Bean is a free, compact, easy-to-use text editor that occupies the middle ground between bare-bones apps like TextEdit and more full-featured (and more expensive) word processors.
Bean launches quickly and uses minimal resources, while giving you access to rich features such as live word count, tabbed documents, templates for boilerplate and automatic dates, page layout settings and in-line graphics, dictionary integration, word completion, plenty of import and export options, a search panel that can handle regular expressions, and an Inspector panel for making tweaks to text, format, and spacing.
Bean can't handle some specialized tasks, like footnotes and predefined styles, but this open-source editor gives you a lot of functionality at no cost--in a well-designed, pleasant-to-use interface, including optional split-screen editing and a two-up layout view.
Anyone looking to get a little more out of a free word processor with strong basic features and some extras should give Bean a try.
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