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iText Express is a cute, intuitive, and refined text editor with word processing completely rewritten in Cocoa, and is suitable for both Power PC and Intel Macs. iText Express provides the simplest way to make gorgeous manuscripts on your Mac! Yes, it's Yummy ! iText Express has the TextEdit basics and just a few more important features - page numbers, columns, header/footer, footnotes - for manuscript writing. And a bookmark feature for effortless, lightning-quick navigation of your manuscript. Remarkable for anyone who expect a reliable simple word processor for Mac OS X.

What's New

Version 3.4.3:
  • You can now control text by performing gestures with the Multi-Touch trackpad below:
    • 'Pinch Open & Close' makes a text zoom in and out.
    • Rotating a text clockwise or counterclockwise turns the writing direction appropriately to the Vertical Writing or the Horizontal Writing.
  • Enhanced the Information Area, to be available for the zoom box with Wrap to Window more...


Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later

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iText Express User Discussion

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Programhappy Member IconReview+160

Great text editor. HOWEVER, when I change the color of some text in a document, the document itself erroneously disappears! To make things worse, when I go to the "FILE --> OPEN RECENT" menu to re-open the file, the "Show Colors" popup (containing all of the little squares of different colors) still appears and will not go away. Other functions do not work properly at that point, either. I have contacted the developer and hope that this problem gets fixed.

Reply2 replies
Version 3.4.3

Never had that problem. I am sure there may be some bugs in iText like any software but I have encountered very few and none major.

I hope you explained the issues better to the developer than you have here.


You obviously have a comprehension problem. Don't blame me because you don't understand my extremely clear post.

Johnmhammer Member IconReview+14

Pros: Expands on TextEdit with additional features, most important of which is footnoting and endnoting. There is even a feature which allows the otherwise-proprietary footnotes to appear in other RTF reader applications, albeit at the end of the document.

Cons: Whenever using this app, I miss Bean's one-button alt-colors mode and Bean's really great one-button full-screen-and-alt-colors mode, which is soothing and otherwise a great writing environment. But Bean can't do footnotes at all, so...

Summary: The best free text editor/word processor I've ever used is Bean (bean-osx.com). It's a perfect replacement for TextEdit. Unfortunately, Bean purposely (according to its developer) has no support for footnoting or end noting; and it's just not possible to create any academic or scholarly document without footnotes.

iText Express has most of Bean's functions (except the beautiful and functional alt-color and full-screen mode) and includes full footnoting support within the standard RTF format. While it's true that other RTF editors cannot see the "true" footnotes, iText Express has a clever way of exporting all footnotes to the end of a document so that they can at least be read, albeit not on the same page as the reference was made. And of course, the footnotes can be seen properly on the printed page, whether that is an actual paper page or a print-to-PDF document. This makes iText Express useful for serious writing and yet you won't completely lose your footnotes if you need to - someday - continue or edit your work in another word processor.

Both Bean and iText Express work under Lion, but neither has yet been updated to take advantage of Lion features such as Full-Screen (although Bean has its own full-screen mode), Versions, and Auto-Save (although both have their own simple timed auto-save function).

If you don't need footnotes, go for Bean - you can't beat it in the free category, and I find it better for most work than more complex and complete (and expensive) products such as MS Word, Pages, or Nisus Pro.

If you do need footnotes, iText Express is your best choice in the free category. And unlike nearly every other text editor or word processor that has footnote support in the RTF format, you can preserve your footnotes (albeit only at the end of the document) for viewing and editing in other RTF editors or importers.

If the developer of iText Express adds the new Lion features (especially a scaling full-screen mode) and a simple and quick way to "alt" the colors (one-button change of background from white to black, and text from black to white), it will not only be a fine TextEdit replacement, but can take the place of Bean as well - not to mention being a perfectly usable text editor/word processor for the vast majority of people who need one.

There is also an iText Pro which adds some features to iText Express. At $12 in the Mac App Store it's pricey when compared to very full-featured word processors and layout programs such as Pages ($20) and Mellel ($28). However, if the developer manages the updates and changes I noted above it might well be worth it.

As a final note, for any Mac users running older machines with Mac OS X Panther 10.3.9 (which, while old, are still great for tasks like basic web browsing for research, email, and writing tasks), iText Express will run well on such a system. Even the amazing Bean requires 10.4.11, making iText Express one of the best choices for writing on older Mac workstations.

Reply0 replies
Version 3.4.2
Doug Engelbart Member IconReview+133
Doug Engelbart

***** iTE is now the best free Text Editor/Cleaner and Notetaker/Memotool ever. Just one thing:

iTE's ReadMeFirst says "If you want to change a style for Smart Quotes,
select Edit menu > Extra > Show Substitutions", but "Show
Substitutions" stays light grey (not selectable). How can I use it? (OSX.5.8.)

Reply0 replies
Version 3.4
Burak Member IconComment+36

For me the crucial feature of this application over basic TextEdit was its footnote capability, but its footnotes are not compatible either with Microsoft Word or with OpenOffice.org. Same with the Pro version. I've emailed the developer about this, but got no response. Besides, like TextEdit, but unlike Bean, if I "Wrap to Window", I can't zoom text, I need to make text much bigger (16p) to be able to read and edit it. Not very convenient for me. So another useless feature (as with TextEdit). Bean is better, what's more it's usable, only if it had "real" footnotes.

Reply0 replies
Version 3.2
Rubaiyat Member IconReview+566

I spend more time in this app than almost any other.

I use it for text/word processing and simple DTP/Multi-Media presentations. It is simple, fast and completely reliable.

It is just a shame that it is not getting updated or given universal support. The interface could use a tidy up as well.

I will continue using it on my G5 iMac until a better alternative comes along. Bean is looking good, and just needs to adopt some of iText Express's features to be my ideal word processor.

Reply0 replies
Version 2.1
wyyp Member IconReview+1

Excellence application. Fast and useful!

Reply0 replies
Version 2.1
dorkypants Member IconReview+118

Great feature set extensions to TextEdit. Too bad it's PPC-only: it launches a lot slower than TextEdit on Intel Mac.

Reply1 reply
Version 2.1

It is not PPC only. I don't know where you got that from. I use it all the time on my Intel Macs.

NinjaBoy Member IconReview+4

This is a really cool WP. Yes, its like a TextEdit 'upgrade', but an upgrade that provides all the basic essentials for good word-processing. The best thing is that it produces a polished piece of text without all the problems of line / spacing / kerning problems that footnote inserts always seem create in apps like Appleworks or Nisus Writer Express. Only MS Word has conquered this problem. But as a WP with all the 'basic essentials' for producing a polished document without the bloatware, this is the app I will be using for report / research assignments from now on.
And, it does all this as freeware... what more can I say?

Reply0 replies
Version 2.1
user icon+10
Version 3.4.2
user icon+7
Version 3.4.2
> 4 9


Current Version (3.x)


Downloads 22,408
Version Downloads 12,805
License Free
Date 09 Oct 2011
Platform OS X / PPC 32 / Intel 32
Price Free
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