Review by Carson Fire
April 2003This word processor provides the kind of flexibility we rarely see in Windows applications. This is the electronic version of a real notebook, interacting with a real person in a real environment. You can write on one page, write on another page, flip back the page (with the tabs), tear out a page and put it next to another page (with the easy and intuitive docking), throw away a page (with the touch of a button, although I admit you don't get the satisfying crumple of paper and NBA practice of shooting free throws in the wastebasket), reach over and turn on the stereo without thinking too hard about it (as I point out in the tips and tricks), all combined with the typical computer magic of dragging and dropping, copying and pasting, etc.
I have also found PolyEdit to be the first word processor I've ever tried that isn't dreadfully dull. I know Microsoft tried to liven things up with that stupid paperclip, once upon a time, but, as is typical with Microsoft and its imitators, the attempt was all surface. PolyEdit, on the other hand, once you start getting the swing of its mold-breaking tools and interface, is as addictive as a video game, but without the distraction and loss of productivity.
Anyway, here's the good news/bad news... First, PolyEdit, as of this writing, is still in beta, so there may still be a few shortcomings. However, I haven't found many. In fact, the list is now reduced to one: the toolbar link to edit the current document in Word (at least for me) cannot find Word. Not a biggie. Overall, the application performs as if it is extremely stable.
More good news/bad news: PolyEdit is not free, it is shareware. But the registration fee is a mere $24.95 (as of this writing), so it is eminently reasonable. As the developers say themselves on their site, paying the registration fee will help them continue to develop the application. And this application deserves to get out of beta, because it already blows away every other word processor I've tried on Windows!
Limitations on the unregistered version are few: a nag screen and disabled printing. You can print your documents through other applications (no limitations on saving), but you really ought to register. This is a killer app.