I have some questions.

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Blue Flame, Apr 16, 2008.

  1. Blue Flame macrumors newbie

    Apr 8, 2008
    It's been 8 months since I switched.
    And now I have some questions.

    Text editors/text files
    -What plain text encoding is the most common among OSes?/What should I encode my plain text files in to ensure compatibly across the board?/What plain text encoding can be read by the major OSes (Windows, OSX, flavors of linux/*unix) with no formatting problems or save problems?

    Essentially, I want to have my plain text files in an encoding that has solid support on the current major OSes and hopefully future OSes to come.

    -Which text editor do you prefer that you have personally used and can recommend to other people? [This text editor has to be able to read and save in numerous formats (also encode), plain text and possibly .rtf] This question is VERY related to the above.

    Right now I'm using a combo of writeroom and subethaedit for my text/word processing needs. I don't program or code-I write. I find word bloated, and I dislike pages (I am, however, looking into avenir). I like simple things. If any of you have any suggestions for other text editors that would fit the needs of non-strict writing (aka, i dont need footnotes or the like. I dont need many fancy features, just some possible suggestions for some no-nosense writers with some options.)

    -How do you organize your text files/documents? Do you put the date in the title for easy sorting? How are they filed (what folder organization do you have for your text files/documents/do you have one at all)?

    I have 57 text files, all of which are assorted poems, papers, journal entries, notes, excerpts, etc...and before I write anymore, I'd like to have a better, more efficient way of filing them on my computer. I'd rather not use a database application or anything that has proprietary system functions (akin to database files that can only be read by the application that created them).

    Some other things you should know:
    -I have a macbook pro, 10.4.11, the [3,1] model, 2.4 ghz 256 vram
    -I am a practitioner of my own modified form of the gtd system
    -This is my first apple product since an old mac that ran system 7 (that poor computer crashed, then I got a series of windows computers, and when the last one crapped out on me, I installed ubuntu on it. It now serves as my emulation machine. I've also gone through 3 windows laptops. The first one died from a fried mobo, the second I sold, and the third I still have. The third is serving as my dedicated kitchen computer.

    ...and, incase you were wondering, the macbook pro IS NOT overkill my needs. I like the bigger screen, the backlit keyboard, AND the possibility of playing games if i want to. I like how the potential is there but doesn't get in my way if i don't want to use it.

    /question rant
  2. NAG macrumors 68030


    Aug 6, 2003
    I use BBEdit set to Unicode as the default for my plain text needs. Pages isn't really for plain text editing. It is more of a page layout app (which I use for page layout). It's kind of like how you wouldn't use Word to write a website, you wouldn't use Pages for that either. You wouldn't use BBEdit for page layout though either.

    I personal documents organized by subject and I have work documents (lab data and such) with the description, date, initials, blah blah blah in the file name. Different naming schemes depending on the function, pretty much. Spotlight should be robust enough for most every day usage but for repetitive sets of data and whatnot you really need to have descriptive filenames if you want to make your life easy.

    With that small amount of data you can probably get away with just using the finder and having various folders inside your documents folder per category of the file's subject (like a folder for poems, another for papers, etc... up to you really). If you want anything that can compare data and stuff like that you're going to run into the proprietary problem.

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