In a floating text edit window I see that I can hide the toolbar, but there remains another bar underneath this with bits of info and various functions, which I find distracting. Is it possible to close that little toolbar and have a clean editing window?
Try the Full Screen view. Press Command-F7 to toggle it on/off (on a MacBook/MacBook Pro, fn-Command-F7).
Although the default in Full Screen is green text on a black background, you can choose the font, size and font and background colors in Preferences > Editing.
I should have mentioned that I wasn’t looking for full screen view. I prefer floating smaller clean windows. You can do it in Word 2008 and most text editors. Aesthetically I find the edit window even with toolbars shut off to be cluttered.