WordGrinder: B&W word processing


Serious authors do not like the word-processing system coming in the way of writing. For example, auto-corrections and suggestions should not block the flow. Call him old school but Sci-Fi writer Robert J. Sawyer prefers WordStar for these very reasons. may like him do. For Linux users, WordGrinder fits the bill.

WordGrinder merely adds style to your text and gets out of the way. It is a terminal based tool written in Lua with very minimal dependencies. If you are a serious writer, you probably would fall in love with WordGrinder.


  • Ultra-clean, uncluttered display.
  • Distraction-free fullscreen mode.
  • Looks good even on a terminal.
  • Runs in a Unix terminal, or in X11, or on Windows, or on OSX
  • Single- and double-width Unicode character support (no right-to-left or combining characters supported yet).
  • Intuitive, friendly menu system and fast-access keyboard shortcuts. The keyboard shortcuts are all configurable from within WordGrinder.
  • Configuration settings get saved automatically in the document.
  • Reasonable character and paragraph style support.
  • Basic spellchecker support.
  • Undo and redo.
  • Smart quotes.
  • Traditional navigation and selection controls.
  • Multiple documents in a single file.
  • OpenDocument import and export.
  • HTML import and export.
  • LaTeX, Troff and MarkDown export.
  • Small and efficient codebase. (20000 lines of code!)

WordGrider needs a UTF-8 aware terminal like gnome-terminal, konsole, xterm and rxvt-unicode. Goes without saying that you’ld need Unicode fonts too (The Droid font family for example).

The menu toggles with Esc. As you might expect, style options like bold, italics, underline, paragraph styles, headings, lists etc. are available.

WordGrinder recognizes the type of document by file extension.


To install WordGrinder on Ubuntu, run:

$ sudo apt-get install wordgrinder


WordGrinder has few cmdline options. Start with the man page or help:

$ man wordgrinder
$ wordgrinder --help

You can start editing an existing file using:

$ wordgrinder myfile.wg

or simply start WordGrinder without any arguments to create a new document.


Features: 3.5/5
Usability: 4.5/5

Webpage: WordGrinder

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