Chrome Full Screen and WordPress Distraction Free Writing

One of the primary reasons I rarely blog or write is distraction. Whether it’s new articles from Google Reader, a mild addiction to Reddit, or real work, it can be difficult to stay focused and produce a blog entry. If you’re a WordPress user and serious about eliminating distractions, here is a tip: combine WordPress’ Distraction Free Writing Mode and Google Chrome’s full screen browsing for the ultimate in minimalist blogging.

Screenshot of WordPress and Google Chrome
Screenshot of WordPress and Google Chrome in action

Introducing WordPress’ Distraction Free Writing Mode

WordPress has upgraded the full-screen view for distraction-free writing sessions. The new full-screen mode hides the visual editor across the top and limits text to a post-size box in the center. Older versions of WordPress had text going all the way across the screen making it hard to judge and format text and more difficult to proofread.

As a writer, Distraction Free Writing Mode allows you to focus on what’s important: the content.

To activate Distraction Free in WordPress, click the screen-shaped icon in the top row of the toolbar; it has arrows pointing towards each corner.

Distraction Free Mode
Distraction Free Mode is located in the toolbar while writing a post.

In this mode, the editor’s toolbar is hidden by default; however, you can hover your mouse over the top part of the window to make it visible. The toolbar is limited to the essentials and a save button. The good news is, you still have access to HTML or Visual modes and, most importantly, keyboard shortcuts.

WordPress toolbar
Placing your mouse near the top of the window shows the toolbar.

After a few seconds, the toolbar automatically fades away.

Are you distracted yet?

Distraction Free Mode only remedies half the distractions. If you’re like me, you have multiple tabs and apps open at once. Those tabs often refresh and can update the tab with new or blinking notifications. It’s hard to stay focused with all that going on.

Enter Google Chrome

If you’re not using Google Chrome, you’re missing a fast, stable, browsing experience. If you’re using a Mac, you’re also missing Full Screen browsing. Full Screen mode hides all distractions from view and puts the focus on what’s important: content consumption or production.

When combined with Distraction Free Writing mode, Google’s full screen mode creates a minimalist environment perfect for blogging without distraction. This is the ultimate in peaceful writing. With Chrome’s and WordPress’ interface out of the way, the only thing you have to focus on is writing.

To activate or deactivate full-screen browsing in Chrome use the following:

  • Mac: Command+Shift+F
  • Windows: Control+Shift+F

Don’t panic when you first launch full screen. Your tabs, address bar, and other  distractions will be hidden. To make them appear, move your mouse to the top of the window and voilĂ !

Aside from writing, full screen mode could be used for reading, email management, slide shows, or just about anything you may want to view in your browser without external distraction. Most importantly, full screen mode works on any site.

Do you have other hacks or tips for preventing distractions? Please, share them below.