Do you process words? I don’t like that term, though I use a number of Mac word processors. Me being me and the resident Mac360 Value Vixen™, I tend to look for the absolute best Mac app bargains.
Apple gives you a free word processor in OS X. For less than $100 you can get Apple’s iWork and Pages. Or, spend more on Microsoft Word. Or, if you’re a bargain hunter, spend nothing on this beautiful Mac app that processes your words.
A Free Mac Tool For Writers
Word processors may be the single Mac app type that requires a relationship. Word? It’s a bit like an arranged marriage. Somehow you try to make it work, even if burdensome is how you describe the overweight, complicated, and troublesome Word.
What chance does a free Mac word processor have in a close relationship?
As it turns out, pretty good.
Among Mac writing tools free is a good place to start because it helps you define what you want in a word processor.
Among the free and mighty tools for writers, Bean earns a place on your list for three basic reasons. First, it’s free, so it’s worth a look. Second, Bean does more than Apple’s TextEdit, but less than Pages or Word, both of which cost real money.
What Bean Does, It Does Well
Alright, so, you’re a processor of words and you need a tool that will capture those words—quickly, easily, and with little fuss. Yet—here comes the gotcha—you need a little style, some convenient features, but not every bell in Mrs. Whistles closet.
How much nicer is this than TextEdit? An easily understandable toolbar, and the basic features you need grace Bean’s interface.
Having tried every major and most minor Mac word processors through the years I can tell you what most Mac users needs in a word tool. Spell check. Speed. Tabs. Undo. Speed. Details Inspector. Word Count. And speed.
Oh, and one more thing. Some measure of compatibility with Microsoft’s Word document format. Thankfully, almost (but not quite) every Mac word processor does that.
Bean also gives you more Preferences than some tools that come with a price tag.
Choose different cursor sizes and behaviors. Choose which file format to save Bean documents. RTF is standard. Built in is Auto Save, a live word count, the easiest to use Rule ever, font and style preferences, and the all important distraction free, full page mode.
Bean measures units in US inches or metrics for everyone else. There’s also page numbers for each page, a notes mode, and find and replace.
What else could you possibly need?
Bean lets you edit in plain text mode, similar to TextEdit, yet you can export HTML files. The full screen mode still has basic statistics and a nice slider zoom bar. Full stats are a click away.
The Inspector floating palette is similar to the one in Pages, but without all the layout fluff. Everything in the Inspector is self explanatory so you won’t need a night class at the local community college to figure out how to use Bean.
It’s free. It’s easy. It’s one of those great warm and fuzzy Mac apps that exceeds expectations and is a worthy writing tool for the budget minded.