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© Ugur Akinci
I like my Mac and I do most of my writing on it. For years I’ve used OpenOffice on my Windows PC and NeoOffice on my MacBook, with few problems.
But lately, due to the amount of text I’m generating these days, NeoOffice’s small glitches started to get on my nerves, frankly.
For example, if you misspell a word and try to right-click and find its correct spelling from the pop-up menu, NeoOffice freezes for about anywhere 10-to-15 and sometimes up to 30 seconds. And during that freeze it won’t allow you to do anything else. So you need to drop everything you do and patiently wait for NeoOffice come back online.
NeoOffice freezes in certain other occasions too, perhaps because it is not a simple word processor but a whole office suite. Under its hood, many other programs are hidden including the Mac equivalents of Excel and PowerPoint. I think there’s just too much code behind NeoOffice’s GUI to work 100% smoothly.
The truth is, I don’t need NeoOffice’s all that fancy page design, presentation, and database features.
All I need is a simple word processor that would not freeze up on me when I make frequent changes to the text I’m working with.
So I’ve made a simple search on the Internet and came across this interesting little word processor for Mac: BEAN. It’s version 2.2.0 is released just 8 days ago.
It’s open source, it’s FREE, and so far (knock on wood) if works as advertised, without any major glitches.
• a live word count
• a Get Info panel for in-depth statistics
• a zoom-slider to easily change the view scale
• an Inspector panel with lots of sliders
• date-stamped backups
• a page layout mode
• an alternate colors option (e.g., white text on blue)
• selection of text by text style, paragraph style, color, etc.
• a floating windows option (like Stickies has)
• find panel allows regular expressions (pattern matching)
• all of Cocoa’s good stuff (dictionary, word completion, etc.)
…do footnotes, pre-defined text styles, floating graphics (but it does do in-line graphics).
Let me add: you can easily save your Bean document in text, RTF, and Word (doc, xml) formats.
I like things that are simple and do one thing very well instead of trying to do ten different things half way. That’s why I’ll continue to use Bean and see what happens. If I discover any glitches I’ll report that as well.