Today, I am happy to announce my second entry into the Android Market: Plain and Simple Text Editor, or PaSTE.
The idea behind it is fairly straightforward: text editors for Android are usually just note-taking applications. They’re built to take short notes quickly and not really made to do anything more substantial. Some of them can be used for more complicated things, but they can get tedious. Additionally, none (or perhaps very few) are designed with hardware keyboards in mind.
I would like to be able to write articles, reviews, blog posts, etc. on my Transformer as easily as I can on my PC and perhaps even easier. These creations should be easily transferable to my PC or to the cloud for later use and editing. For this reason, I have created PaSTE.
Creation, editing, management and saving
PaSTE allows you to create, edit, and manage documents (for lack of a better word). Documents are saved locally to your internal storage, but this location can be changed in the settings. You can create a new document by hitting the button in the top-right corner of the first screen, or by pressing Ctrl+N (Ctrl+N also works when already in a document).
Additionally, saving happens automatically by default. If you exit the app, switch to a different app, or navigate back to open a different document, your document is saved. If you don’t like this, you can turn it off in the settings and then a prompt will show up when you try to exit asking if you want to save. You can also turn that prompt off if you like.
Still not enough? Fine. How about saving the way many of us are so used to: Ctrl+S – that’s enabled too. Don’t have a keyboard? There’s a button on the screen.
PaSTE has some common formatting options: bold, italic, and bullet points. I want to introduce numbered lists as well at a later point.
These formatting options are available via the on-screen buttons – either on the left or at the top, depending on the orientation of the device.
If you have a keyboard, though, you don’t want to have to dirty up your screen or reach over with a mouse every time you want some formatting – you want shortcuts! Ctrl+B will enable bold mode and/or bold selected text while Ctrl+I will do the same with italics. Ctrl+L will create a bullet point and while in this mode, a bullet point will be created at the start of every line after hitting “Enter”.
PaSTE makes use of simple HTML formatting, so it saves files to .html files. At the moment, the formatting is a little dirty – I am working on cleaning that up.
These files can be opened in LibreOffice without any complications and can also be converted by Google Docs.
Documents created in PaSTE can be shared with other applications thanks to the amazing sharing features in Android.
Long press on a document and select “Share” or select the same option from the options menu while a document is open and select the application to share with. Files can be uploaded to Dropbox, sent to Google Docs, or sent as email attachments (and I’m sure there are other apps that I haven’t tested). A note with Google Docs sharing: it works best if you select the option to convert the document to the GDocs format.
A final note on sharing: Seeing as I’m using the built-in sharing feature in Android, to share the files with an app you need to have the app installed.
I like to know how much I’ve written, so in the bottom left or top right corner (again, depending on orientation), there’s a word count. If you don’t like it, you can also turn that off in the settings.
Finally, undo and redo functions are also available via the options menu or by hitting Ctrl+Z or Ctrl+Y respectively.
Plain and Simple Text Editor (PaSTE) gives you a good text editor with some formatting options; autosaving to a file format that can be read by other apps; sharing capabilities; word count; and undo and redo functions.
I’m open to feedback and suggestions, and would love to hear your comments on it. PaSTE is available in the Android Market for Android version 3.1 and up for free.