Down through the years a few of Mac360’s writers have devoted plenty of digital ink to the status of popular word processors for Mac users. It’s not that we don’t have many choices. We do. Word processors are everywhere these days.
The problem has to do with a Mac word processor that fits into that sweet spot to match famous writing tools of yesteryear. Today’s crop of word processors with few features are called minimalist or distraction free. Those who remember the laurels of WriteNow from the last century also appreciated the resurrection in the popular Bean word processor which ceased development almost four years ago but still works on macOS Sierra today
Bean Lives, Baby!
The Mac has been home to many popular and well regarded word processors, starting with MacWrite back in 1984, WriteNow from 1985 to 1993, Microsoft Word, of course, and more recently, Bean, considered by many Mac users and Mac360 readers to be WriteNow reincarnated.
Bean 3.2.9 for macOS Sierra keeps the Bean dream alive.
Bean is a small, easy-to-use word processor that is designed to make writing convenient, efficient and comfortable. Bean is lean, fast and uncluttered. It starts up quickly, has a live word count, and is easy on the eyes. Also, Bean is available free of charge. MS Word, OpenOffice, etc. try to be all things to all people, but sometimes you just want the right tool for the job. That is Bean’s niche.
That’s right. The most recently updated version of Bean specifically for macOS Sierra users. What you get is a handful of long overdue bug fixes, compatibility with the latest macOS, and a slightly extended lifetime as macOS High Sierra is on the horizon.
Bean is free. Does this look familiar?
Bean’s claim to fame as a Mac word processor of note is a combination of, 1) free, 2) blend of useful features in an intuitive package, and, 3) ability to open most word processing documents.
Bean’s basics include autosaving, date-stamped, backups, a good page-layout mode, live word count, dictionary, word completion, visible invisible characters, a real toolbar, and much more.
Preferences are plenty.
Bean occupies a special place in the hearts of many writers who use Macs.
The inspector panel makes formatting a breeze. There’s a built-in alternate color option. While tabs are a welcome relief from so-called modern minimalist word processors that focus on distraction free modes, each tab can also be opened as a separate window for easier editing.
Text can be selected by style, paragraph style, even color. Each page can be zoomed to change the view scale. And, the Get Info panel displays basic statistics with word and character count. You also get free-form headers and footers, optional 2-up layout view, split-window editing, and fullscreen.
Even more Preferences are a click away.
Through the years since Bean went into limbo and was resurrected to a temporary life, Mac360’s writers have searched long and hard for a replacement, only to come up short to shorter– yet we uncovered many good writing tools. Bean is back and works great on macOS Sierra, but remains available for download for older Macs as well.
How long will Bean last? Only Bean’s developer knows, but for now Bean lives and remains the free mac gift that keeps on giving.