I have to write documents frequently in both my professional and personal life. One thing I share in common with the rest of the Buzzword staff (and Adobe, for that matter) is a true love for crafting a really good document. What can I say, I’m a bit of a word processing nerd. When I have something really interesting to write, I look forward to the process. I really look forward to writing in Buzzword because it is so easy to produce a fabulous document. Today I want to talk about a little trick that lets you totally forget about the outside world and focus on the subject at hand – your writing.
The trick I am referring to is the full screen mode available in many Microsoft applications that run on Windows/XP/Vista. Unfortunately, I am not aware of a similar mode on the Macintosh. So I apologize for that – most of my tips will be operating system independent.
For example, if you are using Internet Explorer to surf the web, your screen probably looks something like this:
At the top of the browser there is an address bar for the web page URL, menus, tabs and so forth. They take up space and are only relevant when you are actively surfing the web or using other features of the browser. Likewise, there is an extra status bar on the bottom of the screen.
To enter full screen mode, you either press the F11 key (F-lock also has to be on) or use View -> Full Screen. After you do this, pane of the web browser with the actual site content in it will expand to fill the screen. The menus on the top disappear and the status bar on the bottom does as well.
Microsoft Word works the same way. It removes all the framing from the actual editor and leaves you with a large palette to write on. In either case, you can get the menus and framing to re-appear, often by just moving the mouse up to the top of the screen. But that’s not the point. In Microsoft Word, you need all those menus to get things done and the value of the full screen mode is dubious as you will be frequently forcing them to appear.
Buzzword is different. Buzzword has a new style of menu system (called a pleat) that expands and changes context horizontally. As a result, when you put Buzzword into full screen mode, this is what you see:
What a beautiful sight. There is finally an application that uses full screen mode effectively. With Buzzword, you get more editing space and only Buzzword (and Acrobat.com) functions visible. And that lets you focus on the most important thing – your writing.