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July 7, 2010 / Rick Martin

Doing it better with plain text

I’ve never been a big fan of Microsoft Word, and I’ve found myself – believe it or not – using Textedit as a word processor recently. Primitive I know, but having just discovered this great Applescript that gives the program a word count function, it’s really all I need.

Plus now that GoogleCL is out, I can upload my files to Google Docs with relative ease from the command line. Simply set aside a folder whose contents you intend to launch into the clouds (i.e. to Google Docs), and then perform the following command in Terminal:

google docs upload /Users/rickmartin/Desktop/Dropbox/SendToGoogleDocs/*.*

Of course manually entering terminal commands is for suckers, so perhaps this Applescript will be a little speedier. Just open up your Apple Script Editor and save it to your scripts folder.

tell application "Terminal"
do script "google docs upload /Users/rickmartin/Desktop/Dropbox/SendToGoogleDocs/*.*
"
end tell

Much like the Flickr upload script I was playing with last week, there’s probably a better way to swing this through Folder Actions. But on the other hand I sort of like the control that comes with an Applescript trigger.

I’m always pleased when I see the people I work with making the shift onto Google Docs. Microsoft Word is wicked cumbersome and Open Office is even worse. I haven’t experimented with Microsoft’s online Docs.com yet, and I don’t intend to until they ditch the requirement to login with Facebook creds. Seriously Microsoft? Business and personal don’t mix.

I’m curious to hear what other writers use as their word processor of choice. Any other lightweight Word alternatives to recommend?

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