Text editors, for the most part, have to be feature rich, or at the very least, provide a minimum number of features to make themselves useful. Too many features, and users might have trouble figuring everything out. It can also lead to a huge clutter of controls that you will never use. The default text editor in Mac, TextEdit, supports some very basic features, and many users still opt to find other text editing tools because this default app doesn’t meet their requirements. If, for any reason, you aren’t satisfied with TextEdit, Growly Write is a free Mac app that is a text editing tool with a very reasonable number of features, sans a gorgeous UI. The app’s features cover the basics for editing text, and allow you to open most common formats like RTF, DOC, DOCX etc, without losing the document’s original formatting.
Growly Write saves files to a number of formats, with the default being its own custom format, Growly Write Document (.GBwrite). The interface is simple enough; writing space to the left, with tools appearing on the right in collapsible/expandable menus. The menus are divided into tabs to differentiate which text element they are for. You can use the cog wheel button at the bottom of the right panel to enable more options. Fonts, font color and highlight color can be changed using the respective buttons at the top.
By default, the app will check for spelling errors and will also use the default shortcuts in OS X, but you can disable this from the app’s preferences. From the Edit tab in preferences, you can enable/disable smart quotes, smart copy/paste (retaining or cleaning formatting of copied text), detection of HTML links in the text, dragging & dropping images and text onto a document and more.
From the Files tab, you have the option to disable auto save for documents and remember which were open last in the app. The Appearance lets you change the symbol for tabbed space, auto resize a window so that text space is maximized. You can change the color for chapters and headers and the highlight color. The New Document tab lets you manage the margins in a document, enable rulers, change the default font and set the default zoom level for a document.
Like all text editors, Growly Write allows you to insert images, tables and manipulate text orientation in a number of ways. You can enter dividers, notes and bookmarks in a document; however, there is no option for adding shapes. The tools for pictures are limited as well, allowing you to only resize an image, and add a border of any color or thickness. Noteworthy in this app is that it retains the original formatting of a document that you open in it, and adds columns and chapters from the Insert menu.