App of the Week: Plain Text 2

Title: Plain Text 2
Platform: iOS
Cost: Free

plain text 2

When my school adopted iPads for AP and pre-AP students, one roadblock some students encountered involved working away from wireless networks. I showed some how to set up individual Google docs for offline access, but sometimes students wanted to begin typing an assignment and hadn’t created or adjusted a doc so they could access it at home. Plain Text 2 provides an excellent word processing platform for those instances, and it’s clean interface has made it a go-to for writing many documents.

If you’re thinking Notepad, the text isn’t THAT plain. Fonts include Helvetica, Courier, and Times New Roman, and you can adjust the font between 10 and 24 points…the only down-side is that whatever you specify is set for the document, so you can’t alternate fonts or sizes. You can also double-space, much to the delight of my students working on English papers, and there is a running word count and Flesch-Kincade Grade Level and Readability Scores (under the “info” option). An extended keyboard provides convenient access to the most commonly used symbols without toggling.

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You can create folders for organization and sort documents by date and name, both ascending and descending, and specify the way folders and documents appear as well. Best of all, you can set it up to sync with Dropbox and iCloud…so our students can write at home, sync without any action on their part once they’re back on campus, and then access the online file from any connected device for further manipulation or printing.

You can pay an additonal $4.99 to remove ads, but they don’t seem a huge distraction. Librarians might want to share the Privacy option which disables analytics, too.

This app has been a lifesaver for many students on our campus.

For more app recommendations, visit the YALSA App of the Week Archive. If you have an app you’d like us to review, let us know!