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New developments with PageFour

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Posted by JohnK
Mar 10, 2009 at 11:22 PM


I like PageFour, and I have praised it before here and elsewhere.

However, after trying most of the available writing programs recently, I switched to The Journal (http://www.davidrm.com/thejournal/).

Even though The Journal (TJ) is marketed primarily as a journal writing program, it is a fine general writing environment. Its export functions, in particular, are better than PageFour and it has a more polished feel.

I emailed the developer of TJ a few months ago, and suggested he was missing out on a large potential market. I said he should develop a new program in parallel, based on the TJ engine, but aimed at writers other than journal writers, with additional functions. We had a fairly detailed exchange, and he seems keen on the idea.

The main “missing feature” in TJ (and PageFour for that matter) is a proper outlining system for prose. I suggested that TJ should have an outliner similar to Scrivener on the Mac. The second screenshot on this page (http://www.literatureandlatte.com/screens1.html) looks just about perfect to me. It’s almost enough to make me go out and buy a Mac. But not quite.

Anyway, the developer of TJ said he would try to produce something by the middle of this year, so that may be worth keeping an eye out for.

In fairness, I should add that the developer of PageFour is a good guy as well. When I wrote to him a year or so ago and said that his licensing system was old-fashioned and probably costing him business, he agreed and changed his terms (he was selling single machine licences—you now have the choice of single machine or single user).

It’s good to see a new version of Page Four, but it’s been a very long time coming. I think the program needs a more rapid development cycle if it’s to become the premier Windows app for writers.