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Favorite Mac Word Processors?

Josh Centers
Howdy folks, we’re doing a roundup of macOS word processors, and we wanted to check with the list to see if we’re missing any noteworthy entries. Here’s what we have so far:

Adobe InCopy
Apache OpenOffice Writer
Bean
LibreOffice Writer
Mellel
Microsoft Word
NeoOffice
Nisus Writer Express
Nisus Writer Pro
Pages
Scrivener
TextEdit
Write 2

Note that we’re not including:

a) Apps like Byword, which are text editors with some limited word processing capabilities. They’re lovely apps, but most people wouldn’t use them to write a research paper, resume, or business letter.

b) Numerous fly-by-night word processors littering the Mac App Store.

c) Web-based solutions like Google Docs, because that’s a whole other kettle of fish.

---
Josh Centers
Managing Editor - TidBITS
http://TidBITS.com
http://joshcenters.com
@jcenters




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Re: Favorite Mac Word Processors?

John Turner-2
I would remove Word from the list…I think that it is the pits and I use it all thE time!

Bear😎

On Jul 5, 2017, 1:09 PM -0400, Josh Centers <[hidden email]>, wrote:
Howdy folks, we’re doing a roundup of macOS word processors, and we wanted to check with the list to see if we’re missing any noteworthy entries. Here’s what we have so far:

Adobe InCopy
Apache OpenOffice Writer
Bean
LibreOffice Writer
Mellel
Microsoft Word
NeoOffice
Nisus Writer Express
Nisus Writer Pro
Pages
Scrivener
TextEdit
Write 2

Note that we’re not including:

a) Apps like Byword, which are text editors with some limited word processing capabilities. They’re lovely apps, but most people wouldn’t use them to write a research paper, resume, or business letter.

b) Numerous fly-by-night word processors littering the Mac App Store.

c) Web-based solutions like Google Docs, because that’s a whole other kettle of fish.

---
Josh Centers
Managing Editor - TidBITS
http://TidBITS.com
http://joshcenters.com
@jcenters




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Re: Favorite Mac Word Processors?

Marc Zeedar-2
In reply to this post by Josh Centers

> On Jul 5, 2017, at 10:06 AM, Josh Centers <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> a) Apps like Byword, which are text editors with some limited word processing capabilities. They’re lovely apps, but most people wouldn’t use them to write a research paper, resume, or business letter.

Why not? I use BBEdit for just about everything (in Markdown). I write technical books and articles for my magazine in it and wrote two novels using it. It's awesome.

My favorite feature of BBEdit -- not found in any other program so far (especially on iPad) -- is the way it can auto-complete dictionary words. I'm a terrible speller and it's so much better to have it auto-complete than having to fuss with replacing the word after I've typed it wrong, I literally find every other word processor unusable.

I might use Pages for a business letter, just because it has templates, but for a resume or anything with complex formatting I'd use Adobe InDesign.


Marc Zeedar
Publisher, xDev Magazine and xDevLibrary
www.xdevmag.com | www.xdevlibrary.com







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Re: Favorite Mac Word Processors?

Vince Winterling
In reply to this post by John Turner-2

Obviously, there would be substantial disagreements. I use it all the time and while I miss WordPerfect, I find it reasonable and accomplishes my business and personal tasks competently. Oh, and it's pretty much ubiquitous in the education world where I work.


Vincent Winterling
Vineland, NJ

From: [hidden email] <[hidden email]> on behalf of [hidden email] <[hidden email]>
Sent: Wednesday, July 5, 2017 2:02:45 PM
To: TidBITS Talk
Subject: Re: Favorite Mac Word Processors?
 
I would remove Word from the list…I think that it is the pits and I use it all thE time!

Bear😎

On Jul 5, 2017, 1:09 PM -0400, Josh Centers <[hidden email]>, wrote:
Howdy folks, we’re doing a roundup of macOS word processors, and we wanted to check with the list to see if we’re missing any noteworthy entries. Here’s what we have so far:

Adobe InCopy
Apache OpenOffice Writer
Bean
LibreOffice Writer
Mellel
Microsoft Word
NeoOffice
Nisus Writer Express
Nisus Writer Pro
Pages
Scrivener
TextEdit
Write 2

Note that we’re not including:

a) Apps like Byword, which are text editors with some limited word processing capabilities. They’re lovely apps, but most people wouldn’t use them to write a research paper, resume, or business letter.

b) Numerous fly-by-night word processors littering the Mac App Store.

c) Web-based solutions like Google Docs, because that’s a whole other kettle of fish.

---
Josh Centers
Managing Editor - TidBITS
http://TidBITS.com
http://joshcenters.com
@jcenters




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Re: Favorite Mac Word Processors?

John Turner-2
In reply to this post by Marc Zeedar-2
I am using QuarkXpress 2016 on my Mac to publish a 5 vol. book. I have been more or less forced to use Word because it creates footnotes etc along with hyperlinks. But I hate Word because of its brutality in designating the fonts it wants to use for a document even when the font has either been disabled or deleted! Even deleting the user-defined Style Sheets in many circumstances will make no difference. When Times New Roman is deleted from the drive, Word modifies Times, at least on screen and IDs it as Times New Roman! I could site many other such occurrences but that is fruitless. Even when I create a special style for the particular font, when you run FontExplorer X Pro it says that Word is still using Times New Roman though Explorer, Font Book, and Ultra Character Map all confirm that the font is not on the drive…period! In fact when Quark opens the doc it too confirms that Times New Roman is NOT on the drive and asks for a substitute!

I have just downloaded Write 2 and will give it a try.

Will BBedit build indexes, PDFs, hyperlinks? Will it save in a format the Quark will recognize and maintain the formatting?

Bear😎

On Jul 5, 2017, 2:20 PM -0400, Zeedar Marc <[hidden email]>, wrote:

On Jul 5, 2017, at 10:06 AM, Josh Centers <[hidden email]> wrote:

a) Apps like Byword, which are text editors with some limited word processing capabilities. They’re lovely apps, but most people wouldn’t use them to write a research paper, resume, or business letter.

Why not? I use BBEdit for just about everything (in Markdown). I write technical books and articles for my magazine in it and wrote two novels using it. It's awesome.

My favorite feature of BBEdit -- not found in any other program so far (especially on iPad) -- is the way it can auto-complete dictionary words. I'm a terrible speller and it's so much better to have it auto-complete than having to fuss with replacing the word after I've typed it wrong, I literally find every other word processor unusable.

I might use Pages for a business letter, just because it has templates, but for a resume or anything with complex formatting I'd use Adobe InDesign.


Marc Zeedar
Publisher, xDev Magazine and xDevLibrary
www.xdevmag.com | www.xdevlibrary.com







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Re: Favorite Mac Word Processors?

adamengst
Administrator
In reply to this post by John Turner-2

On Wed, Jul 5, 2017 at 2:02 PM, <[hidden email]> wrote:
I would remove Word from the list…I think that it is the pits and I use it all thE time!

Don’t worry, you’ll get your chance to rate it in the actual survey. :-) We’re just making sure we have everything that fits the category.

cheers... -Adam



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Re: Favorite Mac Word Processors?

adamengst
Administrator
In reply to this post by Vince Winterling

On Wed, Jul 5, 2017 at 2:39 PM, Vince Winterling <[hidden email]> wrote:

Obviously, there would be substantial disagreements. I use it all the time and while I miss WordPerfect, I find it reasonable and accomplishes my business and personal tasks competently. Oh, and it's pretty much ubiquitous in the education world where I work.

Much as WordPerfect was great (as was WriteNow, and FullWrite, and the original Nisus Writer), I think we have to limit ourselves to word processors that can still be acquired by someone who might want to try them. 

cheers... -Adam



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Re: Favorite Mac Word Processors?

adamengst
Administrator
In reply to this post by Marc Zeedar-2

On Wed, Jul 5, 2017 at 2:18 PM, Zeedar Marc <[hidden email]> wrote:
> a) Apps like Byword, which are text editors with some limited word processing capabilities. They’re lovely apps, but most people wouldn’t use them to write a research paper, resume, or business letter.

Why not? I use BBEdit for just about everything (in Markdown). I write technical books and articles for my magazine in it and wrote two novels using it. It's awesome.

No argument —we love BBEdit too. But it’s a straight text editor and has no formatting capabilities at all.

And while things like Byword and Ulysses have minimal formatting, it’s via Markdown and doesn’t provide any flexibility. 

There’s nothing wrong with these apps, they’re just not in the same category as Word and Pages and Nisus Writer Pro. 

Similarly, full-bore desktop publishing apps aren’t the same thing — I adore InDesign, but it’s not really comparable to the standard word processors.

Nothing on this list is meant to imply judgment — we’re just trying to come up with a list of apps that offer essentially comparable features. If we were to open it up to Markdown apps and text editor and desktop publishing apps, the list would grow exponentially.

We simply want to keep things manageable — we can do additional reader surveys for these other categories in the future.

cheers... -Adam



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Re: Favorite Mac Word Processors?

Vince Winterling
In reply to this post by adamengst

Agreed. Just fantasizing for a moment there....<g>


Vincent Winterling
Vineland, NJ

From: [hidden email] <[hidden email]> on behalf of Adam Engst <[hidden email]>
Sent: Wednesday, July 5, 2017 2:43:32 PM
To: TidBITS Talk
Subject: Re: Favorite Mac Word Processors?
 

On Wed, Jul 5, 2017 at 2:39 PM, Vince Winterling <[hidden email]> wrote:

Obviously, there would be substantial disagreements. I use it all the time and while I miss WordPerfect, I find it reasonable and accomplishes my business and personal tasks competently. Oh, and it's pretty much ubiquitous in the education world where I work.

Much as WordPerfect was great (as was WriteNow, and FullWrite, and the original Nisus Writer), I think we have to limit ourselves to word processors that can still be acquired by someone who might want to try them. 

cheers... -Adam



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Re: Favorite Mac Word Processors?

Betty Fellows
In reply to this post by adamengst
What about the word processor in Google Docs. I know a lot of people who use it. I use Word and Pages.



From: Adam Engst <[hidden email]>
To: TidBITS Talk <[hidden email]>
Sent: Wednesday, July 5, 2017 11:45 AM
Subject: Re: Favorite Mac Word Processors?


On Wed, Jul 5, 2017 at 2:02 PM, <[hidden email]> wrote:
I would remove Word from the list…I think that it is the pits and I use it all thE time!

Don’t worry, you’ll get your chance to rate it in the actual survey. :-) We’re just making sure we have everything that fits the category.

cheers... -Adam


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Re: Favorite Mac Word Processors?

Marc Zeedar-2
In reply to this post by adamengst

> On Jul 5, 2017, at 11:49 AM, Adam Engst <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> No argument —we love BBEdit too. But it’s a straight text editor and has no formatting capabilities at all.

That's what makes it great! :)

(I labored on novels for years, switching word processors every few months, but found I was wasting all my time messing with formatting instead of writing the novels.)


> We simply want to keep things manageable — we can do additional reader surveys for these other categories in the future.

Sure, I get it. I think my point was more along the lines of "I can't remember when I last used/needed a **word processor**." I used to use them all the time, but they're mostly print-focused. Don't most people just email stuff these days? Do people even use/need word processors any more?


Marc Zeedar
Publisher, xDev Magazine and xDevLibrary
www.xdevmag.com | www.xdevlibrary.com







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Re: Favorite Mac Word Processors?

Marc Zeedar-2
In reply to this post by John Turner-2

> On Jul 5, 2017, at 11:29 AM, [hidden email] wrote:
>
> Will BBedit build indexes, PDFs, hyperlinks? Will it save in a format the Quark will recognize and maintain the formatting?

Not natively, but I have additional tools for that stuff. For instance, I convert Markdown to XML for importing magazine articles into Adobe InDesign for my magazine layout. I would imagine Quark would be similar.

I find it's vastly easier to write/edit in plain text and save the formatting for the last step in the process. Plus, it lets my writers use whatever writing tool they want.


Marc Zeedar
Publisher, xDev Magazine and xDevLibrary
www.xdevmag.com | www.xdevlibrary.com







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Re: Favorite Mac Word Processors?

John Turner-2
I just tried Write 2…OMG it ignored all of the formatting in the Word docx that I had created. Changed the font I had used, when I created the original doc, to Times New Roman ( which I really despise), it ignored and left an * at every instance where a foreign language font had been used. It also did not bring in the footnotes ( which Write 2 does not create) or the hyperlinks.

On the other hand from what I can see it does what is was designed for really well. I could not believe that it opened a 300 page doc in less than 15 seconds. If only Word, Nisus or Pages were that fast.

Bear😎

On Jul 5, 2017, 3:10 PM -0400, Zeedar Marc <[hidden email]>, wrote:

On Jul 5, 2017, at 11:29 AM, [hidden email] wrote:

Will BBedit build indexes, PDFs, hyperlinks? Will it save in a format the Quark will recognize and maintain the formatting?

Not natively, but I have additional tools for that stuff. For instance, I convert Markdown to XML for importing magazine articles into Adobe InDesign for my magazine layout. I would imagine Quark would be similar.

I find it's vastly easier to write/edit in plain text and save the formatting for the last step in the process. Plus, it lets my writers use whatever writing tool they want.


Marc Zeedar
Publisher, xDev Magazine and xDevLibrary
www.xdevmag.com | www.xdevlibrary.com







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Re: Favorite Mac Word Processors?

Josh Centers
In reply to this post by Betty Fellows
We use Google Docs internally, but we decided to stick with Mac apps for the survey.

---
Josh Centers
Managing Editor - TidBITS
http://TidBITS.com
http://joshcenters.com
@jcenters

> On Jul 5, 2017, at 1:53 PM, Betty Fellows <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> What about the word processor in Google Docs. I know a lot of people who use it. I use Word and Pages.




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Re: Favorite Mac Word Processors?

adamengst
Administrator
In reply to this post by Marc Zeedar-2

On Wed, Jul 5, 2017 at 3:04 PM, Zeedar Marc <[hidden email]> wrote:
(I labored on novels for years, switching word processors every few months, but found I was wasting all my time messing with formatting instead of writing the novels.)

A good word processor has full support for named styles so you set things once and only tweak a style when it’s important, at which point it changes everywhere instantly. 
 
> We simply want to keep things manageable — we can do additional reader surveys for these other categories in the future.

Sure, I get it. I think my point was more along the lines of "I can't remember when I last used/needed a **word processor**." I used to use them all the time, but they're mostly print-focused. Don't most people just email stuff these days? Do people even use/need word processors any more?

Well, every Take Control book is written in Nisus Writer Pro now, and before that Pages, and before that, Microsoft Word. And yes, we had a lot of very specific styles.

Even if documents aren’t printed as much as they used to be, PDF is essential for anything that needs formatting and graphics and the like. 

cheers... -Adam



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Re: Favorite Mac Word Processors?

Josh Centers
In reply to this post by Marc Zeedar-2
There's certainly an argument to be made that word processors are poor jack-of-all-trades tools, but they're still incredibly popular in business and education.

---
Josh Centers
Managing Editor - TidBITS
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http://joshcenters.com
@jcenters

> On Jul 5, 2017, at 2:04 PM, Zeedar Marc <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Sure, I get it. I think my point was more along the lines of "I can't remember when I last used/needed a **word processor**." I used to use them all the time, but they're mostly print-focused. Don't most people just email stuff these days? Do people even use/need word processors any more?




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Re: Favorite Mac Word Processors?

adamengst
Administrator
In reply to this post by Marc Zeedar-2

On Wed, Jul 5, 2017 at 3:08 PM, Zeedar Marc <[hidden email]> wrote:
I find it's vastly easier to write/edit in plain text and save the formatting for the last step in the process. Plus, it lets my writers use whatever writing tool they want.

That’s certainly one entirely valid approach. We took the opposite tack with Take Control, and required everyone to write directly into the final layout in whatever word processor we were using at the time. That completely eliminated the layout step and all the errors that can be introduced at that point. I once turned a book in to O’Reilly, and when I got it back from layout, they had introduced literally hundreds of textual errors. All I could think is that they had it retyped in India or something.

cheers... -Adam




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Re: Favorite Mac Word Processors?

Josh Centers
In reply to this post by John Turner-2
I’m updating the iOS book in Nisus now, and it’s unbearably slow at times. I’m hoping that APFS in High Sierra helps with that.

---
Josh Centers
Managing Editor - TidBITS
http://TidBITS.com
http://joshcenters.com
@jcenters

> On Jul 5, 2017, at 2:12 PM, [hidden email] wrote:
>
> On the other hand from what I can see it does what is was designed for really well. I could not believe that it opened a 300 page doc in less than 15 seconds. If only Word, Nisus or Pages were that fast.
>




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Re: Favorite Mac Word Processors?

Ryoichi Morita-4
In reply to this post by adamengst
I thought I might add Mariner Write to the list. 

I’ve never tried it personally, but I think it’s been around for a while. I get an advertisement from time to time. 


Ryoichi Morita



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Re: Favorite Mac Word Processors?

John Turner-2
In reply to this post by Josh Centers
Google makes me very nervous, now that they admit to reading your personal email, looking for material to sell ads! They say that they will do now is to  use an algorithm to mine the info! Do they mine the WP too? I suppose at my age I am a bit paranoid, but the concept that Google or anyone else can read what I am writing willy nilly because they want to sell stuff makes me squirm.

Bear😎

On Jul 5, 2017, 3:28 PM -0400, Josh Centers <[hidden email]>, wrote:
We use Google Docs internally, but we decided to stick with Mac apps for the survey.

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On Jul 5, 2017, at 1:53 PM, Betty Fellows <[hidden email]> wrote:

What about the word processor in Google Docs. I know a lot of people who use it. I use Word and Pages.




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