Tofu
Tofu
2.0.1

4.8

Tofu free download for Mac

Tofu2.0.1

09 September 2008

Fast text reader.

Overview

Tofu helps address the common problem that people don't like reading text on the screen. Why is that, anyway? I believe there are two main reasons: line width and visual instability. Text is usually very wide on the screen, which makes going from the end of one line to the beginning of the next difficult. That's why newspapers have narrow columns: It makes them faster to read.

So why not just take a normal window and make it narrower, scrolling down as you need? Well, there are usually a lot of lines in a text, and all look more or less the same, so if they move past your eyes vertically, they are difficult to keep track of. The text doesn't feel stable, and you get lost easily.

In Tofu, text is arranged in columns, and each column is only as high as your window. So lines are nice and narrow, they don't move about vertically, plus your text is now in easy-to-digest chunks. You just scroll from column to column horizontally, and feel more in control.

Tofu also includes some other useful features to make reading easier for you. You can jump to any point in your text by simply typing some letters near it (without choosing any command first). There's a "View In Columns" service so you can, for example, grab some text from a Web page. And it lets you use your voice to navigate text, so you can literally sit back and read.

What's new in Tofu

Version 2.0.1:
  • The "View in Tofu" Service now works again.
  • Hyphenation now consistently works if set in the preferences.
  • Quitting with unsaved changes while in full-screen mode now behaves correctly.
  • Fixed a problem where the background would not be drawn correctly for short texts in full-screen view.

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How would you rate Tofu app?

72 Reviews of Tofu

5
mmac79
08 January 2010
Version: 2.0.1

Most helpful

Best Column Reader on the mac so far. would love to have an export function though.
(3)
4.5
der-verrueckte
31 March 2011
Version: 2.0.1
I really love Tofu, it greats and it does the job *almost* perfectly. Almost, because as I load .pdf Tofu does not break parragraphs correctly. Only major chapter divisions are divided, not really the parragraphs within. Is there a fix to this issue? has someone else encountered the same problem? Danke!
(1)
5
mmac79
08 January 2010
Version: 2.0.1
Best Column Reader on the mac so far. would love to have an export function though.
(3)
Gazman
14 March 2009
Version: 2.0.1
My only complaint, and its a big one, is that in full-screen mode the menubar is still present and I find it annoyingly distracting when trying to immerse myself in what I'm reading. Until this gets resolved I'm going to stick with Stanza which, although shareware and not as polished, does full screen much better.
(1)
Show comment (1)
evilinstone
24 February 2009
Version: 2.0.1
Please add support .fb2 format. Thanks!
(0)
Tekl
20 November 2008
Version: 2.0.1
I'm missing a printing option.
(1)
5
Notefarm
20 October 2008
Version: 2.0.1
Amar is a genius and this program is a must have. Now reading on my computer is a joy.For another app that dose one thing very well I also would recommend Amars other App called Namely. Thank you for writing such perfect software.
(0)
5
St00pid-M0nk3y
08 September 2008
Version: 2.0
Very cool and easy to use. And it's free! :]
(0)
5
Crucial
30 March 2006
Version: 2.0a2
Absolute genius. Tofu does not get nearly the attention it deserves. Tofu makes reading long documents on screen totally painless, and in some ways is better than reading a paper based document as you can see both the page before and after so you can easily scan for things and adjust column width for reading comfort. If it has bugs, like sometimes spotty connection to services they are of so little consequence, compared to the simplicity and elegance of this app. My biggest gripe is that this is not built into the OS so that I can chose to read web pages without having to switch to it, or compose notes in TextEdit using the same concept. I just wish there was more software out there that re-though problems and came up with such elegantly simple solutions. Solutions that remove barriers and have interfaces so simple that they need no toolbars, or other extraneous icons. Interfaces that just get out of the way. A lot can be learned from the elegance of this application, when it comes to software, less is often more.
(2)
Show comment (1)
Imacbie
29 March 2006
Version: 2.0a2
This is a very neat app. Hopefully PDF support will be complete with ease o.O
(0)
5
Huevox
29 March 2006
Version: 2.0a2
This is a simple and effective app. Thank you so much for such a great tool! I would gladly pay a fee to use this.
(0)
Show comment (1)
4
Anonymous
11 November 2005
Version: 2.0a1
Very nice for reading etexts from Project Gutenberg. For once reading a Gutenberg book is a pleasure---not as much pleasure as having a real paper book, but a thousand times better than reading an etext in a word processing program. Tofu does tend to quit unexpectedly when leaving full screen mode... a fixable issue I wish there was a way to automatically set the number of columns without tweaking the pixel width of the columns. I'd like to get to a two page layout like a book automatically. It would be nice if you could set the scrolling preferences. When I read a text I get to the lower right hand corner I want to 'turn the page' but Tofu just slides one column over to the 'next column'. this requires a two click motion to get a new screen of columns. It would give a book like feel if you could set it to move the columns so the screen is filled with all new columns. In reading these notes I see what I really want is a preference that is "Give Tofu screen a book like setting"--two columns per screen, scrolling actually is like turning a page. Given that, and I'd pay for this.
(1)
5
Anonymous
30 October 2005
Version: 2.0a1
A new release of this excellent application is always a very good news :-)
(0)
Anonymous
29 October 2005
Version: 2.0a1
ver. 2.0a4 requires Tiger (10.4). Its support for PDF requires a Tiger-only dynamic library.
(0)
Anonymous
27 October 2005
Version: 1.3.4
This is a great little program for anyone who spends a lot of time reading large text files. It is much more pleasant than scrolling through pages in Microsoft Word, and is quick, convenient, and easy to use. However, I have a few suggestions on how you could improve it. 1) Page numbers at the bottom of each column 2) A window below the scroll bar (or at the side of the viewer) that gives a summary of the file contents (i.e. word count, page count, enclosing folder/location) 3) The ability to open multiple files in the one viewer, and then move between them (each time that you add a file to the viewer, a new thumbnail could be added to the toolbar) Keep up the great work!
(0)
4.75
Anonymous
13 September 2005
Version: 1.3.4
Awesome application. Was hoping for an update but hey, everything works well. Have only noticed the text missing bog here and there.
(0)
4.5
Anonymous
14 June 2005
Version: 1.3.4
I find this a really great little program with a lot of potential. I use it for reading the many books which I have saved as text files. It's a most handy application and most comfortable on my eyes so far. I'm using Tiger with Tofu 1.3.4 and it works great except that once or twice in a document there are letters missing at the end of some lines where I have to guess what the last 1 or 2 letters of the word are...just a small note to consider for the next version...
(0)
Anonymous
27 May 2005
Version: 1.3.4
why is this only a text reader? what am i going to do with a read only text app? it wouldn't be too hard to allow editing and make this a truly killer application
(0)
Show comments (2)
4.75
Anonymous
05 May 2005
Version: 1.3.3
I tried this version of Tofu on a Mac mini running OS X 10.4 Tiger. My screen resolution is 800x600 and I make the font quite large in Tofu. When the Tofu window appears, there is always a huge blank space--like a rectangle that has been erased, obscuring the text behind it. I always have to reduce the font size by one step and then enlarge it again in order for Tofu to draw the text readably. This problem only appeared after I upgraded to Tiger.
(0)
Show comment (1)
4.75
Anonymous
01 May 2005
Version: 1.3.3
I just love Tofu as it makes me feel like I'm reading a newspaper. The format is so easy on the eyes and brain. I find myself using it as follows: after surfing to a page I want to read the text, I find the 'print format' link on the page, follow it, then select all text via the keyboard, then under 'services' choose 'view in columns', then control-L to view full-screen in Tofu. I just wish there was a simple way to make Safari or some other web browser capable of automatically finding and loading the 'print format' link on a page, then follow the rest of the commands above to make it automated! (version 1.3.3)
(0)
4
Anonymous
26 April 2005
Version: 1.3.3
Is there a trick to getting the "remember scroll position" preference to work? I'm using Tofu to read a very long html document but it never remembers where I last was in the document.
(0)
Show comments (2)
Anonymous
25 April 2005
Version: 1.3.3
It'd be nice to have EVEN rudemantary support for PDFs, even if the text shows up garbled, as long as text shows up and its in the order it is supposed to be read, it would be MUCH better than the current situation: useless code. :-) A highlighter mode would also be FANTASTIC, so that one can highlight text and save that to the resource fork as well. :-)
(0)
Show comments (3)
Anonymous
25 April 2005
Version: 1.3.3
There is a VERY weird bug with the horizontal scrolling in this program when using the keyboard's arrow keys to scroll. It scrolls normally until about an inch from where the scrollbar runs out of space, and than it slows down exponentially and NEVER reaches the REAL end--I assume because it would take infinite time to do so. Check it out.
(0)
5
Anonymous
19 April 2005
Version: 1.3.2
Good idea, well implemented and dead useful! Thanks for keeping it free :-)
(0)
4.75
arvid
17 April 2005
Version: 1.3.2
This is an awesome little piece of software. I have only a few little suggestions that would make it better: 1. The ability to save if i want to even when ask to save is not checked in the prefs (cause i dont want to save most stuff, but rarely I do. 2. Some other method of adding text - a service with a global key command? Or dragging text to the icon in the dock could drop it into Tofu. I will try to maybe write an applescript to do this with a global key command... 3. speech recognition and the ability to Cmd-tab to other apps/invoke expose in full screen mode. otherwise excellent! thanks!
(0)
Show comment (1)
Anonymous
03 April 2005
Version: 1.3.2
i am reading my text at twice the speed since i started to use tofu!
(0)
5
Anonymous
29 March 2005
Version: 1.3.2
This little app is a real gem; it's earned a spot in my dock.
(0)
5
Anonymous
27 March 2005
Version: 1.3.2
It's a pleasure to see this brilliant software is still alive and well! Hervé S.
(0)
4.75
Anonymous
27 March 2005
Version: 1.3.2
What a great document reader. It totally changed the way I read articles. Btw, is it possible to support PDF document? Thanks for the developer's efforts.
(0)
Show comment (1)
4.25
Anonymous
17 February 2005
Version: 1.3.1
Wonderful I copy all sorts of text into a plain text file and it is easily readable with this. Look at Project Gutenberg and expand your horizons
(0)
5
Anonymous
13 February 2005
Version: 1.3.1
What a great app. Easy to adjust the columns to preference, then copy difficult full-screen text, open Tofu, paste, and aaah!, what a treat for the eyes. So simple and quick! 5stars.
(0)
Labor-days-ar
05 February 2005
Version: 1.3.1
a pdf option would be nice
(0)
jpjrv
04 February 2005
Version: 1.3.1
Great utility, but I still get version 1.2 when I download.
(0)
Show comment (1)
4.75
Anonymous
04 February 2005
Version: 1.3.1
great tool and easy to use. tofu makes reading at ease. i've recommended this tool to several friends, and they all found it great and useful. thanks!
(0)
4.75
Anonymous
01 February 2005
Version: 1.3.1
Not only this software is excellent, but you get so rapidly used to it, you pretty soon just cannot deal without!
(0)
4.75
Anonymous
01 February 2005
Version: 1.3.1
That is a very useful application. I also require ability PDF reading! Thanks. Bansuri.
(0)
Show comment (1)
5
Anonymous
31 January 2005
Version: 1.3
Very nice app. Please please add PDF so we'll have a decent multi-page PDF reader. Thanks.
(0)
5
Anonymous
31 January 2005
Version: 1.3
New version is great. The new scrolling makes it so easy to follow where you are. The reverse scrolling is also welcome. And the one thing I didn't like from 1.2 was that it asked me to save what I was reading - and now that's a preference. Any time I come across long articles to read they go straight into Tofu.
(0)
3.5
Anonymous
11 December 2004
Version: 1.2
It's worth it save any document. Never open again saved as .rtfd. Great full screen.
(0)
4
Anonymous
10 October 2004
Version: 1.2
Yup I like it....just what I needed. its still a bit buggy, it likes to crash when trying to enter full screen mode, but what the heck I try a few times and there it goes. I too would appreciate if bookmarks were possible, but this is *just* 1.2 as I understand, its free, its great. It will make my reading a lot more enjoyable, so much I know already. I will crave for updates and be happy. Thank you so much for this. two stars less because of aforementioned issues, but hey thumbs up.
(0)
Anonymous
10 October 2004
Version: 1.2
Ok, this is neat and all but why can't you WRITE TO FILES?? A viewer is mostly useless. An editor with these features would be worth something. I just don't see the point, honestly.
(0)
4.5
Anonymous
09 October 2004
Version: 1.2
One problem: saving scroll position doesn't really work! I like reading Gutenberg texts but they are usually very long so I need to bookmark my last read position. I was rather hoping that the "Remember Scroll position within documents" would do the trick - but I found that every time I reopened a previously read document, it would always start at the beginning. I am not sure why saving positions doesn't work (my fs is HFS+, so resource forks are supported). I've written to the developer about this but did not receive a reply, so I am not sure if perhaps I am the only one who has this problem?
(0)
4.5
Anonymous
09 October 2004
Version: 1.2
I've been using Tofu for quite a while now, and loving it. I just downloaded this new update (1.2), full of enthusiasm about the new features. However, I was very disappointed by one detail: the "Do you want to save the changes you made in the document x?” dialog. For me, Tofu is still a read-only app, and I had gotten quite good at using shortcuts to get text from Safari to Tofu in 2 seconds. This dialogue just makes the whole thing slower, heavier and annoying. I am probably never going to save any document. Peronally, what I expect from Tofu-updates is speed. Getting rid of the empty window and automatically bringing Tofu to the front is a big step forward. But now I have this pesky dialogue harassing me every time I want to close a window :-( This may seem like a silly detail, but I am sure some people will understand me. Still, I insist on how useful this application is, and encourage the developer do keep updating it :-)
(0)
Anonymous
09 October 2004
Version: 1.2
An excellent program — keep it as it is! The whole point is that it is a simple program that does the job. Edit, print and save in TextEdit — open & read in Tofu.
(0)
5
Anonymous
09 October 2004
Version: 1.1.2
Great! Thanks! Please add the possibility to Print, Edit and Save.
(0)
4.75
Anonymous
28 July 2004
Version: 1.1.2
Why is this only a text viewer, not an editor? I can see this style of editing being useful for many purposes - writing a narrative or technical documentation where you often needed to refer back & forth through the document while composing. It would be worthwhile for the developer to flip the switch required for this to allow editing and test it out.
(0)
Anonymous
20 June 2004
Version: 1.1.1
it's excellent to see Tofu is still moving :-) personaly it's my default application for rtf for quite a while...
(0)
4.75
Anonymous
20 June 2004
Version: 1.1.1
Please, please, please ! Ad the possibility to save Tufu's documents and it will be absolutely perfect.
(0)
4.75
Anonymous
20 June 2004
Version: 1.1.1
This is a fabulous idea almost perfectly executed. And free too. I'm not sure if this is the same "footnotes" feature other's are talking about but I too would love the program to utilise inter-document links (such as used for endnotes in html.
(0)
4.5
Anonymous
20 June 2004
Version: 1.1.1
Amazing that it took such a simple little application to make me realize that maybe I don't have a really bad case of Attention Deficit Disorder. I would like to see the footnotes issue resolved.
(0)
5
Eric
19 June 2004
Version: 1.1
This is invaluable for reading long articles or documents. Set your reader to a slightly off white and a easy to read font, turn off justification and the space bar turns the "pages." This speeds up your reading and removed the distractions of inline ads from web pages. The experience is as close to reading from a book as you can get on a computer. Also, there is an incompatibility with 1.1 and 10.2.x which I emailed the developer about and he mailed me back and today *and* upgraded to 1.1.1 - which I'm sure will be available here shortly.
(0)
4.75
Anonymous
19 June 2004
Version: 1.1
Absolutely ingenious. Simple but effective.
(0)
4
Anonymous
05 June 2004
Version: 1.0.1
Excellent idea. However, most of the documents I write and read contain footnotes. Unless I am missing something, Tofu does not adequately accomodate footnotes; it merely runs them at the end of the document, somewhat like endnotes, but no numbering or note marking is included. With footnoting included, Tofu is 5 star all the way.
(0)
4
Anonymous
16 May 2004
Version: 1.0.1
Now this is what it's all about! A properly innovative idea that fulfils a real need. I look forward to more development on this app, though it's already pretty damn good.
(0)
4.75
Brainly
19 April 2004
Version: 1.0.1
The best ideas are often the simplest, as the saying goes. I loaded Tofu two days ago and have since caught up with lots of documents I meant to read weeks ago. Horizontal scrolling is something you understand immediately but need (in my case) a few minutes to get used to. After that it's just so nice to sit back and just read "normally".
(0)
4.75
Anonymous
28 March 2004
Version: 1.0.1
This program is fanfreakingtastic! Absolute genius, and with time will only get better. Great idea! I did notice a redraw problem when making the columns wider, but that could just be my slow iss abook. :)
(0)
5
Anonymous
28 March 2004
Version: 1.0.1
This is a great idea. The day you try it is the day you wonder how you got by without it.
(0)
5
Anonymous
28 March 2004
Version: 1.0.1
SUPERBEWARE, but no printing :(
(0)
4.75
AVFolk
27 March 2004
Version: 1.0.1
ABSOLUTELY SUPERB -- Reading long documents is no longer a chore -- or pain in the wrist. Tofu deserves to be an a new category -- SUPERBware.
(0)
4.25
Anonymous
02 February 2004
Version: 1.0
If you are using OS X 10.3 it even opens MS Word files.
(0)
5
jeanneley
05 January 2004
Version: 1.0
Tofu is a wonderful application for folks with disabilities (like me!). I have a lot of difficulty holding a book, turning pages, and focusing on small print, and Tofu resolves all of those barriers for me. I'm able to adjust the text size and background color for easy readability, and I can "turn" pages by pressing the arrow keys or page up/down keys. Thank you so much for developing Tofu so that I can read for pleasure again! This application really deserves special recognition for its accessibility features.
(0)
4.5
Anonymous
03 January 2004
Version: 1.0
Great little program. Great way to read text on a small screen.
(0)
4.25
Anonymous
02 January 2004
Version: 1.0
Few apps do something so simple yet so well. Tofu simply takes a long text document and gives you a way to read it more confortably and effeciently than a simple scroll. It takes your text and breaks it into columns which scroll sideways for easy reading. The size, font, and layout of the text can be edited in preferences. Webpages can be brought it with a simple copy and then pull down Tofu under "services". You have to try it.
(0)
4
Anonymous
02 January 2004
Version: 1.0
Good app if only it would remember it's window size and dynamicly resize it's own column width when dragging the corner. I have a 23" HD Cinema Display and the default window is just waaaaay to small for this app to be of much use to me. I have a widescreen monitor which should be ideal for reading left to right without scrolling, this app would be great if it took advantage of this.
(0)
Show comment (1)
4.75
Kriegman
15 September 2003
Version: 0.3.1
I really like this little app! It is much more natural to read from the side...
(0)
5
Anonymous
14 September 2003
Version: 0.3.1
A-1 I like it great side by side columns thanks for the fee-bee,drag n drop is good ,and yep it's for us old folks who were there when Apple first cranked up !!!
(0)
Anonymous
14 September 2003
Version: 0.3.1
I agree with anonymous' comments of 8/18/03; young people often fail to see greatness.
(0)
4.5
Anonymous
14 September 2003
Version: 0.3.1
It is such a good idea, why haven't I seen this before now? Makes it easier to read long essays. BTW anon, with some luck you will grow old too.
(0)
4
Anonymous
02 September 2003
Version: 0.2
It's a good idea: simple, straight-forward, and does what it's supposed to--makes text easier to read or scan. Now if it worked with more text types....
(0)
Show comment (1)
Anonymous
18 August 2003
Version: 0.1
i fail to see the greatness of this... maybe its for old people...
(0)
Anonymous
17 August 2003
Version: 0.1
This is an EXCELLENT idea… I would like to see a Text editor with such options. It really is a more pleasant configuration.
(0)
4.5
piterpan
17 August 2003
Version: 0.1
what a grat idea this is! Thanks a lot! ...and the name is great to. :-)
(0)
4.5
Anonymous
16 August 2003
Version: 0.1
YES! Thats IT! Keep on Working. Now i now what kind of reader i missed since i bought 1988 my first computer. Please implement as much common formats as you now (html,pdf possible?,rtfd an so on) Thank you very much for this very useful app.
(0)
Free

4.8

App requirements: 
  • Intel 32
  • PPC 32
  • Mac OS X 10.4.0 or later
License: 
FreeAbsolutely Free

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