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Tracking your documents in TextEdit

From: Mac OS X Mountain Lion Essential Training

Video: Tracking your documents in TextEdit

TextEdit is Apple's text editing application. While it's not a full-blown word processing application like Apple's Pages or Microsoft Word, it has a surprising amount of power for a free text editor. Let's take a look. So we'll launch it from Spotlight. I will open a document. Again, this is one of those applications that can store documents in the cloud, and I'm going to open one that's in iCloud. So as you can see, TextEdit looks a little bit like a word processor from the early 1990s, but it has a lot of capabilities of a standard word processor.

Tracking your documents in TextEdit

TextEdit is Apple's text editing application. While it's not a full-blown word processing application like Apple's Pages or Microsoft Word, it has a surprising amount of power for a free text editor. Let's take a look. So we'll launch it from Spotlight. I will open a document. Again, this is one of those applications that can store documents in the cloud, and I'm going to open one that's in iCloud. So as you can see, TextEdit looks a little bit like a word processor from the early 1990s, but it has a lot of capabilities of a standard word processor.

For example, I can change the font, and within that font, I can change it to supported styles. So I can change to Italic, Bold, or BoldItalic. I can also change the font size, make it big. I can change the font color. I can change the highlighting, if I like, behind it.

And we'll get rid of that because that's a little distracting, and also change the font back to black. Then you also have formatting buttons, Bold, Italic here, and Underline. I can change the alignment of the entire document, I'll select it all, and now, I'm left aligned. Here's center aligned, right aligned, and here's justified text. I can change the line spacing, and I can also format lists.

By default, TextEdit documents are in the Rich Text Format. So that allows me to use this kind of formatting. However, I can change it so that it has no formatting but instead is plain text. Yes, I want to convert that. Here it looks very much like the computer text evolved. So why would you want to use something like this? Well, suppose that you're formatting your document for HTML or Markdown or some other kind of coding. In this case, you'd want to use plain text rather than rich text. Or you may be sending it to a platform that doesn't, for some reason, support rich text formatting.

In that case, send it as plain text. We're going to back to rich text. Now, like some more advanced word processing applications, TextEdit will do spell correction for you. Let me intentionally misspell something. As I type and hesitate for a bit, TextEdit will offer a suggestion. To implement that suggestion, all I had to do was press the spacebar and it made the correction. At the same time, it puts a blue line under that, indicating that it has made that suggestion and I have some options.

So if I were to right click on that, I could change it back to "pickel" or I could choose some other suggestion. In this case, I like that fact that it chose "pickle" and I'm going to stick with it. If you don't care to have TextEdit change your spelling for you, you can turn that off. So go to Edit, Spelling and Grammar, and then you can turn off Check Spelling While Typing and Correct Spelling Automatically. Let's create a new document to show you a couple of other features.

TextEdit can create both lists and tables. So let me create a list of some kind that will be -- which by the way makes an excellent sandwich. I'll select that. I'll choose Format and then I choose List. Then I can choose the kind of bullet it's going to have. So let's put check marks before there, and now I have a list. I can also create a table if I like. So go to Format, Table, and then I choose how many Rows and Columns I want.

I can also choose the alignment and I can choose Cell Border as well as Cell Background so I can have a colored background. Here's my table. You can also embed hyperlinks that work with the document. So I can type a web address, highlight it, choose Add Link or press Command+K. It adds it to the link destination box, click on OK, and now I have a web link. That is now clickable. When I do that, Safari opens, and I'm taken to the website.

I can also do this with the mailto: link. So if I type mailto:Chris@example.com, highlight it, Command+K it becomes a link. It's underlined as such. And then again, if I click on it, Mail will launch. It will create a new mail message that is addressed to that person. You can also embed images in your document.

To do that, choose File, Attach Files, I'll take this picture of a palm tree, Open, expand that out, and here is my image. If I wanted to get rid of it, I just click on it, press Delete, and it's gone. Let's go back to our original document. Let me highlight a little text. TextEdit supports Apple speech services, so I can have it speak my text.

(Audio playing) It only speaks that portion of the text that I've highlighted. If I simply start at the beginning, it would read the entire document. If you want to change the default layout for your documents, you can do that within TextEdit's Preferences. So in a New Document, you can make it Plain text or Rich text. You can choose the width and the height of your window, change your default fonts, and then if you don't want to have to play with the spelling and grammar options, you can set those to defaults as well.

Before we go, let's see what you can do with TextEdit services. So let's highlight some text, go to the TextEdit menu, choose Services, and see what kind of options we have. One of the things we can do is we can turn this into a spoken track. So I showed you how this document could be read to you, but you can also make that a transcription and save it as an audio file. If you choose Make New Sticky Note, it will take that text and turn it into a sticky. And you can also capture selection from the screen, and on and on.

These are all contextual. So these options may change depending on what you've done with the document. We're going to talk a lot more about services when we discuss Automator. And that's largely everything you need to know about TextEdit, Apple's not-so-basic text editor.

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This video is part of

Image for Mac OS X Mountain Lion Essential Training
Mac OS X Mountain Lion Essential Training

76 video lessons · 20962 viewers

Christopher Breen
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 4s
    1. Welcome
      1m 4s
  2. 6m 56s
    1. Installing Mountain Lion
      6m 56s
  3. 47m 16s
    1. Personalizing the interface
      4m 11s
    2. Touring the Finder
      3m 29s
    3. Staying current with Software Update
      2m 52s
    4. Configuring Gatekeeper settings
      3m 17s
    5. Getting on the Internet
      5m 36s
    6. Setting up iCloud
      4m 55s
    7. Understanding AutoSave and documents in the cloud
      4m 42s
    8. Configuring Mail, Contacts, and Calendar
      4m 33s
    9. Configuring your printer
      3m 39s
    10. Protecting your data with Time Machine
      4m 28s
    11. Learn your way around the Mac App Store
      5m 34s
  4. 11m 17s
    1. Finding files with Spotlight
      6m 6s
    2. Digging deeper with Finder searches
      5m 11s
  5. 23m 35s
    1. Configuring basic personal preferences
      11m 15s
    2. Adjusting Input Device preferences
      9m 38s
    3. Examining the basic system preferences
      2m 42s
  6. 1h 13m
    1. Organizing workspaces with Mission Control
      5m 49s
    2. Modifying Language & Text settings
      4m 5s
    3. Optimizing Security & Privacy settings
      6m 18s
    4. Getting notifications
      4m 38s
    5. Configuring displays and AirPlay
      2m 20s
    6. Using Energy Saver
      6m 1s
    7. Setting up Bluetooth wireless devices
      3m 39s
    8. Sharing files on a network
      6m 1s
    9. Configuring sharing
      6m 28s
    10. Editing your users and groups
      6m 48s
    11. Setting rules with Parental Controls
      7m 4s
    12. Taking notes with Dictation & Speech
      6m 0s
    13. Exploring the Accessibility settings
      5m 54s
    14. Listening with Sound
      2m 53s
  7. 36m 2s
    1. Organizing your business with Mail
      12m 42s
    2. Scheduling time with Calendar
      8m 32s
    3. Keeping tabs with Contacts
      5m 30s
    4. Tracking your tasks with Reminders
      3m 39s
    5. Staying in touch using Messages
      5m 39s
  8. 37m 18s
    1. Tracking your documents in TextEdit
      7m 3s
    2. Looking up words in Dictionary
      1m 56s
    3. Keeping notes with Notes
      3m 48s
    4. Working with images in Preview
      6m 14s
    5. Working with PDFs in Preview
      4m 27s
    6. Installing fonts with Font Book
      4m 42s
    7. Posting a note in Stickies
      1m 55s
    8. Adding things up with Calculator
      4m 46s
    9. Organizing apps with Launchpad
      2m 27s
  9. 34m 5s
    1. Navigating the web
      3m 38s
    2. Working with bookmarks
      4m 49s
    3. Using Reading List
      2m 4s
    4. Saving web pages and creating web clips
      1m 44s
    5. Viewing and saving PDFs
      3m 24s
    6. Using Safari to search the web
      2m 20s
    7. Opening local files in Safari
      1m 59s
    8. Working with preferences in Safari
      11m 1s
    9. Managing your Internet footprint
      3m 6s
  10. 8m 48s
    1. Playing media in QuickTime
      4m 15s
    2. Recording videos with QuickTime
      4m 33s
  11. 10m 13s
    1. Video conferencing with FaceTime
      3m 38s
    2. Taking pictures in Photo Booth
      3m 47s
    3. The great utility of Image Capture
      2m 48s
  12. 12m 40s
    1. Writing a simple Automator workflow
      4m 15s
    2. Creating an Automator application
      2m 20s
    3. Setting up an Automator calendar workflow
      2m 31s
    4. Creating an Automator service
      3m 34s
  13. 22m 1s
    1. Managing processes in Activity Monitor
      5m 13s
    2. Formatting, partitioning, and repairing storage devices
      8m 58s
    3. Taking care of your passwords
      4m 1s
    4. Setting up a Windows install with Boot Camp
      3m 49s
  14. 14m 57s
    1. Creating a boot drive
      3m 19s
    2. Understanding and configuring permissions
      4m 5s
    3. Exploring troubleshooting techniques
      7m 33s
  15. 19m 35s
    1. Getting your game on
      4m 1s
    2. Integrating with Facebook and Twitter
      2m 38s
    3. Advanced tips and tricks
      9m 35s
    4. Sharing files with AirDrop
      3m 21s
  16. 30s
    1. Goodbye
      30s

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