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Clean Text 1.0 review: Now even mobile devices can scrub untidy copy

J.R. Bookwalter | Dec. 12, 2016
iOS utility helps reduce the amount of time spent editing text to fix common problems such as extraneous line breaks or spaces, remove empty lines, join paragraphs, and more.

The job of an editor is often unglamorous. In addition to guiding the creative process and making sure writers stick to each publication’s style, there’s the thankless task of cleaning up copy once the deadline has been met. There are several good Mac utilities to make this less of a chore, but only one also works on mobile devices.

Smart cleanup

Clean Text ($3) is a universal iOS edition of the popular Mac utility for cleaning up common errors in any text. Rather than use a word processor to repeatedly search and replace extra spaces, line breaks, tabs, or indents, Clean Text does it all in a few taps of your finger.

To begin, copy text from another iOS app and paste it into Clean Text. Smart Clean fixes the most common problems in a single tap, while Smart Clean and Compact performs the same task while cleaning up errant formatting to make it look better at the same time.

clean text for ios search
Easily find and replace with Clean Text, which offers robust regular expressions for more advanced searches.

A third smart tool, Clean Clipboard, works like the former option, but without the need to paste anything into Clean Text. Instead simply copy, apply the desired fixes, then paste the scrubbed text wherever you’d like or use the iOS sharing extension to send a squeaky-clean version to compatible apps.

Unfortunately, Clean Text itself can’t be used to send text from other apps with the iOS sharing extension. This is somewhat surprising, considering the developer embraces other platform shortcuts, such as Slide Over and Split View multitasking on iPad, or home screen Quick Actions on iPhone 6s and later.

Fix, change, convert

Although smart tools are reason enough to buy Clean Text, there are plenty of others. Tapping the wrench button displays a pop-up sidebar full of options sorted by category: Fix, Quotation Marks, Change Case, Convert, and Pseudo Text; there are also robust find and replace tools, including a regular expressions mode for advanced search.

clean text for ios sync
iCloud sync enables text from one iOS device to be immediately edited in another, but this feature doesn’t yet work on the Mac version.

Fix allows users to make granular changes—remove the line breaks or only spaces, for example—while others affect text in various ways. You can easily switch between curved, straight, and angle quotes, adjust indents, or change the case of selected text. Convert HTML to plain text comes in handy for code jockeys, while obscure options like upside down and reverse offer neat text effects for social networking.


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