Besides children, husband, religion, family, job, retail therapy at Victoria’s Secret, wine in a bottle with a cork, and neighborhood watch night, words are my life. Slinging words and building phrases is what I do on my Mac.
A similar list from my husband would include the hot rod in the garage that he’s been building for 10 years. Still, no wheels or motor. What’s with that? I call it hot rod syndrome.
Guess what? He found a word processor that he converted into a hot rod word wagon.
Customizing Word Processors For Fun
Buried deeply in the bowels of your Mac is a little known, seldom talked about, lonely step child of an app that most of us never see or use.
Yes, dear Mac lovers. I’m talking about Automator. The coolest of Apple’s logos attached to an app that only Dr. Frankenstein would love.
My husband loves Automator. It’s a digital erector set for the masculine breed of Mac user, a tinker toy of sorts that adds dubious functionality to various and sundry Mac apps.
Take TextEdit. Please. It’s Apple’s built-in anemic word processor that should only be used when your first born can’t find a date to the prom.
Well, he took TextEdit and souped it up, customized it, added parts that make the whole mess less than the sum of the parts. TextEdit Automator Actions Pack is a bunch of Automator actions that attempt to turn TextEdit into a real, live, Weird Science-like app that does more than the original.
What does it add to TextEdit? This and a lot more.
- Add Prefix to Text Paragraphs
- Add Suffix to Text Paragraphs
- Balance Paragraphs
- Change Case of Text
- Close TextEdit Documents
- Combine Text Strings
- Decode URL Encoded Strings
- Extract URLs from Text
- Find and Replace in Text
- Get Characters of Text
- Get Length of Text
- Get Opened TextEdit Documents
- Get Paragraphs of Text
- Get Words of Text
- Read Text File
- Remove Duplicate Paragraphs from Text
- Remove Empty Paragraphs
- Remove Leading Characters from Text
- Remove Markup from Text
- Remove Prefix from Text Paragraphs
- Remove Suffix from Text Paragraphs
- Remove Trailing Characters from Text
- Save TextEdit Documents
- Sort Text Paragraphs
- Split Text
- Trim Text
- URL Encode Strings
- Write Text to File
I know what you’re thinking. How could all that improve TextEdit? Well, in reality, I’m not sure that it does, but my husband thinks he’s all cool and geeky now, so I’m not going to comment further.
Here’s what all these Automator functions look like in TextEdit.
If all that looks a little confusing and not anything at all like a word processor app, you’re not alone in your first-take analysis.
Remember, I said Automator actions are like a digital erector set. You can build something that might work, but you’ll have parts left over.
To be honest, fair, and balanced, TextEdit Automator Action Pack adds functionality to TextEdit’s woeful list of word processing attributes, but it’s still a sow’s ear, not a silk purse.
Oh, that’s right. You really wanted a silk purse word processor? For that you’ll need Bean. It’s free. And it doesn’t look like something left over from a George Barris-era model car kit (my husband has those, too).