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Text Edit

Last week's blog focused on an inexpensive word processor package in the iWorks sweet package called Pages.  In this week’s blog I'd like to focus on a simple text/word processor found in all Mac systems called Text Edit.

Like Pages, Text Edit is very accessible and most important of all its totally free when you purchase your Mac system.  While Pages is a more professional word processor allowing you to have more control with the changing of fonts and colour of text, and has a wide variety of templates to allow the user to produce more professional documents, Text Edit allows the user to edit documents, and apply formatting like centering, bolding, and right/left alignment.

Another feature that Text Edit has is the ability to save documents in the standard Microsoft Office 2007 (.DOCX) and Office 2003 (.DOC) formats.  For some reason Pages doesn't have provide an option to save a file using a different format extension.

Both programs are accessible while navigating through the document using the VoiceOver cursor.  In both word processor packages, the user can effectively select lines, words, and of course the whole document, and apply style changes like changes of font, or formatting with alignment.

As I stated in the last blog, when it comes to using a word processor on the Mac, one should definitely stay away from Microsoft Office 2011 until it becomes accessible on the Mac.

The choice of weather one should purchase Pages, or stay with Text Edit is of course up to the user.  Personally I love the fact that I now have the choice of weather to use Pages, or Text Edit, and that these programs (and especially Pages, which is inexpensive), don't put big dents in my pocket book.

Finally, one must really stop to think for a moment and reflect on the efforts that Apple has made to make their software accessible. Why is Microsoft taking so much time in achieving this?  I certainly hope that with release of Windows 8, there will be more accessibility features implemented.


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It is actually possible to save Pages documents as word docs, as well as rich text, plain text, PDF, and EPUB.

It can be done in two ways.

1. Bring up the "save as" dialogue box, make sure the "disclosure" checkbox is checked, and VO right until you find the "save copy as" checkbox and make sure it's checked. This will allow you to save in either word (.doc) or Pages 08 versions.

2. In order to save in plain and rich text, PDF, EPUB, or word, use the export feature found under the file menu of Pages.

One thing I find annoying is that it doesn't seem possible to save versions when working with a .doc file. In other words, every time you want to save, you have to go through the save as dialogue box, and tell it to replace the old file with the new one.

ZZ - Disregard this link; it is used to trick spammers.