Software Review: pedit

Paul Nevai's pedit, which can be used instead of the built-in memopad, is a hard application to review Because It Has So Many Features. It would take up a lot of space and a lot of your time to discuss all of pedit's features here. But, hopefully we describe enough of them so you can determine if you are interested in checking it out for yourself. I must tell you that I consider this app to be absolutely essential. If you do any serious editing at all, this is a must have app. It's editing power is phenomenal, and its support of macros (pScripts) makes doing repetitive operations a snap. Also, the author updates this app Very Regularly and is frequently adding new features to it. I must also say that Paul has another product that is absolutely essential for anyone who uses a keyboard with their Palm. That app is LapTopHack, and is the most fantastic software ever developed. It extends some of pedit's fantastic features to other apps, and it gives you better use of your keyboard with a Palm that a PC keyboard gives you with a PC! I know that's a bold statement, but it is absolutely true.

There are several versions of pedit, including one that handles Very Large memos. I will describe some of the features of the peditPro version that I use. Note that the current revision level of pedit is 5.70 (beta).

The picture at the right is a snapshot of a memo pulled up into the pedit editing screen. As you might suspect, there are a number of features associated with the letters at the bottom of the snapshot. The first four (U,X,C,P) enable you to quickly do the standard editing tasks of undoing, Cutting, Copying, and Pasting text. To copy text, just select it and tap the "C" -- to paste it, just tap where you want the copied text to go and then tap the "P."

Interested in what the word count is in your memo because you don't want to run up against the 4,000 character limit? You have a couple of choices: (1) just tap the "WC" at the bottom of the screen, and it will display the word count for you, or (2) just select the "SkyIsLimit" menu setting, and pedit will let you create a memo up to 4 MEGAbytes in size! It actually creates multiple memos instead of one huge memo, but the way it links them is pretty neat.

Another neat thing about this flag is that it causes pedit to automagically create a new one of these linked memos whenever you reach 75% of the 4,000 character limit, so that you have plenty of room to go back in and add to the original memo when you have an afterthought. (It does this with every one of the linked memos.)

I also like the smart-indenting feature, which you can turn on and off as desired. With it turned on, pedit automatically sets the cursor under the first non-whitespace character on the previous line whenever you enter a RETURN. This lets you create really good looking outlines in your memos.

pedit's MagiPad is another timesaving feature -- it can store a little more than 32,000 characters worth of your favorite phrases and frequently-used text. Just tap on the "M" to bring it up, select what you want to insert into your memo, and tap the "Qopy 'n Paste" feature at the bottom of the screen and you're back to editing in your memo, with the text inserted. (Or if you want to add to the MagiPad, just pull it up with the "M" selection.)

The "A" at the bottom of pedit's screen gives you instant access to all the ASCII characters that the Palm can generate. Just select the one you want, and copy and paste it into your memo.

pedit also has several built-in fonts, in addition to the standard fonts that come on the Palm. For example, the graphic to the right shows its Courier font.

The features don't stop there -- pedit has full keyboard support via an ESCAPE key mechanism. You can also compliment this support very nicely with another application available on Paul's site: LapTopHack. This hack extends much of the functionality of pedit to many other applications on your Palm (such as the built-in apps, DateBk4, and many others).

Once you get accustomed to the short cuts available through the escape key mechanism, you'll find that pedit is one of the best text editors available anywhere (unmatched in the PDA or PC arena in my view). There are some lawyers that prepare all of their case work on the Palm/Visor using pedit. The text editing capability of pedit is absolutely incredible.

You'll also love the memo-switcher feature: just tap the '>' at the bottom of the screen (see the graphic in the right column of this page), and you are presented with a list of recent memos. Tap on the one you want and it opens up!

And, pedit also allows editing of DOC files (the Palm variety, not the Microsoft Word variety)! You can import your existing docs into pedit and edit them and export back to doc file format if desired.

And the list of features goes on and on. pedit has very enhanced searching capabilities, will let you launch some applications, can tell you the remaining charge on your batteries, and so forth. As I noted above, it Even Has POWERFUL Scripting (macro) Capabilities (as does LapTopHack)!!!

You really have to try it out for yourself to see what we mean. You can download it at and you can see user tips and new release notices on the peditor's forum.

As I noted above, please note that Paul is continuously adding new features to pedit, and is the most responsive software author I've ever known. He is very open to suggestions, fixes bugs immediately when reported (there are darn few bugs -- none that I'm aware of), and is highly innovative. I've been programming and working with computers for twenty years, and I have never encountered a software author that beats Paul. He has set a standard for innovation and user support that nobody else comes close to. There are some very fine software authors on this planet, but none compares to Paul Nevai.

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