For folks who want a cool alternative to TextEdit, try this:

I heard of it because the programmer e-mailed me to let me know it uses Scrivener’s freely available word counting code, but I really like the look of it. It is not a replacement for Word, Mellel or Nisus, and nor is it meant to be, but for simple documents that require pagination and a word count, it’s pretty nifty. Here is what the developer says about it on the web page:

It’s still in beta, but it looks like it should be worth keeping an eye on. To me, it feels like TextEdit should feel these days but doesn’t.

All the best,

Thanks for the tip. :slight_smile:

I like to try word processors on my happy path to get rid of Word forever.

– MJ

PS. Mellel (which I bought three months ago) is growing fast on me.

I like it! You are right, it has a right feeling on it. :slight_smile:

I love the floating option.

– MJ

Thanks for tipping us off to this, Keith. I really want to like it, and I do like a lot of its features. I’ve been using iText Express as my default text editor because it adds just a few features to TextEdit. But after a few minutes of Beaning around, I can’t figure out how to get new docs to automatically adopt my simple default style (1.5 spacing between lines, .25 first line indent). Unlike iText, Scrivener and others, Bean doesn’t use TextEdit’s simple styles menu selector in the ruler. I’m notoriously thick when it comes to figuring out styles; am I just missing something?
I think all I really need is TextEdit with a live word count. And occasionally page numbering.

Yeah, I like iText Express too. And it does simple footnoting. So it’s a nice alternative to Word for polishing up less complex documents. I’ll check out Bean, though. I too am always looking for happy alernative to Word. I thought with sending out my dissertation that maybe I’d just use Word again to keep things simple. Then I started actually doing some work in it and did some reformatting and remembered again why I just can’t stand that damn program!

Thanks for the heads up!


Thanks for the recommendations. Both Bean and iText are pretty nice, light weight word processors. And I never would have seen them if I didn’t lurk here on a daily basis.

I too love iText express. For short to medium-length documents, it does pretty much everything I need a WP to do, once I’ve exported from Scrivener - basically, headers and page numbers.

However, those useful headers and page numbers don’t reliably save when I close an iText document. Not have they been included on those occasions when I’ve emailed a (short) iText Express RTF.

I’m baffled by this, and a litttle frustrated - because although I don’t need iText express (having, like so many others on this board, spent money on Nisus, Mellel, Mariner, Word X, Word 2004…) , there was a kind of happiness to be had in using something so simple, perfect and free.

Anyone got any idea what’s wrong? Anyone had a similar experience? Is there a secret checkbox I somehow missed?

The problem might be that iText Express supports features that are not supported by the Cocoa RTF system, so that footnotes (and other features) that iText Express saves with its RTF files are not available in TextEdit. Unfortunately, iText Express implements these features in a way that is also not compatible with the RTF standard, so footnotes, etc. will also not be preserved when opening the RTF files in other programs that normally support footnotes in RTF, such as Word, Mellel, Nisus, etc.

The program appears to associate footnotes (and perhaps other information) to each RTF file as meta-data, stored in the resource fork. You can verify this yourself by typing “pico /path/to/myfile.rtf/rsrc” in the terminal.

The purpose may have been so that you can actually edit an RTF document with TextEdit (or other Cocoa editors) without destroying the footnotes. The resource fork appears not to get over-written upon saving the RTF document TextEdit, for example.

[Edit: Btw: The use of the resource fork might also explain why these features might not be reliably preserved after you e-mail a file, even if you open these files in iText Express. The problem may be that the resource fork isn’t getting encoded in the e-mail…]

To the developers’ credit, this limitation is explicitly noted in the documentation.

I hope this provides a clue about your troubles…

A perfect demonstration of why the Scrivener board is just about favourite place on the internet - and why so many of us seem to spend so much time here.



Update: I sent a request to Bean’s developer listing the two missing features (basic style management and lack of Services clipping) that prevented me from switching from iText to Bean, and he promptly responded that, as a result of my request, he’d soon add the capability to make quick Bean clippings from selected text, maybe using Services, maybe not. He also showed me how to easily get around a soon-to-be-fixed bug that was preventing me from using a template to effectively allow setting up a pre-existing style. Seems like a responsive guy, especially considering that it’s open source and free and so presumably he doesn’t make any money off Bean. As a result, I’ve now switched to Bean as my TextEdit replacement. I like its interface and live word count better than iText. We’ll see what happens with TextEdit when Leopard finally roars.

Just a note for those who are enjoying Bean…

a new .93a upgrade has been posted at the site. Has some nice new features as well as bug fixes.

Another update with a new icon. Very nice. This is a great alternative to TextEdit and just as fast in my observations. Your code has been put to good use with this one Keith.

Thanks for letting us know.

Does anyone know if Bean can run from a USB flash drive? Just curious.

Just tried, no problem.

It’s nice program, really, though I seldom use TextEdit or edit RTFD files.

Oh, the code used of mine is minimal - just a simple word counting text storage subclass (if that means anything to you :slight_smile: ). Bean is a great app - much more OS X than TextEdit IMHO; all kudos goes to the developer. :slight_smile:


Yet another pleasure of Scrivener: how many other software authors (at least those who are not Greek) know that “kudos” is a singular, not a plural, noun?

What a nice looking little application! Tidy and clean interface.