Led Class Library Competitors

This is a list of all known Led Class Library competitors, and my take on them, along with hyperlinks so you can make up your mind for yourself. If you have any additions, please let me know and I will add them. Similarly, if you want to revise my characterizations. Also, keep in mind, my comments are generally NOT well researched. If you really want to know about these particular products, contact the vendors themselves.

Text editor class libraries

  • Open Paige

  • Open Paige is the successor to Paige. As near as I can tell - Open Paige no longer exists.

    See Paige for history.

  • Paige

  • Paige is a next generation version of WSE. I've only played with it briefly (version 1.3.42 of their Mac PPC demo). I found it much faster than I remembered WSE being. And somewhat less buggy. But I still frequently found it screwed up display - especially when scrolling. Also, from their marketting literature, it lacks OpenDoc, OLE, and Drag&Drop support. Also, Paige is much more expnsive than Led ($3000/platoform, and WITHOUT source code; source is another $25,000).

    I'm not sure this product exist anymore. See Open Paige or Word Solution Engine.

  • Serif

  • This product appears to be a high-end word processing toolkit. They are former Paige users. The product is Win32 only, and requires MFC. Checkout their website for more information.

  • Textensions (by Apple Computer)

  • Mac only.
    No bindings I know of for various class libraries. Not a released product, as far as I know.

  • VText (by ViviStar Consulting)

  • Mac only.
    PowerPlant based. It does not appear to be actively maintained.

    Quoting from their web page:

    VText is not a reincarnation of the TextEdit API. VText is not a C++ PowerPlant wrapper to some other text engine. VText is a text engine built to the object oriented API defined in PowerPlant's "AppleEvent Classes" -- but built entirely from scratch. VText further refines that API by adding support for rulers, bidirectional scripts, multibyte characters, and inline TSM text entry

  • Waste

  • Mac only.
    Waste supports worldscript on the Mac, which Led does not. But Waste doesn't support windows. I believe its not as well written, nor as extensible as Led (written in C/Pascal, not object oriented). Waste, I believe, costs $100 per developer license (significantly cheaper than Led, but it used to be free).

    Note: the old web site for Waste ( doesn't seem to exist anymore. But the new web site - - seems to be actively maintained.

  • Word Solution Engine

  • I have used WSE on several projects, and it is a reasonably buggy, slow, and quirky alternative to Led.

    I'm not sure this product exist anymore. See Paige.

OS Services

  • Apples TE TextEditor

  • Mac only.
    Limited to 32K (really more than 10K and performce becomes doggish). No tabs support. No support for embeddings. All major class libraries do provide an interface to this editor.


  • Mac only.
    Alan Shouls says: "ATSUI - same line layout as GX, much faster, actively developed.".

  • Microsofts Rich Text Control

  • Win32 only.
    By this - I mean the RichText DLL - not the OCX.

    This is a very strong alternative to Led. But it has a number of drawbacks. It is Windows only (Win95 and later). It is considerably slower than Led on large documents (try running the Windows version of LedIt! and compare with WordPad, which I believe is based on the RichText control). The RichTextControl does most of what you might want, but its display and text-layout architecture is NOT flexible. You cannot easily extend it to support unusual sorts of embeddings, or text display variations. On the plus side, its free, and comes builtin (again - assuming Win95 or later, and PCs). Probably supports OLE2 better than Led (at least as of Led 2.0).

  • QuickDraw GX

  • Mac only.
    Alan Shouls says: "GX - lovely line layout, slow, some bugs, discontinued.".

  • MLTE

  • Mac only.
    Alan Shouls says: "MLTE - (MultiLingual Text Edit), unicode based, built on ATSUI, very easy to deploy.". It also appears to be MacOS only (OS version 9 and later).


  • ActiveLedIt

  • Win32 only.
    People who are interested in a text editor class library may also be interested in reviewing the list of competitors to the ActiveLedIt! control. Some of these may well now have solutions for people who need a C++ class library solution.

  • NetLedIt

  • MacOS and Win32 only.
    People who are interested in a text editor class library may also be interested in NetLedIt!. Some of these may well now have solutions for people who need a C++ class library solution.

  • AbiWord

  • You may also consider AbiWord. It is a cross-platform word processor, being developed as open-source.

    I tried version 0.7.7 (991222). It looked very interesting (nice UI, good proposed feature set). But it was EXTREMELY buggy. I only tried the Win32 build. But it crashed so often that I was hard pressed to evaluate it. It maybe that alot of the problem had to do with RTF. I was testing it reading RTF docs. Reading the native format docs they provided seemed to work OK.

    It is not really constructed as a re-usable library, and so its not a direct Led competitor. But it probably could be adapted as such without too much effort.

If you have any additions, or clarifications, or modifications you think appropriate here, please send me your comments, suggestions, and reviews.
Last Updated: 2003-09-02