As you can see, I’m in another text editor testing spree. Specifically, ones that can handle Markdown or LaTeX. This creatively named text editor, ‘Texts’, seems to be well received over at OS X although I have difficulty finding relevant reviews due to its overly generic name.

Of course, I’m reviewing the Windows version. The portable Windows version, to be exact. I was pretty enthusiastic trying this text editor (as if I need another), but I have faced a problem as early as trying to download the software.

Head over Texts homepage to find the elegant showcasing of the software,but explore a bit and you’ll find several problems. Apparently Texts is not a freeware, but you can download the trial for free. That’s the end of the explanation. Nowhere in the site tells you the difference between trial and paid version or even how long you can keep the trial. I didn’t find the download link for portable Windows version either.

I spent a few minutes shooting an email to the developer. They responded nicely, providing me with the correct link and explaining that they’re aware of the lack of information and currently in the process of redesigning the webpage. I visited the download page again out of curiosity and found the link, noting the very small contrast between said link and normal words.

Now, off we go.

At first, Texts seems like it’s striking a sweet spot. It combines the ease of WYSIWYG with the flexibility of markdown. A few minutes later I decide Texts is not my cup of tea.

Markdown and LaTeX syntax get handled differently. You can add any LaTeX formula and it will work, but try the same for markdown and you’ll have the code staring back at you. You are forced to work with WYSIWYG, applying formatting via buttons or keyboard shortcuts. Alright, every markdown capability can be applied via keyboard shortcuts. However, you can’t write markdown codes directly. Any markdown code gets parsed as normal text. While this certainly works for some people, I prefer typing markdown codes rather than remembering another set of keyboard shortcuts. I want a compromise. Give me a ‘show code’ button and I’m happy.

Texts Screenshot

I don’t like making list this way. So far, I can only create lists the way I make them on paper via markup languages. My lists are complex mix of ordered and unordered lists, nested with abandon. If you have no problem working with WYSIWYG markdown and love keyboard shortcuts, you’re golden.

Texts also supports tables. In one way or another, it’s really similar to working with Microsoft Word. The advantage? With Texts you have your text in a universal format to convert into anything you want. This is where Texts really shines. In addition to usual export formats (plaintext, RTF), Texts offers PDF, LaTeX, and DOCX. PDF and LaTeX are done via XeLaTeX. DOCX is a rarely offered export format so if you do a lot of exchange with MS Office users, you’re lucky.

Up to this day I still don’t know when the trial expires, or if there’s any limitation of the version I use. Would I want to fork $ for this? I don’t think I’ll shell out any amount of money to a text editor soon. For now, I’m sticking with TedNPad. By changing the default save extension to md, I get pretty much all I need.

Version tested: 0.17.1 in Windows 7 Ultimate