February 16, 2009

Software for Writers Review: Q10 – Updated


  • The QuickText function is now working for me. I don’t know what I was doing wrong before.
  • Only timed writing has an audio cue. Wordcount-targeted writing has only visual cues.
  • I haven’t tried the spellchecker again. That’s a feature I’m too cocky to use very often, anyway.



Q10, a free, full-screen text editor, is similar in concept to TextRoom, which I previously reviewed. TextRoom, I found, has its share of problems. Q10 has a few shortcomings, but it easily wins any comparison with TextRoom.

Q10 is available at I installed the PortableApp version on a thumb drive, and that’s the version I’m using to write this review.


  • The status bar (at the bottom of the screen) shows a running wordcount total.
  • Q10 includes modes for targeted writing, either by wordcount or by time limit.
  • Q10 saves files in a plain text format, so they can be opened by any text editor.
  • The background color, foreground color and fonts for both the work area and the status bar are configureable. (I’ve set mine to a blue background with white text, for nostalgia’s sake.)
  • You can set the character encoding to UTF-8 or ANSI, and you can set the line-endings to match your platform: Windows, UNIX or Mac.
  • Paragraphs beginning with two dots (..) are considered notes, and do not figure in the word count.
  • Q10 includes a QuickText feature for commonly-used words and phrases (but see below).
  • Q10 includes a spellchecker (but see below).
  • Autocorrection is included and customizable.
  • Q10 has a small footprint.
  • It’s free!


  • Although it’s free, it’s not Open Source.
  • Q10 is available only for Windows.
  • The documentation consists of one pop-up window listing keyboard shortcuts.
  • If you want audio cues when you reach your writing target, you have to put up with a typewriter sound effect. It would be nice if that sound effect could be disabled separately.
  • I haven’t been able to get the QuickText feature to work.
  • Running the spellchecker crashed the application (but only when I asked it to “change all”).


Q10 has pretty much everything I was hoping for in this type of text editor. Its defects, for me, are in the nature of annoyances. If it lacks many features of such applications as NoteTab or Notepad++, that’s by design. What it’s meant to do, it does well, a bit of bugginess aside. I expect to use Q10 quite a lot.



  1. […] For a more comprehensive review of Q10, visit The Writers Manifesto, and for its pros and cons list, pay a visit to Litlets. […]

    Pingback by How to Increase Your Writing Productivity | CyberFootprint — March 27, 2009 @ 1:53 am | Reply

  2. […] Q10, another distraction free editor (Hat tip: Litlets) […]

    Pingback by Recommended links 17 April 2009 — Bad Language — April 17, 2009 @ 1:21 am | Reply

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