say that Dark Room is a really nice application. I thought I’d also pass along a couple of suggestions or feature requests that I think would be beneficial and relatively easy to implement. First is a keyboard shortcut to toggle opacity (or transparency). This would allow one to quickly change this rather than going into the settings. The second suggestion is to remember the window size and position on exit so that it is the same next time the application is started. Thanks again for some great software!

    – Brandon

  131. Is there any way to turn off the text wrap around on Dark Room? If not, I think this should be a feature added to the next version. Text wrap around makes it hard to program using Dark Room.

  132. 1) This is a fantastic program! I have used it on and off since I first learned of it following Paul Ford’s article on distraction, when was it? Back in ’05?

    2) I write in English and Hebrew. Hebrew, like Arabic and Farsi, and Gujerati (I think), is a Right to Left language. So it provides special challenges to computers.

    so 3) I have had some problems switching languages in Dark Room, so I thought you should know about it. Sometimes, when switching keyboards in windows, the cursor doesn’t know which side of the window to be on. This doesn’t happen in other programs, but I’m a writer, not a programmer, so I can’t quite explain it more than that.

  133. Hi! Thank you Jeff for taking the time to make this program. I have a suggestion for DarkRoom. Adding cursor blink control was very nice, but will you please add an option to disable cursor blinking altogether? I prefer DarkRoom to my other favorite, UltraEdit, as it is very simple and has a great default color scheme! πŸ™‚

  134. Dark Room is great. It is exactly what I was looking for. I hesitate to ask for new features since its simplicity is already its best feature, but here are three suggestions anyway.

    1. Time\date shortcut key like Notepad. I am using it for a journal and this would be very useful. A configurable format would be great.

    2. Spell check. I have trouble surviving without it.

    3.Old-school block cursor. I realize this makes little sense when not using a fixed width font, but I think it would be a nice option.

    Thanks for making this program. If it didn’t exist, I think I would have to write it myself.

  135. Wow!
    You are awesome! This totally saved me, I bought my mac for one reason only Writeroom but times are tough and I can’t have two laptops but I can’t live without a right click on my mouse. So after finding this I sold my mac.
    Thanks again!
    P.S. I wish Darkroom had a spell check but beggars can’t be choosers. πŸ™‚ You did great!

  136. Thanks for writing this software! I use a windows machine at office and I really missed wrtieroom back home on my mac.

    The only thing I wish for Dark Room is good old fashioned green block cursor. That would definately bring me back to the golden days of Apple II.

    That said, Dark Room is my zen place for thought!

    Thank you very much!

  137. This isn’t really a bug report, but a newbie question.

    I’m a Mac guy, but I’m about to inherit a MobilePro 790, running Windows CE. I’m accustomed to using WriteRoom on the Mac, so my question is this:

    Will DarkRoom run on Windows CE? Or is the operating system so different that it’s out of the question? πŸ™‚



  138. Hi,

    Wonderful app. A comment. It’s not actually a bug, but It would be nice to edit first and last border line of page Height, so you can center the text area just in front of your eyes, now you have to write at the bottom of the screen. You can edit Height, but the page goes up only at the bottom of the screen. The top of the screen remains in the same place. Well, just an idea. I’ll put PayPal as soon as I can. Best, Sergio

  139. Like your Dark Room very much but I’m not able to save anything I write. I cannot access Save Document, when I click on Ctrl+S nothing happens. Stalemate. Do you have a remedy? – Thanks Gordon

  140. I would also agree with Sergio that a feature whereby the line you are editing is central to the screen would be very useful.

    Thank you for the great software!

  141. i just have one question. there are 4 buttons at the top right of my dark room, but i can find no documentation to tell me what they do. what are they?


  142. Great software! A feature request:

    Can you insert an option where the last line of my article is somewhere in the middle (or 2/3’s) of my monitor? I’m a fast writer. This leads me to looking at the bottom edge of my screen, while i got a whole lotta screen above my cursor.

  143. I love the concept of DarkRoom… it’s simple and elegant and extremely useful for those like me, who have the attention span of a goldfish with ADD.
    I have a serious problem with it, though.

    I write mostly in Hungarian language, and it means that I’m using a variety of accented characters which are unavailable without unicode support… if it would only be capable of properly using Ε‘ and Ε±, it would be the single most useful piece of software on my pc.

    Anyway, it’s still extremely good for writing English texts.

    Thanks for it, and please, add some support for the accented characters in the upcoming version,


  144. I am excited to start with my blogging ventures ,however, I really am writing and editing my thesis on writing strategies yet.How I wish I can write them on my blog someday .I need to submit my thesis by March,2009;so pls.kindly
    send me details about blogging coz, It seems like my brain is still on textbook writing .Thanks.Hello to all writers online. -Che

  145. Yeah, I love this dark room you are sharing with me, coz I know writers do
    some bloggings in the stillness of the night.I mean , I write using paper
    even at dawn, now this dark you are telling me makes me enthusiastic enough;but then I need more time element.Please wait for me soo, I mean wait for my blogs.Thanks Liz.

  146. Someone else mentioned something about copying the text to the clipboard when Dark Room closes, which would be cool, but… As it is it clears the clipboard when it closes. I’ve lost a couple writings that took a great deal of time and effort because I hit Ctrl+X, and when I opened something else to paste into, it wasn’t in the clipboard anymore.

  147. Great app.
    Would love to see it work with .LOG as well. Currently it doesn’t add time & date when opening, even if .LOG is present on the first line in the file…

  148. Using Vista 64: Checking or unchecking the box to add the context menu “open w/dark room” causes an exception to occur. The error is that the requested registry access is not allowed.

    Plus when the option for Local Cache for portability is enabled I get another exception:
    System.ArgumentException: File format is not valid.
    at System.Windows.Forms.RichTextBox.StreamIn(Stream data, Int32 flags)
    at System.Windows.Forms.RichTextBox.LoadFile(Stream data, RichTextBoxStreamType fileType)
    at System.Windows.Forms.RichTextBox.LoadFile(String path, RichTextBoxStreamType fileType)
    at DarkRoom.frmMain.RecallCacheFile()
    at DarkRoom.frmMain.Init()

    It does work well tho’. Both bugs are avoidable. And I like the premise of the app. Keep up the great work with this.

  149. Bug: after running darkroom, when I highlight/select something in my windows menu, the selection borders appear bright green (exactly the color of the font in darkroom), and the selected text (of a filename, for example) appears as a lighter green, so it’s visible.

    contact me for a screenshot. πŸ™‚

  150. The highlighting stays after the program is closed. I changed the font color to yellow and checked neutral highlighting (nice feature) and the highlighted files in windows explorer are also yellow (not so nice πŸ™‚

  151. I’m running XP SP2 with 512 mb of RAM. When I attempt to run ‘DarkRoom.exe’ (I have Dark Room 0.8b) I am given an Application Error.

    ‘The application failed to initialize properly (0xz0000135). Click on OK to terminate the application’

    I was excited to run Dark Room but now it won’t work. What could I do to fix this?


    1. Dillon, please make sure you’ve got the latest .NET framework setup and configured correctly on your machine. I know a lot of people have problems related to that.

  152. hey – any chance for green cursor? (also a block cursor option would be awesome, like in writeroom, with blinking optional too). Great retro effect.

    1. I would have loved to add that feature into the original Dark Room, but it wasn’t possible the way it was implemented under the old .NET sdk. Rest assured I am definitely taking that feature under consideration in Dark Room Air. I haven’t figured out how to do it yet, but I hope figure out a way to do it.

  153. Dark Room is very cool and so easy to use… and really stops me getting distracted from unwanted stuff… yet i found an Unhandled Exception… that is when i start Dark Room….
    The first time i start Dark Room, it did not come… but second time after finishing my work and starting this problem came…

    the exception was “File format is not valid”
    Exception Details :

    See the end of this message for details on invoking
    just-in-time (JIT) debugging instead of this dialog box.

    ************** Exception Text **************
    System.ArgumentException: File format is not valid.
    at System.Windows.Forms.RichTextBox.StreamIn(Stream data, Int32 flags)
    at System.Windows.Forms.RichTextBox.LoadFile(Stream data, RichTextBoxStreamType fileType)
    at System.Windows.Forms.RichTextBox.LoadFile(String path, RichTextBoxStreamType fileType)
    at DarkRoom.frmMain.RecallCacheFile()
    at DarkRoom.frmMain.Init()
    at DarkRoom.frmMain.frmMain_Load(Object sender, EventArgs e)
    at System.Windows.Forms.Form.OnLoad(EventArgs e)
    at System.Windows.Forms.Control.CreateControl(Boolean fIgnoreVisible)
    at System.Windows.Forms.Control.CreateControl()
    at System.Windows.Forms.Control.WmShowWindow(Message& m)
    at System.Windows.Forms.Control.WndProc(Message& m)
    at System.Windows.Forms.Control.ControlNativeWindow.WndProc(Message& m)
    at System.Windows.Forms.NativeWindow.Callback(IntPtr hWnd, Int32 msg, IntPtr wparam, IntPtr lparam)

    ************** Loaded Assemblies **************
    Assembly Version:
    Win32 Version: 2.0.50727.3074 (QFE.050727-3000)
    CodeBase: file:///C:/Windows/Microsoft.NET/Framework64/v2.0.50727/mscorlib.dll
    Assembly Version:
    Win32 Version:
    CodeBase: file:///C:/Users/Ranhiru%20Cooray/Desktop/Software/dark_room/Dark%20Room%200.8b/DarkRoom.exe
    Assembly Version:
    Win32 Version: 2.0.50727.3053 (netfxsp.050727-3000)
    CodeBase: file:///C:/Windows/assembly/GAC_MSIL/System.Windows.Forms/
    Assembly Version:
    Win32 Version: 2.0.50727.3053 (netfxsp.050727-3000)
    CodeBase: file:///C:/Windows/assembly/GAC_MSIL/System/
    Assembly Version:
    Win32 Version: 2.0.50727.3053 (netfxsp.050727-3000)
    CodeBase: file:///C:/Windows/assembly/GAC_MSIL/System.Drawing/
    Assembly Version:
    Win32 Version: 2.0.50727.3053 (netfxsp.050727-3000)
    CodeBase: file:///C:/Windows/assembly/GAC_MSIL/System.Configuration/
    Assembly Version:
    Win32 Version: 2.0.50727.3074 (QFE.050727-3000)
    CodeBase: file:///C:/Windows/assembly/GAC_MSIL/System.Xml/

    ************** JIT Debugging **************
    To enable just-in-time (JIT) debugging, the .config file for this
    application or computer (machine.config) must have the
    jitDebugging value set in the system.windows.forms section.
    The application must also be compiled with debugging

    For example:

    When JIT debugging is enabled, any unhandled exception
    will be sent to the JIT debugger registered on the computer
    rather than be handled by this dialog box.


    When you continue, everything works fine…. i think u just need a try and catch πŸ˜›
    Hope this helps mate πŸ™‚
    Keep developing cool stuff! πŸ™‚
    Great work πŸ™‚

  154. It works fine on Vista so add that to the supported OS list.
    Kepp it up because it is brilliant.

    ~ Lachlan

  155. Its me again, with another bug… After using Dark Room i have come to noticed that my Windows Vista x64, color schemes have changed πŸ™
    All my selections are now green colored… and my Firefox loading bar.. (which used to be blue) is now Green too…… nevertheless Dark Room is working fine and rocking πŸ˜€

  156. OK its me again… when i change the Selected Item in Personalization -> Window Color and Appearance to Blue… things work fine again….

  157. “Seductive” is the right word to describe this program.

    Is it not possible to completely hide the mouse cursor, like most full-screen media players do? While onscreen, it flashes infuriatingly with every keystroke, and even if I push it to the edge of the screen, it inevitably drifts back on. (I suppose I could just unplug my mouse completely, but a more practical solution would be welcome.)

    Also, may I suggest a tooltip of some sort for the navigation buttons? They’re very ambiguous-looking. (Help for the keyboard commands would be pretty handy too, since there’s no readme in the download.)

  158. Huh. Don’t see this in the list. I only get the bottom half of each line visible in full screen mode. Basically the tops of tall characters are all cut off. Changing fonts or decreasing the font size actually makes it worse. It’s as if the line height is not matched to the font size correctly.

    Vista on a laptop.

  159. # FIXED: Files saved with Unix line breaks

    This breaks it for me. πŸ™ I need at least the choice of unix line ends as I want to be able to move my work freely between OSX, Linux (both currently already in use) and Windows. At the moment this means using JDarkRoom instead and I’m sure you wouldn’t want that! πŸ™‚

    1. This is something the works hit and miss, and a fix is not planned for the windows version. However, the air version is under activity development and has resolved this issue.

  160. It’s a bit too alpha though atm – not apparently being able to save, or change any settings… unless I’m missing something, like a link to a more recent version than 20081004?

    1. You should be able to save, and changing settings. Are you using 0.8b? I know there are a ton of different version floating around on the net, and not all of them are the latest.

  161. Hey folks – I know that this probably won’t be read; but just in case –

    I am experiencing some massive problems with DarkRoom that started a few nights ago – and I have no idea what’s going on.

    Upon launch, I get a .NET Framework error; Unhandled Exception – “Configuration system failed to init” – Debug shows the exception as a missing root element @ C:\Doc and Set\User\Local Settings\App Data\Darkroom\Darkroom.exe_URL_(long-string-of-alphanum).8.0\user.config -> System Xml.XmlException: Root Element Missing.

    “How about you try to reinstal-”

    Full uninstall of all .Net elements from Add/Remove; followed by using the Windows Install Clean Up tool to remove all stray MSI and reg attributes that may still be hanging around.

    Reinstalled with the version that was previously on the system (2.0 SP2 x86) – same issue. Everything that stopped working once the uninstall/reboot now works again with no problems; however DarkRoom still gives the same error.

    I can “Error: continue. continue. continue.” past it – but then I wind up in a window framed in black with a white field in the middle to type in. Attempts to adjust preferences results in the same Error as above.

    I’m going to continue attempts to Troubleshoot the issue – but if you happen to have any ideas, I would enjoy hearing them. I use this program for 99.9% of all writing – and I’ll pretty much fight tooth and nail to have this one program functioning. It’s that awesome.

    Thank you in advance – or if anything, for a place to vent.

    1. I fixed the issue by deleting the .config file.
      I reopened my last saved file to find that it was all gone; 138k of spaces (or ascii squares, if you want to get specific).
      That is very irritating; but I have a save. Only lost around 20 pages.
      Meh. Things happen.

      1. Sorry to hear about that man. I always hate to hear about people losing work. That’s why I highly encourage people to do frequent backups. I have even debated implementing some basic version control within dark room to help this kind of thing from happening.

  162. I know there’s a movement towards simplicity in software like this, but the distractionlessness is the most attractive part for me- so I beg and plead for RTF formatting. Just bold, underline and italic would make me blissful, tabstopping and paragraphing gleeful, heading styles or at least font sizes ecstatic. Shortcuts to parts within the text would be a lot to ask, I know, but still… Just a little prayer.

  163. Hi. Thanks for the app. I loved it and I did a lot of good writing on it.

    But last month I overwrote about seventy hours of writing. I saved a stupid file with the file name of a good (now gone) file. It was late, I was tired, I’ve always known it would be easy to do in Dark Room, I selected the wrong file name, I hit save, I hit yes, I didn’t have a back up, I fouled up.

    I wonder about my chances for file recovery. I’m guessing slim.


    XP Service Pack 2
    v .8b

    1. Ouch! Sorry to hear about that Andy. Unfortunately, Dark Room only holds the buffer of the last file you worked on. So, there isn’t really a mechanism for recovering files that you saved over. My recommendation, to help make sure this doesn’t happen again, would be to use a service to back up your files. I’m a software developer, so I actually use git. But, there is another service you can use that is seemless, and automatic (and you can use it to sync your writing across multiple computers). It’s called dropbox, and for the first 2gb of storage space its free. So, you may want to look into that. It will keep track of the last few version of your files for a few days for cases just like this. And, if you’re a paying member it will keep a permanent history of your writing so you can always go back an recover older revisions.

  164. Checking for updates returns:
    The remote server returned an error: 404 not found
    A new version of Darkroom is available, would you like to download y/n, on a fresh install downloaded about 10 minutes ago.

    Pressing the shortcut for the preferences menu launches 2 explorer windows (unfocused behind Darkroom) leading to C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs.

    I would also like a status bar thing with a wordcount and/or the time, possibly a ‘stopwatch’ function, but this isn’t really the place for that. (I also enjoy the typewriter noises produced by WriteMonkey and Q10.)

  165. First of all, I love DarkRoom and I do all of my writing / blogging with it. I recently upgraded from Windows XP to Windows 7, and I noticed the escape key no longer undoes fullscreen mode. Is there any information I can provide to help you fix this?

    Without the escape key, using DarkRoom is rather awkward.

  166. Thought I’d share an autohotkey script that launches dark room as well as save & close it.

    This lets you use the Windows Key and K to launch the app if it’s not running. If it is running then it will save the document and close the app.

    This lets you toggle between having the app running and not running using the same keyboard combination. This is a great way to take notes and have a little scratch pad quickly accessible without any prompts.

    Autohotkey script (I’m not a Autohotkey guru so this script probably could be better but it seems to do the trick for me):

    #IfWinExist, darkroom.txt - Dark Room,
    Send, {CTRLDOWN}sq{CTRLUP}
    run C:\mytools\tools\darkroom.exe
    WinWait, darkroom.txt - Dark Room,

  167. Hi,

    I’ve been using a normal text-editor to write my NaNoWriMo, but this year I’m trying out “Dark Room” (using, 0.8b), thanks for the tool!

    I’m just starting, but some questions came up:
    – I couldn’t get the setting for “height” to work, it always resets to “auto”
    – is it possible to set the Hot Key for “statistics” to something else? with a german keyboard-setting the slash is “Shift-7” and “Ctrl-Shift-7” doesn’t work in Dark Room, so I always have to use the menu to see the statistics.

    Anyways: keep up the good work!

    1. Good luck on nanowrimo. And yes, there are few bugs I am aware of. This version of dark room is being rebranded DarkRoomW, and the first release will fix many of the bugs people have been experiencing.

      1. Thanks for your quick reply (and your wishes for my NaNoWriMo :). I’m looking forward for the next version but will be using Dark Room anyways as the bugs are not critical in my eyes (as long as the program won’t eat my text ;).
        Kind regards, Fred

  168. Hi everyone!
    Me too am really an “old-time”-addicted… so: I’d like BLOCK cursors instead of the underscore. And the cursor should not blink πŸ˜‰ that makes it a bit more “wargames”-alike. Funny to see that I’m not alone in this world! πŸ™‚

    Here are my contributions:

    1. Just a bug…
    if I set the “Cursor blink time” (Edit|Preferences|Application) to a negative value, I get an error message (good…) related to PAGE MARGINS (not so good!).

    2. …and a hint – AGAIN! πŸ™‚
    Why don’t implement a BLOCK-cursor capability? πŸ˜‰

    HTH, see you back soon!

  169. Found a bug: don’t work font attributes like bold, italic, etc. I’m trying to change it , but font seems to looks like normal (usual) (with no attributes). (I’m using W7 with .net 3.5 sp1). Sorry for bad english.

  170. I have a suggestion for Dark Room. The first thing I noticed was that in full screen mode, the only way to exit full screen mode is to press Esc. I found that trick rather quickly, but someone who isn’t as familiar with windows programs might not have been able to get it right away. It would be nice if there were some options in the right click context menu, like Exit full screen mode, Save, Save as.., Save and exit, Exit (with a prompt to save or not of course), etc. Or maybe even something like bold, italic, and underline for some simple quick formatting and support for keyboard shortcuts like ctrl-b, ctrl-u, ctrl-i, etc (or some visible buttons, on the left opposite the scroll arrows possibly?). Maybe you don’t want to include that kind of formatting, that’s cool.. just a thought.

    Also, I think I found a bug. This happens with transparency enabled. I pressed Esc and went to windowed mode, and started to play with the menus. When I pressed F11 to go to fullscreen, the portion of my desktop that was behind the opaque window shifted up the height of the title bar for the Dark Room window, and remained like that until I closed the program. It’s a little hard to describe, but it leaves a square behind (that is the size of the window when in windowed mode) that is disjointed from the rest of the background. This is a little distracting to me. I did find that pressing Alt+F4 causes it to redraw the background, so if I do that and press cancel it goes back to normal.

    Overall, great program! I could see in the future, maybe adding support for a background image (and being able to fade it in and out), adding simple mp3 playback for relaxing music, and/or making it a truly fullscreen application (my Rocket Dock and Alpha Clock are set to “always on top,” so they show up over Dark Room, even in full screen. I don’t mind that the clock shows up, but I had to set my Rocket Dock to auto hide to get it out of the way.).

  171. In more than a few occasions, less is more; in these times of over-ornamented, over-featured devices and unexplicable bugs and behavior, I am constantly yearning for the simplest solution for everything: http://htpprints.yorku.ca/archive/00000253/02/Let_It_Be.pdf.
    As regards text editors, I have been a devoted user of Metapad http://liquidninja.com/metapad/ for a number of years. Darkroom/Writeroom adds a new dimension in distractionless tools for the noble art of writing. I usually think in terms of stripping unnecessary features, however for Writeroom I feel inclined to suggest a few additions:
    – For those who cannot/may not want to work in fullscreen, a ‘save size and position’ option in Preferences would come very handy.
    – The arrows for navigating up-down inside the document would welcome a label : line, page , –and– how about adding ‘top’ and ‘bottom’ arrows (or β€’ bullets) ?
    – Maybe adding the simplest of Search capabilities also? In a fixed box within the menubar? Just a ‘search’ input box, a ‘find-find next’ button, and nothing else.
    – Writeroom is a cute name. How about dropping that unhappy Darkroom name for the Windows version and making it simply Writeroom Mac and Writeroom Windows?
    – As regards fonts, italics and bold do not seem to work, like Humi reported, but I suppose that was not intended to. Anyway, if those options are not available, is there a way to suppress them from appearing?
    Writeroom should be a GREAT device for training zero-level computer novices too, when teaching ABC concepts like keyboard, screen, write, edit, file, save, save to folder… and touchtyping also.
    When is Writeroom expected to go 1.0? Thank you for the spartan and effective tool.

  172. Thank you for the application – it is great.
    I found a little problem with handling Polish “Ε„” character. After using it text formating starts to fail.

    There is an error in Richedit component, which, I assume, you have used. To solve it you have to send a special message to the component. Below I put pascal/delphi syntax (I used to write some easy apps in that language), but I think you will be able to accommodate it:
    SendMessage(YouRicheditComponentName.Handle, EM_SETLANGOPTIONS, 0, 0);

    As you see on the screen there is also a problem with “home” arrow shortcut – but I don’t know the solution in that case.

  173. I’ve noticed an issue running this program on Windows 7 x64. Whenever I try to adjust preferences, the program responds by telling me it has been denied access to the .config file. The location of the file it states is correct however, and if, for instance, I change the text color to red, it will change the text color WHILE displaying the error. No auto-indent though.

    Any idea what could be causing this? Thanks for the program, either way.

  174. Not a bug, just an enhacement.

    I managed to set DR to a light black transparency and in full screen, so I can see through DR and see also my desktop background that inspires me during my writing.

    Wouldn’t be awsome if you manage to set a group of keywords for that writing session (i.e. “little, village, spain”) and DR would – in intervals to be set – change the images of the background (Windows desktop or DR itself) grabbing cool images from know sources like Flickr, Google images, etc?

    I love to write a scene a have the inspirational clue of my desktop background. Today I’m doing it by myself before startign to write a scene, but DR could make it easier and automatically.

    How about that?

    Cheers from Brazil!

    (if you plan to localize DR ping me to get DR in Brazilian Portuguese)


  175. Just wanted to say thanks for DarkRoom! Simple. Elegant. A pleasure to use.

    I like that you’ve kept it lean and have two small usability suggestions (not new features) that I’m hoping you’ll consider if DarkRoom is still in development:

    1. Give an option for the ESC to quit the program rather than duplicate the Full Screen (F11) toggle. A quick way to exit that is less awkward that ALT-F4 would be great.

    2. Off keyboard shortcuts for scrolling. Scrolling (without moving the cursor) is already supported and I see can be done either by using the mouse wheel or by clicking on either of the middle two navigation icons. That’s great, but both require using the mouse. I’d love to use say CTRL-UPARROW and CTRL-DNARROW (or even better allow the user to define the key combo) and scroll a long document using just the keyboard.

    Anyway, just my $0.02. Thanks again for sharing your work! Cheers.

  176. Thanks for this beautifully executed tool. Just like Jon above I have only two small usability suggestions, not new features:

    1. Enable selection from further into the left margin area – i.e. if I click in the black area left of a line, select that line; if I double-click in the same place, select the paragraph.

    2. When dragging text to move it elsewhere, have the cursor indicate the dropping place.

    Thanks again for a job well done.

  177. Oh, wow, after checking I see that this post is pretty old and that you’re now working on an Adobe Air implementation. Unfortunately that was exactly why I fled Write or Die — crippled Unicode support and terrible integration with Windows input methods (such as special keyboards). Thanks for keeping 0.8b online, I’ll stick with it.

  178. Darkroom for Windows – Thank you, this is extremely useful!

    One improvement to recommend:

    A command to adjust the “text column” width.

    This would help especially, with today’s 9×16 wide-screen LCD monitors.

    For example, the ability to:

    Select the “text column width” — as percentage of screen width:

    90% .. 80% .. 70% .. 60% .. 50% .. 40% .. 30%

    Or similar functionality….

  179. Hi everybody,

    I’ve been trying DarkRoom and feel pleased with it. However, I usually work with 3 monitors and would like not only to display DarkRoom in fullscreen mode, but also to “blank” the other screens as well, so I’m not distracted with my other 2 screens.

    I think every multimonitor user will thank this feature.

    If not possible, do you know of another editor which supports this?

    Yours faithfully,

    Ignacio Renuncio.-

  180. Hello Jeffery,
    I really enjoy the Darkroom tool.
    It is one of the first tools I install when I have my laptop rebuilt or I get a new system.
    With ADHD I find my self distracted too easily by all the candy that is on my desktop.
    Darkroom allows me to get the typing done that I want. Thanks.
    I would be interested in a feature such as hitting Control+T to add a time date stamp
    (I am too lazy to F11 out to the desktop get the time and add it)
    If you have a mailing list for updates, I would like to be added.
    Thanks, your devoted fan.

  181. Hello,

    I recently recommended DarkRoom to a friend because I am enjoying WriteRoom so much. He is having some kind of issue with Windows though. He asked:

    “Darkroom lists Windows XP, and earlier. Doesn’t say about Windows 7 or Vista and doesn’t seem to have anybody to ask. Do you know?”

    Thank you,


  182. Wish there was a way to email you directly… Anyway, I’ll have to copy and paste (the following was my initial review of [and in] Darkroom and I posted it all over facebook etc for my friends to try it out as well. Maybe you could use some reviews on your site as “testimonial” kind of crap? feel free::
    On Dark Room.

    So this is what it feel like to write undistracted. This is pleasantly surprising, although I might appreciate it more if the text started a few lines below the top of the screen. Its kinda high up there.

    Maybe a scrolling up feature where you’re always typing on the center line of the screen and subsequent lines scroll up when you return as opposed to the curser moving down. More like a typewriter? Maybe that would be obnoxious. It would be hard to tell without trying it though. Maybe it could be an optional mode.

    I can’t believe, though, how much is coming out of my finger tips. I keep going and going like an energizer bunny. I feel like I am inside a computer, by myself, and the universe doesn’t exist. There is no spell checker to yell at me, there is no blank white screen hurting my eyes, and most importantly there are no buttons to look at and wonder what they do…

    The green might need to be toned down a bit, but other than that (assumiung I can figure out the keystrokes to save and exit this fullscreen “nonsence”), I think I might be in love with my new favorite text editor…

    WOAH!! I bet I could use this for HTML, C++, and all those types as well! That would be fantastic… I don’t have a program that highlights html code anyway… Might as well be on a clean screen!

    Ok I have to stop before I get carried away. My fingers are almost as fast as my thoughts. That can get dangerous. Might get typerwriter arms tangled with each other… or is this the kind with the golf ball on the end?

    As long as I have a backspace key, I’m fine. That is the real advantage of the “Digital Age”. The backspace key.

    Thank you, Lord, for providing us writers with the Backspace on our 102s, 104s, and even the 200 key LED light up gaming keyboards. Of all the buttons on these damn things, while the space bar may be the most commonly used key, the backspace is, in my humble oppinion, the most revolutionary and subsequently seemingly important.

    Too late, I went on a damn tangent. Ok, its quittin time. Before I run out of room on my screen!

    Ok, now for some keystrokes… So ctr-s works. Thats good. Thats really all I need… other than that, I can ctr-alt-del to quit the program if I have to, but in the mean time, I’ll go with alt-F4.

    Thank you, Dark Room. Thank you, genuinely.

    Hey, this is even useful to write in windowed mode! My desktop is black anyway, so its not like the mildly white window boarders are adding anything particularly distracting. Black desktop background = zen and undistracting. I have a couple of Win7 gadgets (clock, weather, cpu usage) but those don’t really distract. I have my taskbar hidden, so theres not much there, and I could hide the gadgets as well (oh, btw, I have my desktop icons hidden, so my desktop is completely and utterly black, plain, and empty. Zen computing.

    Anyway, this has been my experience so far with “Dark Room” (available at http://jjafuller.com/dark-room ). You should try it for yourself. It is a clone of a Mac only program called White Room (which can be found at http://www.hogbaysoftware.com/products/writeroom ).

    The idea is that it is a text editor that doesn’t distract. Black background with light (default is console green) font. .txt only, but you can copy/paste it into word, or wordpad for formatting/spellcheck, etc. I have found so far that this style of application is very efficient at drawing my words from me. I find myself with fewer pauses…

    …and of couse now that I said that I have to sit and recover from a 15 second pause in typing. What a buzzkill…

    Anyway, the point was that if you do any kind of extended writing for school, work, recreation, blogging, or if you’re a novelist/author of some sort or another, you should try this out. Its a digital scratch paper for rough ideas that just beggs to be typed all over. Kind of like a fresh sketchbook. It cries for you to touch your pen to it.

    Same thing here.

    You won’t be dissapointed.

  183. Great, great program, keep it going!

    I do have problems on my Win7 Ent. 64bit machine with the “Enable Local Cache File” option checked (I do want to run the program in portable mode), which always brings up an error “Unhandled exception has occurred in your application. If you click continue, the application will ignore this error…” You might want to look into this.


    See the end of this message for details on invoking
    just-in-time (JIT) debugging instead of this dialog box.

    ************** Exception Text **************
    System.ArgumentException: File format is not valid.
    at System.Windows.Forms.RichTextBox.StreamIn(Stream data, Int32 flags)
    at System.Windows.Forms.RichTextBox.LoadFile(Stream data, RichTextBoxStreamType fileType)
    at System.Windows.Forms.RichTextBox.LoadFile(String path, RichTextBoxStreamType fileType)
    at DarkRoom.frmMain.RecallCacheFile()
    at DarkRoom.frmMain.Init()
    at DarkRoom.frmMain.frmMain_Load(Object sender, EventArgs e)
    at System.Windows.Forms.Form.OnLoad(EventArgs e)
    at System.Windows.Forms.Control.CreateControl(Boolean fIgnoreVisible)
    at System.Windows.Forms.Control.CreateControl()
    at System.Windows.Forms.Control.WmShowWindow(Message& m)
    at System.Windows.Forms.Control.WndProc(Message& m)
    at System.Windows.Forms.Control.ControlNativeWindow.WndProc(Message& m)
    at System.Windows.Forms.NativeWindow.Callback(IntPtr hWnd, Int32 msg, IntPtr wparam, IntPtr lparam)

    ************** Loaded Assemblies **************
    Assembly Version:
    Win32 Version: 2.0.50727.4927 (NetFXspW7.050727-4900)
    CodeBase: file:///C:/Windows/Microsoft.NET/Framework64/v2.0.50727/mscorlib.dll
    Assembly Version:
    Win32 Version:
    CodeBase: file:///D:/EMERCHIVE/Program%20Files%20(Portable)/Office/Dark%20Room%200.8b/DarkRoom.exe
    Assembly Version:
    Win32 Version: 2.0.50727.4927 (NetFXspW7.050727-4900)
    CodeBase: file:///C:/Windows/assembly/GAC_MSIL/System.Windows.Forms/
    Assembly Version:
    Win32 Version: 2.0.50727.4927 (NetFXspW7.050727-4900)
    CodeBase: file:///C:/Windows/assembly/GAC_MSIL/System/
    Assembly Version:
    Win32 Version: 2.0.50727.4927 (NetFXspW7.050727-4900)
    CodeBase: file:///C:/Windows/assembly/GAC_MSIL/System.Drawing/
    Assembly Version:
    Win32 Version: 2.0.50727.4927 (NetFXspW7.050727-4900)
    CodeBase: file:///C:/Windows/assembly/GAC_MSIL/System.Configuration/
    Assembly Version:
    Win32 Version: 2.0.50727.4927 (NetFXspW7.050727-4900)
    CodeBase: file:///C:/Windows/assembly/GAC_MSIL/System.Xml/

  184. If a TrueType (.ttf) font is chosen, the program reverts back to the non-TrueType font previously used on restarting it.

  185. Hi Jeffrey,

    Thanks so much for DarkRoom. Just a minor bug to report:

    DR 0.8b on WinXP SP3
    Every time I perform a copy or a cut, I get a pop-up that says “An error occurred wile copying text.”

    This however does not prevent the text from either being copied or cut. It’s just a minor inconvenience that distracts from the otherwise smooth operation of DR.


  186. It just doesn’t work anymore, I try and it says:

    See the end of this message for details on invoking
    just-in-time (JIT) debugging instead of this dialog box.

    ************** Exception Text **************
    System.Configuration.ConfigurationErrorsException: Configuration system failed to initialize —> System.Configuration.ConfigurationErrorsException: Data at the root level is invalid. Line 1, position 1. (C:\Documents and Settings\Tao Tao.TAO-SILE82MAUF7\Local Settings\Application Data\DarkRoom\DarkRoom.exe_Url_4emb2bjkrbmf3qe3qw330flsxcewbuml.8.0.0\user.config line 1) —> System.Xml.XmlException: Data at the root level is invalid. Line 1, position 1.
    at System.Xml.XmlTextReaderImpl.Throw(Exception e)
    at System.Xml.XmlTextReaderImpl.Throw(String res, String arg)
    at System.Xml.XmlTextReaderImpl.ParseRootLevelWhitespace()
    at System.Xml.XmlTextReaderImpl.ParseDocumentContent()
    at System.Xml.XmlTextReaderImpl.Read()
    at System.Xml.XmlTextReader.Read()
    at System.Configuration.XmlUtil..ctor(Stream stream, String name, Boolean readToFirstElement, ConfigurationSchemaErrors schemaErrors)
    at System.Configuration.BaseConfigurationRecord.InitConfigFromFile()
    — End of inner exception stack trace —
    at System.Configuration.ConfigurationSchemaErrors.ThrowIfErrors(Boolean ignoreLocal)
    at System.Configuration.BaseConfigurationRecord.ThrowIfParseErrors(ConfigurationSchemaErrors schemaErrors)
    at System.Configuration.BaseConfigurationRecord.ThrowIfInitErrors()
    at System.Configuration.ClientConfigurationSystem.OnConfigRemoved(Object sender, InternalConfigEventArgs e)
    — End of inner exception stack trace —
    at System.Configuration.ClientConfigurationSystem.OnConfigRemoved(Object sender, InternalConfigEventArgs e)
    at System.Configuration.Internal.InternalConfigRoot.OnConfigRemoved(InternalConfigEventArgs e)
    at System.Configuration.Internal.InternalConfigRoot.RemoveConfigImpl(String configPath, BaseConfigurationRecord configRecord)
    at System.Configuration.BaseConfigurationRecord.GetSectionRecursive(String configKey, Boolean getLkg, Boolean checkPermission, Boolean getRuntimeObject, Boolean requestIsHere, Object& result, Object& resultRuntimeObject)
    at System.Configuration.BaseConfigurationRecord.GetSection(String configKey, Boolean getLkg, Boolean checkPermission)
    at System.Configuration.BaseConfigurationRecord.GetSection(String configKey)
    at System.Configuration.ClientConfigurationSystem.System.Configuration.Internal.IInternalConfigSystem.GetSection(String sectionName)
    at System.Configuration.ConfigurationManager.GetSection(String sectionName)
    at System.Configuration.ClientSettingsStore.ReadSettings(String sectionName, Boolean isUserScoped)
    at System.Configuration.LocalFileSettingsProvider.GetPropertyValues(SettingsContext context, SettingsPropertyCollection properties)
    at System.Configuration.SettingsBase.GetPropertiesFromProvider(SettingsProvider provider)
    at System.Configuration.SettingsBase.GetPropertyValueByName(String propertyName)
    at System.Configuration.SettingsBase.get_Item(String propertyName)
    at System.Configuration.ApplicationSettingsBase.GetPropertyValue(String propertyName)
    at System.Configuration.ApplicationSettingsBase.get_Item(String propertyName)
    at DarkRoom.Properties.Settings.get_BackgroundColor()
    at DarkRoom.frmMain.Sync()
    at DarkRoom.frmMain.Init()
    at DarkRoom.frmMain.frmMain_Load(Object sender, EventArgs e)
    at System.Windows.Forms.Form.OnLoad(EventArgs e)
    at System.Windows.Forms.Form.OnCreateControl()
    at System.Windows.Forms.Control.CreateControl(Boolean fIgnoreVisible)
    at System.Windows.Forms.Control.CreateControl()
    at System.Windows.Forms.Control.WmShowWindow(Message& m)
    at System.Windows.Forms.Control.WndProc(Message& m)
    at System.Windows.Forms.ScrollableControl.WndProc(Message& m)
    at System.Windows.Forms.ContainerControl.WndProc(Message& m)
    at System.Windows.Forms.Form.WmShowWindow(Message& m)
    at System.Windows.Forms.Form.WndProc(Message& m)
    at System.Windows.Forms.Control.ControlNativeWindow.OnMessage(Message& m)
    at System.Windows.Forms.Control.ControlNativeWindow.WndProc(Message& m)
    at System.Windows.Forms.NativeWindow.Callback(IntPtr hWnd, Int32 msg, IntPtr wparam, IntPtr lparam)

    ************** Loaded Assemblies **************
    Assembly Version:
    Win32 Version: 2.0.50727.3603 (GDR.050727-3600)
    CodeBase: file:///C:/WINDOWS/Microsoft.NET/Framework/v2.0.50727/mscorlib.dll
    Assembly Version:
    Win32 Version:
    CodeBase: file:///C:/Program%20Files/Dark%20Room%200.8b/DarkRoom.exe
    Assembly Version:
    Win32 Version: 2.0.50727.3053 (netfxsp.050727-3000)
    CodeBase: file:///C:/WINDOWS/assembly/GAC_MSIL/System.Windows.Forms/
    Assembly Version:
    Win32 Version: 2.0.50727.3614 (GDR.050727-3600)
    CodeBase: file:///C:/WINDOWS/assembly/GAC_MSIL/System/
    Assembly Version:
    Win32 Version: 2.0.50727.3053 (netfxsp.050727-3000)
    CodeBase: file:///C:/WINDOWS/assembly/GAC_MSIL/System.Drawing/
    Assembly Version:
    Win32 Version: 2.0.50727.3053 (netfxsp.050727-3000)
    CodeBase: file:///C:/WINDOWS/assembly/GAC_MSIL/System.Configuration/
    Assembly Version:
    Win32 Version: 2.0.50727.3082 (QFE.050727-3000)
    CodeBase: file:///C:/WINDOWS/assembly/GAC_MSIL/System.Xml/

    ************** JIT Debugging **************
    To enable just-in-time (JIT) debugging, the .config file for this
    application or computer (machine.config) must have the
    jitDebugging value set in the system.windows.forms section.
    The application must also be compiled with debugging

    For example:

    When JIT debugging is enabled, any unhandled exception
    will be sent to the JIT debugger registered on the computer
    rather than be handled by this dialog box.

  187. Hi,

    A friend recommended DarkRoom and I used it to start working on a book I’m writing in Hebrew. I spent several hours working in it and got the intro and a couple of chapters done… I saved everything, but when I opened the file today, everything was ????????? – Is there any way to get my information back?

  188. Hi,
    Dark Room notepad is looks super.
    But I found one small bug..
    When the Drak room window is in Maximize status. That time if I press F11 for fullscreen option. it is going to resize postion. Please check once

    Nice work, keep continue this one
    Naga Harish.

  189. Found some bugs:

    1. If you copy some text, then close Darkroom, the copied text gets lost.
    2. While Darkroom is running, the highlight color of Darkroom becomes that of Windows.
    3. If the text cursor is on the right as used in some languages (Arabic, for example), it goes to the left again when you reopen Darkroom.
    4. It cannot handle some TrueType fonts.

  190. I ran this on windows 7, and it worked great. But then, when I re-opened my file the next day, I got an error messager saying ” Unhandled exception has occured in your application. If you click Continue, the application will ignore this error and attempt to continue. If you click Quit, the application will close immediately. Configuration system failed to initialize.” If I hit quit, it quits. If I hit continue, I starts up, but it’s not full screen, the text area is white, and the text is black. In short, no point. I then continue to get the same error message, and I have to click Quit about 5 or 6 times before it actually quits. I tried deleting it and re-downloading, but it did the same thing. What’s wrong?

  191. In Windows 7 SP1, when cutting and pasting text, I get error messages. (Usually: “An error was encountered when copying text.” or something of the sort) Occasionally, copy/pasting succeeds, but it seems to be completely random. I’m not sure what’s going on?

  192. Thank you so much for this awesome program (or, if not you, whoever created it)! It not only allows me to write in any light, but also makes it fun! I feel like I’m a hacker or something, haha.

  193. 0.8b Bug: Setting font to bold doesn’t have any effect

    I tried setting the font to several different fonts and switched back and forth between the bold and regular styles, but this has no effect on the text’s actual styles.

  194. By the way, thank you for making this. After seeing WriteRoom, I really wanted something for Windows and I started writing my own in .NET before realizing there already was one out there πŸ˜‰

  195. Huh, you don’t have any contact info here! I have some experience in .NET and I love darkroom for NanoWriMoing. Do you need help developing it? I bet we could recruit Jeffery Bridgman too.

  196. Tiny feature request. Can you suppress the “Would you like to save?” prompt when a new document is either blank or consists only of whitespace? Notepad2 behaves like this and it’s just one of those nice little things that you always want once you get used to it.

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