Online Tools for Writers: PageFour Reviewed
Each week, the Education Techie reviews tech tools that can help students and teachers. This week, the Techie is reviewing writing tools. Today's review: PageFour.
What Is It?
In PageFour, a downloadable writing tool, work is organized into notebooks, which feature individual pages. These pages are given individual names and can be separated into tabs. The word processor features standard formatting and text manipulation capabilities. Once you start a new document, you can take a snapshot of it, so you can have the original version in case you make changes that you aren't sure you want to keep. If you start writing in another word processor, like Microsoft Word, you can use the importer feature to bring that text into PageFour.
The program is available in an unlicensed version, but usage without a license is limited to a total of three 20-page notebooks. There is no time limit for this version, though, so some users may find it unnecessary to purchase a license. A license costs $34.95 and covers single-user installation of the program across multiple computers. There is a bulk discount available for academic institutions.
What Makes It Cool?
One unique aspect of this program is the security it offers. Users can lock the program on computers, making it possible to hide any work without having to exit. It's also possible to password-protect entire notebooks or individual pages within a notebook. These features may help you feel more secure if you are using a shared computer.
The software developers' attention to the needs of writers is evident in most aspects of the program. Some of the writer-targeted features that I liked include the smart-edit feature. This allows you to search your writing for words or phrases that you might rely on too much. You can simultaneously search the text in each of your notebooks if you want to. This is a potentially useful tool for helping writers vary sentence structure and avoid monotony. PageFour also has a built-in thesaurus, in case you get stuck in a linguistic rut.
What Are Its Drawbacks?
This program is only available for computers operating with Windows, which is its main limitation. I found it a bit difficult to use at first, but I was able to adapt quickly. There are several introductory features and a help section for users who experience similar confusion upon first using PageFour.
Where Can I Find It?
PageFour's website is a great resource for more information about the product. You can also download your free, unlicensed version there.