Writing / Publishing
Adobe Creative Cloud membership will be US$49.99 per month. Sorry, but I won’t be signing up. I don’t rent software, at least not if I can help it. Pixelmator sells on the App Store for 20 bucks. If you need more power than that, the GIMP is free, and you can put up with a lot of learning curve climbing to save fifty bucks a month in rental fees. Forever. Or, at least I can.
Computerworld’s Gregg Keizer reports that Microsoft has confirmed changes to its Office 2013 End User License Agreement (EULA), specifying that the software suite can only be installed on one computer—forever—and is not transferable to another machine if you upgrade your system hardware, sell your PC, or even if the computer dies and is scrapped.
TextWrangler 4.5, the free “Text Engine for the Mac Community,” has been optimized to make it look sharp on the latest MacBook Pro models’ high-resolution Retina displays. The update also introduces a Go menu, a new Compare Against Previous Version command, various bug fixes, and more.
Word Counter’s basic function is to perform word counts and character counts, but it can do much more than that. Word Counter can be used independently by pasting text directly into it for checking, or in conjunction with other applications such as TextEdit, Microsoft Word, Pages, TextWrangler, and others.
Two weeks after Apple unveiled their iBooks Author program for designing interactive e-books, template king Jumsoft was there with their first set of iBook Author templates, dubbed Book Palette. They’ve now expanded that collection to 25 with the announcement of five new designs that offer “… upmarket design quality at a reasonable price.”
TidBITS’ Adam C. Engst highlights an issue that’s frustrated me over my 20-odd years as an Apple user—the company’s abject lack of respect for its customers. This is especially an issue, at least from my subjective perspective, for those of us who use Apple products as tools of our livelihoods.
These days, Apple’s OS X TextEdit app actually an amazingly capable mini word processor that supports some pretty advanced near page-layout functions, such as text kerning, ligatures, baseline adjustments, shadowed text, and style copying and pasting, but if you need a basic a Plain Text editor, it’s an app for that too
If Office for iOS ever emerges from the vapor and makes some folks happy and improves their iPad computing experience, that will be great. It certainly can’t hurt. However, I’ll be giving it a pass, and I expect most other iOS users will as well.
It’s hard to stay focused when writing a novel. We can’t all be those young women who write young adult novels on Post-It notes with one hand while holding a breastfeeding baby in the other…for thematic, practical and biological reasons. As such, the more tools you have to keep you organized and on track, the better your chance of success. One such tool is Mariner Software’s Persona for OS X.
There is a lot of really good free software available for the Mac and the iOS. In Part One of this series, I profiled my dozen favorite free iOS apps. In this second instalment, I’ll do the same with my six favorite free OS X production tools. My choices naturally reflect the sort of things I do with computers, so these are not “best” lists, except in the context of “best for my purposes and tastes.”