Join Christopher Breen for an in-depth discussion in this video Tracking your documents in TextEdit, part of Mac OS X Mountain Lion Essential Training.
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.
- Installing Mountain Lion
- Setting up and syncing iCloud
- Configuring Mail, Contacts, and Calendar
- Setting rules with Parental Controls
- Jotting down info with Notes
- Viewing and saving PDFs, text documents, and images
- Using Safari to browse the Internet
- Playing and recording videos with QuickTime
- Video conferencing with FaceTime
- Setting up a Windows install with Boot Camp
- Downloading widgets
- Sharing files with AirDrop