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Author Topic: IDEA: Text Editor just for text (stay with me)  (Read 20604 times)
zridling
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« on: May 21, 2005, 03:39:41 AM »

This is not really a "snack-limited" idea because it couldn't be done in a weekend, but it is a Long Tail idea. What about a text editor that just focuses on text creation, on putting words to screen, on writing?

Stay with me.

PROBLEM: Users, mostly writers, are dying for a true text editor; that is, an editor built to edit text/words. Many programs already do this, but they also do worlds of other things, e.g., think of UltraEdit and all it does — coding and all that. And there are tons of terrible, weak text editors to go around. There are even a dozen RTF word processors that are also very weak. But writers would kill to have a super fast program that has the file-handling power and customizability of UltraEdit but the speed of EmEditor. They could write their stories, columns, ad copy, text, in it, hit the copy button and drop it into any "container" program that one uses, such as OpenOffice, Word, Quark, whatever.

SOLUTION: Build a text editor that:
__(1) Allows for broad customizability, such as allowing proportional fonts (Courier New doesn't cut it for writing), document tabs, even an internal Explorer, etc... basically a stripped down UltraEdit with an updated interface;
__(2) Handles large files (coders don't see the need in this, but writers need it when working with volume-sized novels or serialized works);
__(3) Might include some text-handling abilities, such as justification (often, however, this type of formatting isn't called for in and text editor and is also lost when copying into the container program).

It's a thought, but if I could code, this is what I would build and I'd market it to writers around the globe. Being a text app, one does not have to worry about formatting and file format changes. If I created a .txt file in 1987, it would still be the same today as it was then, compared to a WordPerfect file, for example.
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mouser
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« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2005, 05:37:34 AM »

surely there are some freeware text editors that fulfil these requirements.
basically you are just asking for features to be removed from the existing text editors we reviewed.. or am i missing something deeper?
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zridling
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« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2005, 01:58:24 AM »

Exactly, and for now, UltraEdit more than fits the bill.
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« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2005, 05:04:52 AM »

mark this day in your history books..
i think zaine has created a new movement..
a new underground scene is going to rise up from zaine's original post, dedicated to removing features from software, eliminating menus and buttons from existing programs, splicing stuff out of help files, etc. smiley

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Scott
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« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2005, 05:11:07 PM »

I am too tired and lazy to do more than skim the original post, but as mouser said, doesn't this exist already?  I think I've used a few that fit the bill...  One was TxEdit, which I haven't used in years.  There have to be freeware options as well.
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« Next Edit: Tomorrow at 12:13:47 AM by Scott »
Edvard
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« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2005, 12:47:52 PM »

Installation of Xplorer2 includes a little text editor called Editor2 which is very fast, lightweight (~100k) and does everything a minimal notepad replacement does plus:
-switch between fixed and proportional fonts, with definable colors too.
-find & replace binaries (tabs & linefeeds...)
-toggle Upper/Lowercase
-20 autotext entries (kinda like copy&paste but from a list of 20; nice)
-dual bookmarks (whoa! two docs to work on, one bookmark to bind them...)
-external view (nice one; save as html and it opens up what you just wrote in a browser... sweet)
-save as OEM, UTF-8, Unicode or Unix LF
-document stats reporting (line count, etc.)
-'Goto line...' function
-more options in registry such as changing time/date string format and url handling.
-unlimited file size

...and really that's about it, but there's a lot of power there. If you download the Lite version and are wanting a pure Unicode version then grab the Pro version, download and install to a different location, harvest editor2 files from there to your Lite install location, and uninstall X2Pro. (this will, however, remove your X2 quicklaunch button)
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allen
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« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2006, 03:55:08 PM »

TED Editor is a text editor in the truest sense of the word. Might be just what you're looking for.
http://jsimlo.sk/notepad/

And there's ewriter, a program I've always loved simply because of the way the auther talks about it.  In reality, it's not quite as eloquent as its description, but . . . it's a nice description. Wink
http://home.earthlink.net/~acorioso/ew_main.htm
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Rover
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« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2006, 10:53:50 PM »

Anyone remember PC Techniques Magazine?  Jeff Duntemann wrote a nice article about the need for software like this.  He did in fictional story style that was pretty cool.

Anyway, the story cliff notes like this (I just verbized a proper noun):

Just Enough Software releases JES Word Editor 1.0.  It has just enough features to be really useful to most people.  It can't do everything MS Word does, but it's really fast and easy.  Eventually, JES releases some other smallish applications and has a nice steady cult following.  They make money and have happy customers. The end.

I've been waiting since the mid 90's for software like that.. smiley

I currently use Edit Pad Lite for most of my text document needs.  It has tabs, looks nice, has kewl features and it small + free.  www.editpadlite.com for details.
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app103
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« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2006, 11:13:42 PM »

mark this day in your history books..
i think zaine has created a new movement..
a new underground scene is going to rise up from zaine's original post, dedicated to removing features from software, eliminating menus and buttons from existing programs, splicing stuff out of help files, etc. smiley



I like the idea...always have. Getting rid of bloat has been a major goal of mine with software I use on my P1. When you have an old slow pc with not much in the way of resources it becomes almost an obsession. My dIE (damn IE) browser has become somewhat of a joke among friends....simple basic no frills browser (and I mean no frills)....not even an icon on the titlebar...lol.  Grin
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« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2006, 04:14:33 AM »

What about a text editor that just focuses on text creation, on putting words to screen, on writing?

Here is the answer.  You won't like it, but here is the answer, set out in science fiction writer Robert Sawyer's manifesto of WordStar as the True Way for writers

http://www.sfwriter.com/wordstar.htm
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lanux128
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« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2006, 09:35:32 PM »

sorry to revive an old thread...

just to add my own favourite text-editors combo: Metapad & Notetab. I use metapad as a replacement for notepad but when i need heavy-duty editing tools, I bring out notetab. In fact, metapad has an in-built launcher to view the current document in another editor/browser/word-processor, etc... There is also a version of metapad that can view (not edit) a RTF file, very handy for a quick peek.

As for Notetab, basically it has tabbed interface, adequate text manipulation tools, it's own text macros and many others as explained on the web-site. I first downloaded it back in 1997 and have been stuck with it ever since... ;-)

here the links...
http://liquidninja.com/metapad/
http://www.notetab.com/

regards,
lanux
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« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2006, 06:14:41 AM »

Have just joined - so apologises for digging up old stuff - but I fully agree with the original post that (my words) most modern word-processors have lost the plot.

When writing big scripts, say 40,000 words upwards, I'd recommend using WordStar.  Version 4 is the best, imho.  5 and 6 are more trouble than they're worth, 2000 doesn't use the same Cntrl sequences, and WordStar for Windows is a version of Wordstar in name only.

Keep it as simple as possible with v.4 and get that text into a file as simply and as effortlessly as possible.  The size of the file can be unlimited, and there are several ways of placing markers thoughout the text to enable instant jumps to wherever you need to work.  Then, when your text is finally in, import the file into WinWORD or your favourite wordproc for final WYSIWYG processing, indexing, printing, and all the rest.

This 2-stage process can save you many hours when writing.

Colin
 
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mouser
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« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2006, 06:36:05 AM »

i have to admit to working the way SAE140 describes sometimes -
i'll write the first draft in a plain text processor (ultraedit) and then only later bring it in to word for final formatting.
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urlwolf
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« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2006, 04:11:17 PM »

there are several ways of placing markers thoughout the text to enable instant jumps to wherever you need to work.  Then, when your text is finally in, import the file into WinWORD or your favourite wordproc for final WYSIWYG processing, indexing, printing, and all the rest.

This 2-stage process can save you many hours when writing.

Colin
 
I do this too (two stage process, using markers, simple text first, etc), but using vim. It has built-in file browser, text completion (superhandy), very fast search (inline), an outliner, etc... and it opens as fast as notepad.

You only have to get over the modal style of writing (e.g., escape to do edit operations, 'i' to start inserting text).

To finish stuff in word, I export my outines to rtf or html, and open them with word.
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JavaJones
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« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2006, 04:13:28 PM »

Has anyone ever tried Lyx? Ok, perhaps not what the OP is looking for, but on the subject of dedicated text editors it's quite interesting. cheesy

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zridling
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« Reply #15 on: June 10, 2006, 11:39:15 PM »

Looks good, but what's with the tar.gz file? Dang.  Wink
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zridling
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« Reply #16 on: June 10, 2006, 11:42:29 PM »

PS: No thread is an old thread. If the topic is relevant, then it's active!
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« Reply #17 on: June 11, 2006, 12:37:10 AM »

For a Windows Lyx installer go here: http://ftp://ftp.lyx.org/...b/LyXWinInstaller/LyX141/

Lyx requires the following for full functionality:
special math fonts
python and UNIX-shell files
basic installation of MiKTeX
ImageMagick
Ghostscript
Aspell
GSview (optional)

So if you don't have any of that then you should go for the "Complete" install as it includes it all.

- Oshyan
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« Reply #18 on: June 11, 2006, 11:07:41 AM »

When writing big scripts, say 40,000 words upwards, I'd recommend using WordStar.  Version 4 is the best, imho.  5 and 6 are more trouble than they're worth, 2000 doesn't use the same Cntrl sequences, and WordStar for Windows is a version of Wordstar in name only.

Ah... an enlightened follower of the True Faith  smiley

If you're interested in a free WordStar-style and compatible editor, take a look at VDE at http://home.att.net/~short.stop/page_one.htm  It understands LFNs and thanks to an ingenious macro by John Woodruff, that runs Horst Schaeffer's Cliptext  http://home.mnet-online.de/horst.muc/win/  it can communicate with the Windows clipboard too.

For a WinGUI WordStar-style editor, take a look at WSedit  http://www.writeandset.com/english/indxf.html
but be sure to read the caveats.


@lanux128: suggest you take a look at TED Notepad, which has to be one of the best "small" free Windows editors.  Designed partly to be an improvement on Metapad.  http://www.jsimlo.sk/notepad/

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« Reply #19 on: October 09, 2006, 03:26:41 PM »

This thread has been brought back to life once, might as well hit it with the defibrillator again  Wink

Hello everyone.  Nice site!
Excuse my long winded post, I've been dealing allot with text editors lately and this looked like a good place to pontificate.

On my journey to write a completely freeware registry editor that is stable and has more features than regedit (think regedit combined with registry crawler and an undo feature) I have started out by writing a utility to export a registry file in ASCII format.  In that pursuit I have been examining regedit exports (45 MB files on my XP machine) and comparing them with my utilities' exports.
I use WinMerge for the file comparisons. I tried to feed windiff a couple of 45 meg files and it crashed or locked every time.  WinMerge has no problem, though it does take a couple minutes to do the compare, which is no surprise.
Along the way I've also found the need for a text editor that can handle these huge files quickly so I can examine one, fix my app and recompile, examine another one and so on.

The following numbers are not benchmarks by any means, I did the timing with the second hand on my wristwatch.
Opening up a 45 meg, 800,023 lines, .reg file  with notepad takes my 1.8 GHz, 768 MB DDR machine 3.5 minutes.
editor2 (I have explorer2 pro) takes 15 seconds to show the first part of the file and has it completely loaded in 30 seconds.
My favorite text mode code editor Context took 4 seconds to have the file completely loaded. As far as an all around editor goes, it fits the bill nicely, though it is designed for coders.  If your looking for any type of text formatting this is not the editor for you.  You can choose one font and thats it, no bold, italic, etc.
On the other hand, some of my favorite features are (from the authors page):
  • unlimited open files (tabbed - rand1038)
  • unlimited editing file size, 4KB line length
  • Unicode UTF8 support
  • code templates (boilerplate text for you writers out there - rand1038)
  • customizable help files for each file type
  • file explorer with favorites list (and filter by type - rand1038)
  • file compare
  • export to HTML/RTF (color formatted text, great for posting code - rand1038)
  • editing position remembering across files (and shutdown/restarts - rand1038)
  • normal and columnar text selection
  • bookmarks
  • search and replace with regular expressions
  • search and replace text in all open files
  • customizable syntax highlighting colors, cursor shapes, right margin, gutter, line spacing...
  • miminize to system tray
... and a 4400 KB working set on my machine, with no doc loaded.
Anyhow, I couldn't let this thread pass without plugging my favorite text editor smiley
Hopefully some of you will find it as useful as I do.

Rand
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nudone
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« Reply #20 on: October 09, 2006, 03:34:29 PM »

welcome, rand1038. nice avatar.
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f0dder
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« Reply #21 on: October 09, 2006, 05:03:06 PM »

I couldn't really get accustomed to LyX... IMHO it falls short between a wysiwyg editor and full TeX power - it just doesn't feel right.
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« Reply #22 on: October 10, 2006, 04:51:46 PM »

WinMerge has no problem, though it does take a couple minutes to do the compare, which is no surprise.

Here's Keith Devens on Differencing Programs:
Quote

Often a life saver for a programmer. Beyond Compare (version 2) and Examdiff Pro are comparable, and both are reasonably priced. CSDiff has a unique view that will let you view differences inline, which makes it worth having even if you buy any of the others. WinMerge is decent, but go with pretty much any of the others instead of it.
    *    Windiff - Free, comes with Windows. It's probably on your Windows CD, but you can download it here.
    *    Araxis Merge - The best one I've ever seen (by far), but it's not cheap.
    *    ExamDiff and ExamDiff Pro.
    *    Beyond Compare
    *    CSDiff, from ComponentSoftware.
    *    WinMerge
    *    Guiffy - never tried it
    *    Meld, for GNOME
    *    CompareIt from Grig Software looks excellent, though I haven't gotten a chance to try it yet




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f0dder
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« Reply #23 on: October 10, 2006, 05:46:15 PM »

I like Beyond Compare's default view:


Quote
CSDiff has a unique view that will let you view differences inline, which makes it worth having even if you buy any of the others.

Not sure if I'm missing something here, but isn't that what this view mode is about?
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rand1038
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« Reply #24 on: October 10, 2006, 11:53:05 PM »

WinMerge has no problem, though it does take a couple minutes to do the compare, which is no surprise.

Here's Keith Devens on Differencing Programs

Quote

WinMerge is decent, but go with pretty much any of the others instead of it.

I'd have to disagree with him on that.  I wonder if he has ever needed to diff very large files?  In my opinion WinDiff is slow and outdated (Modified: Monday, August 18, 2003, the file from Keith Devens site);  even diffing small files and dirs I found it to be clunky.
CompareIt does a nice job! (but ... its 30 bucks)

Thanks for the link to the diff utils critique rjbull, a couple there I hadn't tried yet.

welcome, rand1038. nice avatar.
Thanks nudone smiley

I'm gonna lurk for awhile, I'll probably be asking about getting in on some devel eventually.  School is intense right now.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2006, 11:57:47 PM by rand1038 » Logged
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