Microsoft Office is the one set of software you can almost guarantee will be on any computer you touch. It’s been out for the Mac since 1985, 5 years before it was on PCs (as hard as that seems to believe today), and has dominated the word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation market long enough that’s it’s the de facto standard.
There is competition, most notably on Macs from Apple’s own iWork, but also from open-source office apps. OpenOffice.org, a Sun Microsystem project, was the most prominent free office competitor for years, but was then forked into LibreOffice after Oracle bought out Sun. LibreOffice 4.0 was recently released, with native versions for OS X as well as Linux and Windows, so it seemed time to take it for a spin.
Small business owners often need all the help they can get when it comes to running and managing their business. Keeping track of employee data is vital, but can often be overlooked and mismanaged. HR programs are useful as they allow business owners to keep track of everything from salaries and qualifications to absence data and training programs all in one handy piece of software.
Employment:app is a nice little HR management app designed for small to medium sized businesses and at first glance looks to pack a large punch in a small package. There are lots of competitors in the HR software market, so let’s see how it holds its own. Read on for my thoughts.
The word-processing app market is flooded with alternatives, most of them already very well established like the popular options of Pages or Microsoft Office’s Word. There’s even a whole other market for super simple or “distraction-free” word processors, which we’ve covered before.
However, there’s not really an in-between alternative. Something that mixes a little bit of both worlds: that feels lightweight and simple, but also has the primordial features and the customization of a full-fledged processor. I’ve just described an app called Write. Want to check it out?
I’m sure all of us deal with a fair share of documents. In the past couple of years, a lot of innovation has helped us move our document creation, storage, backup and sharing to the cloud. And in particular, there has never been a better time to collaborate extensively on a document with your peers. That’s all fine and dandy. But what about the documents we have on our hard disks?
Rummaging through folders in Finder and searching for them using Spotlight are by far the best options in front of us. I found Dossier when searching for a better way to organize all my documents. This wonderful app helps you organize all the information as you would like and easily share with others. Come, let us take it for a spin.
Recently, I looked at Checkout, a straightforward, easy-to-use POS software for small businesses. However, Checkout can have its limitations and if you are a large retail business with several different stores operating, Checkout may not help you entirely. This is where Lightspeed comes in. It is aimed towards much larger businesses who are already well established in the retail sector.
I downloaded the trial (more information below) and had a look at it for myself. Here are my thoughts…
In one of my previous articles, I wrote about LyX, an easy way to produce documents in TeX without any prior knowledge of the typesetting language. However, for anyone with a knowledge of TeX, LyX can seem a little limited in its functionality and can, sometimes, be complicated to use. To really appreciate the power of TeX and what it can really do (especially if you do a lot of writing), it is worth taking some time out and learning the typesetting language (which is a lot simpler than it actually seems!).
There are quite a few TeX editors out there for the Mac however most of them are simply ports of native Windows or Linux editors and don’t really make use of OS X’s design and functionality. However, this has now changed. Independent developers Valleta Ventures have come up with TexPad, a native TeX editor for OS X with some handy features that make TeX editing a breeze. Let’s take a closer look.
TeX is one of the lesser known ways of creating documents as it has mostly extremely specialized uses. The typesetting system was designed and written (mostly) by Donald Knuth during the late 1970′s and is a popular choice for typing documents for two main reasons. The first is that documents are standardized across all computers and the results do not change with time. Despite the fact TeX is an old system, the documents still look (relatively) up-to-date, albeit a little lacking in color and design.
The second reason why TeX is so popular, especially in the academic world, is the way it renders maths and mathematical formulas. The range of formulas that can be constructed using TeX is vast and far more flexible than the offerings of other programs (for example Word’s built-in equation editor). The only hindrance to typing up your documents in TeX is that there a very steep learning curve associated with it. TeX is more like a code, with commands and functions and it’s not as easy as simply loading up Word and tapping away.
Way back in my unenlightened days as a Windows user, I spent a great deal of time using various PDF editors. In an effort to avoid conflict with our friends at Windows.AppStorm, allow me to clarify: I don’t hate on Windows simply to hate on Windows–and indeed there are a lot of great Windows apps out there. But I think that even they will agree with me when I say that there are a lot of poorly designed PDF manipulation apps floating around on the Internet.
As an unrelated product of circumstance, my need for PDF manipulation apps has decreased since I became a Mac user. However, all of those frustrating memories came rushing back when I was given the opportunity to check out PDFactory from the folks at Appthology. An app that promised to be the perfect balance between the power of Adobe Acrobat and the slim-profile native glory that is OS X’s very own Preview had to be worth a try, right? Hit the jump to find out exactly how PDFactory holds up!
If you, like me, are a word nerd, there’s a good chance that you’ve already run a search for ‘dictionary’ in the Mac App Store. Doing so brings up a number of dictionaries in various languages, a few games, language courses, and a surprisingly small number of English dictionaries. Perhaps developers know that all Macs are shipped with the New Oxford American Dictionary baked right into the operating system, so they shy away from duplication.
Unfortunately, the truth is that the built-in dictionary app is limited – likely adequate most of the time, but still limited. For this reason, now and then you might find yourself calling upon a higher authority and refer to the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, which is widely held to be among the world’s best and most definitive references. That’s when you’ll be glad that WordWeb Software has brought this tome to the App Store.
Join us after the jump for a look at how the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary works, and how it might be a useful and even enjoyable addition to your Mac.