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why does TextEdit suck so much?

post #1 of 48
Thread Starter 
why does TextEdit suck so much?

a simple text editor should not be this stupid.

i want it to do simple things and do them correctly, intuitively...

and it doesn't.


this is just so wrong.

to have something this basic end up being this obfuscated
is a disgrace.
post #2 of 48
I reckon it's pretty good. Sure is much better than Notepad or Wordpad or Simple Text for that matter. Do you have any examples of what seems to be troubling you so much?
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post #3 of 48
That's a really constructive post there, bluesigns.

I think TextEdit is fantastic. I use it for writing all of my reports and papers. I use it for code editing. I use it as a scratchpad for ideas (I think Stickies is ugly). The text looks great, it integrates perfectly with all services, drag-and-drop is a godsend, on Panther it reads and writes natively to Microsoft doc format (good for those idiot professors who think everyone owns Office), it's fast, it's lightweight, and best of all it's free.

For slightly heavier jobs where I want syntax-highlighting when editing code, I switch over to the TextEdit-like app SubEthaEdit (formerly Hydra).
post #4 of 48
Even though I have Appleworks AND Office v.X, anytime I need to write or jot something down, I immediately go for the little TextEdit icon in my Dock.

I think it's wonderful: small, quick, simple. After Safari, Mail and iTunes EASILY my most-used Apple-created app. I dig it the most.

What, SPECIFICALLY, are you upset about, bluesigns? Maybe someone can help if you explain what the problem is.
post #5 of 48
I think that bluesigns is really off the mark (especially since he didn't bother to mention what he thinks is so terrible about TextEdit).

In my view, TextEdit is incredible. This is one of the first and best examples of Cocoa programming to come from Apple. The source code has been included with each release of the developer's tools. Coders have used it as the template upon which has been built many of the Cocoa apps that populate the market. TextEdit has helped to teach Cocoa to many budding programmers (and helped experienced programmers make the transition). For this reason alone, TextEdit has huge historical importance.

Also, it's a great little text editor!!!

Bluesigns is a twit.
post #6 of 48
TextEdit is great for notes. I always open it up when I want to jot down a note really quick. I never use Stickies.

However, if you want to do a web page, it sucks. I tried doing some HTML with it once... believe me, don't try. It tries to "help" you by formatting everything to be WYSIWYG, but then I can't get the coding back. If I'm working on a web page, and I write some stuff down in TextEdit and then open the HTML file with Safari, it's fine, but the next time I open TextEdit, it doesn't open up as HTML code but rather as formatted text. So every time I want to change something, I have to go to the web page, view the source, and download the source to modify. It gets VERY aggrivating!

But as a simple notepad type thing, it's great. I use Word, AppleWorks, or OpenOffice for any writing that requires a significant amount of formatting though.

EDIT: Hey dws you're in Minneapolis too? Cool. I'm in a library computer lab on the U of M campus right now.
post #7 of 48
Kickaha and Amorph couldn't moderate themselves out of a paper bag. Abdicate responsibility and succumb to idiocy. Two years of letting a member make personal attacks against others, then stepping aside when someone won't put up with it. Not only that but go ahead and shut down my posting priviledges but not the one making the attacks. Not even the common decency to abide by their warning (afer three days of absorbing personal attacks with no mods in sight), just shut my posting down and then say it might happen later if a certian line is crossed. Bullshit flag is flying, I won't abide by lying and coddling of liars who go off-site, create accounts differing in a single letter from my handle with the express purpose to decieve and then claim here that I did it. Everyone be warned, kim kap sol is a lying, deceitful poster.

Now I guess they should have banned me rather than just shut off posting priviledges, because kickaha and Amorph definitely aren't going to like being called to task when they thought they had it all ignored *cough* *cough* I mean under control. Just a couple o' tools.

Don't worry, as soon as my work resetting my posts is done I'll disappear forever.
post #8 of 48
It's simple, straightforward, and without any clunk that gets in the way. I just discovered how wonderful it is... in the page layout view, it has everything I need to write a project, and in the plain text it's perfect for coding.

I truly do love it... especially since I discovered that Cocoa apps have full emacs key bindings.
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post #9 of 48
No it does suck. It is a bastard. Why doesn't it have a WYSIWYG font menu, size control menu, B U I buttons, and other toolbar stuff, like Word does? it's a pain in the ass to go into the menu or call up the Font panel which takes a whole minute to open if it hasn't been opened recently. It better get a good GUI overhaul in Panther and be more Word like. That along with reading .doc files will make it bitchin though.
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post #10 of 48
Quote:
Originally posted by Aquatic
Why doesn't it have a WYSIWYG font menu

Because that's not part of Aqua, Cocoa, Mac OS X or whatever.


Quote:
Originally posted by Aquatic
, size control menu, B U I buttons, and other toolbar stuff, like Word does? it's a pain in the ass to go into the menu or call up the Font panel which takes a whole minute to open if it hasn't been opened recently. It better get a good GUI overhaul in Panther and be more Word like. That along with reading .doc files will make it bitchin though.

TextEdit is - tadaa - a text editor, not a word processor, and it's main purpose is to show the text features available in Cocoa.
JLL

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post #11 of 48
Quote:
Originally posted by JLL
TextEdit is - tadaa - a text editor, not a word processor, and it's main purpose is to show the text features available in Cocoa.

JLL is right on the money.

It sounds like some people's expectations are way off-base if they expect TextEdit to be an competitor with everything-and-the-kitchen-sink word processors like Microsoft Office.
post #12 of 48
Quote:
Originally posted by bluesigns
why does TextEdit suck so much?

a simple text editor should not be this stupid.

i want it to do simple things and do them correctly, intuitively...

and it doesn't.


this is just so wrong.

to have something this basic end up being this obfuscated
is a disgrace.

Get http://www.apple.com/downloads/macos...bethaedit.html

Rendezvous enabled!


post #13 of 48
Wait, wait, wait...

Quote:
It better get a good GUI overhaul,

Quote:
be more Word like.

You surely couldn't have meant both of these thoughts since they're mutually exclusive and contradictory...
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post #14 of 48
I must be the only person on Earth who likes the font panel. Maybe it would be nice to choose to have the font panel display names in their font style. That, and have more formatting from within the panel, rather than going from panel to Format menu for some stuff. I think the Panther font panel addresses a lot of that though. Finally, a customizable text toolbar for the Cocoa apps that implement it would be nice. I think Panther's text toolbar still has a fixed layout.
post #15 of 48
Thread Starter 
i have 11,000+ simpletext documents that i can't edit even a comma or semicolon without having to save the document WITH A DIFFERENT NAME !?!

that's ridiculous.

therefore it's essentially incompatible with SimpleText
which is ridiculous that Apple couldn't have their own text editor be compatible with their own text editor.

that is a flat-out, ground floor failure in my book.

if i can't count on seamless migration of the *simplest of my documents how can i have any confidence in the more complex issues?


you can't save a text document as ".html" ?

that's absolutely ridiculous.
post #16 of 48
I know it's not a word processor...but I wish it were easier to manipulate text. Wish there was a floating window to change alignment, font, size...you know that type of stuff.
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post #17 of 48
Quote:
Originally posted by bluesigns
i have 11,000+ simpletext documents that i can't edit even a comma or semicolon without having to save the document WITH A DIFFERENT NAME !?!

that's ridiculous.

therefore it's essentially incompatible with SimpleText
which is ridiculous that Apple couldn't have their own text editor be compatible with their own text editor.

that is a flat-out, ground floor failure in my book.

if i can't count on seamless migration of the *simplest of my documents how can i have any confidence in the more complex issues?


you can't save a text document as ".html" ?

that's absolutely ridiculous.

I don't know about the .html format part (it would be good if it saved for HTML but I use SubEthaEdit for that. For Simple Text documents, I use Tex-Edit Plus. I use TextEdit as a quick note jotter. This year in school, I'll try to use TextEdit for writing my papers.

It should be able to read simple text files, however.
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post #18 of 48
I think you are a troll so I am not sure why I am replying. I guess in the hope that you are just confused and I can actually help you out.

Quote:
Originally posted by bluesigns
i have 11,000+ simpletext documents that i can't edit even a comma or semicolon without having to save the document WITH A DIFFERENT NAME !?!

Have you even tried this? If I drag a SimpleText document onto TextEdit, it opens. I can change whatever commas or semicolons (or any other text) I want and then I type command-S and it is saved. Same name. It doesn't even require that I change the extension. I don't know, maybe there are some extensions or characters it doesn't like, but I have never had this problem before and I just tested it out with a few old SimpleText documents and it works fine.

Quote:
Originally posted by bluesigns
you can't save a text document as ".html" ?

Again did you actually try this? Just type foobar.html into the save as dialog box. TextEdit responds with a dialog box saying "Document name foobar.html already seems to have an extension. Append '.txt' anyway?" Your choices are "append" "don't append" and "cancel". Just click "don't append" and your file is saved as foobar.html. Just try it and quit whining.
post #19 of 48
Quote:
Originally posted by JBL
Again did you actually try this? Just type foobar.html into the save as dialog box. TextEdit responds with a dialog box saying "Document name foobar.html already seems to have an extension. Append '.txt' anyway?" Your choices are "append" "don't append" and "cancel". Just click "don't append" and your file is saved as foobar.html. Just try it and quit whining.

I just tried it to see for myself. It doesn't put html tags in it (unless it's not supposed to). In Appleworks, it does, so I'm thinking that it should in TextEdit too. It wouldn't though.

Yes, this does get your file saved as an html file. But you already need to have it saved. What he wants, I'm thinking, is an option that says "Save as HTML..." and does that for you.
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post #20 of 48
Thread Starter 
have i tried it ?

yes, on both accounts i've "tried it".


if you open a simpletext document and edit it at all in TextEdit you are forced into essentially doing a "save as". even if you name it exactly the same thing as it was named before - it creates an entirely new document in addition to your old one and both now live in that folder.

this may not be a big deal with 1 file but when you're dealing with thousands of them it is a significant document management problem.

BUT that's not the only problem with it...

try accessing that new document over a network that has both OSX and OS9 machines running on it. try to open that newly "saved" file from one of the OS9 machines using SimpleText.

NOT SO FAST! that file is no longer readable by Simpletext so anyone one of the OS9 machines is S.O.L.!

delightful.


re: the html thing - again yes, i've "tried it".

make a new TextEdit document. write some markup in there. save it as html [ the annoying un-appended way].

now...TRY REOPENING that ".html" file that you just created with TextEdit - with TextEdit.

what you see is this weird rtf-like assemblage of rectangles and other goodies. everything, that is, except for the markup you just wrote.

yes, you could open it in IE or Safari but so what. i want to reopen the document in the application that i just created it in and add one comma...
but no.
post #21 of 48
Quote:
Originally posted by bluesigns
have i tried it ?

yes, on both accounts i've "tried it".


if you open a simpletext document and edit it at all in TextEdit you are forced into essentially doing a "save as". even if you name it exactly the same thing as it was named before - it creates an entirely new document in addition to your old one and both now live in that folder.

this may not be a big deal with 1 file but when you're dealing with thousands of them it is a significant document management problem.

BUT that's not the only problem with it...

try accessing that new document over a network that has both OSX and OS9 machines running on it. try to open that newly "saved" file from one of the OS9 machines using SimpleText.

NOT SO FAST! that file is no longer readable by Simpletext so anyone one of the OS9 machines is S.O.L.!

delightful.


re: the html thing - again yes, i've "tried it".

make a new TextEdit document. write some markup in there. save it as html [ the annoying un-appended way].

now...TRY REOPENING that ".html" file that you just created with TextEdit - with TextEdit.

what you see is this weird rtf-like assemblage of rectangles and other goodies. everything, that is, except for the markup you just wrote.

yes, you could open it in IE or Safari but so what. i want to reopen the document in the application that i just created it in and add one comma...
but no.

Supplement TextEdit with SubEthaEdit (on VT or MacUpdate). You'll be content after that. TextEdit IS more powerful than Simpletext, be aware of that. However, there are those little problems in it.
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post #22 of 48
Did you look into the preferences and try changing the format that it saves from rich text format to an ascii format (western MacOS I think, sorry not in front of a Mac at the moment)?
Not sure if that will work, but if you haven't given it a shot, it couldn't hurt.
post #23 of 48
Skimmed through the thread, so maybe someone mentioned this... I think a Carbon version of SimpleText is available in the Developer/Applications/Extras folder once you have Developer Tools installed. Someone could probably post it online for Bluesigns to try out.
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post #24 of 48
*sigh* The level of incompetence in here is rising. \

Some important information for everyone:

1. SimpleText is NOT a plain text editor. It saves files with data and styles in the resource fork. Any other editor other than SimpleText will naturally have problems here. It is a GOOD THING that TextEdit forces a Save As because a simple Save would result in the loss of that information in the resource fork. It would seem you have already discovered this.

2. You *can* save a text documents as *.html and you *can* open them to view the raw code rather than the rendered content. I know this for a fact. I do it almost every day. Look in the Preferences and check "Ignore rich text commands in HTML files".

3. A Carbon version of SimpleText is indeed available. However, it has all the same limitations of the Classic version (such as the 32k size limitation) and uses the ugly QuickDraw text engine.
post #25 of 48
Oh yeah..I forgot about the Carbon SimpleText. That should fill the needs.

And TextEdit's prefs always fall out of my head! It's like I don't think they exist! I've seen them before, but I forgot to change that option. Oh well..
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post #26 of 48
Quote:
Originally posted by Brad
That's a really constructive post there, bluesigns.

I think TextEdit is fantastic. I use it for writing all of my reports and papers. I use it for code editing. I use it as a scratchpad for ideas (I think Stickies is ugly). The text looks great, it integrates perfectly with all services, drag-and-drop is a godsend, on Panther it reads and writes natively to Microsoft doc format (good for those idiot professors who think everyone owns Office), it's fast, it's lightweight, and best of all it's free.

For slightly heavier jobs where I want syntax-highlighting when editing code, I switch over to the TextEdit-like app SubEthaEdit (formerly Hydra).


Same here, Brad, Same here
I cannot take AppleWorks, mainly because of it is slow and not the best design. It lacks word count (needed for papers and such), so i made a little konfabulator widget that I can use with TextEdit.


For the SimpleText -> TextEdit : TextEdit creates a more cross platform file (the RTF, or if with pictures, RTFD) , SimpleText is old, and I see no reason to keep it around. Also, you can save as plain text in TextEdit, and all should be fine. Sorry, but these are the features that a text editor, not word processor will provide you.
post #27 of 48
Quote:
Originally posted by jwill
I just tried it to see for myself. It doesn't put html tags in it (unless it's not supposed to). In Appleworks, it does, so I'm thinking that it should in TextEdit too. It wouldn't though.

Yes, this does get your file saved as an html file. But you already need to have it saved. What he wants, I'm thinking, is an option that says "Save as HTML..." and does that for you.

TextEdit is a text editor, and it works great as an HTML editor, too. You just need to type all the HTML into it for it too work. I've edited whole sites in TextEdit, because it's free and what I had on hand. I would have used Hydra, but none of the other people working on the site have a Mac.

Sometimes, I don't bother with HTML, and I just post it to the web in RTF. I only do this for notes and such, but its a quick and dirty way of getting things done.

An example:

http://homepage.mac.com/ryantann/LabNotes.rtf

Yes, I know the stuff in there is boring, but my chem teacher makes us put everything on the internet(at least I was able to talk her into letting me use my iDisk. Normally we have to use Yahoo Briefcase. She's smart enough to find the file on her own).
post #28 of 48
The best thing about TextEdit is that it's more than just a program, it's a component of the operating system that others can build upon. Take a look at great software like Nisus Writer Express -- a not-quite-there but promising new word processor -- or the invoice functions of iWork. They're extensions of the TextEdit toolset, but their core engine is TextEdit. Which is great, because that gives them access to the universal spell check dictionary, the text looks great, and can be saved in .RTF, and soon .DOC.

TextEdit is great because it's not the end all be all. It's not the end. It's not the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.

Kirk
post #29 of 48
Actually, Kirkland, it's much simpler than that even. There's no such thing as a "TextEdit toolset". TextEdit is just another very simple app that takes advantage of several technologies built into Mac OS X. The spellchecker, for example, is available for free to all Cocoa apps as a service. Mail has it; Safari has it; tons of other apps have it. The great-looking text is simply from Quartz.

All Cocoa apps (such as Nisus Writer) get a lot of things "for free", saving the developers hassles and allowing them to focus on the more important core features. Apple even has a tutorial for Building a Text Editor in 15 Minutes. The actual written code is a mere 29 lines long!
post #30 of 48
One of the more interesting ways to implement these Cocoa text frameworks is (was) demonstrated in the now-orphaned TIFFany 3. Note the TextEdit toolbar in that sheet, and of course the font panel. The text entered is turned into a marquee that can be stretched, saved, etc. In this case, I already performed an action within the marquee area.
post #31 of 48
You guys really think it's a stretch to have B U I and a font menu in the toolbar? ? It's GUI sucks, face it.
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post #32 of 48
Quote:
Originally posted by Aquatic
You guys really think it's a stretch to have B U I and a font menu in the toolbar? ? It's GUI sucks, face it.

Well, once you do that you start down the slippery slope to the realm of programs like Word, where toolbars consume half of the document window. Besides, keyboard shortcuts are even faster, and those are already there.
post #33 of 48
Thread Starter 
you're right. save as .html does work.

it's not as straight forward as it was in SimpleText but after saving as a non-appended .html and enabling the "ignore rich text commands in HTML files" i was able to both create and reopen .html files.

of course it appears on the desktop as an IE document which i imagine is because IE just happened to be the default browser at the moment i created this test document...but whatever.

thank you.


and thanks to others for suggestions et al.


but my main problem still persists:

how am i to have backward compatibility with the legacy systems on the network that are running OS9 and using SimpleText while both OS9 and OSX systems need access to the documents and need to be able to edit them?

there are literally thousands of SimpleText documents that need to be accessible from OS9 and OSX.

the root of my anger is that backward compatibility with SimpleText should have been a given for whatever default text editor Apple supplied for OSX.

i would venture to say that every mac user in the world uses or has used SimpleText.


this should have been a seamless migration and now it's a document management problem. and that costs me time and time equals...
post #34 of 48
Download the dev tools and use the carbon SimpleText in there.

And say that every Mac user has used SimpleText is going a bit far. What about all the switchers to the Mac? They probably have never used OS9.
post #35 of 48
What CubeDude said.

Sure, a lot of people may have used SimpleText at some point, but with Classic Mac OS having been dead for almost three years now, I would venture that you are one in a very tiny and quickly shrinking minority that has so many "thousands" of SimpleText documents that still need to be read by both Classic Mac OS and Mac OS X. A lot of Mac users have probably never even heard of SimpleText.

Regardless, as we've pointed out before, SimpleText is available on Mac OS X. If you so desperately need it, it's there for you. Use it.

On a personal note, I'm curious, in what business are you that has so many SimpleText files floating around?
post #36 of 48
Quote:
Originally posted by Aquatic
You guys really think it's a stretch to have B U I and a font menu in the toolbar? ? It's GUI sucks, face it.

So follow the tutorial that Brad linked to and build it yourself. It's not too hard.
post #37 of 48
Quote:
Originally posted by bluesigns
why does TextEdit suck so much?

Hey, did you even configure it?

http://www.myersdaily.org/joseph/notes/configure.html

I consider all software to be blamey unless it is properly configured!

Quote:
Apple comes with a "text editor" which is also an RTF application. As a text editor it is extremely good (a few emacs keystrokes, such as ^k and ^y, are silently included). However, I have to set it to make it most useful.

I change the default format to text, or else it will be a royal pain changing the document type every time a whim suits me to write a paragraph on something (which is often). I check the box "ignore rich text commands in HTML files" in order to open and edit HTML. (Except I use emacs for that, anyway.)

I do not want my spelling to be checked as I type, and so I uncheck that box. I also perform the strategic measure of setting the default plain text encoding for saved documents to Unicode UTF-8. Macintosh users should never curse the Internet with a file generated in Mac Roman, or for that matter, anything else except Unicode.
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post #38 of 48
Quote:
Originally posted by Brad
*sigh* The level of incompetence in here is rising. \

Some important information for everyone:

1. SimpleText is NOT a plain text editor. It saves files with data and styles in the resource fork. Any other editor other than SimpleText will naturally have problems here. It is a GOOD THING that TextEdit forces a Save As because a simple Save would result in the loss of that information in the resource fork. It would seem you have already discovered this.

2. You *can* save a text documents as *.html and you *can* open them to view the raw code rather than the rendered content. I know this for a fact. I do it almost every day. Look in the Preferences and check "Ignore rich text commands in HTML files".

3. A Carbon version of SimpleText is indeed available. However, it has all the same limitations of the Classic version (such as the 32k size limitation) and uses the ugly QuickDraw text engine.

All true. And don't forget Cocoa doesn't really deal with resource forks.
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post #39 of 48
Quote:
Originally posted by jwill
Oh yeah..I forgot about the Carbon SimpleText. That should fill the needs.

And TextEdit's prefs always fall out of my head! It's like I don't think they exist! I've seen them before, but I forgot to change that option. Oh well..

Carbon SimpleText, will nice to have, is not a grat port (like AppleWorks.)
Look at the resizing! It doesn't do it seamlessly like TextEdit (or Finder or iPhoto, etc.) does. Also, it uses the Font menu (not Panel), and being a rough port I doubt it uses the proper OS X text-handeling techniques. It also doesn't use the proper font-smoothing, nor does it support Services. It does selecting text weird compared to TextEdit. Although it uses sheets, it gets it wrong. They're not transparent, they only accept 31 letters, and the close button isn't disabled when they're active. And when quitting with only one document open, it doesn't use a sheet on that document; instead it uses a standard window. And when quitting with multiple documents unsaved, it doesn't let you review the changes indivually; TextEdit does.When dragging and dropping, it uses outlines instead of transparent text. It names it's clippings 'untitled clipping' instead of '[insert DnD'ed text here].' Bad SimpleText! And it still uses resource forks. It has no Window menu. The About box says it demonstrates features of the Carbon high-level stuff. Saying it tells developers how not to port an app is more like it.
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post #40 of 48
Quote:
Originally posted by Nebagakid
Same here, Brad, Same here
I cannot take AppleWorks, mainly because of it is slow and not the best design. It lacks word count (needed for papers and such), so i made a little konfabulator widget that I can use with TextEdit.


For the SimpleText -> TextEdit : TextEdit creates a more cross platform file (the RTF, or if with pictures, RTFD) , SimpleText is old, and I see no reason to keep it around. Also, you can save as plain text in TextEdit, and all should be fine. Sorry, but these are the features that a text editor, not word processor will provide you.

Which app doesn't support Word Count? AppleWorks 6 does (Edit > Writing Tools > Word Count.)
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