Text editors are used by programmers but have found a place in many writer’s toolboxes. A good text editor allows writers to concentrate on their words and adds other features that help them create and publish their work more efficiently.

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Here are some packages for Atom that help writers that use this program.

Dealing with words

The Atom wordcount package displays the number of words and characters in an open document in the editor window’s bottom left.

Atom counter, a fork of wordcount, goes a little deeper. It also counts the number of words, keeps a tally of the number of characters and lines in a document.

Project Spell Check will find misspelled words, offers suggestions for corrections when you right-click on the word. It lets you add unknown words to a dictionary.

Red Wavy Underline will highlight misspelled words as you type, alongside Project Spell Check. This package will add a red line under misspelled words or words that it doesn’t recognize.

Note Taking

nvAtom will let you store and retrieve plain text or Markdown-formatted notes. You launch nvAtom with a hotkey and enter your note. nvAtom automatically saves your notes. To retrieve your notes, hit the hotkey again to view a dropdown list of your notes. The selected note opens in a new tab in the editor.

Awiki lets you create a simple desktop wiki with Atom. You can only create a single wiki with this package, but you can have numerous pages and subpages. This is a powerful tool for collecting and linking information and notes.

Markdown Extension

Technical writers, bloggers, and journalists are using Markdown to format their work.

Markdown-Writer allows Atom to act like a dedicated Markdown editor. You apply formatting using keyboard shortcuts. It can add a properly formatted table, fix the numbering in lists, and has a popup Markdown cheat sheet. If you use static site generators like Jekyll or Octopress, Markdown-Writer will allow you to create posts with the required front matter. It also can handle your site’s tags and categories.