Textastic – More than just an iPad code editor

I was looking at the website by Brett Terpstra after listening to a podcast called the Mac Power Users, because they were talking about a page on which Brett has an interactive table all about text editors for the iPad. There are dozens of text editors for the iPad and some are more full featured than others. Already, I have a soft spot for text editors and have tried out a number of them including Notarize, SimpleNote, Magical Pad, ThinkBook, Nebulous Notes, PlainText and Textkraft, plus a few others. The interactive part of the page that Brett has, allows you to click on features that you require or absolutely must have and then you have a highlighted set of text editors which have what it is that you are looking for. The page is a very useful resource if you are looking for a plain text editor.


Lots of features to choose from in an iPad text editor

IPad code editor Textastic

First of all you can see whether it is a good price for the application and whether it is for iPhone, iPad or both. Then you have a section on syncing abilities, export features and then a number of other features to choose from. So at the top of the table you can click on the feature headers so that you can filter down the list. The features that I would be looking for, would be that it would not be too expensive and would be an iPad application, to start with. Then I would be looking for Dropbox and iCloud synchronisation. So by choosing those three options it filters the list down from nearly 60 applications to 8. After that I chose Markdown preview and Markdown editing features and that filtered it had down further to nothing. So I started again and used Markdown as my initial choice. Then I clicked on iPad, because that is where I would need to use such an application. Dropbox is also one of the vital needs for an iPad note taking application for me. When you are using a text editor on the iPad for Markdown you really do need to have an extra row of keys on the keyboard, so that you can do speedy entry of your text in proper Markdown syntax. After using this tool on Brett’s website, I consistently found that Textastic was one of the iPad text editors that was left on the table. Obviously, this is to do with the fact that it has the largest set of features of all of the applications on the list. A good fast edit tool and yet simple text editor.

An iPad text editor with extra features for the programmer

Textastic is an iPad code editor which will allow you to do programming on iPad. Depending on the sort of programming that you want to do, there is a certain amount of work that can be done within this text editor. For this type of coding work it certainly helps to have numbered lines and to have syntax highlighting. In Textastic, the code editor iPad tool, you can see the code more clearly because of the colours used in the syntax highlighting. Personally, I don’t do much coding, but it is helpful in any case to see what is happening with my text when I’m writing in Markdown, or when I am looking at HTML text. In any case within Textastic the iPad code editor, you also have syntax highlighting for Objective-C, C++, C#, PHP, JavaScript, CSS, shell scripts and some others too. In fact, Textastic is better than that, as it also gives you code completion for HTML and CSS and also for PHP functions. Without a doubt, it is the best programming text editor or iPad code editor that I have seen available for the iPad.

The best iPad text editor

For the ordinary user, i.e. somebody who is not a programmer, Textastic is still a great tool for editing text on the iPad. There are a number of features which allow you to work quickly with text to produce your text documents. Textastic is great for writing in Markdown, what makes it particularly useful is the extra row of keys which are particularly innovative. The extra row of keyboard keys on the iPad each have five symbols on them which give you quick access to characters that you would otherwise have to press a lot of keys to get out.

For the Markdown I can easily get to the hash tag, the asterisk and also the square brackets and round brackets. I tend to use the square bracketing and use the reference type links, as it makes it better for reading the Markdown more clearly. The way that the extra set of keys works, is that you put your finger on to the key and swipe towards the character you require. Or if you only require the one of the characters that are in the middle of the set of five, then you only need to just tap instead of doing a swipe. When I first saw this method of character choosing I expected it to not work too well. After using the application for some time to write Markdown, I can say that not once has the special keyboard messed up. I like it!

Textastic 2

What is text editor

Brett Terpstra’s site for iOS Text Editors. He also has some TextExpander snippets editor text that you may also find useful. Textastic programming iPad tool – an app editor. When you are asking what is a text editor you will find that Textastic will answer lots of questions.

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