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Version 3 - The Dark Theme


Changes in this release include:

  • A new dark theme has been added. Switch it on from the Settings dialog.
  • Daily word counts are now recorded and displayed in a new section.
  • New word count options added to the Actions & Tools menu.
  • The bookmark icon has been changed.
  • Various bug fixes.

You can download from here.

The previous couple of releases have been all about improving usability and fixing bugs. Today I’m moving on from that and adding two significant new features. The first is the dark theme — something that I have no interest in but that I know is a big deal for a lot of writers. The dark theme can be switched on from the Settings dialog, and removes all white backgrounds, allowing you to work and write on dark backgrounds with light coloured text.

This is the first theme I’ve added and depending on feedback I may add some more down the road. More on the dark theme here. If you’re going to be using this theme, read the contents of the above link and pay attention to what’s said about pasting from external documents.

The second big addition in version 3 is the daily word count totals. More on that here. I wasn’t planning to add this to Atomic, as there was so little interest in “TimeKeeper for Word”, a product with similar features I built a couple of years ago, but I wanted it myself, and I think it may be useful to a lot of writers.

If anyone’s interested in why I’ve jumped from version 2.3 to version 3 – a database change in Atomic Scribbler requires a major version jump, and the word count features required such a database change.


Awesome! So easy on the eyes. A writers dream. As soon as I clicked on “Dark Theme,” it pulled me into the document. Good job.


Looks real good and the word count feature is a great addition. Manual will be updated tomorrow.


Thanks Hans. There’s no rush, so take your time.


The dark theme as an improvement, and I also like how you’ve broken up the scene and note defaults.

What I don’t understand is why you don’t also allow the option for default background color and font color in the scene and note default menu. That way people can tweak it to precisely how they want it.

You can still keep themes for one click shopping, but allowing full tweaking doesn’t seem like it would be much more work to add. And certainly wouldn’t intrude in any way. That way, people like me who hate doing creative work on a white background but prefer a slightly different color scheme than your dark theme can be happy. (Like how you have the defaults set up in Page Four.)


Themes in Atomic Scribbler work very differently to the colour changes in PageFour. In PageFour, changes to the font and background in the word processor changed the actual font and colour in the underlying document. In Atomic, it’s all handled by the UI — no font changes are saved to the underlying documents.

Outside of the word processor, all colours across the application are in synch — two shades of dark grey, a black title bar and light grey text — the same text colour everywhere in the app (trees, menus, dialog, etc). Even the images and icons are shaded differently to match the theme. This would not be possible for custom selected colours for individual elements.

It was a choice between use of full themes or allowing the user to select certain individual colours for individual controls. The full themes are more all-encompassing and integrated, which is why I chose that direction.


I agree, the dark screen is great. I’m a writer with small cataracts and too much computer screen then double vision complicates hitting the correct keys. I’m a Scrivener user for novels and MS Word for short stories and Poetry.
A few years ago I purchased Smart Edit and liked it. When i spotted a free Page Four I grabbed it then found Atomic Scribbler. I started using it for short stories and poetry. With rev 3 I’m moving my novel writing to Scribbler too. With AS I spent less time learning how to use the program and more time writing. I will still keep the other platform as i typically work on more than one project at a time, but AS is the best tool.


Although it’s currently not my preferred color scheme for creative writing, I like it, and can see getting into it as my favorite sometime in the future. You did a good job.

I also really like what you did with the hot keys, especially having a hot key to bring up the document tree, which I can see using a lot. What I don’t understand is why you didn’t make the switches toggles: F6 shows the document tree, then F6 again closes the document tree. And ditto for the F7 and F8 keys. Or have a hot key to close the tree on the left, whatever it happens to be.

How it’s set up, you can be happily writing, then want to see the document tree, hit F6 and there it is. When you want to go back to writing again with it off, it looks like the only way is to go to Actions and Tools and click on “show left” to turn it off, which does act like a toggle switch. It would be much better to turn it off with a hot key like you turned it on, rather than having to click twice via the menus.

Unless I’m wrong about this and there is a way?

You’re doing a great job with the program! It keeps getting and better. I’m still using PageFour, because it serves my needs and I know it very well. But I can see moving over eventually.



That’s an interesting suggestion about the hot key toggle.

But, the left section that contains the Document tree also contains the Fragments and Research trees. Say you have the Research tree open. You then select F6 to open the Document tree. If you select F6 again, what would you expect to happen? The Document tree disappears and the Research tree re-appears, or the left section disappears entirely?

It would be clear cut if there were only a single tree occupying the space to the left. It’s not so clear cut if you’re navigating different trees during the same working session.


Hey Darren,

I’d expect the left section to disappear entirely in that case.

It might be easier to simply have a hot key for “show/not show left” and “show/not show right” how you have it set up under actions and tools. That would be super handy. Then you wouldn’t have to worry about the details of what should appear/reappear or not.


That’s probably the simplest solution. I’ll have a think on it.