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Which text writer? A full comparison

Monday, 19 August 2013

Brett Terpstra, who with the aid of crowd-sourcing, has produced a chart of the major iText editors (for iPad and iPhone) has updated his chart as of 15 August 2013.

Which comes top’ It depends what you want.

Snaffily, Terpstra enables you to click on essential items and it will remove any that don’t offer these facilities.

Truth in advertising: I have several of these programs, but I mainly use Textastic and Coda (for HTML) and UX Write or Writing Kit for ordinary texts (though both the latter do html).

Sadly, these are among the most expensive of the editors available.

Textastic ($9.99) works with Text Expander (for shortcuts). Not that I use it for that. It has a handy FTP facility for downloading and editing Webpages. Its page viewer is not that great (unless your CSS is local). But it also good for plain text.

For proper views of my Web pages I call up Diet Coda ($19.99), which is designed for Web editors. This edits the pages on your site. As a result, it can offer proper views of your pages. But, unlike Textastic, you can’t edit them offline. TT is my usual choice when I don’t need to see the pages before I post them (i.e. I am just editing the content).

Both make anticipatory offerings of what your html code might be, and both support HTML5 very well.

UX Write ($24.99)  will create and edit Word 2007 or HTML documents. I use it a lot for academic drafting, though it still can’t do footnotes/endnotes.

The chart, by the way, does not rate the editors for footnoting.  The full MsWord compatibility makes UK Write worth my money if not yours. But I can’t wait for the next version.

My last editor, WritingKit ($4.99) does Markdown (simplified HTML), exports to HTML, and in contrast to the others has a built-in Web browser and search engine (DuckDuckGo, a nerds’ favourite option against Google). You can cut and paste easily from Web pages into WritingKit and import the URLs. So it’s the one I return to often, and is the one I’d pick as my top choice if you could only afford one. But let’s hope not.

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