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In which program do you do most of your writing?

1/1: In which program do you do most of your writing?

AlphaX 17 (0.49%)
AppleWorks 120 (3.47%)
BBEdit 273 (7.88%)
emacs 127 (3.67%)
jEdit 17 (0.49%)
Mariner Write 11 (0.32%)
Microsoft Word 812 (23.45%)
nano/pico 27 (0.78%)
Nisus Writer Express 38 (1.10%)
OpenOffice/NeoOffice 162 (4.68%)
Pages 246 (7.10%)
Smultron 85 (2.45%)
SubEthaEdit 70 (2.02%)
TextEdit 462 (13.34%)
TextMate 258 (7.45%)
TextWrangler 161 (4.65%)
vi/vim 254 (7.33%)
WriteRoom 27 (0.78%)
Xcode 57 (1.65%)
Other [note in comments] 239 (6.90%)
Other polls | 3,463 votes | 72 comments

In which program do you do most of your writing? | 72 comments | Create New Account
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It's not perfect, but...
Authored by: robg on Dec 06, '06 11:41:42AM

I realize that most of us use more than one tool for writing -- I personally alternate between Word and Smultron depending on what it is I'm working on. Nonetheless, you can pick but one as your most-used writing tool. Also, I have a limit of 20 poll answers, so I had to leave a few options out. Sorry for those that were overlooked; you'll have to use the 'Other' option if you use a program that didn't make the list.

-rob.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Mellel
Authored by: ddauerbach on Dec 06, '06 11:50:07AM

Mellel



[ Reply to This | # ]
Mellel
Authored by: ckwm on Dec 06, '06 11:53:41AM

Another mellel user

---
Chris



[ Reply to This | # ]
Mellel
Authored by: nicka on Dec 06, '06 01:08:51PM

Me too. Shouldn't Mellel be on the list?



[ Reply to This | # ]
Mellel
Authored by: croasmun on Dec 06, '06 01:11:11PM

I'm a Mellel user, too.
Hmm... I wonder what percentage of "other" are Mellel users?



[ Reply to This | # ]
It's not perfect, but...
Authored by: brucio on Dec 06, '06 04:09:46PM

I do most of my writing in outliners; since the demise of MORE™, I've been using Inspiration. Then I usually export to Word to fine-tune the formatting.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Mellel
Authored by: DylanMuir on Dec 07, '06 02:09:15AM

D.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Scrivener
Authored by: milhouse on Dec 07, '06 03:27:57AM
I use Scrivener for most of my writing. It's still in Beta but is more stable than many other programs that have been around for years.
check it out.

www.literatureandlatte.com

[ Reply to This | # ]
Boycotting this one
Authored by: Yaldaboath on Dec 07, '06 08:21:19AM

I'm boycotting this poll; I don't know how you could have left Mellel out. Rob, are you behind the times? According to versiontracker, Mellel has had many more downloads than most of the apps on your list.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Boycotting this one
Authored by: clwilla on Dec 07, '06 12:59:45PM

Although there are tons of WPs on the market, I'm not sure how Mellel could have been left off as well.



[ Reply to This | # ]
LaTex
Authored by: JaxMyers on Dec 06, '06 12:00:04PM

Almost everything I write is in LaTex and I use the excellent TexShop editor to do most of my work.



[ Reply to This | # ]
LaTex
Authored by: dr_clive on Dec 06, '06 01:07:37PM

Me too. I use TextEdit for trivial stuff, LaTeX/TeXShop editor for anything serious.



[ Reply to This | # ]
LaTex
Authored by: postglock on Dec 06, '06 07:51:00PM

LaTeX (LyX)



[ Reply to This | # ]
Writing or Editing?
Authored by: gidds on Dec 06, '06 12:02:28PM

I voted for 'vi', coz it ought to get more recognition :) But although I use that a lot, I don't tend to do original writing in it; instead, I use it for editing, formatting, and generally hacking around text from elsewhere.

For actual writing, I generally use Apple Mail (for emails, obviously), TextEdit (for almost everything else), and occasionally Firefox (such as this comment, though the lack of spelling and other tools, and in some cases the poor formatting, mean that I'll often write in TextEdit and then paste back into Firefox).

Oh, and for source code, I tend to use vi for shell scripts, Perl, and C, but TextEdit for Java -- though I've recently installed Eclipse and expect to be using that instead.

---
Andy/



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Word, TextEdit & TextWrangler about equal
Authored by: jecwobble on Dec 06, '06 12:15:15PM
Depends on the task: write mostly in TextEdit; edit (find/replace/etc.) in TextWrangler; format (headings/lists/tables/columns) in Word.

When I'm working on PHP/HTML files and managing complete web sites, I use skEdit.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Journler
Authored by: Jailer Joe on Dec 06, '06 12:15:42PM

and Pages comes in a close second



[ Reply to This | # ]
Depends
Authored by: flammable on Dec 06, '06 12:19:01PM

I'd say Safari (I'm a forum nut), but otherwise for actual writing, I use MarsEdit to post to my blog.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Depends
Authored by: Twist on Dec 06, '06 12:36:16PM

It really depends on what I am writing. I don't use Word much anymore since I graduated but I did use it quite often before. I use BBEdit all the time for HTML, CSS, Javascript, and PHP. For anything that I am going to print normally I use a RTF based app like Mori. I really Mori for note taking and my personal journal and fiction writings.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Depends on the Task
Authored by: bedouin on Dec 06, '06 12:38:28PM

For note taking I use TextEdit. For papers, articles, other academic-level stuff, Word. For things that require slightly more complicated layout (newsletters, fliers) I use Pages.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Depends on the Task
Authored by: jochen Küpper on Dec 07, '06 01:43:17AM

Wow; for all that I simply use one editor program: Emacs - notes in plain text, the greatest layout you get using LaTeX, and if you enter the third formular in your paper, laecture, presentation, ... you'll realize that LaTeX really rocks!

And Emacs (Aquamacs) using auctex is definitely (one of) the best LaTeX environments there is;)



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Smultron rules!
Authored by: kirkmc on Dec 06, '06 12:51:13PM

Smultron does indeed.

Plus BBEdit, and Scrivener (soon to replace Ulysses for creative writing).

And, to be honest, Word has its assets...

Kirk

---
Read my blog: Kirkville -- http://www.mcelhearn.com
Musings, Opinion and Miscellanea, on Macs, iPods and more



[ Reply to This | # ]
Not really a fair poll
Authored by: sjmills on Dec 06, '06 12:53:46PM

It's a hard poll to answer, because the bulk of my day-to-day work is done in Xcode. My personal time might include doing some html/css work, and I do that in BBEdit. For any other text file I usually use TextEdit.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Mellel, TextMate, and paper (ah, paper!)
Authored by: terceiro on Dec 06, '06 01:00:30PM

The only virtue of Microsoft Word is its ubiquity. I used to think that Word haters were nuts, but after using Mellel for a major academic project, I have now come to see Word as the Worst Possible Option for Writing on the Mac. I do use Excel pretty often, though, and so I have no plans to rip Office off my machine.

Most of my writing is done in TextMate due to the absolutely wonderful "Edit In TextMate..." input manager thingie. Working in TextMate is so fast, so rock-solid, so unfroofy that I get more done in less time writing there -- real, generative, prose writing -- than anywhere else. Well, anywhere else that's not a yellow legal pad which, as all real writers know, is what God probably used for the first draft of the Bible.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Mellel, TextMate, and paper (ah, paper!)
Authored by: quentinsf on Dec 06, '06 01:59:20PM
Agreed - the 'Edit in TextMate' function is fabulous - I use it for any blog post more than a few lines. And the blog constitutes most of my writing these days.

[ Reply to This | # ]
Multiple
Authored by: Hodag on Dec 06, '06 01:17:56PM

TextEdit for the day to day
NeoOffice for Word compatibility
BBEdit for data file work

---
--
Adam C.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Multiple
Authored by: Hodag on Dec 06, '06 01:19:18PM

oh, and pico when I'm in Terminal

---
--
Adam C.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Mellel
Authored by: billclinton on Dec 06, '06 01:59:53PM

With due respect to Rob for running a great site, this has to be the fruitiest poll ever for not defining what kind of writing.

Anyway, for *real* writing, Mellel is hands down the best thing going.

And for most writing functions that involve substantial layout, Pages has the most subtly fine interface I've ever seen.

For coding, TextMate is stunning. If you don't "get" it right away, spend a bit more time with the program, until your jaw is on the ground.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Mellel
Authored by: robg on Dec 06, '06 03:11:29PM

I didn't want to define which kind of writing :) -- I thought it'd be more fun and interesting as an open-ended poll. THat's not to say that a future poll might not be "What's your most-used code-writing tool?"

-rob.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Mellel
Authored by: billclinton on Dec 07, '06 02:15:22PM

Fair enough.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Mellel
Authored by: MtnBiker on Dec 08, '06 08:29:32AM

Pages, BBEdit, TextEdit

If Pages would only fix how text is formatted. It's one thing Word does better. I also like that Word's Styles are heirarchical, if that's the right word for you can make one style depend on another. You decide you want Garamond as your main font in a document instead of Times, you make one change, while still keeping your headline fonts as Helvetica or whatever.

BBEdit because I paid for it years ago and have gone through a couple of paid upgrades. TextMate looks tempting, but I don't use text editing more than 30 minutes a day, so not worth spending the money or time to learn a new program. Maybe in a version or two, I'll change since I haven't upgraded to the latest BBEdit. Who know what Leopard will bring?

---
Hermosa Beach, CA USA



[ Reply to This | # ]
Nano vs. SubEtha vs. Smultron
Authored by: matx on Dec 06, '06 02:00:25PM

nano is handy, when you're always in Terminal... shell script writing, checking email with mutt, and general system stuff.

TextEdit is great for Note Take in Finder/MacOS land.

SubEthaEdit is great for collaborative script writing, and Smultron is cute, with its default line numbers showing, multiple doc view, etc

---
Mat X -- VFX Mac Tech



[ Reply to This | # ]
Safari & Eudora
Authored by: tjnugent on Dec 06, '06 02:01:26PM

The vast majority of my writing is done in blogs, wikis, and email. So Safari is home to much of my writing, with Eudora a close second.

As for "other" writing, I use BBEdit, Word, and TexShop (in roughly descending order of use). It really depends on what week/month it is.



[ Reply to This | # ]
TeXShop
Authored by: zimmerleut on Dec 06, '06 02:01:52PM

I use (a modified version of) TeXShop for my LaTeXing, and SubEthaEdit for programming etc.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Tex-Edit Plus! (not TextEdit)
Authored by: steresi on Dec 06, '06 02:21:30PM
I still use Tex-Edit Plus, even though the author doesn't seem to be improving it much anymore (new releases still continue to come out once in a while though).

The benefit to the program is that your files will never be locked into a proprietary file format--a problem if you hope your files will be readable in the not-to-distant future. It writes plain vanilla text files (which can be read on any platform if you convert the linefeeds to unix or PC), but it also stores font face and font style somehow, so I can add occasional headings or boldface to the short notes I write or records I keep. For instance, I keep all my password, login, billing, financial notes, recipes, and other lists of things in Tex-Edit documents in various folders.

I soured a little on the program after the author changed the way option-arrow moves around a long document to a nonstandard behavior.

Scott


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Tex-Edit Plus! (not TextEdit)
Authored by: DougAdams on Dec 07, '06 03:38:14PM
Yay! Glad to hear there's still another fan out there. Although I have to use Word professionally, Tex-Edit Plus is my web-writing engine. Totally 'scriptable so it integrates with Transmit very nicely. Still free, too!

---
Doug's AppleScripts for iTunes
http://www.dougscripts.com/itunes/

[ Reply to This | # ]

Tex-Edit Plus! (not TextEdit)
Authored by: cleanhead on Dec 08, '06 12:14:35PM

Tex-Edit gets my vote too. OK, I use TextWrangler for code. And for quick note taking, nothing beats Fishpad. Umm, any other Fishpad users out there?



[ Reply to This | # ]
Tex-Edit Plus! (not TextEdit)
Authored by: Gnarlodious on Dec 11, '06 12:57:12PM

I use Tex-Edit Plus too, for everything. Highly Applescriptable so all kinds of text conversions are possible. Text and window styles are infinitely adjustable.

Tex-Edit for me is a must-have Mac app.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Do blogging apps count?
Authored by: dcharti on Dec 06, '06 02:35:12PM

Since I blog for a living and a hobby, I do most of my writing in Firefox, Mail and ecto. Yojimbo is a distant 4th.

---
--
http://www.tuaw.com/
http://www.dcharti.com/blog/



[ Reply to This | # ]
Do blogging apps count?
Authored by: macron1 on Dec 07, '06 11:16:48PM

i second this query... embarrassingly, lately ive been doing most of my writing with iWeb (on my mac i mean, at work it is MS word on the PC for the thesis). probably not terribly efficient, but simple i guess



[ Reply to This | # ]
gmail mostly
Authored by: miragj on Dec 06, '06 02:47:28PM

i do most of my writing in gmail (in firefox 2.0), then save it as a draft. from there, i'll either email it somewhere (friends, associates, auto-post address for my blog) or i'll copy'n'paste it into something (typically textedit or textwrangler) for touch ups.

i'm still desiring a day when all computers are simply clients, hooked up to one single massive, all-knowing, maniacal server.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Mostly word
Authored by: tjj on Dec 06, '06 03:53:23PM

Word at work (corporate demand)
Neooffice at home plus:
LaTeX (TexShop)
May use Pages more



[ Reply to This | # ]
E-mail
Authored by: david-bo on Dec 06, '06 04:25:17PM

The question is wrong. I, and I guess most other people, write at least 75% of all text I/we produce in different e-mail clients.

For other text needs Alpha is great. Smultron don't even have diff.

---
http://www.google.com/search?as_q=%22Authored+by%3A+david-bo%22&num=10&hl=en&ie=ISO-8859-1&btnG=



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I find I have so many writing tools...
Authored by: tommyw on Dec 06, '06 04:38:38PM

it's kinda crazy.

Work demands Word. I get so many and all the import/export features in the world aren't going to be foolproof so I find I have to use it.

I prefer Pages in many respects, simpler and easier to visually layout.

I'm currently trialling Mellel, it works differently and looks quite odd in some ways, but it's extremely impressive in the level of control you have over your document. If it's word importing and exporting are up to snuff I may just buy it.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Tex-Edit Plus
Authored by: DotDotComma on Dec 06, '06 05:29:49PM

... the best $10 ever spent on shareware. Most shareware packages fall by the wayside within a year or two, but TE+ has been the one for as long as I can remember (and that's quite a long time!) ...



[ Reply to This | # ]
Eclipse
Authored by: CaptCosmic on Dec 06, '06 05:33:19PM

I work for a Java development company, so most of my time is spent in Eclipse.

---
Capt Cosmic



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Should have included TeXShop
Authored by: glgray on Dec 06, '06 06:41:05PM

I use TeXShop (front end for LaTeX) for about 99% of my writing.



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Should have included TeXShop
Authored by: Han Solo on Dec 06, '06 10:25:26PM

Agreed -- TeXShop is far and away my number one app for actual writing. Far behind is TextEdit, followed probably by BBEdit and Pages, in that order. (Although if I could count it as "writing", as someone suggested above, Mail.app might actually take the top place by a mile.) And a lot of my writing actually starts in OmniOutliner Pro, so I suppose that should count as well.



[ Reply to This | # ]
InDesign
Authored by: Cynder on Dec 06, '06 08:07:46PM

I'll tend to prefer writing, editing and designing any document in Adobe InDesign. It's more of a page layout tool but it has excellent tools that I find more useful and faster than Word or TextEdit...plus I know the key commands. Alternatively, I've set TextEdit as my default text/word document opener.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Entourage
Authored by: designr on Dec 06, '06 08:59:34PM

I am in email hell. Everything has to be discussed by email...



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Not Word
Authored by: OJB on Dec 06, '06 09:08:32PM

Just about anything except Word! I am very Internet-centric so I write a lot of HTML, etc in BBEdit. I do my own (very rare) word processing in Pages. Sometimes I need to help someone else with a Word document and am always disappointed in how badly Word does everything.



[ Reply to This | # ]
OmniGraffle
Authored by: Unsoluble on Dec 06, '06 10:55:55PM
I actually spend most of my time making things in OmniGraffle. While it may appear to be just a charting app at first glance, it's actually the best page layout app I've ever used. It's become an invaluable part of my workflow as a teacher -- creating professional-looking worksheets and tests is extremely easy and flexible.

Give it a shot if you haven't already -- I think many of you would be happily surprised with how it works. :)

[ Reply to This | # ]
in OmniOutliner, actually
Authored by: bilalb on Dec 07, '06 01:23:59AM

Not the most obvious choice, but I do most of my drafting in OO before moving it to TexShop downstream when I'm mostly happy with the content and start worrying about looks.

I find the outline structure makes it easy to zoom in on the particular bit I'm working on and to play around with the structure. OO's style features are great for marking different kinds of 'unfinished' text: 'turn into prose', 'revise', 'reference missing' etc. (as you might have guessed from this, most of my writing --- outside of Mail, as someone pointed out quite rightly --- is academic).



[ Reply to This | # ]
Tex-Edit Plus
Authored by: Scripter12 on Dec 07, '06 02:31:49AM

I love Tex-Edit Plus. Even if I intend to use the text elsewhere (InDesign for example) I enter it here first. TE+ also offers fantastic AppleScript support making it a great tool for all sorts of text manipulation and reorganization.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Hard to pick just one
Authored by: tersono on Dec 07, '06 04:51:25AM

I picked BBEdit, but spend almost as much time in NeoOffice (which I use mainly at work). Number 3 would be a straight tie between Nisus Writer Express (which is my preferred WP at home) & InDesign, which is running on my work box all day every day.

Word I just can't deal with - I've tried to like it, but failed miserably.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Mellel first for me too
Authored by: PancakeMan on Dec 07, '06 07:28:29AM
45% Mellel (Nice looking stuff to print, major projects)
  • Snappy, dependable
    20% OmniOutliner Pro (checklists, plans)
  • Great program, using it more than I ever imagined I would
    15% Smultron (lists and drafts)
  • Free text editor with all the features I need
    10% Word (when compatibility matters, or table-intensive)
  • Furnished by my employer
    10% DevonThink Pro (notetaking)
  • Plain text note pages within the database
    under 1% Pages (when layout is most important)
  • I got iWork for Keynote, but sometimes I like toying with Pages

    [ Reply to This | # ]
  • TeXShop
    Authored by: googoo on Dec 07, '06 07:35:54AM

    I answered BBEdit because I use it for almost all my coding, but I use TeXShop for formatted documents (unless I am forced to use Word).

    -Mark



    [ Reply to This | # ]
    TeXShop
    Authored by: gedalin on Dec 07, '06 08:56:49AM

    TeXShop for almost everything (even not LaTeX), except programming (F90, Matlab) for which is Smultron.



    [ Reply to This | # ]
    Pagemaker
    Authored by: asher on Dec 07, '06 10:24:37AM

    Had Pagemaker since version 1, learned to use it well. To cheap to buy In Design. Obviously used for writing which will be printed or converted to pdf. If it isn't going to be printed it's not writing.



    [ Reply to This | # ]
    Microsoft Word
    Authored by: GORDYmac on Dec 07, '06 11:31:26AM

    The oldest is still the best.



    [ Reply to This | # ]
    Latex
    Authored by: hamarkus on Dec 07, '06 07:40:40PM

    Overall it might be a tie between Latex (TeXShop), Matlab and Mail.

    For non-Code, non-email: definitely 90% Latex, 9% Mellel, 1% Word, InDesign.

    For Code: Matlab, than Textwrangler

    And for solving equations: paper (lots of paper)



    [ Reply to This | # ]
    Tried Hyperedit?
    Authored by: wyard on Dec 07, '06 08:50:59PM

    I've been doing a mess of HTML/XML coding lately, and happened across HYPEREDIT.
    Works great, customisable, color-coded, checks code, has nice browser-preview. Split-page option allows editing/viewing split either vert. or horiz. Plus many other options I _do not_ use. Only thing I havn't found yet is a conversion from CAPS to l.c. & viseversa.



    [ Reply to This | # ]
    Is programming writing?
    Authored by: hibbelig on Dec 07, '06 11:40:05PM

    I interpreted the language of the poll to explicitly refer to natural language and not some programming language. Yet, several answers refer to programming. (Well, I've got to admit that I read the posting first, and that had some more explanation that's missing from the poll question itself.)

    Have I misunderstood the question?



    [ Reply to This | # ]
    text area
    Authored by: riccard0 on Dec 08, '06 05:14:32AM

    Most of my writing is done in some text area from some site or another (like this one), with some (Geko-based) browser or another.



    [ Reply to This | # ]
    Mail
    Authored by: wsdr on Dec 08, '06 07:25:05AM

    In my day to day work, over the past 10 years, I've gone from 99% AppleWorks to 98% Mail and 2% Pages for all of my "writing." Writing being defined as proposals, contracts, documentation, etc. Email has become the de-facto standard for all written communication, with the occasional PDF created in Pages thrown in in order to receive a signature.



    [ Reply to This | # ]
    How do I enter text?
    Authored by: horkstow on Dec 08, '06 04:23:24PM

    I'm a rotten typist, so I enter most of my text via ViaVoice Speakpad.



    [ Reply to This | # ]
    LyX
    Authored by: Volt on Dec 10, '06 02:19:00AM

    For writing, I use LyX whenever I can.

    For coding, I mostly use Xcode for extended periods and SubEthaEdit for smaller edits.



    [ Reply to This | # ]
    DEVONthink and Word
    Authored by: ChrisH3677 on Dec 10, '06 04:31:11PM

    Most of my writing is done in DEVONthink and Word.

    Others you could consider for the list are:
    - AbiWord
    - Think Free Office
    - Writely (Google)
    - Scrivener
    - Jer's Novel Writer



    [ Reply to This | # ]
    vi
    Authored by: casperghst42 on Dec 11, '06 08:24:54AM

    Simple, can do what one would expect from a text editor:-)



    [ Reply to This | # ]
    path finder
    Authored by: vman on Dec 11, '06 12:30:07PM

    most of the time path finder's build-in editor, simple & fast.



    [ Reply to This | # ]
    depends...
    Authored by: UberFu on Dec 12, '06 09:15:39PM

    on what I'm doing at any given time_

    InDesgin if I'm hammering out a Print Design layout_

    TextEdit for a lot - due to it's quick ability to switch to plain text format and clear out any formatting or style code attached to the content_

    I only use Word long enough to open a document [from a client] and select all - then copy - then switch Apps and then paste_

    Online - I use what ever browser I'm running_

    If I end up in an eMail client I just use the interface in that App_

    If I'm in something like DreamWeaver laying out a webpage - I'll switch to code view if I need raw text_



    [ Reply to This | # ]
    Mail then Stickies, TextEdit or Word
    Authored by: alexmathew on Dec 13, '06 01:03:44PM

    Most of my correspondence is in Mail - sometimes I need to create document and TextEdit is sufficient - Word is the last resort! I hate it, I hate it, I hate Word! Pages is expensive for what it does and I'm not sure I'll use it enough..
    AM



    [ Reply to This | # ]
    Mellel is it
    Authored by: Beweis on Dec 20, '06 01:59:07PM

    Mellel



    [ Reply to This | # ]