Word processors for the Mac are not a dime a dozen. It may seem that way, though. Writing on a Mac is a very personal endeavor and every Mac user approaches writing from a different perspective.
Some need the complexity and seeming safety of Microsoft Word. Others may elect to use Apple’s built-in TextEdit app and call it a day. Free isn’t bad if it works. But word processors are more like a cow than we may imagine. One man’s hamburger is another man’s steak.
Somewhere in between burger and sirloin is Write 2, a clean, intuitive almost simplistic word processor with a balance of basic functions and features many writers must have.
What do you get for $7?
- Auto Save
- Page Numbers
- Header and Footer
- Word Count and Stats
- Typewriter Scrolling
Write 2 has a simple toolbar with limited functions, but it’s instantly usable.
Write 2 handles multiple word processing file formats, including rich text, Word, plain text, and even OpenOffice text. Write 2 can easily be a better choice than TextEdit.
How does it compare to Bean, one of the most popular free Mac word processors ever? Uh, not so good. On the surface, Bean and Write 2 will appear similar, but a little scratching brings up many differences.
Bean is loaded with writer’s features, including kerning, spacing, margin and header and footer controls, but also has word count and statistics.
- live word count
- make template documents with boilerplate text
- free-form headers and footers
- page layout view (optional 2-up)
- alternate colors option (e.g., white text on blue)
- split-window editing
- tabbed windows
- full screen editing
- date-stamped backups
- selection of text by text style, paragraph style, color, etc.
- find panel allows regular expressions (pattern matching)
- all of Cocoa’s good stuff (dictionary, word completion, etc.)
There’s a great page layout view in Bean, split-window editing, and full screen editing. One notable difference is that Bean is not iCloud aware, but saving documents in Dropbox makes up for the difference.
Like Write 2, Bean is only partially compatible with Microsoft Word file formats (actually, Microsoft Word is only partially compatible with Word file formats).
Which of the two will do the job for you will depend upon your particular needs, tastes, and experience, but it’s easy to start off with free Bean which can help you finance a trip to Starbucks.