Long ago, in the days of the Classic Mac OS, when Nisus Software Inc. first developed its tools for multilingual software, on the shores of the Pacific Ocean, we learned some interesting facts about Arabic poetry. Not only, unlike English and most other European languages, does Arabic not hyphenate words, in its poetic expressions in particular, Arabic “likes” to have its lines spread out to fill the entire space of the column. In most European languages this is accomplished by adding tiny amounts of space between words. However, in Arabic it is done by adding “kashidas” . Beginning in Nisus 3.4x we developed what we called the Full Justify Tab.
The Full Justify Tab of Nisus Writer Classic
As is clear from the illustration above, the Arabic text above the little note “Full Justify Tab” is the same text as appears below. However the text below is controlled by the tab indicator. As you dragged the tab indicator on the ruler (inside the red ring) horizontally to the right or left, the text governed by it squeezed or stretched correspondingly.
Welcome to Mac OS X
The text engine provided by Mac OS X, which Nisus Writer Pro and Express use, does not support justified tabs. Our Arabic users have repeatedly requested that we do something to alleviate their pain.
Teamwork Leads to a Solution
With the helpful testing of Nisus Writer Pro user Kamran, our lead engineer Martin prepared a set of macros that solve the problem of justifying Arabic text.
The first step is to install the “fully justify” macros. You’ll only need to do this once. Here’s what to do:
1. Download the justification macros.
2. They come in a compressed archive, which you may need to double click in the Finder to expand.
3. Switch to Nisus Writer Pro (NWP).
4. Use the menu Macros > Load Macro.
5. In the open file dialog, choose the files you downloaded/expanded earlier (eg: “Justify Fully Arabic”). You can select all the macros at once. Click the “Open” button.
From now on these macros will always be available on your Macros menu and you can safely trash the files you download.
Once you’ve typed up some poetry:
An Arabic poem (before)
1. Select the paragraphs of text you want to fully justify.
2. Use the menu Macros > Justify Fully Arabic.
When the macro is done running, your text should appear fully justified.
An Arabic poem (after)
One final note: these macros work by inserting kashida characters into your writing. It may be that you later want to go back and edit what you’ve written- having these kashidas may make that awkward. To remove them select the relevant text and use the menu Macros > Justify Fully Arabic (remove kashidas).
A Gift for English Writers As Well
While he was working on the Arabic task, Martin was able to accomplish a similar task for English poetry. The zipped collection of macros contains two additional macros: Justify Fully English and Justify Fully English (remove spaces). William Shakespeare might have used them if he had been able to write using Nisus Writer Pro.
Sonnet 18 (before)
Sonnet 18 (after)
We hope that all your writing “nisus” will be a pleasure with Nisus Writer Pro.
But, as always, we try to make it less scary by throwing a Halloween Sale. This year, we are offering Nisus Writer Pro for only $65, a $14 savings! The upgrade is $39, and the family pack is $85. CD versions are an extra $10 plus shipping.
Simply click this link to our store and save, save, and save again!
Quoting from the press release “I know there are moments when everyone faces major decisions in life and need advice from an expert,”said Hasselhoff, “so as the proud owner of not one but two iPhones (I like to be able to make two phone calls at once!), I’m very pleased to announce the launch of my very own iPhone app.”
This, my friends, is the reason to own an iPhone. I know my life will be richer just knowing The Hoff is available to me for all of those important decisions in my life.
Mark (my co-worker and well known chocolate lover) just spotted a nice, short review of Nisus Writer Pro by Tom Nelson of About.com.
“One of my favorite features is the style sheet editor. Nisus Writer Pro includes enough style sheets to satisfy most individuals, but the way it lets you easily and visually customize a style sheet sets it apart from many other word processors.”
This version introduces several built-in menus that replace the macros that ship with Bookends. This means that you can scan your documents, find references, insert citations, and switch to Bookends by using the new menu items (Insert > Bibliography). To see all of the changes, go to our Pro release notes page.
You will need to use the latest version of Bookends (10.6.1) and Nisus Writer Pro 1.4 to take advantage of these new features.
You can download this new version from our Nisus Writer Pro download page, or just launch your current version of Nisus Writer Pro and use the menu Nisus Writer Pro > Check for Updates.
Nisus Writer Pro is a Universal Binary and requires Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger) or above.
Nisus Thesaurus 1.0.6 brought back Services functionality for users on Snow Leopard. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite work for everyone. So, if you are one of those that doesn’t have Services functionality, Nisus Thesaurus 1.0.7 is for you. This release should work anywhere it is supposed to.
It’s been busy here as of late. We have just released new versions of Nisus Writer Express, Nisus Writer Pro, and Nisus Thesaurus.
Nisus Writer Pro 1.3.1 contains no new features, but includes fixes since the release of Pro 1.3. It also includes compatibility fixes for Snow Leopard (Mac OS X 10.6). The release notes can be read here.
Nisus Writer Express 3.3.1 brings new features, including an all new document manager, a style library, the ability to attach the active document to a new email message (in Mail.app and Entourage only), a selection history (allowing users to jump to prior editing locations), and an option to automatically capitalize the first word of each sentence during typing (this is disabled by default).
There have also been general bug and Snow Leopard related fixes. You can read the release notes on this page.
Most of us here in the USA are celebrating a long, relaxing three day weekend. So, while we are goofing off, eating too much, and generally being lazy, you can save a bit of cash on our word processors.
This tip came from one of our engineers, Martin, who writes on this blog from time to time.
In previous versions of Mac OS X a user could use “Get Info” in the Finder to control which localization(s) a particular application was launched with, eg: they could disable all but one localization to force an application GUI into a certain translation.
This is no more. Snow Leopard removed the feature and doesn’t appear to have an equivalent.
A user can now only:
1. Adjust the list of languages in the system preferences so that the desired language is first (or at least appears before other available localizations). Note this affects all applications, system wide.
2. Manually open up a single application package and trash the unwanted localizations from the Resources folder.
Mac OS X 10.6 brings a great deal of refinement, stability, and goodwill since the price is so low. However, we have discovered a couple of interesting issues that should be discussed.
The native file format in both Nisus Writer Express and Pro is RTF (rich text format). This format is shared by many other applications, including TextEdit and Apple Mail. It has been this way since the inception of OS X. We chose this format because it is supported by just about any word processor out there. Prior to Snow Leopard, files that were created in Nisus Writer Express or Pro would always reopen in the originating application.
However, Apple has changed this behavior in 10.6. All RTF files, regardless of where they were created, will open in a single application. By default the Finder is configured to use TextEdit. Obviously, this is not good for our users and us. It will be confusing and upsetting, and frankly we aren’t very happy about it. However, this behavior can be changed in a few easy steps.
In the Finder, single click a Nisus Writer RTF file.
Choose the menu File > Get Info.
Under “Open with” choose Nisus Writer.
Click the “Change All” button.
All RTF files will now be opened by Nisus Writer.
The other issue is more straightforward. Rosetta, the technology that was introduced with the introduction of Intel Macs to translate PowerPC applications on the fly, does not come installed by default. This is a potential issue because the file translators we use to open .doc documents, for example, are coded for PowerPC. When you try to open a document that needs the file translator you may see an alert that will ask you to install Rosetta. If you click the “Install” button, Rosetta will then install and Nisus Writer (Express or Pro) will work as before.
Or, to avoid that alert, when you are installing Snow Leopard for the first time click on the “Customize” button and choose Rosetta.
When Apple announced on 24 August that Snow Leopard would be available on the 28th, we were as surprised as you were. Remember, Apple had said previously that Snow Leopard would be available in September. To most in the developer community, that meant late September.
Nisus Writer Pro 1.3.1 contains no new features, but includes fixes since Pro 1.3 was released, and the aforementioned Snow Leopard fixes. The release notes for Pro 1.3.1 can be found on the Pro 1.3.1 download page.
Nisus Writer Express 3.3.1 is a feature release. The new features include an all new document manager, a style library, the ability to attach the active document to a new email message (in Mail.app and Entourage only), a selection history (allowing users to jump to prior editing locations), an option to automatically capitalize the first word of each sentence during typing (this is disabled by default).
There are also many, many fixes (including the fixes for 10.6), all of which can be read about on the Express 3.3.1 release notes page.
Both applications are Universal Binaries and require at least Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger).
Please remember that these are beta versions, and not available for purchase. We will send out an announcement when we release the final versions of both applications.
Apple has announced that Snow Leopard (Mac OS X 10.6) will be released this coming Friday, 28 August. That’s earlier than what they had been promising, which was September. While this is good for consumers, I have a feeling that some developers are doing a bit of scrambling at the moment to get their applications ready for release on or near the big day.
The good news from our perspective is that both Express 3.x and Pro are, for the most part, compatible with Snow Leopard. But, there are a couple of bugs that need to be fixed. So, all of this rambling text means that we will be releasing beta versions of both applications at some point this week.
We will post more information when the apps are released.
From now until 6 July, you can now purchase Pro for 20 percent off the regular price. Just go to our store, choose your version of Pro, and enter the coupon code “fourthofjuly” in the coupon text box. You will then see the discount reflected in the shopping cart.
So if you wanted to purchase the upgrade, or Family Pack, or if you would like to purchase a copy for someone else, now is the time.
After many months of adding, fixing, and tearing out of hair, Nisus Writer Pro 1.3 is now available.
The big feature addition in this release is the new document manager. It now can manage any file on your drive, regardless of its location. You can create file groups, or use the predefined smart groups. There is also a style library, and an advanced search that uses Apple’s Spotlight technology.
Other features include a selection history (allowing users to jump to prior editing locations), an option to automatically capitalize the first word of each sentence during typing, the ability to attach the active document to a new email message (in Mail.app and Entourage only), and you can now turn any menu into a toolbar item.
We also added character/word/paragraph count as an automatic number, menus to invert the selection, select all document areas, expand the selection to full word/sentence/paragraph. A preference allows language switches to affect font size. Triple click selects a sentence and quadruple click selects a paragraph. There were many additions to the Nisus Macro Language
There were over 300 fixes and changes in this release, and you can read about them at our Pro release notes page.
This release is a free update to current license holders of Nisus Writer Pro.