FORCEdraft is a text editor that locks you in until you are done

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 8, 2015

If you need an extra push sometimes to get work done as you get distracted easily, you may find programs and services useful that restrict what you can do on a device or computer until you complete work for the day.

That's the main idea behind the new text editor FORCEdraft as it prevents you from switching away from it to pursue other interests on the PC.

As is the case with these types of programs, there are ways around them but more about that later.

FORCEdraft does not need to be installed and can be run from any location once it has been downloaded. It does require the Microsoft .Net Framework 2.0 though.

You can use it to open an existing plain text document or create a new one. Once you have made that selection, you are asked to selected for how long you want the computer to be blocked by the application.

The two main options that you have are to lock the editor until a time in minutes has passed or until you have written a certain number of words.

Once you have made the decision the editor window appears and you can start to write. The editor itself is as plain as Notepad, the default Windows text editor. In fact, it is even more basic than that as you don't get any controls or menus.

All you can do is write and that's about it. The editor saves what you type automatically so that you don't have to worry about that.

While it will lock itself to the front so that you cannot switch easily to other programs, it won't prevent background applications from running. It is for instance possible to listen to music while writing.

About the protection: FORCEdraft locks many keys or shortcuts that you can use normally to exit applications or switch to others. The Windows-key, Alt-Tab or Ctrl-Shift-Esc are not working properly and while you will notice that the task manager opens up when you hit the last shortcut, it is not displayed long enough to use it for meaningful things.

As are as workarounds are concerned, it is still possible to hit Alt-F4 to terminate the text editor or use Ctrl-Alt-Del to log off and on again.

The text editor makes it difficult for you to switch to another application. Sometimes that is the only enforcement you need to concentrate on work and not check emails or social media posts every five minutes. If you need that extra push, this may be a great application for you as it delivers just that.

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  1. John Magee said on February 26, 2015 at 3:18 am

    Oh i really need this! I get so sidetracked! Being able to lock to a particular page and finish my work would be so helpful! Thank you!!

  2. PhoneyVIrus said on January 9, 2015 at 3:29 am

    Been using Darkroom follow by Jovial Notepad and pleased with both, be careful with the extension when associating it with windows because I had problems with windows notepad when opening the editor, it would automatically send a Print Request, I was stun and said ho it must have something to do with Jovial Notepad and it was easily fixed by not associate it with Windows.

    Thanks for the Tutorial Martin Happy New Year! (Works with Windows 7) (Supermario Sound scheme)

  3. BKV said on January 8, 2015 at 5:11 pm

    I’m quite okay with using Shift+F11 in SublimeText if I need a distraction free text editor.
    I wouldn’t want something to just lock me out of other applications, but I’m sure someone somewhere will have a use for this.
    Happy New Year Martin.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 8, 2015 at 5:18 pm

      Happy New Year to you too. I agree, it is not something that I would use but I can see it being useful to some writers.

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