Enso is a software project that follows a unique philosophy while designing user interfaces (or creating software applications in general). Currently they have two products, an application launcher and a spellchecker/word-counter)and they’re both completely free to use. Because these software are developed in such as different way (plus when considered my poor English skill levels), Enso software and their behavior is a bit difficult to describe.
Although one thing is certain for sure, they’re extremely simple and some would like it for that reason, but most importantly, they “just work”. And surprisingly, the newly invented Ubuntu HUD (keyboard focused menu system) & Enso software both has a lot in common too!. For instance, take the utility that I wanna talk, called “Enso Words”.
In simple terms, no matter what software that you use, whether it’s a web browser, text editor, chat program etc, if you want to quickly count the words or perform a spell check, then after selecting the text, you can press the shortcut key to launch Enso Words and it should open a ‘field’ where you can type “word count” or “spell check”, and Enso word will do the rest for you!.
You actually don’t have to type the whole commands, as when you type “w” or “sp” (concerning the above example), Enso would guess what you’re up to 😉 and quickly fill in the command automatically.
This is extremely similar to the way Ubuntu’s HUD behaves (although it’s pretty apparent Enso got there first, I think) because, to launch the “HUD” menu in Ubuntu , first we have to press a shortcut key, and then HUD will open from the top left edge of the screen (just as with Enso Words), then you start typing for the proper menu and HUD will open those menu items, just like Enso does!.
And as time goes, HUD will also develop a user awareness, thus it’ll get better and better at guessing the commands thus minimizing the need to type a lot.
At first, I actually was a bit skeptical of HUD, thinking whether it would be a disaster, and I still don’t how it’s gonna play out. However, after using Enso Words for few minutes, I just love it! :). Anyhow, let me come back to the topic.
Main features …
*. As said earlier, Enso Words is primarily a spellchecker and a word counter (works offline too). But since it has few built in commands, you can use it to do a lot more additional work such as:
copy/cut/paste text from your clipboard to a text file, change a field of text to upper or lower case, perform mathematical calculations (more at the “example” section, below), define words using a dictionary (needs an Internet connection for that), search a field of text in Google! are some its main features to mention.
If interested you can get it form this Enso Words home page. If you want to know more about the design protocols and who’s behind it etc, then please visit the Enso About page as it contains some interesting content :).
To quote some of their own words …
“People love having choices, because having choices means having freedom. Well, we don’t think this is necessarily a good thing when it comes to usability. We believe that when someone wants to do something on their computer, they want to spend their time doing it, not deciding how to do it …”
Anyway, let have a look at some examples …
1. Spell checking
After installing it, let’s say that I was using the Notepad (I’m using Windows 7) and have written few words and wanna spell check quickly.
Then I’ll select the text first, and simply press and hold-down the Caps Lock key. Then as soon as you press the Caps Lock key, Enso Words will open to your left corner (as shown below).
Now while holding the Caps Lock key, just type “spell check” (again, you don’t have to complete the whole command, usually after the fist two characters, Enso will guess what you’re after, and in this instance, I just typed “sp”), then simply let go of the Caps Lock key, it’ll open a new window and will spell check your selected text or paragraph!.
If you want to count the characters or words, then select the text field and follow the same steps to launch Enso Words, and type “character count” (again, “ch” was enough in my tests) or “word count” in the command field, and simply let go of Caps Lock key.
2. Google search
As mentioned above, you can search in Google for any term using Enso Words with ease. For that, first select the text or the words and then press and hold the Caps Lock key, and type “google” (again typing “g” should be enough) and let go of the Caps Lock key. You can manually type a term (followed by a space after typing “google”) rather than searching for selected text/words.
Select the text and press & hold the Caps Lock key, and in the command field, type “cut” and let go, and your select text is now moved to the clipboard. If you want to paste it in a new text file, then select a text file, press the Caps Lock key, and type “paste” (again, first character is usually enough) and let go. Copy command also works in the same way.
Not only text files actually, you can use these commands to for “cut/copy/paste” any file (as with copy/paste command in file explorer) as well.
4. Mathematical calculations
Let’s say that I wanted to know the answer to 73*8. Then again, after selecting the numbers (“73*8”), launch Enso Words, and type “calculate” and let go. And Enso will replace that line with the answer, cool! right? :D.
It has few other commands and if you want, you can change the shortcut key too. For that, click on its icon on the notification area and from the menu choose: “Enso Preferences”.
This should open its local configuration file (saved in your HDD) in your web browser. Now you can change the shortcut key or use the links to learn about its commands by accessing the Help file section etc.
Although it involves a little bit of typing, even if you’re not much of a touch typist but thanks to automatic command completions etc, you’d still love Enso Words (I do!).