According to some rumors, Microsoft will release MS Office for Android and iOS early next year. Until that happens though, there are some pretty great word processing apps available in the App Store, specially if you own an iPad. Apparently, the iPad’s large screen is a real magnet for developers who want to publish text editing tools. Textilus has been around for long enough to enjoy a decent user base on the iPad. From comprehensive formatting options to support for various cloud and note-taking services, Textilus has it all, making it worth the $4.99 you’ll have to shell out for it. To help you get started, Textilus comes with a folder named Sampleson its main page. Users can find tutorials in the text files stored within Samples. To get down to business and create a new document, hit the ‘+’ button in the top-left corner. Files can also be imported for editing from Dropbox, and the configuration steps for that can be performed via the menu in the top bar. File management features offered by Textilus are pretty good, and you can create folders and move files around simply by tapping and holding any icon, pretty much like apps on the SpringBoard. Folder skins can be changed by tapping them in edit mode.
Once in editing mode, you will notice that Textilus has a special keyboard of its own. Although there is a separate options pane available in the top-right corner, most of the features are accessible via keyboard buttons. There are shortcuts for changing the font size, type and alignment. Hitting the font name will take you to the menu marked Text Style. From this menu, it is possible to change the color, size and font of the text. You can also change the line spacing and other formatting options.
The Insert menu is almost as thorough as the one in MS Word, and has buttons for links, symbols, word art and timestamp. To align the text just the way you want, hit the first button in the keyboard’s option bar. For special text styles, there is a dedicated menu offering highlight, strikethrough, underline and other similar options. To provide a more desktop-like experience to users, the keyboard has a navigation area, although everything can be controlled through simple touches as well.
One of the best things about Textilus is its statistics bar. We have seen a lot of iPad text editors that lack word count, but this app is not one of them. The stats area shows estimated reading time, average word length, number of sentences, words and characters. Find & Replace is available in the options pane as well. For cosmetic purposes, Textilus sports a sepia mode, while selected text can be searched in external sources like Google, Wikipedia and the iOS dictionary. If you choose to link your Evernote, Dropbox or Scrivener accounts with the app, all your notes will sync with these services in real-time. The default format is RTF, but documents can also be exported as PDF and HTML files.
In short, if you are looking for a comprehensive text editor that offers cloud syncing and has a plethora of formatting options, and don’t mind shelling out $4.99 for one, you can’t go wrong with Textilus.
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