Nisus Writer Express: real competition for Word?

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
Nisus have released their first public beta of Nisus Writer for Mac OS X called Nisus Writer Express.



This looks to be a promising word processor and one that opens and saves in Word format. In fact, Word documents seem to look better to me in Nisus then in Word. A quick look around tells me they haven't implemented footnotes or endnotes yet but I just might have missed it... still much to check out!



What do people think of this new cocoa goodness?
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 32
    kim kap solkim kap sol Posts: 2,987member
    I think they should hire someone that isn't artistically impaired to produce some better looking icons. I can't believe they kept Okito Composer's original toolbar icons.



    They should probably also look into using the Omni Group's free framework for detachable/attachable palettes (see OmniGraffle 3.0) instead of packing everything into the Okito Composer drawer.



    Has Nissus done any real work since they bought Okito Composer? Have they come up with any original idea of their own? I can't tell since I can't even download the beta.



    The site says Nissus Writer can opens .docs? If it does, I'm happy. But it apparently doesn't do tables yet. That makes me sad indeed.



    Can someone host the beta so I can download it once and for all?
  • Reply 2 of 32
    Important tools in drawer = bad mojo! *sigh* Everything else about the app looks nice. Just put the text and layout controls in a separate window.



    (I'm judging based on the two screenshots since the links to download the actual beta aren't working as of this post.)
  • Reply 3 of 32
    kim kap solkim kap sol Posts: 2,987member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Brad

    Important tools in drawer = bad mojo! *sigh* Everything else about the app looks nice. Just put the text and layout controls in a separate window.



    (I'm judging based on the two screenshots since the links to download the actual beta aren't working as of this post.)




    Precisely...drawers are being misused by a lot of developers. But Okito and Nisus are the winnars here!



    Drawers should be used for extra/additional info or options...emphasis on extra/additional. And the items/info inside the drawer have to be specific to the parent window.



    Global tools such as the ones displayed in the screenshot, shouldn't be attached to a window since you'd multiple instances of windows with drawers that contain the exact same tools.



    I don't care how good the app is otherwise...Nisus should really clean up the GUI. Okito Composer's GUI was neat when I first saw it but I quickly realized that it was bad news.



    That said...the page magnification and 'stats' should definitely be in the drawer because they are specific to one document. 'Characters' and 'paragraphs' should not.
  • Reply 4 of 32
    kcmackcmac Posts: 1,051member
    Downloaded for me.



    It does read and save word documents. No table support as it states. To me, this will work for now. Tables are what kill efforts to read and save. (Just ask the folks at Mariner write.) If I have a document that has tables, I will just use word. (I don't put tables in any of my docs.)



    Spelling checker is not good with the beta.



    No bullets or numbering yet.



    I like how the toolbar palette works. It even has a drop down menu that lets you choose another drawer with different palettes. On my 12 pb, this is a nice solution. While I didn't check this yet, with Okito Composer, you could tear off parts of the palette that you like, let them float, and close the tool bar drawer. I bet this still works.



    You can edit multiple clipboards.



    Multiple undo/redo.



    For some reason, not all of my fonts show up in the font palette.



    I really like it, just as I liked Composer although this is better. Not ready for prime time and I don't know that I would trust anything critical with it, but I like using this better than Text Edit.



    Don't know that I would buy it yet since iWorks rumors are floating but I don't expect that too soon anyway.
  • Reply 5 of 32
    jbljbl Posts: 555member
    I hate to interrupt all this b*tching and moaning with some facts, but the palettes actually work reasonably intelligently. You can pull them out of the drawers at which point they are no longer associated with particular documents (i.e., they come out of the drawers of all the documents). In effect, you get to decide whether to use the drawer or to use palettes. If you choose the drawer it works the way a drawer should (i.e., document specific). If you choose palettes they work the way palettes should. The only thing I can't figure out yet is why Find isn't just like one of the other palettes.
  • Reply 6 of 32
    kim kap solkim kap sol Posts: 2,987member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by JBL

    I hate to interrupt all this b*tching and moaning with some facts, but the palettes actually work reasonably intelligently. You can pull them out of the drawers at which point they are no longer associated with particular documents (i.e., they come out of the drawers of all the documents). In effect, you get to decide whether to use the drawer or to use palettes. If you choose the drawer it works the way a drawer should (i.e., document specific). If you choose palettes they work the way palettes should. The only thing I can't figure out yet is why Find isn't just like one of the other palettes.



    Neat...



    I suppose if I could have gotten the damn thing downloaded I would have known this.
  • Reply 7 of 32
    kcmackcmac Posts: 1,051member
    You can also make your own custom tooldrawers. Drag the palettes that you use most in a new tooldrawer and give it a name that is added to the drop down list.



    If you don't like the icons in the toolbar you can hide the toolbar from view.



    Good luck in downloading it. Seems there sight was overwhelmed.
  • Reply 8 of 32
    I don't really have a problem with drawers.. but wow! I'm impressed and pleased with the drag and drop approach of the drawer tools as/into palettes. Very nice. I also don't find myself particularly offended by the icons, they seem fine to me. I am most pleased by the fact that this is a beta: that means that they intend to put a lot more work into it soon
  • Reply 9 of 32
    overhopeoverhope Posts: 1,123member
    I thought Nisus had died a long time ago... nice to see otherwise.



    Actually, I can see the point in putting the tools in a draw for a WP app: generally you set the document up when you start, then don't mess with the formatting a great deal. However, on general principles, it's an untidy paradigm.



    Anyhoo, download in progress, I'll give it a whirl until the beta expires.
  • Reply 10 of 32
    aquaticaquatic Posts: 5,602member
    Drawers suck.
  • Reply 11 of 32
    jbljbl Posts: 555member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Aquatic

    There should at least be a widget to make it go in and out.







    What are you talking about? Do you mean like the little "tools" button on Nisus and Navigator that makes the drawer go in and out?
  • Reply 12 of 32
    kcmackcmac Posts: 1,051member
    There is a button to make the drawer open and close. Maybe some of you should use the app before reviewing it.
  • Reply 13 of 32
    aquaticaquatic Posts: 5,602member
    I was assuming it was like Preview where you have to drag the border.
  • Reply 14 of 32
    overhopeoverhope Posts: 1,123member
    ...or use the Thumbnails button in the toolbar or hit Command-T or select Thumbnails from the View menu...
  • Reply 15 of 32
    kcmackcmac Posts: 1,051member
    I moved the thumbnails button in Preview to the right end of the toolbar by the sliding drawer for my mom. She had trouble with it being on the left side as default.



    If it's not in your toolbar go to view>customize toolbar.
  • Reply 16 of 32
    daverdaver Posts: 496member
    I downloaded it from the mirror and tried a few things out. This is a really nice program... unobtrusive like TextEdit, but much more flexible.



    However, Nisus Writer Express will never replace Word (or even AppleWorks) for me until it can handle footnotes! Any word processor is useless to me without this feature.
  • Reply 17 of 32
    kcmackcmac Posts: 1,051member
    Yes, it has a long way to go before it could replace Word for me but I will use it as much as possible. I use Text Edit 90% of the time. Since Nisus can save to word, it saves me a step.
  • Reply 18 of 32
    keshkesh Posts: 621member
    Also note that this is Nisus Writer Express. If I recall correctly, that's their name for the free version of the software, which doesn't have all the features of the full one.
  • Reply 19 of 32
    zozo Posts: 3,115member
    how does one type in Arabic/Kanji/Chinese/Hebrew etc?



    I can cut and paste Arabic text from any browser into Nisus but cannot type in it. Grrr.



    3 years of OSX and still no solution for writing right to left in Hebrew/Arabic.



  • Reply 20 of 32
    kcmackcmac Posts: 1,051member
    Nisus writer express will cost $59.95.
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