For a while I’ve been following the updates on a new plugin for Wordpress - Artsy Editor which gives you a completely clean page in which to write your post with easy access to the formatting options through a popup which appears intelligently when you select text, as seen in the image above. You can also drag an image into the editor to upload and insert it where you are typing. All in all it works really smoothly.
In the new release of Wordpress 3.2 there is also a similar full browser editing feature included called distraction-free mode. It works pretty well and but it doesn’t have drag and drop uploading and it’s formatting bar feels more cluttered. While you are writing both options provide you with a completely clear page in your browser when you move your mouse with the distraction-free editor you get a full toolbar appear, where as in Artsy Editor, the interface stays very minimal until you select the text or click on one of the controls. The Wordpress distraction-free view pulls in the editor css specified by your theme for the editing section in the page, where as Artsy Editor allows you to choose a background and font from a list of choices - which works well as the whole page takes on the background colour not just the editing section as the wordpress view does. The other major advantage in Artsy Editor for me is in the ease of publishing (I’m very prone to leave drafts sitting around for months) - when you move the mouse from editing, the one button it shows is to Publish (you can hover over it to save draft, preview, view HTML or send to trash).
The distraction-free editor isn’t that far behind and I can see it improving in the coming releases, but for me I prefer the streamlined interface of Artsy Editor, particularly it’s drag and drop image handling. Try out the uncluttered interface of Artsy Editor for yourself at the website!