Hemingway’s whiskey and vermouth, Nabokov’s index cards, Austen’s ink recipe; these are the forefathers to setting up cloud syncing, organizing app sheets and notebooks, tweaking font sizes and styles. They can help precipitate creativity or weave disparate writing sessions together for a fleshed-out piece of work, but they don’t actually result in words on a page. Paragraphs eschews the hallmarks of the modern Mac text editor – formatting, organizing, syncing, fidgeting – and leaves you confronted only by yourself and the words you’ve not yet written.
Simply launching the app puts you a click away from typing. After choosing your document, you can title your document, choose a light or dark theme, pick one of 4 fonts… and you’ve already run out of things to do, so you better start writing. It feels like a pocket-sized experience, complete with callbacks to what’s usually in your pocket. Highlight a sentence and you get a tasteful iOS-like popover centered above the selected text, used for performing the most basic formatting: bold, italics, underline, linking, strikethrough, and expected Markdown formatting (headings, quotations, typewriter text). A subtle word/character/read time counter adorns the bottom right corner of your document; the top left corner takes you back to the document chooser. You can export your text in one of three formats.
The above paragraph encapsulates the entirety of Paragraphs’ feature set. Do you wish there was more? If so, you might be missing the point. There’s room for improvement, as is the case in any 1.0 release – shift-clicking should highlight text; the full-screen margins feel too large on a large monitor; the crudely rendered zoom animation into and out of a document slightly disappoints – but the developer has delivered a polished product whose modest but firm ideology seeps into every aspect of the app. You won’t *want* to replace your favorite writing app with Paragraphs, but you may just have to when you need words on a page.