Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Two Text Tools for the Uncommon Writer

Microsoft Word has been the corporate word processing application for some years, but the professional home office has attractive options for crafting text.

For your next magnum opus, Scrivener offers visual outline and reference tools appropriate for longer works. WriteRoom offers a spartan collection of word processing features sufficient for writing letters and other short docs, but it's appeal lies with the control over the page and background color. The default setting offers up classic green text on a black background which I changed in a matter of minutes to black text on a goldenrod background. Blocking out everything else, WriteRoom offers the features of Think 1.0, mentioned last week in this blog, but limited to the word processing environment.

I no longer recommend Mariner Write for word processing because the application does not support Mac OS X Spotlight searches. Finding a Mariner Write file is now left to eye-balling the Documents folder. No thanks.

Both Scrivener and Write Room can save text as RTF or text (.txt) files, readily readable by MS Word and other word processors. Both can also save files as MS Word. Scrivener can be easily adopted as the word processor of choice for your next novel, whereas WriteRoom offers a quiet, serene desk for scribbling, albeit that the environment will not be for everyone. Choices, choices.

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