Bean versus iText Express

…or even TextEdit for that matter. I was playing around (there was a reason!) with a huge 112K file, 405 pages long. Really big. I copied and pasted it in WriteRoom, TextEdit, iText Express and Bean among others. Bean was extremely sluggish and handled that amount of text very, very poorly. Typing was no problem, but trying to move around the document was pretty terrible. WriteRoom loaded it the most quickly, and typing was quick, but it kept freezing on me and I had to force quit. The other two, on the other hand, were quite zippy and worked quite well, just as if my file were a much smaller size, once the thing was loaded in. I use iText Express quite a bit since it does a bit of footnoting and lets you muck with footers and headers quite easily. Based on this, I doubt I’ll ever use Bean. Not that I’ll have that many huge files to handle as this one! But I was quite impressed with how quickly and handily TextEdit and its close cousin handled this much text!



Thanks for hinting to iText Express, I will try it because footnotes in simple small text files (meant as notes) are quite useful. Basically I am quite satisfied with the simple TextEdit and use it for ideas and short notes all over the day,



iText Express is unbelievable! Choosing fonts without the ugly font panel, vertical writing, GREP search with the Ogre Kit, bookmarks, easy page layout, headers and footers…

And so snappy fast. (wicked fast, Alexandria?)


iText Express doesn’t work well on my MBP 10.4.11. It doesn’t open rtf files automatically and it freezes while trying to do that. I have to go around and open iText Express and then open the file which sets a new application windows (basically I have two iText Express open).

I’m wondering if it’s because iText Express is not Intel prepared. Maria and Alexandria, are you using it on a Intel Mac? (OS Tiger or Leopard?)

Anyway, I loved the bookmark feature. I wished Bean had that. (The footnotes are a great one too, but I don’t use them often.) However, Bean allows me to have its window floating over any other and that’s a must for me. Oh, and Bean works great here with a 500 pages (only text) rtf file. Weird.

Yes on the no Intel. :wink: I still have a G4 iBook that works great for me, at least it did until recently! But that’s another story. I used to use a little hack called ‘afloat’ I think that added a menu item in all my programs that would make any window float. It was quite handy. Since upgrading, I never checked to see if it had a Leopard version. I too find it very handy to have a globally floating window at times.

Maria, yes, that would be “wicked fast.” :smiley:



here I am working on a G5 with 10.4.11, no problems. Except for: The RTF-icon won’t change, but RTF(D) opens automatically in iText Express though.

I will not use it for larger files, just notes every day while I am working on a project with my computer.


Okay. I think iText Express being a PPC app is not working well via Rosetta.

Alas, since it look a nice app to use.

so this was helpful, thanks. It does not seem a good idea to try another writing app, knowing that it won’t work on the next computer – soon. I worked one nice day with iText Express, but now return to TextEdit. Works anyway…


Oops, forgot to say I was running Leopard on my iBook.


Hi Alexandria –

I develop Bean was was curious about your experience with Bean being sluggish. I wonder if you are running an older version of Bean that is not Leopard compatible? Only the most recent versions (0.9.10, 0.9.11) will work on Leopard, anything else will not, or will be so slow as to be unusable. Long documents are slow to load in ‘layout’ mode, but this is due to Leopard being slow at paginating compared to Tiger (I filed a bug report with Apple about this). But otherwise it should be at least equivalent to iText Express in terms of speed.



Hi James! I downloaded and used version of Bean. I had a HUGE text file I was experimenting with. Around 405 pages listed by the program. I loaded it into iText E., TextEdit, Bean and WriteRoom to see what would happen. I found that moving around in Bean had a huge lag. Typing was fine, but every time I tried to move up and down the page or hit return I got the beach ball. Not sure why that would be, but it’s what happened. Didn’t get that in either iText or TE or WR, though WR kept freezing and I had to force quit.

I’ve always heard good things about Bean!


Hi again Alexandria –

I just tested Bean with a 1000K character document, both .rtf and .txt, on a G4 Powerbook and on an intel MacBook (both running Leopard) and, apart from the pagination issue, it seems to work well. Wish I knew what was up with the slowness you experienced.

Honestly, Text Edit in Leopard should beat everything right now in terms of loading and editing large documents, thanks to its new ‘non-contiguous’ layout feature. Huge documents appear to load instantly, and you can jump to the end of a large document right away without any pause. This will make every (Leopard only) text app that adopts this feature much faster. Although it will be a while before Bean gets there.