Check the basic apps on your Mac. From Mail to iCal, from Safari to Address Book, from TextEdit to Dictionary, Apple strives (sometimes not all that hard) to fulfill our basic computing needs.
Want a faster browser? Try Google’s Chrome. Want a better word processor than TextEdit? The choices balloon in features, complexity, style, design, and cost. Replacing TextEdit is easy and fun.
Just The Facts, Man
Word processing used to be all the rage back in the day. We Mac and PC users would hunker over our keyboards, slaving away to produce page after page of—well, text. Words. Words that were, you know, processed.
Macs of the past couple of decades have always had word processing built in.
Whether it was SimpleText of the Mac OS Classic era, or TextEdit today, basic word processing, if that’s all you needed, was a click away.
That’s still the case, and though I haven’t counted all the word processors available to Mac users today (and there are plenty), many of us need something more than TextEdit, hence the high volume of sales for Microsoft Office for Mac and Apple’s iWork with Pages.
Sometimes, simple is better. Sometimes, a little better than simple is, well, a little better. That’s what Jedit X is. Better. A little.
The Little Word Processor That Could
Like The Little Engine That Could, Jedit X does more than you expect, more than TextEdit, and looks good while doing just the basics. I hesitate to call Jedit a text editor, therefore the comparison to Apple’s built-in TextEdit doesn’t seem fair.
How about if we call them mini word processors. Neither are as capable as Pages or Word, yet both can do the job. Jedit X does it with more flare and fun.
Think of what’s not included in TextEdit. Tabbed windows. Word completion. File drawer. Non-contiguous layout. Smart URL links.
You like that, huh? Wait. There’s more.
Jedit X also does a few higher end tricks including auto spell correction, auto text replacement, smart dashes, and opens a bunch of documents not easily handled by some lesser word processors, including Word 2007 documents, OpenDocument documents and others.
Jedit’s interface is, well, if not elegant, surprising, but capable, and definitely not your father’s TextEdit.
Those sidebar panes never seemed to have caught on in other Mac apps, but appear right at home in Jedit X.
For example, the sidebar can be used as a document finder, making it a single click operation to find and open a file. The tabbed windows mean you can open multiple documents but not clutter your screen.
Seriously, God had a hand in helping man invent tabs.
Only He knew our deep frustration with dozens of open windows cluttering our pure Macs.
Non-contiguous layout means Jedit X can open very large and long files. Code completion speeds up your typing and it’s customizable. Jedit X bills itself as having a sleek interface, but only if different also means sleek.
All the basic RTF documents are supported, including a number of Word document types. Since Jedit X is written in Apple’s Cocoa, it copies text formatting from Safari (and other Cocoa apps) with link and formatting intact.
It’s not even fair to call Jedit X a Super TextEdit, because it’s really more super than that kind of editor, more powerful than a mini word processor, yet easier to use than Pages or Word. If I had stars to give, I’d give it four. TextEdit gets three.