Dark Room

Dark Room is a full screen, distraction free, writing environment. Unlike standard word processors that focus on features, Dark Room is just about you and your text.

Basically, Dark Room is a clone of the original WriteRoom that is an OS X (tiger) exclusive application. It is a child of necessity, as there were no viable alternatives in Windows to produce the same behavior. Sure, you can kind of emulate the behavior by jumping through a bunch of hoops in Word/Writer, but it isn’t the same. Also, you can do something similar in emacs, but who wants to learn a bunch of obscure keyboard shortcuts?

The goal of the project is to capture the essence of WriteRoom, while keeping it simple and just as free.

Download Now
(version 0.8b // 11/17/2006)


Keyboard Shortcuts

  • File Menu
    • Clear Document: Ctrl+N
    • Open Document: Ctrl+O
    • Save Document: Ctrl+S
    • Quit: Ctrl+Q
  • Edit Menu
    • Undo: Ctrl+Z
    • Redo: Ctrl+Y
    • Cut: Ctrl+X
    • Copy: Ctrl+C
    • Paste: Ctrl+V
    • Select All: Ctrl+A
    • Find: Ctrl+F
    • Find Next: F3
    • Preferences: Ctrl+,
  • View Menu
    • Statistics: Ctrl+/
    • Toggle Fullscreen: F11 or Esc


If you like Dark Room, and have some money burning a hole in your bank account, feel free to drop it in mine. 😉

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Release Notes

  • 0.8b (report bugs)
    • ADDED: Neutral highlighting
    • ADDED: Cursor blink rate control
    • FIXED: Ability to open files with accented characters
    • FIXED: Text modification state preserved when preferences changed
    • FIXED: Window title not updating when file saved
    • FIXED: Crash when config file is write protected
    • FIXED: Files saved with Unix line breaks
    • FIXED: Wordcount RegEx
    • FIXED: FileNotFoundException when caching preferences
    • CHANGED: Text of statistics shortcut from ctrl+? to ctrl+/ to be less confusing
  • 0.7.6b
    • ADDED: Display active filename
    • ADDED: Keyboard shortcut for statistics window
    • ADDED: Settings cached locally for increaed portability
    • FIXED: Change font/color causes text to disappear until preference pane brought up again
    • FIXED: Coping entire lines and pasting results in final carraige return not being pasted
    • FIXED: Error message for invalid height says width
    • FIXED: No error message for invalid margin
  • 0.7.5b
    • Added check for updates menu option
    • Added auto indent option
    • Added drag and drop onto page to open file
    • Fixed a bug that prevented tabs to spaces from taking effect until restart
    • Removed resizable borders on dialogs
    • Optimized page width in non-maximized window
    • Fixed a bug that resulted in crash when using page setup without any installed printers
    • Optimzied preferences dialog layout
  • 0.7.1b
    • Fixed a bug that reverted tabs to spaces to three instead of custom value
  • 0.7b
    • Added Statistics dialog
    • Added Menu item to launch dark room website
    • Added ability to enable/disable local cache file
    • Added convert tabs to spaces
    • Printing now uses document font
    • Fixed a bug the preventing printing the first character
    • Fixed a bug that made the margin disappear when auto-width selected.
    • Fixed a bug that prevent multiple monitors from working correctly.
  • 0.6.2b
    • Fixed a bug causing the program to crash if there is no text to cut/copy.
    • Fixed a bug that resulted in a crash when enabling multi-monitor support.
    • Disabled “URL detection”
  • 0.6.1b
    • Fixed “process hog” problem related to autosave interval
    • Fixed allow tabs in writing area
    • Fixed preferences access from context menu
  • 0.6b
    • Added launch modes (restore buffer, open last file, clean document)
    • Redone preferences dialog
    • Converted to C#
    • A bunch (mostly little inconsistences that I noticed while converting)
  • 0.5.1b
    • Fixed order of Find and Find Next in Edit menu
    • Font, Page, and Background color dialog defaults to current color instead of black
    • Fixed find next bug that would not allow find to advance to next word
  • 0.5b
    • Added optional Transparency
    • Added Rudementary Printing Support
    • Added optional Autosave (once a minute)
    • Added Find
    • Added Content Cached in a local file to increase portability
    • Fixed Save As bug, now can save as repeatedly
    • Fixed Text Formatting bug, now stripped when copied to clipboard
  • 0.4b
    • Removed rogue formatting in document (shortcut keys, etc…)
  • 0.3.9b
    • Fixed a bug that caused Dark Room to quit if save dialog is canceled
    • Fixed a bug where the font color button did not update when color was changed
    • Fixed a bug that caused the “save changes” prompt to come up while closing regardless of whether or not the document changed
    • Fixed a bug that prompted a “save as” dialog when attempting to save a file that was opened using “Open With”
    • Added Ctrl+, as a shortcut for preferences
    • Added an About Page
    • Added option not to open in fullscreen mode
    • Added option to open to a clean page
    • Added a crappy icon
  • 0.3.2b
    • Fixed a multiple monitor bug that shaded the primary monitor when app is not maximized
    • Added a warning to save when closing (if document modified)
    • Fixed a bug that allowed user to overwrite a previous file if they created a new file, and used ctrl+s to save
  • 0.3.1b
    • Font dialog now defaults to current font
    • Multiple, vertical monitors now supported
  • 0.3b
    • Added keyboard shortcut to exit (Ctrl+Q)
    • Added “Open with Dark Room” context menu integration option
    • Added Multiple Monitor Support (shades monitors not in use)
    • Added ability to open “All Files (*.*)”
    • Added ability to scroll with mouse wheel
    • Added a context menu
    • Changed redo from Ctrl+Shft+Z to common Ctrl+Y
    • Corrected paste to remove formatting information
    • Changed application name from “WindowsApplication1” to Dark Room
    • Fixed the ability to associate Dark Rom with text files
  • 0.2b
    • Added Multiple Undo and Redo
    • Fixed crash when Save As dialog is cancelled
    • Removed scrollbar, replaced with simple navigation bar
    • Removed exit shortcut key to allievate conflict with cut command
    • Preferences dialog revamped
    • Added page height preferences
    • Added automatic page width and height setting

254 thoughts on “Dark Room”

  1. It works fine on vista.

    Wondering where all the comments went to. Having a problem with text size which I have had before and I remember there was a couple of comments for a very simple shortcut style fix…

  2. This is a great app! I really love it… Although there’s one feature I would love to see; a full screen lock. I often get distracted because I have to check my mail, facebook or whatever. If this app featured a time specific lock so that you can’t exit the full screen mode in a specific time (specified by the user when entering the full screen mode) this wouldn’t be a problem anymore, because you are forced to focus on the task in front of you…

    Just an idea 

    1. I agree, a set time-lock feature would be amazing and would complete this application. The ability to toggle fullscreen with a click of a button is very tempting when writing isn’t going too well.

      Please consider it! 🙂

      1. Time lock programs can be over-ridden. Control your addictions. Strive to improve your will power. It’s something I need to do too, and I imagine the result would reflect not only in more time writing, but better writing.

  3. Great idea Danni 🙂 I know what you mean.

    Lola, it works fine for me on Windows Vista Ultimate, 32-bits. You may just need to download the .NET framework from Microsoft.com…

    Thanks for writing this, Mr. Developer 🙂

  4. (By the way, the emoticon in my comment was supposed to be a face smiling, not a neutral guy with a moustache…)

  5. Hey this is a great tool…. but…. but…. it does not support saving Unicode text… I lost almost 12 hours of effort in writing in a non-English language 🙁

  6. Dark room will automaticly transform the UNIX newline character to windows form.
    This is not what I wanted.
    Can you add the new features like windows newline to unix newline or unix newline to windows newline ?

  7. Ok so now I’m feeling really stupid. I’m going to download this because apparently I can’t live without it even though I have no clue what its about.

    I came here from a page about no distractions and immediately find myself being distracted. I should have been born a bower bird cause I think any shiny trinket seems to get my attention

  8. Ah, now that I downloaded it and it worked immediately I feel good about myself again:-)

    It’s a bit of a shock when the screen disappears completely and I was rather relieved when I intuitively hit the escape key and normal service was resumed. But now having done that, I can see how this will be a very cool piece of software to blot out the bright lights of distraction when I write my articles in the future.

  9. The only thing missing is the ability to customize the context menu; that aside, it is a pleasure using Dark Room.

  10. Hi! I would like to thank you about this software. It reminded me times when the fastest computer were an Apple IIe with a green CRT.

  11. I have this on my Vista SP1 laptop. No troubles at all. I simply copied the whole thing to my profile folder so it could not interfere with UAC and folder access rights when saving configs and then simply added a link to the desktop.

  12. Wow, just heard of this software from Ewen Chias newsletter. Haven’t ever seen or heard about it before, how is being promoted? anyway, I plan on giving it a try since so many find it helpful. thanks to everyone! (and happy online marketing, too)

  13. Well…
    I like this one better than Q10 because of the right click options. However, the right click menu does not have file options (open, close, quit, etc.) and there is nothing that shows the keyboard options available.
    Please add a file> menu to the right click menu.
    What I would really like, is to have something like this for Linux.

  14. I love using the darkroom. It is the perfect writing program. I’m very impressed.

    I have a few small requests, however. The next time you tweak it, could you make justified alignment available? It would also be incredibly helpful if a bold, underline, & italics function were present. These features help insert a bit more feeling into a piece of writing.

    Good luck with your current projects! Thank you for sharing this program with the public!

  15. Great program! Perfectly emulates what I’ve come to love in the Mac version. I recently got a netbook to write away from the desktop and I pulled down DarkRoom, but there is ONE piece I find myself missing – spell check! Any chance of getting that into a future version? Thank you for your continued efforts!

  16. Nice software. This really help me to write better content and increase productivity by decreasing interrupts.

    One bug:
    My lenovo’s keyboard has touchbad and an another mouse. I don’t know its name. It is small red button and touching it moves the mouse cursor. I cannot roll darkroom using that second mouse. This could be very useful feature.

  17. Great little program. Clean, Simple, No clutter. I would love to see a few very basic functions added. Bold (CTRL+B), Underline (CTRL+U), Italics (CRTL+I) and a spell checker (F7) that would underline errors and list suggestions in the context menu when you right click on each word. Kind of like Firefox. But toggle the underlining on and off with F7 to maintain that clean elegant look.

  18. (the following is from my first launch of the program. The blinking cursor told me to write, so I did… 🙂 )
    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.

  19. Thanks for the Application, It really is a Good Thing, But I am Addicted to MS Office, as it solves evey other problem such as, Word Count, Heading etc.

  20. I think DarkRoom is a great tool for writing articles.

    I do have a question though: I use dual monitors when I’m working with the secondary monitor being the one that I use for most of my work. Is there a way to get DR to start on the secondary monitor, rather than the primary? I guess a simple registry entry to remember the window position on exit then re-read on opening would do the trick.

    Many thanks,

  21. thank you so much; this is wonderful. when i was little (my mother was a computer programmer, so i’ve been on computers all my life, and grew up with dos and whatever the writing program was then), i used to write like this – now it’s so much easier for me, and i’ve only just downloaded it. i wrote 500 words easily, without being worried about typos or space or anything else. i mean, i’m usually fairly focused, but somehow this dark room is my muse. i love it – thank you!

  22. This is a great programme, but there’s one feature I’d love it to have: an automatic long dash! Basically so this: — becomes this: —.

  23. Can you add Unicode support. Even simple notepad gives you the option of saving the fill in ANSI or some Unicode variant. Also is this project still alive? If not please tell us and/or release the source code so somebody can take it up.

    Otherwise great piece of software. Thanks alot for starting it up anyhow!

    1. Ctrl + , (Ctrl plus the comma) will bring up the preferences or you can go to the menu (Edit > Preferences)

      If you can’t see the menu then hit the F11 key to toggle full screen mode.

  24. It looks great. But I don’t know how to get the Darkroom.exe.config to work. I’d really prefer grey text. And clicking on the symbols at the side of the screen doesn’t do anything. It would be a really great programme to get my muse going. So I hope someone can help…..

  25. It’s great. Just one request though: middle-button scrolling. This is when you click the middle/scroll button and just move your mouse up/down to scroll. I use this practically all the time to scroll through large amounts of text.

  26. Hi!

    I love the software. Any news on the Open Source project front? I’ve been googling around, and I haven’t found the project page, etc.

    Best Regards


    1. @Javier, yes. Basically what I am waiting on is picking a license for distribution of the project. I am speaking with a lawyer on september 8th, so I hope to release it soon there after.

  27. Darkroom is great! Thanks very much for taking the time to put it together. There’s a couple of features that I’d like to see, though. I understand that it’s a distractionless writing environment for plain text, but I don’t think that that necessarily means you don’t have to include features.

    I think that you Darkroom could really benefit from:

    1. Replace — An implementation of find and replace in the style of Firefox/E-Text editor would be great for an app like this;
    2. Text alignment — Obviously you can’t align text in the style of Word because we’re using plain text, but it is possibly to simulate centering, right-alignment and even full justification by inserting spaces where necessary. (ie. inserting a number of spaces equal to [the width of a line of text minus the length of the string of text on the current line] divided by 2 at the beginning of said line will effectively center the text.)
    3. Styling — If you’re writing a long text document (which is likely, given that you’ve created a distractionelss environment in which to do so) you normally have to format with headings, bullet points, etc. Some shortcut keys for inserting wrapping the current line in arbitrary text would be cool (eg. you might want to put “==” before and after a level one heading, “===” after a level two, etc; or you might want to put “\t* ” before a list item.

    Anyway, these are just some thoughts that I had whilst using Darkroom. I really like what you’ve already got. Thanks again.

  28. I can’t seem to download it, something about the url not on the server :(.

    I really wanted to give this a go, it’s such an incredible idea.

  29. Sorry about the broken link, guys. Iam in the process of switching servers, and getting dark room setup on it’s own domain. I’ll have the link fixed today and I’ll send you an email to let you know

  30. Jeffrey, you rock!
    I’ve been using it a bit and now on the way to getting hooked on it.
    Keep it up and I’ll gladly donate some if it proves to contribute to my productivity.
    Thank you

  31. Hi Jeffrey,

    This is a great app!
    Thanks for making it.

    Im trying to find out what ‘neutral highlighting’ actually is.
    Sorry if it is a stupid question, but Im wondering if it has something to do with the feature I would love to have in this app: being able to highlight words, sentences or pieces of text.

    Thanks again, Jeffrey.

    Kind regards,


    1. Nope. I don’t delete any of the comments on this site. I assure you, there are some pretty nasty ones out there. And, I actually did not intend to allow comments on this page (they accidentally got enabled when I updated my cms), as I have posts for each release. But, I didn’t have the heart to remove the comments so I have just left them open.

  32. I would love the ability to underline, bold, italics and center the text. Those features would make this software perfect. I do love it though. It’s the only program I use to do my writing.

  33. Fantastic and thanks. Is there anyway to get bold (asc chr 2)? How about a way to set margins and tab spacing. What was this written in? Thanks again, with bold, tab and margin control this is just what I need!

  34. Darkroom really works! Word/Open Office always made my forehead itch like staring at a busy mantelpiece. If I ever make a penny out of writing, I’ll send the first ones to you Jeff, thank you.

  35. Great soft!
    There’s only one thing, though. It’s hard to navigate in large files. May be you can add a beautiful green scroll bar? And place in the options the check box “disable scroll bar” or something for those, who doesn’t want it.

  36. Awesome program, only one complaint: you can’t paste copied text after you close Dark Room. Too many times have I written something in Dark Room, copied it, closed it, and tried to paste it into Word to no avail.

  37. Hi!
    Did not take the time to read ´verything so I just put my question out:

    Is there a way to safe files as .rtf as default format?

    I don’t find anything in preferences.
    since i move files to os x it would be a nice feature.

  38. 我希望有中文版的。谢谢!
    I hope you have Chinese version, thank you
    I am BoKu publicchinese editor
    If you have good works not been published, will we here

  39. I’m attempting to use this software in 2011, will there be an updated version anytime soon mate?


    – Gator Valle
    Science Fiction writer
    Vancouver, BC

  40. Just wanted to leave you an appreciative comment about great Dark Room is, have you considered making a pro version and calling it Dark Mansion or Dark Room: Suite Edition? 🙂

  41. Thank you! I have been looking for software like this for a little while. I like to have distraction free writing, or else I just can’t write something good. Again, thanks. ~Jesse Downing

  42. This is a great tool. I only write with this program now.

    I have one feature request. Is there a possibility of an unsaved marker added to the window title? I never know if the program has saved my document or not, since there’s no cue.


  43. Absolute perfection.

    Seconds to download, and VOILA! 1985.

    Please ignore every single plea to “add” anything.

    (As a matter of fact, borrow a page from Coco Channel and take one accessory off, before you ever leave the house.)

    Thank you, ever so much.

  44. Look, I’m old, stupid, klutzotic, and fed up with systems I don’t understand and then change while I still don’t understand them. I loved the origianl Q&A, and have been prosterate with grief since Billy Boy took over the whole world.
    Very interested in Dark Room. Stressed out by Word’s insisting on flashing menus, moving my text, and doing myraid other things every time I a breeze blows over a key.
    Will Dark room let me type without all that barleyfizzle showing off?
    Can you print from Dark room?
    Can you save documents, find them, edit them and all that?
    Can you paste documents into other documents like an e-mail? Tell me more.

  45. I used DarkRoom for a few months, but haven’t worked with it recently. Now I started using it again and wondered about the formatting. When I used it before I think I could use typographic quotes but now it won’t let them use me. It just puts the quotes like that: ” ”
    Is there a way to use typographic quotes?

  46. Just tried it on Win 7 64bit – works fine! Thanks to the developer!

    Just one issue: If I put it into my usual “Programs” folder, changing the settings always causes an error message (because the program tries to write into the very program folder, which is write protected in Win 7). But only the message is annoying – if I quit and restart Darkroom, the settings remain changed.

    And I use a German keyboard layout – after trying everything, I found the shortcut for the statistics to be ‘Ctrl+#’ for some strange reason.

  47. Hi, Jeff.

    Quick programming question:
    How does Darkroom handle the selection highlight color on the text control? I can’t find any other richedit program that manages to do this. Does Darkroom use SetSysColor? Or a SelChange event handler (with formatting + suspending undo)? I’ve been searching forever for the answer. I hope you’ll help out a fellow programmer.

    — Vu

  48. Hello, one recommendation is being able to navigate to the bottom of a document immediately with the “end” key. If you’ve written 80k words, getting up and down in a document can by might slow otherwise. Love the product though! Huge thanks.

    1. This would be great. Getting to the end of my document by hitting pgdn repeatedly is pretty quick right now, but I’m not looking forward to navigating my document when it (hopefully) becomes something a little more substantial.

  49. I may have posted before, but I wanted to show my gratitude again.

    Awesome software, just wrote a small piece on it. It really, really does let me just write.

  50. Really, really great. Installed it and whipped out 400 words without realizing it. As a typewriter enthusiast, I am responding well to the simplicity of words/no words on the screen. Keeps you focused and it’s super easy on the eyes. Thank you!

    1. Make it 1400 by the time I had to quit. Awesome! Don’t add spell check, by the way; I think it’s part of the reason it works so well. Even just knowing it’s there as an option would be bad. Auto-correct especially destroys your flow. Thanks again!

  51. This is the best simple writing program since XyWrite. I would, however, like to know how to move up the text so that I am not for ever having to type at the very bottom of the screen.

  52. I must say i’m fascinated by the program and i like it very much, keep the good work 🙂 i have only one suggestion, to enable scroll via mouse, it would help navigating very much

  53. Wonderful program!

    Small suggestion: could you make it possible to disable the save window upon exiting?

    Since Dark Room can load buffer text it doesn’t need to ask if you wish to save upon exiting: a user can be typing up a document, press “alt+F4” to close the program, and then later resume his document without ever needing to save. So it’s fine if you want the save reminder, but I’d like to be able to turn it off, as I think this would make the writing-on-the-go process run smoother.

  54. What would everyone think about making an email application based on this interface?

    I’ve uploaded a few images of how I could imagine the thing looking:


    Read Message:

    Send Message:

    So would this work?

    I’m not saying that an email function should be added to Dark Room (though I guess that would be a possibility), but rather I’m wondering if people who like using Dark Room for typing would like a similar program for sending emails.

    1. You could probably do this without too much hassle. The actual email management would be the most difficult part, making the interface wouldn’t be too difficult. You might want to consider making something like this as a thunderbird plugin.

    2. Looks great! I would definitely use a Dark Room-esque email program if such a thing existed. I agree with Jeff, a Thunderbird plugin would be an excellent alternative, and easier to orchestrate (I assume).

  55. This is easily the single greatest thing I’ve found in ages. It’s also going to be the biggest reason I’ll actually start churning out my writing again.

    I cannot thank you enough.

  56. Is there any sort of feature that focuses only on the sentence you’re writing, or maybe the possibility of it in an upcoming update? A couple of the mac-only products have that feature, but I’ve yet to find a windows compatible version.

  57. I have been using this program for a while now, works wonderfully, when I check for updates, it says their is one and it takes me here. But its the same version you have here ????

  58. I’m a Vietnamese, and started using this tool from few days ago, but there’s a problem when using DarkRoom is font error. When editting on DR’s screen, its show me the correct characters (Vietnamese), but after save it in a txt file and re-open one again, then font is crash (some letters change to “?”, althrough i tried to change coding of txt file to utf-8). Anybody can help me.
    //sorry about grammar mistakes what i have done in this comment, because i’m English is not my forte 😀 //

  59. Hey,

    Love the program and the idea, very well executed. Quick question, possibly an expansion? Would there be any way to have this run as a wallpaper? I’d love to have something separate from all of my running applications and clutter when I have random to-dos pop into my head, and I haven’t been able to find anything out there that feasibly does it.

  60. As an article writer I really found this the most appropriate one for my writing. And really without any sort of destruction.

    Thanks boss.

  61. Whether intentional or not (I’d guess not), I like that the program opens with restored text from the previous session. Only thing I’m not so sure about is that when I copy text from Darkroom to MS Word, all one-space paragraphs become double-spaced. A great tool.

  62. i need to know how to take it off my dad pressed somthing on his keyboard and now he cant get it off i really need to know what buttons you use to get it off? please tell meh.

  63. I like! I was disappointed when I had to switch from a borrowed iMac to a PC to do my writing. My only problem:

    Smart quotes.

    I write fiction, and there’s usually a lot of dialogue. Is there a simple way to format smart-quotes with the “replace” function in OpenOffice? Or something I’m not thinking of?

  64. Ummm…

    No wait, first, I love it. It’s awesome. I’m so easily dis


    -distracted. So thank you. But…

    ummm… what are those little green squiggly thingies on the right margin? I click ’em but they don’t do anything but highlight and then unhighlight my text. I feel like they’re kind of doing something somewhere, but I can’t figure out what. I’ll bet somewhere in Norway some dude’s garage door keeps opening and closing, opening and closing, opening and closing…

    Little help?

    1. @Mr. IShouldBeWriting

      I was wondering the same thing. They are navigation features. You can disable them under the preferences setting.

  65. Very good job! I’ll tell my friends too.

    Is totally different from MsOffice, this lets you clearthinking, you have totally achieved your no distractions target.

    If I were rich i’d give you a lot of €, but i’m not. Maybe in the future.

    Thanks again! You’ll receive support from the community.

  66. This is a most excellent tool! Just suggested it to my sister who is a writer. I absolutely love the green as well, favorite color(: I just typed out like 3 pages of stuff and can focus so much better now, thanks so much!!!!

  67. This program is perfect. Don’t change anything.

    I note that everyone has been commenting about features they want… But the purpose of this app is to be simple, not have all these extra features available in other word processors.

    Very clean, very elegant. Thanks for this.

  68. Very cool. Love how you can change the font color and text styles. I’m so glad I don’t have to stare at a stark white background anymore!! Thanks!!

  69. Awesome program!!

    Kids!! House!! Problems!! everything is gone when i open the dark room.

    just wanted to leave a thumbs up to you!

    (guy on top) funny i was thinking the samething. im not rich maybe later… xDD

  70. I love this program, just one (big) problem: the copy/paste only works sometimes–I get a really annoying error message “An error occurred while cutting/pasting/copying text”…any suggestions? It seems that nobody else on the message board is having this problem

  71. Hi,
    Just a quick thank you for a very cool “retro” look piece of kit! It’s particularly good on a sunny day to see what you are typing, if the sun shines on the screen. Doesn’t happen that often in Scotland but I thought I’d leave the tip for those in warmer parts of the world! 🙂



  72. Hi,
    Maybe just a hint…
    It would be great if there were some shortcuts like Alt + something to get to Greek letters and maybe a shortcut for indexing and footnotes.
    Everything else is great!
    Btw. I love opacity option…


  73. Also, Ctrl + B, Ctrl + U and Ctrl + I would be nice. Those are basics when writing something.
    I don’t want to tell you what to do, just to suggest things that would make your program much better. 🙂

  74. I just downloaded. I shall try it next day on Window 7 to find out how it works and will make further comments.

  75. I write for a living now. Loaded this on to a Windows 7, 64 bit machine. Works great.

    Love the graphics options and the simple interface.

    This program goes into my writing toolbox.

  76. LOL… everyone making suggestions in the program, features that they like. Even more hilarious is them suggesting features like it is something they thought of and you didn’t.

    If you did all that, the program would lose its character and become another bloated word processing program unless, of course, you put in only that person’s request.

    By the way, can you include presentation features, web page formatting, and the ability to save in Word, WordPerfect, or Rich Text formats (and being able to save in CPM format, from the KayPro machines of 1983, that would be cool too).

    1. Actually, cloud storage is a breeze if you’re using Google Drive (which replaced / is the new name for Google Docs).

      In Windows, the installation of Google Drive creates a Google Drive folder. Every file you create in or place in the Google Drive folder is automatically backed up to Google Drive in the cloud. Any file you place in that folder is (more or less) instantly available from anywhere so long as you are logged into Google.

      Once you’ve installed Google Drive, all you need to do is open Dark Room and then save your file to your Google Drive folder. Your work will be saved locally (in the Google Drive folder) and to the cloud automatically.

      Once you’ve done this, when you save a new file from Dark Room, it should default to your Google Drive folder, so all your future work will be backed up to the cloud.

      Pretty smooth!

  77. Man, this is great! I just wish I could keep the bottom line of text to the middle of the screen instead of the bottom of the screen. That, and I wish the cursor color was the same as the text. Then it would be perfect!

    1. Keeping the text in the middle of the screen would be a neat feature (the fullscreen mode in Scrivener offers it and it’s easy to get used to), but given the bare bones nature of Dark Room and the fact that it hasn’t been updated in a few years, I suspect you’ll just have to work around it.

      Cursor same color as the text — that’s easy — so long as you don’t mind the text being plain white.

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  79. Thank you so much for this! I became addicted to WriteRoom on my Mac at home, but using Windows machines in the office, I really wanted to be able to duplicate the experience 🙂

  80. Great app. What do the four buttons on the right hand side of the screen do? The top one appears to hide the cursor, but the other 3 don’t appear to do anything.


  81. This is an absolute beast. It’s amazing how something so simple can make such a difference, but when I’m in my room with the light off and Dark Room on I have no choice but to write…and that’s exactly what I do. Well done!

  82. Thanks a lot for this amazing piece of software. Years after its last version it still has one unique feature that is missing on Write Monkey : the dual screen handling and that’s why i like it so much. Thanks again !

  83. Any chance at all for getting a spellchecker ,,,,i turn out ten thousand words on a good day.

    I write very fast at times and my speech,,,,,gets ahead of my fingers,,or something like that..
    sometimes i find i have typed just the first letters of a word or two words together/
    so I must edit,,,,which isn’t too awfully bad because I can touch up phrases or move them around…..all in all..I like the Dickens out of it.,,I will of course look into copying it into a spell checker program.
    a joe in Texas

  84. Also a zoom option would also be nice, something like ctrl+”+” or alt+”+” / ctrl+”-” or alt+”-“

  85. Hey, just thought I would drop a line and say just how excellent this is. Now that I actually have time to sit and write, it’s proving to be very productive doing it in Dark Room.

    Something I would like to request though is the ability to keep the cursor roughly in the middle of the screen instead of it running down to the bottom of the screen while I’m writing. I tend to find that scrolling my text manually in order to reposition it so that it’s comfortable to work is quite distracting, and an auto-text-scroll checkbox would be quite handy. Plus, it’s something that I think that some of the full-featured word processors also lack.

  86. Love this program, reminds me of Word Star back in my young young days.

    Just one question, when I fire up the program, there are 4 little icons on the right of the screen, and no matter what I do none of them seems to do anything.

    What are those?

    1. The outside arrows take you either to the top or the bottom of the page. The inside arrows scroll. They won’t do anything if you don’t have enough typed.

      Hope this helped!

      1. oh okay great! thanks for the reply. I actually searched on google some and didn’t find it, apparently just didn’t pick right terms. Thanks again… appreciate it!

  87. Hi there,

    This is a brilliant tool that I’ve been using for so long. Simply love it. I would love to have help you further develop this tool if needed. Keep up the good work.


  88. I’m planning on attempting NaNoWriMo for the first time next month and someone pointed me here. Being a minimalist in some respects, I adore this tool. So much love. So much.


    How about making a cellphone that is as clutter-free as this??

  89. I love this editor. I brings me back to the days before windows – when I was using a very nice UNIX editor called “VI” visual editor. It looked very much like this.

  90. Perfect program. No distractions, no special features (e.g. spell check, bold, italics, etc.). Just basic. At the end of every writing session before I close DarkRoom, I copy and paste into MS Word and notice that I’ve written well over a thousand words. This is the perfect program for a writer. Don’t change a thing!

  91. A great tool, no procrastination now!
    However silly me being an inexperienced downloader and computer “dummy”, I acquired Dark Room from C-net. As a result my search engine and tool bar was taken over by ” funmoods”. I googled how to remove funmoods, I think it is gone… hope so! Living in fear or funmoods now…

  92. Hey, I’ve been using this with Windows 10 for a while but recently it’s stopped working? I was wondering if there was a fix for this but I don’t expect one as it doesn’t appear that this has been worked on for a while~

  93. I don’t know how to get this to you, but unhandled exception if you try to use an OTF font.
    See the end of this message for details on invoking
    just-in-time (JIT) debugging instead of this dialog box.

    ************** Exception Text **************
    System.ArgumentException: Only TrueType fonts are supported. This is not a TrueType font.
    at System.Drawing.Font.FromLogFont(Object lf, IntPtr hdc)
    at System.Windows.Forms.FontDialog.UpdateFont(LOGFONT lf)
    at System.Windows.Forms.FontDialog.RunDialog(IntPtr hWndOwner)
    at System.Windows.Forms.CommonDialog.ShowDialog(IWin32Window owner)
    at DarkRoom.frmPreferences.btnFont_Click(Object sender, EventArgs e)
    at System.Windows.Forms.Control.OnClick(EventArgs e)
    at System.Windows.Forms.Button.OnMouseUp(MouseEventArgs mevent)
    at System.Windows.Forms.Control.WmMouseUp(Message& m, MouseButtons button, Int32 clicks)
    at System.Windows.Forms.Control.WndProc(Message& m)
    at System.Windows.Forms.ButtonBase.WndProc(Message& m)
    at System.Windows.Forms.Button.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: 2.0.50727.8689 (QFE.050727-8600)
    CodeBase: file:///C:/Windows/Microsoft.NET/Framework64/v2.0.50727/mscorlib.dll
    Assembly Version:
    Win32 Version:
    CodeBase: file:///C:/Users/sulu/Documents/dark_room_0.8b/Dark%20Room%200.8b/DarkRoom.exe
    Assembly Version:
    Win32 Version: 2.0.50727.8670 (QFE.050727-8600)
    CodeBase: file:///C:/Windows/assembly/GAC_MSIL/System.Windows.Forms/
    Assembly Version:
    Win32 Version: 2.0.50727.8690 (QFE.050727-8600)
    CodeBase: file:///C:/Windows/assembly/GAC_MSIL/System/
    Assembly Version:
    Win32 Version: 2.0.50727.8681 (QFE.050727-8600)
    CodeBase: file:///C:/Windows/assembly/GAC_MSIL/System.Drawing/
    Assembly Version:
    Win32 Version: 2.0.50727.8670 (QFE.050727-8600)
    CodeBase: file:///C:/Windows/assembly/GAC_MSIL/System.Configuration/
    Assembly Version:
    Win32 Version: 2.0.50727.8679 (QFE.050727-8600)
    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.

  94. Thoughtful blog post – Speaking of which if you are looking for a GA T-7 , my boss came across a blank document here https://goo.gl/96qoZK

  95. I need the ANSI characters to work in Dark Room But I can’t quite understand how to go to the menu where you get to choose ANSI.
    Thanks in advance.

  96. This is wonderfully brilliant. No sooner than I loaded it, I rattled off the first verse of a poem. Haven’t written something that good since MSDos 3.3. Very inspirational.

  97. i’m sorry if i look like a stupid guy but, where can i download it? i just can’t find the link. i must buy it or what

  98. Possibly stupid question… if I write in Darkroom, can I copy and paste into Word at the end easily without losing formatting? My agent likes me to submit in Word so wanted to check.

  99. 2017, and this program is still the best thing I’ve got on my computer for work, blogging, and my freelance “career.”

  100. The Download Link Font Color and background color have both become black making the link invisible. Had to hunt for it and then select to make it visible. 🙂 You may want to make the link white.

  101. Amazing software! Simple, yet brilliant. Great for distraction free writing. Could you please add line spacing for the new paragraphs? This would mean the world to me. Otherwise content starts to look a bit cluttered. Thanks!

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  104. So I’m probably going to sound like an idiot here but how in the world do you download this? It looks amazing and I really want it but I have no idea how to get it. Then again I inherited my dad’s tendency to miss things that are right in front of me. Some help would be very much appreciated.

  105. Now, having just come across this it reminds me of my first dos wordprocessors, they let you get on with the job of creation and not having constantly being interupted to push or set things!
    Now,if only you could do a linux version!

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  109. I have thoroughly enjoyed using Darkroom for all aspects of my writing. The lack of distractions mean that the words go down on the page as fast as they can, without the big drive for editing. Thank you!

  110. I love dark room. It helps me a lot in my writing. But recently my after an update from Window 10, i am not able to use dark room anymore. Does anyone having the same problem as me? It said ‘Unhandled exception has occurred in your application.’ and ‘Configuration system failed to initialized’. Do tell me how to fix this if you know.

  111. The software is a nice and must have app for serious writers. It seems to be lacking in certain things. It doesn’t support Unicode and so non-english users are disappointed and helpless to leave it untouched. It is a great dispair for them… Me included! ,😞😖

  112. .netfx 2.0 deprecated long ago and won’t install properly, even on win7. This app crashes. Please fix it for .netfx 4.x compatibility, which is default on current windows 10.

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  117. I downloaded the app and saved the folder into Program Files. Then I wrote bunch of text and got the undefined error when tried to save the file. Now my text is gone. I use Windows 10.

    Maybe it was because of the app doesn’t installing and did not have rights to change the information in Program Files… It’s just an assumption.

    Maybe the next version of the app could get an autosave function? Could help in situations like mine.

    Thanks a lot, by the way, the app is great and feeling incredibly powerful tool for concentration.

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  120. I downloaded the app and saved the folder into Program Files. Then I wrote bunch of text and got the undefined error when tried to save the file. Now my text is gone. I use Windows 10.

    Maybe it was because of the app doesn’t installing and did not have rights to change the information in Program Files… It’s just an assumption.

    Maybe the next version of the app could get an autosave function? Could help in situations like mine.

    Thanks a lot, by the way, the app is great and feeling incredibly powerful tool for concentration.

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  123. The Dark Room is a place where writers take center stage and their work has a chance to grow. The Dark Room is an ongoing event held on the second Tuesday of each month. The Dark Room affords emerging and veteran playwrights the space and resources to develop new works. It offers a venue to workshop plays, novels, poems, or any other written work in a supportive, yet critical environment.

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  126. Hello,
    I write in Chinese in Dark Room. After saving and closing the app, I reopened it and find out the whole document is ?????? symbols. I tried opening it in other softwares but its the same result.
    How can I fix it? Please help…!!


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  128. Not sure if this is a bug or intended behavior or what, but every time I close a document it tells me changes have been made and asks me if I want to save, even if no changes have been made at all. Just opening a file, looking at it, and closing causes this. Not limited to a specific file or files in a specific folder (probably not a windows permissions issue, since it happens even to files on an external hard drive and thumb drives). Can’t figure out why it thinks something has changed when it hasn’t.

    I’ve made dark room the default program for text files to keep my eyes from getting fried by surprise and this is a minor annoyance in an otherwise amazing program, particularly when I’m just opening a readme for twenty seconds to figure out how a mod works or w/e.

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