If you’re looking for a word processing program for Mac OS X that is not Microsoft Word, you might want to check out Bean. Bean is a cocoa-based application developed by James Hoover and has been my go-to word processor for quite a few years now. What I like about it is that it’s fast, easy to use, flexible and it’s free.
All the Powerful Features of a Standard Word Processor
Bean has all of the features you’d expect to see in a word processing application and then some. From the powerful Bean inspector, you can modify settings such as:
- Font Style
- Paragraph Alignment
- Line Spacing
- Paragraph Spacing
- Paragraph Indentation
- Line Indentation
- Font Color
Tables..and Columns…and more
Bean also supports tables and columns, paragraph styles, live word count, the ability to create templates, headers and footers, full-screen editing, tabbed-windows (one of my favorite features), and split-window editing. For the majority of my own word processing work, Bean more than meets all my needs. The application is easy to navigate, it’s fast, full-featured yet not bloated.
Bean’s Document Formats
Bean supports a variety of document formats (.rtf, .rtfd, .doc, .docx, .ocd, and .webarchive) with the additional ability to export to PDF and HTML. My experiences has been that it can also open most basic Word documents with little difficulty, which I find a plus, as I receive a good number of Word documents by email for editing which I almost always do in Bean). You may run into difficultly for more complexly formatted Word files however.
But There’s a Bit of Bit Of Bad News….
The good news, as mentioned above, is that Bean is free. The bad news, is that it’s no longer being supported. The last update was Bean 3.2.2 back in 2012 and the developer states that he has no intentions of adding futures updates. I am running Bean under Mavericks and have experienced no problems whatsoever. If you’re worried about future scalability however, be sure save your Bean documents in .rft, .rtfd, .docx or in .doc format, and not in the .bean format (Bean’s native format).
You can download Bean from the Bean Web site at: http://www.bean-osx.com/Bean.html.