Way, way back in the day I used a word processor on my Mac that became legendary. It was called WriteNow, and it was a Mac writer’s best friend.
Those days are gone, though a glimmer of the WriteNow prowess came to Bean, the free Mac word processor that was much like the predecessor reborn; fast, worthy, free. Bean is no longer under active development, so where is the replacement?
Pay To Write
In the internet of things there’s an old saying, pulled from the broadcast and newspaper industry. If a headline ends in a question, the answer usually is no.
It’s not that I don’t have enough Mac tools to write what I want to write. It’s that I don’t have one that matches WriteNow or Bean.
Recently I added Write to my Mac. It’s a new age word processor that’s familiar, yet different. It comes with a nominal price tag, but has just the right amount of features (albeit different than many word processors).
For example, Write offers the required distraction free interface, but features syntax highlighting, and a Rich Text Markdown mode.
Yet, it displays word, sentence, paragraph count, and even an estimated reading time stat. Files can be tagged and stored to iCloud or Dropbox. There’s also an iPad and iPhone version so your writing projects go everywhere you go.
For the Mac version, the user interface is somewhat unique. Your local and remote libraries (iCloud, GoogleDrive, Box, OneDrive, Dropbox et al) are displayed in the left sidebar, just above document tags.
The main writing area is different, too. There’s no typical word processor toolbar to learn. Write is that simple, though I found the typewriter scrolling function to be disconcerting. In essence, Write aims to be a modern word processor but doesn’t have the features or speed of either WriteNow back in the day, or the languishing Bean.
Yet, it’s sufficiently flexible to handle HTML, CSS, and even Multimarkdown 4 with ease. What’s missing is the most obvious feature for writers looking for a new tool. A trial version. Write goes a few dollars above my threshold for throwaway money and does not have a Mac try-before-you-buy version.