TextPlus for Palm OS

by PocketGoddess on December 4, 2002

There are some other text completion alternatives out there, such as WordComplete (I’ve used it extensively), but TextPlus has two main advantages over the competiton: it is has already been updated to work with Palm OS5, and it allows you to complete not just words, but phrases as well. That’s a huge timesaver, especially if you find yourself using the same words and phrases over and over again. With TextPlus, I’ve found that I can actually take notes in a meeting without using a keyboard. It’s not the sort of thing I would always want to do, but if you find yourself in an impromptu meeting you don’t have to borrow a pen or make excuses to run back to your desk and get your keyboard.

Installation is pretty straightforward, and once you HotSync your Palm OS device you’ll find a new entry in the program launcher. Tap on TextPlus and you’ll find a text entry screen where you can take your notes and them paste them into another application. This area has the advantage of a “double wide” word list. More alternatives in sight at once means that you have to actually Graffiti fewer letters before you get a match. Phrases appear at the top of the list, and words in two columns on the bottom of the screen. This is also where you can set the program’s options, including whether or not you want a space to be entered after each word, where you want the list to show up, and how many entries you want to see on the list. Another area in the Options menu allows you to choose in which applications you want Text Plus to be active. You can also set a maximum size for the vocabulary file, which is important if you’re running out of space on your Palm OS device. I’ve added just a few words to the built-in vocabulary database and find that Text Plus takes up 89K of space for the actual application and 328L for the dictionary database.

I didn’t use the dedicated application all that much, instead relying on “TextPlus Anywhere” which is what allows you to Graffiti in any application and have word choices pop up. A single tap of the stylus on a word or phrases enters it at the cursor’s location. If you use special words or phrases often, you can double tap on them with the stylus and an option to add them to the dictionary pops up. That will take a tiny amount of space, but it’s worth it. Once you get it set up just right, you’ll be amazed at how fast you can enter text with TextPlus. That’s because of the user-configurable dictionary, but also because it is a “smart” program that pays attention to your input. Words that are used more frequently gravitate toward the top of the list, so it’s easier to select them.

I am very pleased with the speed and reliability of the program on my Tungsten T– I haven’t had any crashes at all, and the word lists that pop up do so very quickly and intelligently. The dictionary is very complete. Obviously it doesn’t contain every word in the English language, but the important point is that in my testing the only words I have needed to add were trademarks, like company names, or people’s names. That’s it, and of course that’s understandable. But it also means that you will be up and running very quickly with TextPlus, and your text entry speeds should increase dramatically, unless you’ve already been practicing your Graffiti for this year’s Dom Perignon text entry contest!

You can get TextPlus for $19.95 at the developer’s web site, along with various language databases. You can get French, German, Spanish, Swedish, Italian, Dutch, etc.–all free. There are even specialized medical, Bible, and military databases, as well as a free database builder for PCs. TextPlus is a great value for the money, and if you’re sick and tired of lugging around a keyboard or your hand keeps cramping from trying to keep up with meeting notes, you should definitely go and download a free trial today.

PocketGoddess rating for TextPlus: 5 out of 5

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