thriftmac

Download the best free Mac apps

AbiWord

This alternative word processor has many of the features, but less of the bloat, found in Microsoft Word. It can read and write industry standard document types, and is able to put together quite a spiffy layout.

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Atom

Open source text editor from GitHub is “hackable to the core.” Supports themes for customized look and feel, plus modules can be added for various types of development work. Designed to be easy to learn.

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Bean

An open source word processor that does more than TextEdit and is much speedier than Office-style software. (No longer being actively developed.)

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Brackets

Open source code editor for the web from Adobe still in the early stages, but with the promise of lots of development. Built with HTML, CSS and javascript. Easily extensible.

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CotEditor

Text editor features syntax colouring for 26 languages, powerful find and replace including regular expressions, outline menu, split views, macros and keybindings.

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Eddie

Ideal for C++/Obj-C development using makefiles and shell tools but can also be used with Xcode projects. Equally capable at editing HTML, JavaScript, Python, Ruby, Lua and many other languages.

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FountainPen

Word processor keeps it simple so you can concentrate on writing. A menubar, compositions panel and toolbar can all can be hidden. Best of all, you can bring in an attractive backdrop to cover your desktop and dock. Your work is saved in the app and can be output to HTML, rich text or InDesign tagged text.

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LibreOffice

Developers unhappy with the turn taken by OpenOffice.org when it was acquired by Oracle set off to create their own open source office suite — and the result is LibreOffice. The About Us section notes that it is based on the principle of developers “sharing their work with the world in a non-restrictive way.” A dig at Oracle? In any case, it’s worth checking and comparing if OpenOffice hasn’t been meeting your expectations.

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LightPaper

Markdown editor can be used to write any kind of text document – blogs, articles, notes, to-do lists, or a novel. A distraction free mode allows you to immerse yourself in the current paragraph. It comes bundled with a handful of themes and beautiful fonts.

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LittleIpsum

Latin text generator sits in the menu bar, ready for you to choose how many words, sentences or paragraphs you want, then paste them into your document. Can be wrapped in HTML tags.

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Loremify

This slick menu bar app provides lorem-ipsum dummy text for your writing and coding projects. Choose between plain, HTML and markdown text. Sliders allow you to choose the amount of text you need in the form of headers, paragraphs, lists and articles.

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MacDown

Open source markdown editor for OS X, released under the MIT license, heavily influenced by Chen Luo’s Mou. Features highly customisable markdown rendering, syntax highlighting in fenced code blocks, sophisticated auto-completion.

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NanoCount

Although this program is indeed quite small, the nano in NanoCount is actually a nod to National Novel Writing Month. Developer Paul Gorman created this TextEdit add-on to keep track of word counts for the event, but you can use it as an everyday improvement to Apple’s free word processor.

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Sublime Text

Sophisticated text editor for code, markup and prose has a slick user interface and features goto anything, multiple selections, a command palette, distraction-free mode, split editing and instant project switch. A licence is required for continued use, but there is no time limit for evaluation.

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TeXShop/MacTeX

An editor for writing TeX/LaTeX/XeTeX, that comes bundled with the MacTeX distribution. LaTeX is widely used by mathematicians, scientists, philosopers and scholars because of its ability to create complex typography and formulas.

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Text Tools

Gain handy access to text functions regardless of the application you’re using. Tools include tables, lists, links, ruler, strikethrough and copy-and-paste styles.

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TextWrangler

Bare Bones has updated TextWrangler and is making it free. It’s got a lot more features than BBEdit Lite, so why not go for it. But watch out — you may find yourself wanting to upgrade to the wonderful BBEdit.

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TipTyper

Text editor created by developer frustrated with TextEdit. Features include lines display, words and characters counters, automatic backup, full-screen support, retina display, dictation and speech support, spell check and grammar check.

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Tofu

It reorganizes text into narrow columns and let’s you side-scroll through it — making it easier to read. I was skeptical, but once I tried Tofu, I was impressed with how well it works.

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Uno

Text editor has some unusual features that may give it a niche among Mac users. Examples: the ability to set a window to stay on top of others, appearance controls, live word and character counts in the top right, split view and notes.

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WordService

Add a number of services to your free TextEdit, along with Nisus Thesaurus, and you’ve pretty much got a free, full-featured text editor. Find a bunch of other freeware you might like at the WordService website.

Download site Comment

Loremify

This slick menu bar app provides lorem-ipsum dummy text for your writing and coding projects. Choose between plain, HTML and markdown text. Sliders allow you to choose the amount of text you need in the form of headers, paragraphs, lists and articles.

Download site Comment

MacDown

Open source markdown editor for OS X, released under the MIT license, heavily influenced by Chen Luo’s Mou. Features highly customisable markdown rendering, syntax highlighting in fenced code blocks, sophisticated auto-completion.

Download site Comment

CotEditor

Text editor features syntax colouring for 26 languages, powerful find and replace including regular expressions, outline menu, split views, macros and keybindings.

Download site Comment

Atom

Open source text editor from GitHub is “hackable to the core.” Supports themes for customized look and feel, plus modules can be added for various types of development work. Designed to be easy to learn.

Download site Comment

LittleIpsum

Latin text generator sits in the menu bar, ready for you to choose how many words, sentences or paragraphs you want, then paste them into your document. Can be wrapped in HTML tags.

Download site Comment

Sublime Text

Sophisticated text editor for code, markup and prose has a slick user interface and features goto anything, multiple selections, a command palette, distraction-free mode, split editing and instant project switch. A licence is required for continued use, but there is no time limit for evaluation.

Download site Comment

LightPaper

Markdown editor can be used to write any kind of text document – blogs, articles, notes, to-do lists, or a novel. A distraction free mode allows you to immerse yourself in the current paragraph. It comes bundled with a handful of themes and beautiful fonts.

Download site Comment

Brackets

Open source code editor for the web from Adobe still in the early stages, but with the promise of lots of development. Built with HTML, CSS and javascript. Easily extensible.

Download site Comment

TipTyper

Text editor created by developer frustrated with TextEdit. Features include lines display, words and characters counters, automatic backup, full-screen support, retina display, dictation and speech support, spell check and grammar check.

Download site Comment

Uno

Text editor has some unusual features that may give it a niche among Mac users. Examples: the ability to set a window to stay on top of others, appearance controls, live word and character counts in the top right, split view and notes.

Download site Comment

Text Tools

Gain handy access to text functions regardless of the application you’re using. Tools include tables, lists, links, ruler, strikethrough and copy-and-paste styles.

Download site Comment

LibreOffice

Developers unhappy with the turn taken by OpenOffice.org when it was acquired by Oracle set off to create their own open source office suite — and the result is LibreOffice. The About Us section notes that it is based on the principle of developers “sharing their work with the world in a non-restrictive way.” A dig at Oracle? In any case, it’s worth checking and comparing if OpenOffice hasn’t been meeting your expectations.

Download site Comment

FountainPen

Word processor keeps it simple so you can concentrate on writing. A menubar, compositions panel and toolbar can all can be hidden. Best of all, you can bring in an attractive backdrop to cover your desktop and dock. Your work is saved in the app and can be output to HTML, rich text or InDesign tagged text.

Download site Comment

NanoCount

Although this program is indeed quite small, the nano in NanoCount is actually a nod to National Novel Writing Month. Developer Paul Gorman created this TextEdit add-on to keep track of word counts for the event, but you can use it as an everyday improvement to Apple’s free word processor.

Download site Comment

TeXShop/MacTeX

An editor for writing TeX/LaTeX/XeTeX, that comes bundled with the MacTeX distribution. LaTeX is widely used by mathematicians, scientists, philosopers and scholars because of its ability to create complex typography and formulas.

Download site Comment

Bean

An open source word processor that does more than TextEdit and is much speedier than Office-style software. (No longer being actively developed.)

Download site Comment

Eddie

Ideal for C++/Obj-C development using makefiles and shell tools but can also be used with Xcode projects. Equally capable at editing HTML, JavaScript, Python, Ruby, Lua and many other languages.

Download site Comment

AbiWord

This alternative word processor has many of the features, but less of the bloat, found in Microsoft Word. It can read and write industry standard document types, and is able to put together quite a spiffy layout.

Download site Comment

Tofu

It reorganizes text into narrow columns and let’s you side-scroll through it — making it easier to read. I was skeptical, but once I tried Tofu, I was impressed with how well it works.

Download site Comment

WordService

Add a number of services to your free TextEdit, along with Nisus Thesaurus, and you’ve pretty much got a free, full-featured text editor. Find a bunch of other freeware you might like at the WordService website.

Download site Comment

TextWrangler

Bare Bones has updated TextWrangler and is making it free. It’s got a lot more features than BBEdit Lite, so why not go for it. But watch out — you may find yourself wanting to upgrade to the wonderful BBEdit.

Download site Comment

Text editors

Atom

Open source text editor from GitHub is “hackable to the core.” Supports themes for customized look and feel, plus modules can be added for various types of development work. Designed to be easy to learn.

Download site

Brackets

Open source code editor for the web from Adobe still in the early stages, but with the promise of lots of development. Built with HTML, CSS and javascript. Easily extensible.

Download site

CotEditor

Text editor features syntax colouring for 26 languages, powerful find and replace including regular expressions, outline menu, split views, macros and keybindings.

Download site

Eddie

Ideal for C++/Obj-C development using makefiles and shell tools but can also be used with Xcode projects. Equally capable at editing HTML, JavaScript, Python, Ruby, Lua and many other languages.

Download site

LightPaper

Markdown editor can be used to write any kind of text document – blogs, articles, notes, to-do lists, or a novel. A distraction free mode allows you to immerse yourself in the current paragraph. It comes bundled with a handful of themes and beautiful fonts.

Download site

MacDown

Open source markdown editor for OS X, released under the MIT license, heavily influenced by Chen Luo’s Mou. Features highly customisable markdown rendering, syntax highlighting in fenced code blocks, sophisticated auto-completion.

Download site

Sublime Text

Sophisticated text editor for code, markup and prose has a slick user interface and features goto anything, multiple selections, a command palette, distraction-free mode, split editing and instant project switch. A licence is required for continued use, but there is no time limit for evaluation.

Download site

TextWrangler

Bare Bones has updated TextWrangler and is making it free. It’s got a lot more features than BBEdit Lite, so why not go for it. But watch out — you may find yourself wanting to upgrade to the wonderful BBEdit.

Download site

TipTyper

Text editor created by developer frustrated with TextEdit. Features include lines display, words and characters counters, automatic backup, full-screen support, retina display, dictation and speech support, spell check and grammar check.

Download site

Uno

Text editor has some unusual features that may give it a niche among Mac users. Examples: the ability to set a window to stay on top of others, appearance controls, live word and character counts in the top right, split view and notes.

Download site

Text tools

LittleIpsum

Latin text generator sits in the menu bar, ready for you to choose how many words, sentences or paragraphs you want, then paste them into your document. Can be wrapped in HTML tags.

Download site

Loremify

This slick menu bar app provides lorem-ipsum dummy text for your writing and coding projects. Choose between plain, HTML and markdown text. Sliders allow you to choose the amount of text you need in the form of headers, paragraphs, lists and articles.

Download site

NanoCount

Although this program is indeed quite small, the nano in NanoCount is actually a nod to National Novel Writing Month. Developer Paul Gorman created this TextEdit add-on to keep track of word counts for the event, but you can use it as an everyday improvement to Apple’s free word processor.

Download site

Nisus Thesaurus

Pump up the free TextEdit that comes with your Mac by adding the well-done Nisus Thesaurus. Just select a word, and look it up with your Services submenu.

Download site

Rocket

Type a colon, followed by the name of the emoji you want, and voilà — the emoji appears. Anywhere on your Mac.

Download site

TeXShop/MacTeX

An editor for writing TeX/LaTeX/XeTeX, that comes bundled with the MacTeX distribution. LaTeX is widely used by mathematicians, scientists, philosopers and scholars because of its ability to create complex typography and formulas.

Download site

Text Tools

Gain handy access to text functions regardless of the application you’re using. Tools include tables, lists, links, ruler, strikethrough and copy-and-paste styles.

Download site

Tofu

It reorganizes text into narrow columns and let’s you side-scroll through it — making it easier to read. I was skeptical, but once I tried Tofu, I was impressed with how well it works.

Download site

WordService

Add a number of services to your free TextEdit, along with Nisus Thesaurus, and you’ve pretty much got a free, full-featured text editor. Find a bunch of other freeware you might like at the WordService website.

Download site

Processors

AbiWord

This alternative word processor has many of the features, but less of the bloat, found in Microsoft Word. It can read and write industry standard document types, and is able to put together quite a spiffy layout.

Download site

Bean

An open source word processor that does more than TextEdit and is much speedier than Office-style software. (No longer being actively developed.)

Download site

FountainPen

Word processor keeps it simple so you can concentrate on writing. A menubar, compositions panel and toolbar can all can be hidden. Best of all, you can bring in an attractive backdrop to cover your desktop and dock. Your work is saved in the app and can be output to HTML, rich text or InDesign tagged text.

Download site

LibreOffice

Developers unhappy with the turn taken by OpenOffice.org when it was acquired by Oracle set off to create their own open source office suite — and the result is LibreOffice. The About Us section notes that it is based on the principle of developers “sharing their work with the world in a non-restrictive way.” A dig at Oracle? In any case, it’s worth checking and comparing if OpenOffice hasn’t been meeting your expectations.

Download site

OpenOffice

Now that a native Mac version is available, this open source alternative to Microsoft Office is a worthy option to consider along with LibreOffice.

Download site