Easy Word Processing for Mac OS X Awarded**** - Macworld
Age Range: All Ages
Many of our users asked us if we would produce an easy-to-use word processor that had a similar look and feel to the rest of our products, the result is FreeText.
FreeText has a clear and uncluttered interface meaning that children donŐt have to become 'interface gurus' in order to use it.
FreeText is a multi-document application allowing any number of FreeText documents to be open at the same time.
The application starts very quickly. Users can immediately see the clear icons, on the easily navigable toolbar at the top of the document window.
Save, Print, Font and Text justification, and Spelling one would expect to see on the toolbar, but there is also a button labelled Media that links directly to the users iLife applications. This can also be configured to look in other folders where pictures are stored. Once you have found your picture, just drag and drop it into the text. Images can then be resized to fit the page.
FreeText also has a Styles button that opens a Style drawer, similar to that found in Apple's Pages application. Changing the style of a paragraph is a matter of placing the caret in the text and selecting a new style from the draw. The default set of Styles can be easily modified and new ones added.
The menu bar provides additional access to some of the less commonly used features, bullet points, lists, underlining, page breaks and different ways to insert the date.
A very neat Word Bank feature is also included. It also appears smoothly as a drawer. The Word Bank library is currently populated by a series of lists: First 100, 300, and 10000 words; dinosaurs; and a number of useful sets of foreign language words in French, German and Spanish. Teachers and users can easily extend and create their own word lists. The lists can also contain useful phrases and whole sentences.
Spell checks are taken care of through Apple's built in dictionary. This also means that users have access to foreign language dictionaries.
In order to ensure FreeText is accessible to all, it works with Apple's Mac OS X 'Services', chiefly access, and supports voice over whereby users can listen to their text being spoken by the computer.
At the bottom of the document window are two additional features, that allow the children to obtain a word count and to scale the view of their documents.
"For an easy-to-use word processor that wont confuse children, or force them to become interface experts before the age of seven, FreeText has what it takes."
"It is a very good example of a simple word processor... it is possible to configure the screen appearance to suit all young users."