While for a lot of people word processors like MS Word or Apple’s own Pages (check out a great tutorial about it here) are their preferred way of working with text on their Macs or PCs, these applications might be too much for tasks outside of creating highly detailed college papers or business reports. On the other hand, simple text editors provide a lot more flexibility for a variety of tasks, like coding, web page creation, text transformation and such.
On the Mac there are several popular text editors, but most of them are exorbitantly priced. That is why here we take a look at three of them that not only are great, but that also come completely free of charge. You’re not going to find the mighty TextWrangler on the list, though, because we’ve already covered it.
Let’s get going.
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Of all the text editors on this list, OmmWriter is the one that sports the most austere looks, as well as being one of the easiest to use. This text editor was created by a small group of developers that made it their goal to provide users with a calm, relaxing and unobtrusive writing experience, something that is quite obvious by simply looking at the app’s presentation.
Besides that, OmmWriter features a set amount of fonts, text sizes, background music and keyboard sounds, all selected to create an almost zen-like atmosphere. The app remains as simple as that. It doesn’t offer many export options, making it mandatory to copy and paste your text if you want it in another format. It might also not be ideal for coding, since its main focus is simple text entry.
Even so, OmmWriter delivers a nice and unique full-screen writing experience that is perfect for those who like to “keep it super simple”.
While perhaps not as focused on simplicity as OmmWriter, TextMate is known for still being very accessible and friendly for any kind of writing task, be it simple text entry or complex coding. The app sports some nice features like folding code sections, project management, search and replace, among others.
Even better: TextMate used to be a paid app but its developer has made it completely free and open source. This means that, while you are getting it for free, TextMate’s feature set is actually of paid-level quality, with a variety of settings and options that will satisfy even the most demanding writers and coders.
Another open-source text editor, Brackets is aimed almost squarely at web designers and coders, although that doesn’t mean it can not be used for mere text entry. The application sports several interesting features, like a quick inline editor to preview your changes on the fly, the ability to attach screenshots to your files, a series of debugging tools, a left panel for better organization of your text files and even an Extension Manager.
There you have them. Feel free to try all of the text editors mentioned above until you find the one that suits your needs best. All of them are great and you are sure to find something of your taste. Enjoy!