A hidden feature of TextEdit will allow you to search for patterns like email addresses, phone numbers and URLs. You can also construct complex search patterns. You can use these patterns to do complex text replacements such as switching around the order of items in your text.
When editing text in TextEdit, Pages and other apps, you'll often see options for Kern, Ligatures and Baseline. These adjust the character spacing, combine some letters into a single character, and adjust the vertical positions of the letters. See examples and learn how to use these text features.
New Mac users may not know about TextEdit, a simple but deep text editing and word processing tool that comes with your Mac. You can use TextEdit to create documents in cases when a full word processor like Pages or Microsoft Word isn't necessary. TextEdit has two modes: plain text and rich text. You can use the first for writing, notes and coding. You can use the second for word processing. TextEdit also allows you to open Microsoft Word documents which is useful if you are sent one but haven't bought Word.
A new feature in Pages is the ability to export into Rich Text Format. This kind of file can be opened and edited by almost any text editor or word processor. You can use RTF to move a document from Pages to TextEdit, or to send to someone when you are not sure what kind of word processor they are using.
TextEdit and other Mac text editing apps have useful functions for converting text from all caps to lowercase, allowing you to process uppercase text quicker. You can also convert the other way, or capitalize each word.
Find and replace is useful tool for writers, editors and anyone who works with large word processing documents. You can use a variety of special find features in TextEdit to refine your searches. If you know the right techniques, you can swap words and search for patterns. In Pages searching isn't as powerful, but Microsoft Word has even more advanced features.
Most people use a click and drag action to select text. But you can also use a variety of other techniques that work better in many situations. You can click once to define the start position and then again to define the end of a selection. You can select by word or line. You can also select everything with a simple keyboard shortcut. There are even more obscure ways to select text.
The Font Panel can be accessed and used in apps like Pages, TextEdit and Mail to change the font and style of currently selected text. You can also save font settings a 'Favorites' in the Font Panel and then easily access those particular styles later. These Favorites will remain in the Font Panel across all of the apps that use it, so you can set up favorites that you use often and access then easily in different apps. You can also customize the font sizes shown in the Font Panel.
Text Replacement is a built-in function on your Mac that allows you to automatically replace one sequence of characters with another. You can use them to fix common typos, make it easier to type long phases, or even allows you to insert longer passages you commonly use when writing. They can also help when trying to type special characters or emoji. Text Replacement works in most apps though some have special settings.
You can copy and paste complex objects between apps, and the apps will do the best they can with the objects. Between very compatible apps like Pages and Keynote, you get an exact copy of the object, with properties still editable. Pasting into apps like TextEdit or an image editor, you'll often get a simpler by usable image instead of the original object.
When you type a link in a word processor, it often converts that link to clickable text. But if you are writing a document for print, or just don't want the link to be clickable, then you need to change it to normal text. You can do this on a case-by-case basis by simply using Undo. Or, you can change preferences to stop these links from appearing in the first place. Learn how to do this in TextEdit, Pages and Microsoft Word.
Normal copy and paste of text will include the text font, style and other attributes. But if your intention is to just copy and paste the raw text, then you will want to learn how to use Paste and Match Style. You can use this in most apps, including Pages, TextEdit and Microsoft Word.
When you type a quote or apostrophe symbol on your Mac, it will usually automatically convert to the curly version. However, you can control when this happens on a per-app basis. You can also make exceptions to the process while typing. See examples in TextEdit, Pages and Mail.
Grammar mistakes can be pointed out to you in apps such as TextEdit, Mail, Pages and Microsoft Word. However, grammar checking is very difficult for computers and only some mistakes can be spotted. Use grammar checking as a second level of spell checking and a way to avoid typos. But do not rely on it to actually fix bad grammar.
Tab stops allow you to align text in word processing programs. They have been around for a while, but if you have only started using word processors recently, you may have overlooked them in favor of tables and other layout elements. Tab stops are a quick and easy way to display data neatly inside a document.