Suggestions on Word Processor Choice (and any other writing software you want to plug

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
I'm getting an iMac (finally! squee!) after 4 years of owning mac laptops. I'm a writer by trade, and I'm always keeping an out on/out for applications I may wish to use.



My needs: a simple word processor that I can do basic formatting with - no need for fancy columns or clipart, really. It has to have a word count function/ability to see page count. I prefer a "full screen" option for the days where I'm trying to weasel out of writing (ironically, like right now! )



I'm thinking about switching out of Office and using iWork or Scrivener. I played with iWork a little at the store to see if I like it. It seems nice, but it was hard to find any additional format editing that I may need to use. For those of you who use iWork, can you give my some pros and cons of your personal experience with it? This is going to sound goofy, but is there a wordcount function? I couldn't find one.



Or, do you have a different, third option to suggest for me? I do prefer to have something that can convert to a .doc file so I can mess around at lunchtime at my fulltime job with personal writing projects, but I can work my way around that easily if another app is worth it.



And if you use any organizational writing items, feel free to mention them as well.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 7
    galleygalley Posts: 971member
    Word count is on the info tab of the Document Inspector.
  • Reply 2 of 7
    silviarsilviar Posts: 19member
    I don't suppose there's anything else you'd like to tell me about it?
  • Reply 3 of 7
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,200moderator
    iwork doesn't really have a word processor. Pages is a layout app like Indesign. They added some word processing stuff but Microsoft Word is better and let's you use a format that other writers will be compatible with.



    Hopefully Microsoft will address some performance issues with Office though because it should be running much faster now that it's native and it really isn't.



    The beta of OpenOffice aqua seems to run ok so I'd give that a go.



    http://download.openoffice.org/3.0beta/



    I tried out a few word processing apps like Mellel, Scrivener, Mariner Writer, Nisus Writer. Actually all the ones in this list:



    http://www.macscience.net/MacScience...rocessing.html



    If Word compatibility isn't an absolute necessity, they might be ok but I was looking for a package for doing office work to replace Word for Mac and they all fell short.



    It ended up between Office 2008, NeoOffice and OpenOffice. Office 2008 still won because of Entourage and having a Mac feel to it.
  • Reply 4 of 7
    silviarsilviar Posts: 19member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    iwork doesn't really have a word processor. Pages is a layout app like Indesign. They added some word processing stuff but Microsoft Word is better and let's you use a format that other writers will be compatible with.



    Hopefully Microsoft will address some performance issues with Office though because it should be running much faster now that it's native and it really isn't.



    The beta of OpenOffice aqua seems to run ok so I'd give that a go.



    http://download.openoffice.org/3.0beta/



    I tried out a few word processing apps like Mellel, Scrivener, Mariner Writer, Nisus Writer. Actually all the ones in this list:



    http://www.macscience.net/MacScience...rocessing.html



    If Word compatibility isn't an absolute necessity, they might be ok but I was looking for a package for doing office work to replace Word for Mac and they all fell short.



    It ended up between Office 2008, NeoOffice and OpenOffice. Office 2008 still won because of Entourage and having a Mac feel to it.



    Thank you, this is very helpful. So, Scrivener wasn't compatible with Word? It says it can be exported to it... Of course, I'm interested in it for all of those other, more useful features as well. :P That's a good list for me to keep, no matter what. I guess you can't beat that Word's been around and gained the most popularity. If it can't be compatible with Word, you're screwed everywhere else.
  • Reply 5 of 7
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,200moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Silviar View Post


    Thank you, this is very helpful. So, Scrivener wasn't compatible with Word? It says it can be exported to it... Of course, I'm interested in it for all of those other, more useful features as well. :P That's a good list for me to keep, no matter what. I guess you can't beat that Word's been around and gained the most popularity. If it can't be compatible with Word, you're screwed everywhere else.



    A few of them claim to be Word compatible but so does Textedit to some extent and the compatibility level is usually poor. Some things just come out garbled and there will always be a file that it can't open. The tests I ran were fairly basic - open a standard .doc file, save one and open it in Word, test typing performance, test image placement. They all failed on one or more of the tests I ran except NeoOffice, Open Office and Office itself. Open Office and NeoOffice share a common code-base so there are only really two products.



    Star Office 9 from Sun should be Mac compatible at the end of the year:



    http://www.sun.com/software/star/sta...eneral.jsp#q_7



    I recall that used to be a popular alternative to Office when I was at uni so maybe one to watch out for. Sun also develop Open Office.
  • Reply 6 of 7
    In addition, Nisus Writer Pro 1.1 is excellent for your purposes, and saves default to .rtf (but also can save .doc). Feels like a word processor and doesn't get in your way. Has cross-references and flow around objects.



    For academic/multi-lingual capabilities (and super style sheets, auto-titling, multiple note streams, and a decent outliner), consider Mellel. Learning curve is higher, but the results are worth the trouble. New version coming soon, with cross-references.



    Both have 30 day trial periods with full capabilities, and check out the forums (Nisus Forums and Mellel Forums).



    I have happily used both over the past 3+ years. And I just began using Scrivener in the past 6 months. Excellent program and works with with NWP and Mellel.
  • Reply 7 of 7
    silviarsilviar Posts: 19member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GrayShades View Post


    In addition, Nisus Writer Pro 1.1 is excellent for your purposes, and saves default to .rtf (but also can save .doc). Feels like a word processor and doesn't get in your way. Has cross-references and flow around objects.



    For academic/multi-lingual capabilities (and super style sheets, auto-titling, multiple note streams, and a decent outliner), consider Mellel. Learning curve is higher, but the results are worth the trouble. New version coming soon, with cross-references.



    Both have 30 day trial periods with full capabilities, and check out the forums (Nisus Forums and Mellel Forums).



    I have happily used both over the past 3+ years. And I just began using Scrivener in the past 6 months. Excellent program and works with with NWP and Mellel.



    Thanks for the input! I think I am going to try a few free demos and then see who wins out at the end, since I've heard good stuff about NWP as well.
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