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The Editor is where you will spend most of your time with iA Writer.

Once you’ve selected your file in the Library or launched a blank doc, you can get right down to business. Here’s a look at the Editor.

Using the Editor

To start a new document in iA Writer, do one of the following:

Your document is automatically saved in the currently selected Library folder, once you have written the first line of text. It will base the file name on this first line, and you can choose to rename the file later via the right-click menu if you desire.

To open a document in iA Writer:

  1. Open the Library with ViewLibrary (or ControlE)
  2. Click on the desired file

You can also open and edit files which are outside the Library:

Note that iA Writer for Windows uses plain text files (such as .txt and .md), and does not open other formats such as RTF or PDF. Try copying and pasting the text from these documents into a new iA Writer document, or export the document to a plain text (.txt) format from the original program.

Editor Settings

While most users will launch Writer and begin typing right away, you may want to tweak some settings for the Editor.

You can access Editor settings by navigation to FilePreferencesEditor.

Font Choose one of iA’s custom fonts for use in the Editor
Text Size Set displayed font size. Note changing this does not affect output, which is controlled by the selected template
Line Length Maximum displayed line length
Spellcheck Enable/Select desired dictionary
Synchronize Scroll Keep the position of Editor and Preview panes in sync
Show Hidden Characters Display hidden characters (i.e. carriage returns, spaces, etc.) in the Editor

These settings can also be tweaked on the fly by accessing the View menu.

Here you can also toggle Writer’s appearance by enabling/disabling Night Mode.



Getting started with Markdown doesn’t have to be hard. We’ve created a handy guide to help: Markdown Guide

Additionally, Writer keeps formatting options close at hand. You can access formatting options by selecting the Format menu. In addition to the menu items, you’ll see relevant keyboard shortcuts listed. As you become more and more familiar with these, you probably won’t need the Format menu at all, but just in case, it’s there!


Writer, when typing, all the window dressing fades away and you are left with a simple white (or black) page on which to write. Writer also lets you train your focus on the current sentence or paragraph, dimming the surrounding text. This concentrates your attention on the individual words and ideas at the cursor’s edge.

To access Focus Mode, click the View menu and select Focus. From here you can choose either Sentence or Paragraph focus. You can also toggle Typewriter Scrolling, which keeps the cursor centered in the middle of the Editor.

Writer for Windows also includes iA’s signature Syntax Highlight and Style Check features. For more in depth coverage on these please be sure to check out the following resources:

Text Statistics

All versions of iA Writer include word and character counts. They also provide “Reading Time” which estimates how long it takes to read through your document. iA Writer for Windows also offers a “Word Goal” for the current file.

You can access stats by clicking the word count menu at the far right of the Editor menu bar. Here you can:

If your menu bar is hidden, simply hover your mouse near the top of the Editor to show it.

That’s it for the Editor. Beyond these simple settings, the blank canvas is yours to fill.

To get more out of Writer, be sure to check out our other articles, including this Preview primer: Preview