Text editor, comes with Mac OS X.
Required OS: not specified
Go to: TextEdit > Preferences, under the New Document's Format change it to 'Plain Text'. Now every time you make a new document it will always be that way. No more having to go up into the format menu to convert a document from Rich to Plain text (not that it was all that hard to in the first place)
I live by 'copy and paste', and I used to get so tired of dealing with all of the extraneous and annoying formatting that came along with almost anything I did. Trying to do something as simple as copy and paste a collection of notes from various websites would create an ugly assortment of different fonts, sizes, colors, hyperlinks, etc. . . That is until I discovered the beauty of plain text, and for that matter TextEdit.
Basically, the simplicity, stability, speed and lightweight of TextEdit combined with the ability to create instant plain text documents makes this an essential tool. I have yet to find anything that even comes close to replacing this, and I find it almost laughable that I rely on such a basic program for so much.
It's actually open-source, under the APSL - the source code's somewhere in the dev tools...
Better than notepad
Some people compare it to notepad, that's a very wrong comparison. It is as lightweight as notepad but can support nice RTF formatting (fonts, indentation, lists, support for images). Pretty much anything most people want when it comes to simple documents.
I use this for word processing. Works very nicely. Does nearly everything I need it to except formulas. I have to fire up OpenOffice for that.
I use TextEdit for word processing. It's a great alternative to bloated (AppleWorks) or expensive and arguably evil (Miscrosoft Office) word processors, and unless you need footnotes is as fully featured (where it matters) as either of the above apps.
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