At the low end is TextEdit in OS X, usable but as close to anemic as you get, but certainly priced right. In between are dozens of writing apps; from general purpose, to text editors, to page layout-like. Here’s one that’s got a bit of punch but no price tag.
Growl About This
What would you expect a Mac app developer with the name Growly Bird to name their word processor? Yep. You guessed it. Growly Write.
I’m not willing to call Growly Write the successor to WriteNow or Bean for the Mac, but there’s some merit to a familiar word processor with real features.
Real features? The problem with many of today’s nominal word processors is that they use the buzzwords distraction free or minimalist as euphemism for few features, yet they have a price tag that doesn’t match the feature stack.
Growly Write looks and feels like a word processor, or, rather, something more akin to Word Very Lite, but instantly familiar, but with just the right blend of price tag, features, and ease-of-use.
For example, Growly Write has a format panel which does what you expect– format text. It also does chapters, different layouts, graphs and photos that can be dropped in (and text can flow around the object), multiple columns, tables, lists, and links to webpages.
Here’s what it looks like. Familiar, no?
Growly Write has a tabbed interface (multiple documents open at the same time) and a word processor toolbar. Also built-in are tools that make the app look and work like a mini page layout app, complete with layout options, a preview page view, and help.
Yes. Help. That’s what you don’t find with minimalist word processors but Growly Write has 200 pages of help. Why? Because it has real features. It imports Microsoft Word files, plus RTF, email, clippings, even HTML.
No, not really. Growly Write works well, seems fast, and provides far more features than you’ll find in the new age distraction free minimalist word processors, but it’s free. The only issue I’ve run into is trying to convert some Word RTF and Word .doc files, but that’s usually the case with every Mac word processor, free or not.