Technical Word processor with maths ?

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
I'm an old Nisus user. I made all my scientific documents with it. I used Expressionist for the equations, and FreeHand for the illustrations. All were used in OS 9 or now under the classic mode (I'm using Panther right now).



I want to change to full OS X apps. I'll probably use MathEQ as equation editor, which is the successor of Expressionist. I may end with the new MathType for OS X which should be out soon.



But what Word processor are you recommending to me, except Nisus Writer Express (which is a total downgrade to me) ? I tryed the Mellel demo, and it appears to be a fine product, but I'm not sure about equations with it.



I do lots of mathematical stuff, and I don't want to use TeX or LaTeX, or any kind of computer coding for any math. I want to work with a fully WYSIWYG app. So please, what OS X technical Word processor are you suggesting, which may handle math equations ?



Thanks.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 131
    jginsbujginsbu Posts: 135member
    A fairly good list of what's out there can be found here:

    http://www.macscience.net/
  • Reply 2 of 131
    mr. memr. me Posts: 3,219member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by jginsbu

    A fairly good list of what's out there can be found here:

    http://www.macscience.net/




    That's a very disappointing list. I anxiously await the MacOS X 10.x port of FrameMaker. My favorite MacOS word processor is the late and lamented FullWrite 2.x. If only someone would raise it from the grave once more. I totally agree with Kali about Nisus Write Express. How could this veteran Mac developer labor so mightly to deliver such a small and insignificant mouse? Let us hope that Nisus ports Nisus Write to MacOSX.
  • Reply 3 of 131
    jginsbujginsbu Posts: 135member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Mr. Me

    That's a very disappointing list. I anxiously await the MacOS X 10.x port of FrameMaker. My favorite MacOS word processor is the late and lamented FullWrite 2.x. If only someone would raise it from the grave once more. I totally agree with Kali about Nisus Write Express. How could this veteran Mac developer labor so mightly to deliver such a small and insignificant mouse? Let us hope that Nisus ports Nisus Write to MacOSX.



    I wouldn't hold your breath for FrameMaker: it's been long rumored and little seen. The rumors I've heard involve Adobe trying to move the OS9 version over to OS X. This seems wrong to me: they should be porting the unix versions over, which are current at least. Anyway, FrameMaker's pricing puts it out of reach for most.



    Nisus Writer Express IS Nisus Write for OS X, or will be whenever Nisus can bring the functionality up. Nisus just seems to be having all kinds of trouble doing this. There is no "port" to wait for.



    I use Mellel because, as far as I'm concerned, it's by far the best of the lot. And, unlike Nisus, significant feature improvements appear regularly. The user community is also good and the developers are very good at listening to user feedback and offering support. YMMV.
  • Reply 4 of 131
    scottscott Posts: 7,431member
    LaTeX is still the best of course. There are some OS X editors to help you out.
  • Reply 5 of 131
    mr. memr. me Posts: 3,219member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by jginsbu

    I wouldn't hold your breath for FrameMaker: it's been long rumored and little seen. The rumors I've heard involve Adobe trying to move the OS9 version over to OS X. This seems wrong to me: they should be porting the unix versions over, which are current at least. Anyway, FrameMaker's pricing puts it out of reach for most.



    I am not "most." FrameMaker may not be the best possible application, but it is pretty darned good. It has been my mission-critical app for the more than a decade. Frankly, I am dismayed by some of Adobe's comments about FrameMaker. I am, however, also buoyed by the fact that FrameMaker 7.0 uses MacOS X 10-compatible icons. If Adobe doesn't port the application to MacOS X 10.x, I have time to find an alternative.

    Quote:

    Originally posted by jginsbu

    Nisus Writer Express IS Nisus Write for OS X, or will be whenever Nisus can bring the functionality up. Nisus just seems to be having all kinds of trouble doing this. There is no "port" to wait for.



    Nisus/Nisus Writer was always the alternative to my mission critical word processor. I never adopted it, but I knew that it would serve me well if I ever did. Nisus Writer Express can't. I may be forced to look elsewhere. But, again, I have time.

    Quote:

    Originally posted by jginsbu

    I use Mellel because, as far as I'm concerned, it's by far the best of the lot. And, unlike Nisus, significant feature improvements appear regularly. The user community is also good and the developers are very good at listening to user feedback and offering support. YMMV.



    If I were to go with a minimal word processor, I would probably go with Mariner Write. We can agree on this much: YMMV.
  • Reply 6 of 131
    Kali,



    In my view you should just hold your nose and get into Framemaker anyway. Sure it's not OSX native, but it is extremely stable in Classic.



    As for Frame's future -- on the Mac and other platforms -- the current belief amongst Frame geeks is that Adobe's recent termination of Pagemaker provides a clue. In other words, expect something from Adobe based on the InDesign engine, with a whole bunch of add-ons to duplicate Frame's functionality. Just don't expect it soon.



    Until that happy day arrives, just lie back and think of Avie.
  • Reply 7 of 131
    jginsbujginsbu Posts: 135member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Mr. Me

    I am not "most."



    I didn't say that you were. Given the products mentioned by Kali in the original post, I thought it was worth mentioning that FrameMaker is in an entirely different league in price (and features) from them.



    Quote:

    If I were to go with a minimal word processor, I would probably go with Mariner Write.



    If you're suggesting that Mellel is a minimal word processor and that Mariner Write is a better alternative, then I must disagree on both counts. Mellel isn't trying to compete with FrameMaker, which is much more than a word processor. As for Mariner, I think Mellel is already the stronger app. And being cocoa based and enjoying very active development and enhancement, I expect that will continue to be the case. It is clear the Mellel's developers have set themselves the goal producing for OS X a word processor superior to the old Nisus of OS9, and while they aren't there yet, they're making excellent progress. Already, Mellel is the best OS X native WP for those with multilingual needs, and notes and auto-numbering are very powerful indeed.
  • Reply 8 of 131
    amorphamorph Posts: 7,112member
    I can't say whether it would meet your needs, but Mathematica has word-processing capabilities. It certainly can handle the mathematical part.
  • Reply 9 of 131
    kalikali Posts: 634member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by boy_analog

    Kali,



    In my view you should just hold your nose and get into Framemaker anyway. Sure it's not OSX native, but it is extremely stable in Classic.



    As for Frame's future -- on the Mac and other platforms -- the current belief amongst Frame geeks is that Adobe's recent termination of Pagemaker provides a clue. In other words, expect something from Adobe based on the InDesign engine, with a whole bunch of add-ons to duplicate Frame's functionality. Just don't expect it soon.



    Until that happy day arrives, just lie back and think of Avie.




    Well, my combo (Nisus, Expressionist, FreeHand) is already a perfect one in classic. I'll stay with it until I find something right in OS X. At least, I can use it in the classic mode without any trouble.



    Mellel seems to be a very good product, except for equations and graphics. There is no graphics layer or graphics options in Mellel. There is a very good garphics layer in Nisus, and I'm talking about a very old Nisus version here (Nisus 3.47, not even Nisus Writer).



    After all these years with OS X, I can't believe there is nothing good about scientific word processing in OS X !
  • Reply 10 of 131
    jginsbujginsbu Posts: 135member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Kali



    Mellel seems to be a very good product, except for equations and graphics. There is no graphics layer or graphics options in Mellel. There is a very good garphics layer in Nisus, and I'm talking about a very old Nisus version here (Nisus 3.47, not even Nisus Writer).





    You might try e-mailing Mellel's developers about this. They are quite responsive and may be able to tell you when they plan on adding features in this area. Also, they do poll their users about what their priorities for new features are, so they could at least take your vote into account.



    Good luck!
  • Reply 11 of 131
    pbpb Posts: 4,231member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Kali



    I do lots of mathematical stuff, and I don't want to use TeX or LaTeX, or any kind of computer coding for any math. I want to work with a fully WYSIWYG app.




    You can use though LyX, the WYSIWYG version of LaTeX. It requires a working teTeX installation in the system. I have not personally used it, so I cannot tell about.
  • Reply 12 of 131
    To my ears, this sounds like: I want to edit movies but I don't want to learn iMovie or FCP-- why are there no other options?



    TeXShop (or other) and teTeX absolutely rock on OS X. So there's just not much interest in a paying app that will cut productivity in half and make output that looks like garbage.



    If you are going to be writing technical documents for more than three months, learn LaTeX. The only exception I can think of would be if your documents have to have very complicated layouts, but not much math.
  • Reply 13 of 131
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Alternately, you can install teTeX, and Equation Service . You still have to learn the LaTeX equation syntax, but it's really freaking simple and quick. Equation Service runs the snippet you select through teTeX and replaces the snippet with *voila* a PDF image of the equation fully rendered. You can then move that image around in whatever WYSIWYG editor you like.



    Very slick. You get LaTeX's superb equation formatting combined with whatever word layout app you prefer.



    Me, I'll stick with TeXShop and teTeX, but others may like this approach better. (I use it for quick down and dirty equations over iChat, for instance. )
  • Reply 14 of 131
    kalikali Posts: 634member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by failedmathematician

    To my ears, this sounds like: I want to edit movies but I don't want to learn iMovie or FCP-- why are there no other options?



    TeXShop (or other) and teTeX absolutely rock on OS X. So there's just not much interest in a paying app that will cut productivity in half and make output that looks like garbage.



    If you are going to be writing technical documents for more than three months, learn LaTeX. The only exception I can think of would be if your documents have to have very complicated layouts, but not much math.




    Then tell me how to install teTeX and where exactly can I find all the needed ressources ? All the Web pages I've found about this are horribly complicated, and full of links which do not ends.
  • Reply 15 of 131
    mr. memr. me Posts: 3,219member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Kali

    Then tell me how to install teTeX and where exactly can I find all the needed ressources ? All the Web pages I've found about this are horribly complicated, and full of links which do not ends.



    You can find everything that you need at this website. I recommend iTeXMac as your TeX typesetter and viewer, though you may prefer OzTeX or TeXShop. iTeXMac and TeXShop both require teTeX. You may find i-Installer, an installer/updater for teTeX at one of my links above in this post or on this web page.
  • Reply 16 of 131
    Yeah, now we're talking. Me has pointed to the right pages. I like the instructions provided on the TexShop page:



    http://www.uoregon.edu/~koch/texshop/texshop.html



    first download the ii2 installer from here:



    http://www.rna.nl/ii.html



    get that bad boy up and running and install the following in order (quoting from the TeXShop page):



    TeX

    CM Super for TeX (this is optional, giving additional fonts)

    Ghostscript 8 (or Ghostscript 6 if you are using OSX 10.1.5 or lower)

    Freetype 2 (this and the next two programs are only required for conversion between various image formats)

    wmf and iconv conversion support

    ImageMagick

    TeX Support: TeX4ht (this is optional, giving a program to translate tex into html)



    Now, of these, I only bother with the first three-- I do all my graphics separately. Basically, this is one of those download as you go, so it's kind of a pain for 56k people. Just follow the instructions as they are presented to you, select the default for everything except for possibly paper size depending on where you live. You're going to need admin access to your computer to do the install, but that's pretty much it.



    As I said before, I like TeXShop. When I first got X up and running it was the only thing available, and I have never felt the need to switch, but feel free to choose whichever TeX editor you want.



    A lot of TeX is learn as you go. So I'm linking to some files so you can see how TeX code gets typeset. Mind you, I'm not very good with TeX: I learned it well enough for my purposes and no more. I hope there aren't too many math mistakes as well.



    http://webpages.charter.net/mharvey/tex_files.sit
  • Reply 17 of 131
    pbpb Posts: 4,231member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by failedmathematician



    As I said before, I like TeXShop. When I first got X up and running it was the only thing available, and I have never felt the need to switch, but feel free to choose whichever TeX editor you want.




    Yeah, TeXShop is very nice, although I miss OzTeX that I used in OS 9, but this is only a nostalgia side effect, it seems . I find Kali's case rather rare, as I hardly know cases of people who used or use WYSIWYG editors for writing equations and technical documents. TeX/LaTeX is the de facto standard in this domain, no question, especially in Mathematics and Mathematical and Theoretical Physics. And it should be a more general standard because of the unrivaled quality of produced documents, robustness, cross-platform compatibility and incredible configurability and layout control. I have the right to dream, no?
  • Reply 18 of 131
    skipjackskipjack Posts: 263member
    For the simple-minded (like me), there's Math+Magic (www.mathmagic.com), which is like the Equation Editor in MS Word and AppleWorks, but is easy to set up so that commonly used symbols/templates can be accessed with keyboard shortcuts.



    It doesn't seem to be worthy of mention for people responding to this thread, but it's good enough for me for math/engineering/physics homework and labs.
  • Reply 19 of 131
    mr. memr. me Posts: 3,219member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Skipjack

    For the simple-minded (like me), there's Math+Magic (www.mathmagic.com), which is like the Equation Editor in MS Word and AppleWorks, but is easy to set up so that commonly used symbols/templates can be accessed with keyboard shortcuts.



    It doesn't seem to be worthy of mention for people responding to this thread, but it's good enough for me for math/engineering/physics homework and labs.




    Math Magic comes in several flavors, Pro for InDesign, Pro for Quark Xpress, and standalone pro and lite versions. I have always hated MathType/Equation Editor. I have always loved Expressionist. However, I really hate the fact that its developers have decided that MathEQ should require activation.



    MathMaker does beautiful equations. I don't think that its lack of mention represents a weakness in the product line. If anything, its low profile may be due to its Korean origins as opposed to the other developers' US origins.
  • Reply 20 of 131
    mr. memr. me Posts: 3,219member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by PB

    Yeah, TeXShop is very nice, although I miss OzTeX that I used in OS 9, but this is only a nostalgia side effect, it seems .



    OzTeX has been ported to MacOS X for a couple of years now. It is a Carbon app that works fine on MacOS 9.x or MacOS X 10.x.
    Quote:

    Originally posted by PB

    I find Kali's case rather rare, as I hardly know cases of people who used or use WYSIWYG editors for writing equations and technical documents.



    You don't anyone who uses FrameMaker? Expressionist? MathType? Equation Editor? MathEQ? MathMagic? Scientific Word/Scientific Workplace? Several of these can export to TeX.
    Quote:

    Originally posted by PB

    TeX/LaTeX is the de facto standard in this domain, no question, especially in Mathematics and Mathematical and Theoretical Physics. And it should be a more general standard because of the unrivaled quality of produced documents, robustness, cross-platform compatibility and incredible configurability and layout control. I have the right to dream, no?



    TeX was developed by Donald Knuth to typeset equations because he hated how badly they were being typeset up to that time. However, that was before the desktop publishing era. It would be most cumbersome to use TeX to layout a magazine. However, TeX can layout just about any kind of book and do so very well. The primary reason that scientists use TeX is that their professional journals require TeX. Rather than having to worry about a myriad of document formats in submitted papers, everyone submits TeX files. Each file can then be easily inserted into a particular flow with the guarrantee that it will appear exactly as the author intended while meeting the publication's style guide.
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