Last week I sang the praises of a new application in development for searching your Mac and your cloud called Found. The problem is that Found is still in a beta stage and to even use the application you have to get on a waiting list. I was contacted by another developer that told me [...]
As my dear friends, David and Katie always say, in fact, as all my knowledgeable MacRoundtable friends always say, “Backup, Backup, Backup”. You have to be living in a cave not to know that your important data should be backed up to an external hard drive and an off-site storage. But, can you take this [...]
So have you just moved over to the Mac, and you have all these shiny new applications to play with, the likes of iPhoto, iMovie and the rest,
but all you actually want to do is write a document? So what has you’re Mac got for you to write a nice clean document.
You haven’t bought the likes of iWork or Mircrosoft Office for the Mac or you haven’t downloaded one of the great open free office applications. Well in jumps Textedit. Textedit can be both a plain .txt file generator or, you can easily create a Rich Text Format document. For those who don’t know, this basically means you can create a formatted document, which can then be read on all other RTF compatible applications on most other operating systems.
So the reason I wanted to mention Textedit, was because you saw a few items being opened in Textedit and then you may have copied the information and pasted it into another more powerful application. But if you just came across to the Mac, then don’t make the same mistake I made and ignore Textedit as just the Apple version of notepad from your Windows days, because it is most certainly worth a longer look.
Textedit can be used as a basic text editing tool, and to that end, lots of people use it to write HTML code, not something that I’m particularly into. But if your word processing needs are not overly complicated then you may be surprised at what Textedit can do. So let’s start off with a few basics, if you’re a, “I need to autosave because I’m used to my apps crashing all the time” user. (I know that happens less and less over on the Windows platform, but I certainly still come across Word crashing on my work machine), then Textedit has that simple, but great facility. You go into Preferences or CMD-comma, which is the standard preferences keyboard shortcut. You then click on the Open and Save tab and along with other options, you’ll see an autosaving option from which you can set the saving to every 15 secs, 30 secs, 1 minute, 5 minutes or never.
Now you may also say, “yes that’s great but when I open textedit it doesn’t look the same as the word doc I used to open”. If you’re like me you may have opened Word on the PC in Print View, don’t ask me why, but I used to like to see when I was formatting the document, what the finished item would look like once printed. You can have a similar view in Textedit. All you have to do click on format in the edit bar, then click on “wrap to page” or shift-CMD-W. All this really does is give you a border within the Textedit page window, but it is more familiar, certainly for me at least.
You can insert tables into your document and adjusting the width of these columns is as easy as highlighting the border frame, click and hold and drag to the size you require. You can even nest a table inside another table, in fact the simplicity of this nesting seems to make this a more understandable process than I ever found in Word. You’ll find tables under the format option on the menu bar.
You can create lists. The list option can be found at the top of your open page as a drop-down option, there are plenty of types to choose from and these can easily be placed inside the table you just created.
Along the top you’ll also see a styles drop-down option, the usual center, left & right align and justify options, also a spacing option.
To go even further, you also have kern and ligature options from the format font menu options, in fact as you can see you have a pretty powerful little word processor built right into you’re operating system, and because it’s built into your OS you also have the built-in spell and grammar checking capabilities. It will also insert those smart “curly” quotes when needed.
Now if Textedit is sitting on your dock, try grabbing some text from the web or an email and dragging it onto the Textedit icon, a new Textedit document will open complete with the formatting of the text you have just grabbed, and this will show you is just how much quicker it is to open than those bigger heavier applications. So if you’re wanting to quickly get something copied or typed down, I would certainly go for Textedit as my first choice.
You can paste pictures and even sound clips into your document, but the editing potential and adjustment’s are very limited. But if you require that amount of power then certainly you need to go up a notch when it comes to Word Processing. Of course Textedit is not a total office solution, but if your looking for a quick to open easy to use, no messing about with templates word processor, then don’t ignore Textedit, I did for quite a while, and that was a shame.
Mac 101 : http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2523
The Spaces feature in OS X Leopard is one of those things you either love or hate. Since I do a lot of my computing with a 13″ laptop screen, I find it very useful. The trouble is quite often I’m clueless as to which space I am actually occupying. I know I can display the number in the menubar but that just gets me more befuddled.
The update to 10.5.5 is out and here’s what it does..
* Includes recent Apple security updates.
* Addresses stability issues with video playback, processor core idling, and remote disc sharing for MacBook Air.
* Addresses an issue in which some Macs could unexpectedly power on at the same time each day.
* Resolves a stability issue in TextEdit that could be found when accessing the color palette.
* Improves Spotlight indexing performance.
* Fixes an issue in which contacts might not sync properly with PalmOS-based devices.
* Improves iPhone sync reliability with iCal and Address Book.
* Includes improvements to Active Directory (see this article for more information).
* Improves Speech Dictionary.
* Fixes Kerberos authentication issues for Mac OS X 10.5 clients that connect to certain Samba servers, such as Mac OS X Server version 10.4.
You heard it was going to be a big update, you will not be disappointed. Here are the published changes. General Fixes a font issue that could result in Helvetica Narrow being used in applications instead of Helvetica. Addresses an issue with stuttering video and audio playback in certain USB devices. Resolves stability issues with [...]