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Old 11-09-2013, 03:31 PM   #1
Rizla
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What's a good ipad text editor?

I need a decent ipad text editor and don't know where to begin looking (I'm a total ipad noob). It need only be a basic editor for rough work. I neaten things up on a non-mobile platform afterwards.

Requirements (descending order):

1) Extremely good text manipulation ability. I need to be able to select, cut, copy and paste text with ease. I've found manipulating text to be the biggest problem on Android-based apps.
2) Multiple (tabbed) documents open at the same time. I need to copy and paste text between multiple files at the same time.
3) Change font and background color. I like to make the background black so I don't get blinded / tanned.
4) Free would be nice, but I'll pay if it's worth it.
5) The ability to use Bold / Italics etc is nice but definitely not essential. Simplicity is more important.

I need to transfer files from / to the ipad, but I'm happy to use another app like dropbox for that. Again, simplicity is the priority. I want to write and edit pure text in multiple files at the same time. I don't need to share documents with other people or any of that stuff.
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Old 11-09-2013, 03:38 PM   #2
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I use Textilus. It is a native RTF format word processor. I particularly like the extensions to the onscreen keyboard that make editing text much easier. It is a lot more than a text editor.

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Old 11-09-2013, 10:56 PM   #3
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I like Nebulous Notes.
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Old 11-09-2013, 11:09 PM   #4
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I like Documents To Go. It creates Word documents. The copy/paste/select stuff is standard to iOS, as far as I know. It's the same as it is in every iOS app I've seen.
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Old 11-10-2013, 04:06 AM   #5
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Nebulous Notes all the way, but that's a plain-text editor.

DocsToGo for office files here.

Generally, I'd say you expect too much. You are basically expecting a full-blown rich-text editor on a tablet, on a par with MS Word on a traditional computer. I for one don't have those demands or expectations. For heavy-duty text editing, I just don't use tablets, because I don't think tablets are meant for heavy-duty text editing.
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Old 11-10-2013, 06:27 AM   #6
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Editorial for iPad.

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Old 11-10-2013, 06:36 AM   #7
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Question

What I'd be missing in Editorial, is Dropbox-wide syncing. (Not just 1 Dropbox folder.) That's an essential feature for me. Nebulous Notes does it, but I can't find a single plain-text editor on Android that accomplishes this.
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Old 11-10-2013, 08:24 AM   #8
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From what I can see, none of the above support multiple files (i.e. tabbed files). Also, they all cost money. Can you even try them before paying?

I'll revise my requirements:

What I want:

1) free,
2) multi-file support (i.e. tabbed),
3) good text manipulation.

I don't need markdown, bold / italic, picture-insertion, or dropbox syncing, etc.

I just want a simple, good, free, multi-tab editor like Jota for Android. Does such a thing exist for the ipad?
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Old 11-10-2013, 08:40 AM   #9
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Nebulous Notes exists in a free version, too. That said, its full price is symbolically low. (To me, that's equal to free.)

Why are the tabs so important? I also need to switch between files quickly, and Nebulous makes that possible through the "recently opened" files list (30 items, I think.)
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Old 11-11-2013, 09:11 PM   #10
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Nebulous Notes exists in a free version, too. That said, its full price is symbolically low. (To me, that's equal to free.)

Why are the tabs so important? I also need to switch between files quickly, and Nebulous makes that possible through the "recently opened" files list (30 items, I think.)
Tabs allow one to keep multiple documents open at the same time and to copy and paste seamlessly. I thought it was an obvious feature. I'm used to Android and Windows OS. Maybe this works different on Apple stuff?

On another note, Arrow Notes is free and doesn't look bad. It has an absurdly over-sized keyboard full of characters most people will never use and not want using up their screen space, but it does seem to keep multiple docs open at the same time and you can work on them simultaneously.
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Old 11-12-2013, 02:06 AM   #11
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Tabs allow one to keep multiple documents open at the same time and to copy and paste seamlessly. I thought it was an obvious feature. I'm used to Android and Windows OS. Maybe this works different on Apple stuff?

Not really. But, you know, due to the small screen real estate on handheld devices, there is not much difference (to me) between "having tabs" and "not having tabs". In Nebulous Notes, switching between any 2 files takes 2 taps. I agree that a single tap would be more convenient (for example, GoodReader employs a tabbed interface for reading/annotating multiple PDF files), but in practice, I don't find that the difference between 2 taps and a single tap matters. That's because I generally find handheld devices unsuitable for any heavy-duty editing or multi-tasking work. For such work, I fire up my laptop or desktop machine. For lighter editing or multi-tasking, I find that the file switcher (2 taps) in Nebulous Notes suits my purposes just fine; I don't perceive it as slowing me down or decreasing my efficiency.

What I do deplore about iOS is the inability to split screen between 2 (or more) apps, or perhaps between two files in the same app (including e-readers: display 2 books simultaneously!), or two different sections of the same file simultaneously. Such functionality is pretty difficult to come by on iOS devices, but I'd find it very useful.
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Old 11-12-2013, 03:04 PM   #12
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Outline might be worth checking out. It is an iPad app to work with Microsoft OneNote files, though you can use it without OneNote, I suppose. Reason I mention it is that it does have tabs. It's not free, but there is a limited free version and they have it on sale from time to time. http://outline.ws/
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Old 11-12-2013, 03:43 PM   #13
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Not really. But, you know, due to the small screen real estate on handheld devices, there is not much difference (to me) between "having tabs" and "not having tabs". In Nebulous Notes, switching between any 2 files takes 2 taps. I agree that a single tap would be more convenient (for example, GoodReader employs a tabbed interface for reading/annotating multiple PDF files), but in practice, I don't find that the difference between 2 taps and a single tap matters. That's because I generally find handheld devices unsuitable for any heavy-duty editing or multi-tasking work. For such work, I fire up my laptop or desktop machine. For lighter editing or multi-tasking, I find that the file switcher (2 taps) in Nebulous Notes suits my purposes just fine; I don't perceive it as slowing me down or decreasing my efficiency.
Sure, two taps or one doesn't overly matter (though as you said one is better). The importance is being able to keep multiple documents open and under edit at the same time. It sounds to me that you can do that in nebulous and that we are misunderstanding each other. I used the term 'tabbed' loosely.

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What I do deplore about iOS is the inability to split screen between 2 (or more) apps, or perhaps between two files in the same app (including e-readers: display 2 books simultaneously!), or two different sections of the same file simultaneously. Such functionality is pretty difficult to come by on iOS devices, but I'd find it very useful.
I think you're getting into multitasking, and indeed, it seems iOS deliberately hobbles this functionality. I find it horrible.

As for an editing app that allows split panels for multiple files, I don't know if it exists in Apple or Android. This would be a shame not to have on larger devices as their ample screen space to make it useful. Quick tabbing between open files means it's less important, at least for my needs.
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Old 11-12-2013, 03:45 PM   #14
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Outline might be worth checking out. It is an iPad app to work with Microsoft OneNote files, though you can use it without OneNote, I suppose. Reason I mention it is that it does have tabs. It's not free, but there is a limited free version and they have it on sale from time to time. http://outline.ws/
Thanks for the tip. I think we're heading into evernote-type territory. For that, I'd probably go with Evernotes. Indeed, I might do that anyway. And it's free.
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Old 11-12-2013, 04:40 PM   #15
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The importance is being able to keep multiple documents open and under edit at the same time.
You know, because you can only display one file at a time, what's the real difference between having "multiple documents open", and "only 1 document open"? I'd say, the difference is zero. What matters, is to be able to switch between two or more files reasonably fast. One tap would be nice, but I can live with the 2 taps in Nebulous Notes. Files are auto-saved to Dropbox there, so all you ever need is those 2 taps to both save & switch between files.

What I often do, if I find out I need to edit a text file more extensively, is that I just tap out of Nebulous Notes, open my MacBook (the file is instantly there, thanks to Dropbox), and continue editing the file there. Another option is to push a button on the Logitech bluetooth keyboard and continue editing the file on the iPad in Nebulous Notes using touch-typing, which increases efficiency dramatically.

In any case, as mentioned, I prefer not to engage in anything but light text editing on a handheld device, iOS or Android, so the flexibility offered by Nebulous Notes suits me perfectly. (I wish I could find a smilar "Dropbox text editor" on Android! The closest I have seen so far, seems to be Minutes, but it's not Dropbox-wide, and so is incompatible with my workflow.)

What's important for me is that Nebulous Notes works with 100% standard plain-text files, so that I can pick them up on Mac OS or especially Windows (EditPlus is my favourite editor there) at any time and resume editing the file there wherever I left off on the handheld device. (Or vice versa.) I avoided getting into Evernote because it doesn't use standard TXT files.

Last edited by Faterson; 11-12-2013 at 04:42 PM.
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