Why I love TextEdit (with the right settings)

Somewhat more permanent writing.
Safe from magnets and EMPs.

Keep it Simple

You may have heard that George R. R. Martin's writing tech is barely a step up from carving in stone. The software he uses was released in the 70s and popular in the 80s.

After all, when working on first drafts, a writer needs letters, spaces, and punctuation. Not much else. Apple offers Pages if you want to get fancy, but their machines also come with TextEdit. It's basic enough to let me focus my writing on the writing. (Typing my work is actually draft 2 or 3 when it's time to transfer from handwritten.)

Settings / Preferences

When you first use TextEdit, it's going to think you want rtf, or Rich Text Format. It will try to look like a simplified version of MS Word or Apple Pages. But with a few adjustments, you too can be working with the basic-est of text editors. 

Hold command (⌘) and click comma to pull up the preferences. Or pull up preferences from the menu.

Here are screenshots before and after the great simplification.


What about Windows

I haven't followed what's happening with notepad in Windows, especially for anyone who took the plunge into Windows 11. However, I can recommend Notepad++ as a free, well-designed alternative. There may be some settings to adjust since it's intended for coders who prefer rainbows of words on screen.

(And bouncing back to Mac, I hear CotEditor is a good, free Notepad++-esque editor. Something I'll have to investigate another day.)