When writer started it ran on one device (iPad 1) and was used by a few thousand writers. With over a million people from various fields working with our app on a wide range of devices, we cannot make one-fits-all decisions anymore. We now offer a wide range of options to fit the various use cases, professional and personal needs. We are giving our best to limit the options to the absolutely necessary. What is and isn’t necessary is based on user feedback. There are some options in our settings that might puzzle you. Rest assured that each and every switch in there is useful to a rather large group of people regularily using our app.

iA Writer for Mac groups preferences into four tabs:

01. General

  • Colors – Choose between Day and Night themes for iA Writer
  • Gestures – Toggle this to disable swipe gestures used to bring in the Library and Preview panes
  • Toolbar – Set the visibility of the Toolbar
  • Medium – Add your account to iA Writer
  • WordPress – Add your WordPress account to iA Writer

02. Files

  • Preferred action – Determines the behavior of ⌘N; either create files currently shown folder of the Library or prompt for a save location upon ⌘S
  • Default extension – New files will be saved with the extension provided here
  • Markdown
    • Single return starts a new paragraph – Allows for “lazy paragraphs” by only requiring one return to create a new paragraph—instead of the usual two needed for Markdown documents
    • Smart punctuation – Turn on to prettify punctuation in the Preview (e.g., Convert straight quotes in the editor to curly quotes in Preview)
    • Process metadata – Hides MultiMarkdown metadata from the Preview

03. Library

  • Sort by – Choose to sort documents in the library by modification date, name, or kind
  • View options – Toggle these options to keep folders at the top of the library list or to show filename extensions and text excerpts in the library
  • Locations – Click the +/- buttons to add or remove folders to act as locations in the library

04. Editor

  • Text size – Choose between small, medium, and large sized text
  • Focus mode
    • Sentence/Paragraph – Determines how much text is held in focus at a time
    • Allow access to Library and Preview – By default the other panes are locked out while in Focus mode to keep your concentration honed
  • Spelling and grammar – Decide how iA Writer checks your spelling and grammar, if at all
  • Smart substitutions
    • Copy/Paste – Automatically removes word-bordering whitespace
    • Quotes – Replaces straight quotes with curly quotes
    • Dashes – Two hyphens in a row are converted to an emdash
    • Text Replacement – Toggles replacements from System PreferencesText
  • Indent text using – Choose whether the tab key inserts four spaces or a tab character
  • Limit line length to – Choose the maximum line length iA Writer will display

05. Templates

  • Default templates
    • Center Headings – Toggle to center or left-justify headings (H1, H2, etc.)
    • Indent Paragraphs – Indicate new paragraphs with indentation instead of vertical space
  • Preview
    • Invert Colors – Preview uses Night Mode when the Editor is in Day Mode and vice-versa
  • Print – Choose whether to include a Title page, headers and footers in your printed documents and exported PDFs
  • Author – Custom templates can make use of this name: e.g., on a title page
  • Custom templates – Add or remove custom templates here using the +/- buttons or dragging them into the field

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