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From the Archives: All About Text

alphabet crackersNot surprisingly, the writers at ProfHacker have thought quite a bit about the software tools they use to write.

Here’s a collection of posts from the archives that focus on the use of plain text editors and alternative word processors.

Text Editors

Lincoln describes text editors like Vim, Notepad++, and TextWrangler as Writing Power Tools that are stable, efficient, and promote good writing habits.

Jason discusses Notational Velocity, a Mac plain-text note app that is can be used for idea capturing through to full drafting.

Jason recently reviewed TextDrop, which combines a browser-based text editor (with Markdown support) with Dropbox synchronization.

Alex likes JDarkRoom, a cross-platform java-based text editor, which he combines with Dropbox to gain cloud functionality.

In Using Invert Bookmarks in Your Text Editor I explain a useful tip about how to delete unwanted text that surrounds a set of search results.

Plain Text

Lincoln explains Markdown: The Syntax You Already Probably Know and how it facilitates converting plain text files into formatted text.

In Pandoc Converts All Your (Text) Documents, Lincoln explains how this command-line tool converts Markdown or HTML files into other formats.

Mark Sample reviews Gonzo, a cross-platform open source Markdown editor.

Text Expansion

Ryan’s Smarter Typing Through Text Expansion serves as a good introduction to what text expansion software does and how it might benefit an academic user.

In New (and Simple) Twists on Text Expansion Brian offered concrete examples of how text expansion has simplified his daily work.

In Using Text Expansion for Mobile E-mail, Jason reviews text expansion apps for mobile devices, which can help reduce mistakes and infelicities in emails typed on the go.

In Using Text Expansion Software to Respond to Student Writing, George explains how he uses text expansion to cover remarks he frequently makes on student essays.

Word Processors

Julie explained using Google Docs with writing students in Getting Started With Google Docs in the Classroom and the follow-up Revisiting Google Doscs for Classroom Use.

Julie recommends using OpenOffice, an open source cross platform alternative to Microsoft Word.

Ryan reviews Scrivener, a project-based writing environment.

Guest author Bryn Lutes explains Getting Started with LaTeX.

George surveys a wide variety of writing software in Writing Tools Or Magic Software.

[Creative commons licensed image by flickr user joyosity]

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