Typed App Review: Web Writers Rejoice (And Rant)

Typed App Review: Web Writers Rejoice (And Rant)

I’m rarely inspired to do an app review, but I’ve been waiting for Typed from Realmac Software for months, so I was super-excited to buy it. Yes, I said buy, rather than trial it. I trust RealMac; I’ve been using RapidWeaver for years, ditto Ember.

Here’s why I wanted Typed. I love Markdown because it makes it so easy to repurpose content. I write all short content in Markdown; books I write in Scrivener. This means that I’ve tried just about every Markdown editor around. I’m looking for that one app which will do everything I want… so far, no joy.

Since I had such huge expectations for Typed, I knew that I would be disappointed. And I am. But I hope that the Realmac people will eliminate some of the true aggravations when the app is updated.

The good stuff

Firstly, one big reason to love the app. It’s gorgeous. I love the interface, mostly. Because:

  • the word count is easily visible (a must for writers);
  • the fonts and the background can be changed. Fonts are mostly sans serif (shudder), but thank heavens there’s Georgia. Your background can be grey, sepia or black;
  • you can copy HTML at a click.

But as we all know, looks aren’t everything.

The pains in the you-know-what

Let’s look at the things I didn’t like:

  • Music (no way to eliminate it entirely)
  • Lack of typewriter scrolling
  • No export to PDF
  • No export to RTF

Really painful: the music

A big pain: the music. Why, oh why isn’t there a preference to eliminate the music entirely? I sometimes play music while I write, but I have a “writing” playlist in Spotify. That playlist is primarily classical music. I don’t want or need a soundtrack in a writing app.

I’m sure some people will love the music. I don’t, and here’s what makes it even more aggravating. When you hit Command Y for fullscreen mode, the music plays. You need to click on the Zen menu to pause the music. Again, WHY?

Fullscreen mode is excellent, full marks. Sadly, all the marks are lost when you need to turn off the music before you can concentrate on your writing again.

Preview mode in Typed
Preview mode in Typed

Really painful: no typewriter scrolling

What’s “typewriter scrolling”? It’s when the editor scrolls automatically so that the line with the cursor stays in the middle of the window.

Scrivener has typewriter scrolling, as does my current favorite Markdown app, MultiMarkdown Composer.

Here’s workaround: go to the end of your document. Press the Enter key until you’ve added lots of spaces, then press “====“ to draw a line. It’s not typewriter scrolling, but at least there’s some space at the end of the document.

Mildly painful: no export to RTF and PDF

The big joy of Markdown is that you can copy and/ or save your document to multiple formats. So, why no RTF and PDF?

I need PDF, because I send documents to clients. I need RTF, so that I can open the documents in Scrivener, and MS Word.

No big problem. I prefer to preview Markdown docs in Marked 2 anyway, which does export to RTF and PDF. However, for Typed users who don’t used Marked 2, this is a serious challenge.

Do I like Typed?

The interface is just about perfect. I keep Typed open to write social media updates, where previously I used TextMate to write short text.

Another big thumbs up: everything is where you expect it to be in the menus, there’s no hunting for anything, nor have there been any hangs, that is — no “application not responding” — moments.

So yes, in general I like the app. But please, Realmac, in the next update, add a preference to turn off the music completely. Then I could use fullscreen mode. At the moment, the music’s so irritating, I won’t use it.

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