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Mac Word Processors - Sort of Off Topic

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Posted by Hugh
Aug 9, 2010 at 05:14 PM


I use an earlier version of Word for the Mac to polish Scrivener documents. It’s a sluggard to load, resource-intensive to use, not very Mac-ish to handle and not very “pretty”, but when dealing with outsiders it’s hard to avoid the global standard.

The consensus of the Scrivener forums, if there is one, is that Bean is adequate for most simple short-form purposes. It’s “nice to use” and is free. For long-form writing Nisus is regarded as very good (among other virtues, its macros are excellent), unless you’re writing a thesis or a textbook, when Mellel is the champ. But (to expand what Steve says above) Mellel’s help manual is 300-pages long, offering all kinds of functionality that most people will never use, and so isn’t for the faint-hearted. Ulysses uses semantic editing, which I haven’t been ready to put in the time to learn.

Apple’s Pages is well-regarded, sitting somewhere between Bean and MS Word in complexity, and of course is well-known for its short-form publishing functionality. The most recent version has very simple outlining, and marginal comments that can be imported into Word.

I have tended to regard Mariner Write as old-fashioned and limited, but I don’t know whether these prejudices are justified.

Bean: http://www.bean-osx.com/Bean.html
Nisus: http://www.nisus.com/pro/
Mellel: http://www.redlers.com/

A discussion of Mac word processors here: http://www.literatureandlatte.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=8227