Notes from a Floating Life Thoughts about productivity, digital living, and leading a simpler life

Taking a Look at 3 Text Editors for the Chromebook

Side-on view of a Chromebook

If you’ve been reading the posts in this space for any length of time, you know that I do most of my work in plain text. Which means I do most of my work in a text editor.

That’s fine when I’m working on a desktop of laptop computer — they all come pre-loaded with one text editor or another. And I can always find a editor with more features.

But what working in plain text on a Chromebook? There are any number of solid web-based text editors that you can use. If, on the other hand, you want to work offline or just keep your work on your Chromebook, then your options are a bit limited.

Limited, but available. Let’s take a quick peek at three text editors for the Chromebook. They’re fairly basic, but they get the job done and they get bonus points for working offline.

Caret

I’ve been using Caret on my Chromebook for a couple of years now and it doesn’t disappoint.

Caret’s a code editor, but don’t let that scare you off. You can use it for any work in plain text — writing, taking notes, organizing yourself, cobbling together web pages, and more.

While Caret packs a word count feature and does syntax highlighting of markup languages (including Markdown), it lacks a spelling checker. That can be a deal breaker for some people.

Editing this post in Caret

Text

Text is a simple text editor for Chrome OS and Chrome. Like Caret, Text is a code editor but it doesn’t look or feel like one.

In fact, Text has a modern look and feel. It’s also very easy to use. Just fire up the editor, create a new file, and start typing. You can save your work to your Chromebook or to Google Drive.

Text is a fairly stripped-down editor. It doesn’t pack any bells and whistles, like a spelling checker. It does, however, get the job done nicely without distracting you.

Editing this post in Text

Webpad

Webpad is based on Text. It’s primarily an editor for creating web pages, but it’s also a very serviceable text editor.

Webpad shares Text’s ease of use. You just need to launch the editor and start typing. Once you’re done, save your work to your Chromebook or to Google Drive.

As with the other editors I look at in this post, Webpad lacks a spelling checker or any advanced features aside from syntax highlighting. Webpad is basic, but it gets the job done.

Editing this post in Webpad

Are there other editors available for Chromebooks?

Yes. And you can find a list of them here.

Those editors include simple applications, editors aimed at writers, and several feature-packed editors for programmers. You might even find an editor that’s right for you and your Chromebook.

Thoughts? Let's start a conversation on Twitter.

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