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Nisus vs Pages

Posted: 2009-08-10 04:23:42
by Wojti
Hey guys,

It's probably VERY popular question but I don't really see any answers while searching Google. I don't count forum posts from 2006. It's probably also not too objective thing to ask this question on Nisus forums, but I hope I could get a fair comparison :)
What do you guys think about Nisus compared to Pages? What are the advantages of each one? What Nisus has that Pages doesn't? What Pages has that Nisus still lacks? Etc etc.

I'd really appreciate all the answers and I'm sure I'm not the only person who could get some wisdom from this thread when it will grow up into interesting discussion ;) Thanks in advance!

Re: Nisus vs Pages

Posted: 2009-08-10 14:27:36
by Hugh
I'm not a sophisticated user, but I got Nisus Writer (the Express version for now) because it uses RTF instead of RTFD. I couldn't export the foot notes in my Scrivener documents in RTFD. Also, I like full screen and the fact that it will open Word Perfect files.

Re: Nisus vs Pages

Posted: 2009-08-10 23:30:01
by mrennie
Hi Wojti,

both applications have an impressive feature set, so I shall try to keep my answer as short as possible. Basically, the major difference for me is that Nisus Writer (Express and Pro) is a word processor, which means that its strength lies in the abundance of features that can be used to process text. Among these features, I would list above all cross-references, PowerFind, level-based outline numbering, the navigator pane and style sheets.

Pages is a word processor / DTP hybrid. It can be used as a word processor, and it does an admirable job, but some more advanced features are simply missing. On the other hand, Pages really shines when it comes to page layout: you can easily create text boxes, rotate and edit graphics and make use of the many fancy templates that come with this application. This is an area where Nisus Writer has severe shortcomings, given that it focuses on word processing alone.

That being said, I do not think that it has to be Nisus VS Pages. For me, it is Nisus AND Pages, as both applications have their uses. I use Nisus Writer Pro for my academic writing, as it allows me to focus on the text I am writing and to edit it very comfortably with an advanced set of word processing features. I use Pages for non-academic work, such as the creation of handouts for my students, or any type of work that is more graphical.

Re: Nisus vs Pages

Posted: 2009-08-12 04:00:59
by Wojti
Thanks for great replies ;)

Re: Nisus vs Pages

Posted: 2009-08-25 04:28:20
by rickl
What about academic documents that contain a lot of graphics? Would you veer towards Pages or Nisus?

Re: Nisus vs Pages

Posted: 2009-08-25 12:22:28
by mrennie
Personally, I would not use Pages for this type of work. Pages handles graphics very well, but it does not allow you to add captions, for instance, and this is usually a required feature for longer academic documents. While Nisus Writer Pro is incredibly flexible in that regard and allows you to add captions as part of a style, it does not handle graphics too well. You can add floating graphics, but I would strongly discourage anyone from doing so when writing a longer academic document; use in-line graphics instead. It should also be noted that the default file format used by Nisus Writer Pro, RTF, results in enormous file sizes for documents containing lots of graphics.

To be perfectly honest, Microsoft Word is the best all-round talent; it has all the advanced features you could wish for, and it does not do too bad a job with graphics (both creating and editing them); for instance, you can use Automator actions to save all the pictures in a Word document as separate files in a different folder (only works with the Standard or Special Media edition, as the Home & Student edition does not ship with Automator actions). Furthermore, you can instruct it to automatically add captions to files you add to the document, which can come in very handy, depending on your usage. Keep in mind that I am not saying that Microsoft Word is the best tool available; it does not really outshine its competitors in many areas, but it does well enough in most areas to provide you with very versatile tools.

Re: Nisus vs Pages

Posted: 2009-08-26 15:12:07
by martin
mrennie wrote:It should also be noted that the default file format used by Nisus Writer Pro, RTF, results in enormous file sizes for documents containing lots of graphics.
This is true (read an explanation). If you only exchange files with other Nisus users (or don't mind resaving a file to share it), one can use the file format "Nisus Compressed Rich Text", which greatly reduces file sizes.

Re: Nisus vs Pages

Posted: 2009-08-26 17:34:49
by exegete77
rickl wrote:What about academic documents that contain a lot of graphics? Would you veer towards Pages or Nisus?
I would probably opt for Papyrus. It handles that kind of stuff very well. Runs on both Mac and Windows, and runs in RAM, which makes it super fast.

Re: Nisus vs Pages

Posted: 2009-08-27 01:13:53
by ptram
I use NWP for comfort. I like writing in it, with the Navigator pane open, the Comments pane ready to appear when needed, a clean interface, a nice flow of the text even when working on rather long documents (like a novel or a technical report). It feels more discrete, to me, than any other wordprocessor - including Pages - while giving me most of the tools I need for advanced writing.


Re: Nisus vs Pages

Posted: 2009-09-02 19:29:27
by Sabon
I bounce back and forth between the two. Both of things that I miss when I'm in the other one. So for me too, it isn't one or the other but both.

Keep up the great work Nisus people!!!

Re: Nisus vs Pages

Posted: 2009-09-03 19:18:51
by charlie2342
I mostly write simple letters and handouts. With Nisus, everything gets saved in RTF. In Pages, one has to export to RTF. Takes more time that way. Plus, the Inspector for Pages does not include font types and sizes. With Nisus, it is all in one place.

Nisus just does the everyday stuff more gracefully.

I do use Pages for newsletters with photos.

Re: Nisus vs Pages

Posted: 2009-09-04 12:39:42
by mrennie
charlie2342 wrote: […] the Inspector for Pages does not include font types and sizes.
Pages has the Formatting Bar, though, which is similar to an Inspector section in terms of functionality.

Re: Nisus vs Pages

Posted: 2009-09-19 23:38:03
by CrisB
For me, Pages has many annoyances.

First, there's no option to do nothing on startup, so you have to close a window you don't want in the first place. If you close it so there is no window up, and go to another app, when you return to Pages, it re-opens the damn window you don't want again. :!:

Secondly, the Zoom option is not customizable. I'm over fifty, and so I now need larger type to see without reading glasses. But I still want as much as possible to be visible. So the clumsy Zoom steps Apple has chosen just don't work for me. This is also true of Numbers.

Thirdly, Nisus is very customizable, especially using Quickeys. I've been using a Mac for over twenty years, starting with a Mac plus. So many years ago I went through the point where your arms get so heavy it's a real pain to use a keyboard and especially to mouse around. So now I try and avoid any and all unnecessary mousing. And if you haven't got to that point yet, the chances are that you will probably do so in the future... Pages doesn't seem to be nearly as versatile in this regard.

Lastly, let me echo charlie2342 - Nisus just does the everyday stuff more gracefully. And not only than Pages, far far more gracefully than Word. I have all three, and Nisus is my hands-down choice to enjoy the experience... :)

Re: Nisus vs Pages

Posted: 2009-09-20 02:40:26
by Timotheus
Pages undoubtedly has its strong sides, but it also has very weak sides. Weak, for instance, is Pages' handling of rtf, which leaves much to be desired. And Nisus has a whole range of features which Pages doesn't have, and in part probably will never have: cross-references, indexing and so on. And the impossibility, in Pages, to write footnotes which span across more than one page makes it unfit for academic work.

Re: Nisus vs Pages

Posted: 2009-09-20 10:58:44
by loulesko
Fabulous topic and great responses.

My writing commitment per week is about two thousand words for three blogs, including National Geographic Assignment, and two print publications including Digital Photo Pro. Where Nisus Writer Pro really, truly shines is that it's quick, stable and reliable. Never had one crash, and NWP is open constantly. My print editors love the RTF format and with a macro I can convert a Nisus document to blog format without a second thought. I write everything in Nisus first.

My book publisher's editors work exclusively in Word which I refuse own. This is where Pages shines. With my first book, which was originally written in Ulysses (I didn't know about NIsus Pro in 2007), I was able to swap Word docs back and forth - complete with comment tracking - without a hitch in Pages. Pages does a better job than Nisus in general with converting Word documents, but, and this is a big BUT, Pages is an appalling application to write in. I don't think it was ever intended to be a writers tool, but rather a page layout application. Conversely Nisus is a writers tool. The robust find and replace alone really sets Nisus apart.

But the most compelling, extremely huge, seriously kick-butt-can't-find-anywhere-else feature of Nisus Writer Pro is the ability to easily customize it to your personal needs as a writer. If you've got a favorite t-shirt or pair of jeans that has broken in to fit you perfectly, you'll find the same digitally with Nisus Pro. Easily learn it, customize it, and forget your wearing it.

With the Autosave features as well as the incomparable document manager I can go from random, psychotic idea in my head to paper without thinking about it. A few macros for demarcating novel scenes combined with customizing keyboard shortcuts and I barely notice I'm using Nisus Writer Pro, which is the goal of any writer.

Also, I must shout out to the folks of this forum. Nice, polite and really helpful. And the fact the Nisus people are heavily involved in the forums as well makes this place feel like a pub, without the beers, where you can meet the celebs behind the product.

So that went on a bit. Hope this is helpful.