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Inside Mac OS X 10.7 Lion: TextEdit adds vertical layout, graphical toolbar

Mac OS X's bare bones text editor gets some attention in the coming release of Lion, adding support for vertical layouts for East Asian languages, as well as a graphical menu bar with font selection and text highlighting.

TextEdit demonstrates Apple's new automatic file saving and versions technologies in Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, which replaces the app's simple autosave feature (previously set to save a backup copy every 30 seconds).

Along with the new document saving model, the humble TextEdit leaps all the way from its current version 1.6 to Lion's 1.7 by replacing its text-heavy, non-standard toolbar with a similarly non-standard (and non-configurable) one that at least presents paragraph style, line spacing, and list options graphically.

The new toolbar also adds font face, weight and size controls, color well controls for both text color and text highlighting, and bold/italic/underline buttons.

For users typing in a language that supports vertical text layout, such as Chinese, Japanese, or Korean, a new option enables vertical text layout. While Roman characters are simply printed sideways in vertical layouts, certain East Asian scripts print their ideograms in a stack vertically, which is supported in Mac OS X's underlying Core Text API and exposed for use in Lion's new TextEdit.

Note that when the app is put into vertical text layout, Roman characters are printed sideways while the Japanese glyphs are stacked vertically on top of each other (below).

Mac OS X Lion TextEdit