Writing Tips by Gary Speer

Tips for writers, musing about writing and life

What’s your favorite writing software for text files?

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Text editors are no big deal anymore for writers, are they? Most of the “serious” or finished writing I do is done in Word. I suspect most writers use Word, because so many editors require Word or Word-compatible files.

Yet often, especially when I’m working directly on a website, a good plain text editor is very useful. Do you have such a critter that you use? What is your favorite text editor?

Because most of my need for a text editor involves working on websites, I found one a few months ago that I actually paid money for, but it does many things the many free text editors won’t do.

The software I’m talking about is WeBuilder 2008. You can find it here, if you’re interested. (No, this isn’t an affiliate link. No, I make nothing if you decide to buy it.) They offer a free full-feature 30 day trial, I believe.

The most useful part of this software, from my standpoint, is that I can connect to one of my websites via FTP through the software and edit files “live” online, saving changes as I make them. This makes it terrifically hand if I want to change the content on a web page, correct an error on a web page, etc.

And, it also lets me write plain text files quickly and easily offline. As with most text editing/writing software these days, it has a tabbed interface so I can keep many documents open at the same time.

That would be my favorite text editor. There are many others, depending on how simple or complex your needs are. Many good ones are free.

What text editing/writing software do you prefer? Tell us, please.
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2 Responses to “What’s your favorite writing software for text files?”

  1. I like Live Writer for blog posting.

    It would be nice if Word didn’t put such horrendous code in anything copied from it.

    Other than that, I use Dreamweaver for HTML emails and EditPlus for fast editing of program files.

    But it looks like WeBuilder would be a good mix between those two. Dreamweaver is a little hard core for just formatting online text and EditPlus is just the code view.

  2. Gary says:

    I’ve fiddled around with Live Writer a little bit. In the end, I’m so accustomed to writing blog posts online via the WordPress dashboard that I find myself forgetting to even use the blog software.

    As far as Word — yeah, that spurious code stuff is really irritating. I had a freelance gig uploading edited files to a server for a large church organization. It meant doing anything from a few dozen files to a batch of a hundred in one assignment. The problem was that all the files were done in Word, and the server required straight text files. We had to go through an incredibly complicated hassle just to get each individual file on the server. What a nuisance.

    I’m too poor to afford Dreamweaver. I’ve heard nothing but good things about Dreamweaver, though.

    I think EditPlus is very similar to the EditPad Pro I use for most offline text files (mentioned in another post).

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