Geek Speak – Simple But Versatile: Why I Love TextEdit
Similar to NotePad (or whatever) for my Windows pals, TextEdit is a simple text program, but I use it all the time. The only piece of software I use more, perhaps, is Firefox (Chrome lovers: I can’t run it on my current machine).
Most often, I use a new TextEdit file as a copy/paste dumping ground. Links. Text. Code. They all end up there, and it comes in handy when I have to copy and paste multiple items. If I need non-formatted text (‘plain text’), TextEdit is open again. Microsoft Word adds formatting to text when it is copy/pasted.
I do most of my Internet writing in TextEdit. My iBook is so old and outdated that I’m surprised it doesn’t require a hand crank to start. I type too fast for certain browser applications to keep up while working with Rich Text (mainly WordPress). Yes, I can use HTML view in WordPress, but I like having a back-up of posts when I can, and thus TextEdit comes to the rescue. I can type away, and not have to worry about a browser lagging behind (which is super-frustrating).
I keep a few TextEdit documents on my desktop: Blog Ideas, Website Updates, and those with HTML code for certain sites (like our bylines for this site, or my copyright info for Flickr). I try to do all of my website updates at once, so keeping a running tally during the week in TextEdit is handy—because then I have my task list. The Blog Ideas file is always a good idea, because inspiration is a like a deadbeat house guest—it comes and goes as it pleases.
Speaking of websites, when it comes to tweaking HTML or CSS, TextEdit is my co-pilot. Actually, TextEdit is more like the whole damn plane. I copy and paste the original code into a new document before I make any changes. That way, if I screw up (which usually happens), I just paste the old code back. Easy.
It never fails to amaze me how some of the simple things are the most powerful. Like how I said a notebook is a must have. It is just paper, but being able to write down ideas or thoughts or sketch on a whim, is invaluable. I will be using TextEdit and my notebook quite a bit during the Clarion Write-a-Thon, which starts this weekend. (Please pledge me if you can)
Thank you, TexEdit. Your text might be plain, but you are rich with versatility.
Is there a simple program, or tool, you use a lot?
Daniel J. Hogan likes TextEdit so much, he thought about buying the company in a curry-induced dream. Speaking of crazy dreams, check out his webcomic and humor blog, Clattertron. Follow him on Twitter, @danieljhogan.