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Recent Readings

Book review: Darwinia
Reviewed: Friday, August 11, 2006

Summer reading: Spin
Reviewed: Saturday, August 5, 2006

Reviewed: Tuesday, July 18, 2006

the Omnivoire's Delimma
Reviewed: Wednesday, July 12, 2006

the Golem's Eye
Reviewed: Wednesday, May 31, 2006


Quick Review: Avenir
Tuesday, October 4, 2005

Avenir is a writer's tool for those who want to write without futzing with the formatting, worrying about Word, or tangling with a too basic text editor. Its claim to fame is the addition of top level structure (e.g., you can structure a single document into multiple chapters) and excellent support of notes and annotations. All too often when I write, I find I need to keep a second document open to record notes, jottings, random ideas and to-dos. Avenir solves this problem both by giving you a place to record notes about each part of your document (and each character in your novel) and by supporting annotations on any part of your writing.


  • Full screen writing mode -- no distractions
  • Annotations, and extra places for notes
  • Document structuring


  • The UI is a big "clunky": I lost some work because I couldn't figure out to get out of full screen mode. When you click add, you still have to click again (or hit enter) before you can type, and the full screen mode is too wide. I shouldn't have to turn my head so much while typing.
  • You can't make annotations of annotations, not can the same piece of text have multiple annotations
  • The outlining is weak. It seems there is only a single level.

That said, Avenir looks like a step in the right direction and is probably a much better tool for general writing than Word. It's a good deal for $20.


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Copyright -- Gary Warren King, 2004 - 2006