Ever since my favorite word processor Bean died (rather, was placed into an assisted living home; it’s still available, not quite on life support, but doesn’t get out much) I’ve been on the lookout for a replacement.
Bean was almost magical, an artistic blend of features and speed; easy to setup and use, comfortable, quick to master, and it churned out many articles for me over the years. What can replace Bean (itself a replacement for the highly vaunted WriteNow of yesteryear)? I’m still looking but found Growly Write, a free Mac word processor that works surprisingly much like Bean, but with more of a Fisher Price look.
Growly Write has a toolbar at the top, a right sidebar full of formatting tools (called the format panel), a left sidebar to view chapters or document segments, a faster draft view, multiple tabs, and just enough features to make it slightly more than useful, but much less complex than Microsoft Word or Apple’s Pages, but still free.
Growly Write formats text the old fashioned way with basic tools for text, tables, lists, photos, paragraphs, all or only selected parts, plus a few very useful option such as multiple columns, flow around photos or graphics, tables, and easy formatting. The tabs are handy in a different way than most tabs because you can open up different views of the same document.
You can use it to import Microsoft Word files but Growly Write is more at home with Rich Text Format (RTF) files. It can also handle HTML, email, snippets and clippings, and a whole bunch of text formats. Open or drag and drop to start editing.
What you’re not going to find are many distractions. No footnotes, no equation editors, no drawing tools. Growly Write is for writing. It’s not Bean but it’s close. And, like Bean, it’s free so all you’ll lose is a few minutes to try it out.