Apps Mac

Writer: A Smart New Plain Text Editor For OS X [Review]

Writer in use, window mode
Now you might think that the world already has enough plain text editors, but those of us who spend all day writing will always disagree.
Writer is a new text editor on the Mac App Store. It’s similar in some respects to applications you’ve seen before, yet it’s also distinctly and subtly different.
Some features are the ones that many writers (myself included) demand in an app like this: full screen mode, and live word count. Check, and check.
But others are features I hadn’t thought I needed before, yet I find genuinely useful. Any document window can be pinned, so that it remains frontmost no matter which application you switch to. Since writing often requires a lot of research and taking notes, this is useful.
Then there’s something called “Smart Window Zoom”. It’s not a command, and you won’t find it in the menus. It’s just something the app does. Click the window zoom button – the green blob in the top-left corner – and your Writer document will zoom, but in a sensible, useful manner. It will usually expand to fill just half your screen, and automatically snap to the nearest screen edge, left or right. People spend money on third-party apps that do this system-wide, but here’s an app that thinks for itself. A really nice touch.
I asked developer Tom Zaworowski where the inspiration for Writer came from. He said:
“My other profession is journalism and Writer stems directly from that. I personally started developing Writer last year after getting fed up with other text editors. It’s a personal project of mine that we kind of turned into an editor for everyone.
“We try to work with Apple’s widgets and controls as much as possible. We don’t rewrite common application parts like the Find dialog or toolbars. We’ve recently submitted an update to Writer with high-contrast mode, customizable fonts and other improvements. It’s now in review so we expect it to go on the App Store soon.”
In summary, then, Writer offers more than meets the eye. You can get it for $10 from the Mac App Store.
Rating: ★★★★★