Textkraft for your iPad – Another different writing app
With a being a writer and especially this month, as I am taking part in the NaNoWriMo, I can’t help myself when I see writing applications available for the iPad. I saw small notice somewhere online about an application called Textkraft, saying that it was interesting for writers. So I had to get my hands on it and I shall tell you now, that I’ve managed to get a review copy from the developers of the application.
The Dictionary in other iPad Apps
If you are a writer, then you are without a doubt concerned about words, how to use them, alternatives for words and you want to know whether you are using the correct word for the meaning of your sentence. If you are using the Apple application for word processing, Pages and also you will find this in other writing applications, when you select a word you will see an arrow to the right of the pop-up and you can get a dictionary definition for that word.
Dictionary Dictionary Dictionary
Depending upon the word, there could be plenty of information in there about that word. for example, I have just selected the word article and done that little trick to get to the dictionary and I now have a little pop-up box, with plenty of information about article. I can see that it is a noun, I can see how that word is supposed to be used, with examples. There is also some information about the origin of the word and in this case, I can see that it comes from old French and from Latin – How lovely, very useful.
Working with Words in Textkraft
First of all when you open the application, you will see that you have a nice open space in which to start writing. Textkraft is iPad for writers tool par excellence. Not only that you will see the numbers 1 to 5 in the bar below. What that does is to allow you to work on five different texts at the same time in the Textkraft application. Well not quite at the same time, but you can jump from one text to another by tapping on those numbers 1 to 5. Of course, as with many applications, one of the ways to get files on and off the iPad into this application, or out of this application is by using Dropbox. The other way that you can do this, is to use iTunes file sharing. I have also found that using an application such as GoodReader, you can take text files and open in Textkraft using the Open In menu. So there is no need to be complaining about how you’re going to get files on or off the iPad. The main, tried and tested ways of copying files to the iPad or moving files from the iPad have been included within this app.
iPad for writers
One of the things that worry me with an application that has extra, wild and wonderful features is that these features would get in the way of being able to do the normal or standard things that I would like to do, in this case to write in the writing application. There is no need to worry about that with this particular application, with Textkraft you get an extra couple of lines of keyboard and although they take up extra space they don’t feel like they are in the way because they are actually very useful.
What can you do with the extra set of keys above the keyboard?
When you’re working with the touch interface in other writing applications when don’t have these extra keys available, then you always have to use your finger to place the cursor where you want it in the text and to do things like selecting text. With this set of extra keys you get the extra facility of being able to move the cursor one word at a time in either direction. Also you can move from where you are in the line to either end with one tap of one of the extra keys. There are also keys which will let you move the cursor one character at a time, left and right and also up and down in the body of the text. One extra key that you don’t normally find in iOS and you may miss when you compare it to what you have in OS X is the tab key. What the tab key does is to allow you to put in a space as you would do usually the tab key on your PC. You also get a single quote key and a double quote key. The other two extra keys that are incredibly useful are the keys which will take your word next to the cursor and either give it a capital letter, or if it has one already, then it will put the word all in lower case letters.
Careful what you do – It might be best to use the word think rather than the word cogitate
As with any writing you do have to consider who is your audience for your text. If you use words like cogitated when something simpler and more to the point would be better for the audience that you are writing for, then you would not be doing your writing job properly. Nobody likes a smartypants!
When you are using the dictionary to supply you with words to stimulate your creativity, you will see words that are placed within coloured boxes in the suggestion area. This is what the colours mean.
- Green – The dictionary has recognised the word as being correct
- Red – The dictionary is not familiar with that word.
- Grey – If you have exchanged one of the words already you will see this colour to let you know that you have worked with this word already.
- Yellow – These are synonyms and other related words.
- Purple – These are words that are close to the spelling of the word you have in the text.
- Blue – Words that are shown in blue are on the ones that are dependent upon the X button and are extensions to the word. For example with the word what in the text, the blue word shows as some… With that I could tap on Use It and change the word what into somewhat. When the X is in the middle on the X button it doesn’t give me any words in blue. When the X is at the beginning, I get a selection of whatnot, whatever, whatsoever and Whatsyamacallit.
Overall verdict on the text editor application Textkraft
Textkraft is a good writers tool and if you are a serious writer then it will be worthwhile having for the quick links to dictionaries. I will not be using this to do my writing for NaNoWriMo, because with NaNoWriMo I don’t want to edit as I go. When the month of November is over and I have my 50,000 words or more and it is time to do some editing of the manuscript, then I could see that would be a good time to make use of Textkraft.
Having said that I would not use it during NaNoWriMo, I should say that I would not use the facilities of finding synonyms and other interesting words to use, as that would spoil the flow of my writing. But certainly I would consider using Textkraft if I am away from the office and I just needed to use a text editor within the iPad to type out a scene or two. Textkraft gets a thumbs up from me and the only thing I would change is making those buttons in the black bar on the left more context sensitive.