NW PRO won't open WORD 04 DOCs

Everything related to our flagship word processor.
Groucho
Posts: 496
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Re: NW PRO won't open WORD 04 DOCs

Post by Groucho » 2009-09-22 01:47:36

Ironically, OpenOffice does offer separate downloads.

Greetings, Henry.

Derick
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Joined: 2007-05-21 08:33:59

Re: NW PRO won't open WORD 04 DOCs

Post by Derick » 2009-09-26 07:36:16

I really hope the Intel importer gets included soon....I have taken to opening all Word docs with TextEdit -- which opens them instantaneously -- rather than waiting for Nisus which crawls, pegging one CPU at 99% with its PowerPC importer.

ptram
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Re: NW PRO won't open WORD 04 DOCs

Post by ptram » 2009-09-27 01:01:02

dshan wrote:It's time to stop being held back by obsolete hardware and software
I wouldn't like to sound harsh, but pro tools like NWP are not meant to exhibit impressive numbers and utter modernity - they are conceived for working. Unfortunately, several of us pro users are tied to obsolete systems by a matter of events, like the slow development of other professional tools (due to the smaller user base).

Not to count large business, where upgrading the hardware is always slower, due to the large number of computers to change, and the longer cycle due to other expenses (not to count the current crisis, that is slowing any renewal).

Ironically, I cannot purchase a new Mac, even if this would help me get a deduction from taxes. The tools I'm forced to use on the Mac only run in Classic, therefore on Tiger. And when it is time to upgrade, I'll have to leave the Mac entirely.

Paolo

Timotheus
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Re: NW PRO won't open WORD 04 DOCs

Post by Timotheus » 2009-09-27 02:50:33

ptram wrote:[The tools I'm forced to use on the Mac only run in Classic, therefore on Tiger. And when it is time to upgrade, I'll have to leave the Mac entirely.

Paolo
That sounds rather dramatic! But which tools are you talking about, Paolo?

ptram
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Re: NW PRO won't open WORD 04 DOCs

Post by ptram » 2009-09-27 06:28:15

Timotheus wrote:That sounds rather drama
Indeed! Unfortunately, I've not been able to find something to replace FrameMaker. Most of my colleagues around the world have already completed, or half-completed the transition to the PC version. I'll do it at the end of the current year.

My hope is that a mixed flow with FrameMaker under PC virtualization, and the other apps (Illustrator, Photoshop, Acrobat) under Mac can be effective. But it doesn't look like the cleanest way of working. I'll see.

Paolo

Timotheus
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Re: NW PRO won't open WORD 04 DOCs

Post by Timotheus » 2009-09-27 06:32:22

I hope I don't seem too curious, but … why is Framemaker so absolutely essential for you? Why not switch to Indesign, for instance?

ptram
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Re: NW PRO won't open WORD 04 DOCs

Post by ptram » 2009-09-27 09:29:40

Differences between FrameMaker and InDesign may appear subtle, but they are still huge for technical writers. Essentially, (1) InDesign is too heavy for writing a lot of text comfortably, (2) still misses some structuring features, (3) lacks some layout features and (4) collaboration tools, and (5) conversion of older documents would be practically impossibile.

InDesign is very slow with even average-lenght documents, with not a hint of the "free-flow" experience needed when writing fast. There are some little uncomforable things that makes writing in it very frustrating.

Then, while InDesign is adding features intended for long documents, it does not look ready yet for the kind of articulate documents I work on. The book feature still lacks most of the global management features - while the syncronized master pages would be very handy. There is no outliner, like in FrameMaker 9 (probably inspired by MadCap's Flare).

Some essential layout features are still missing, like titles extending over more columns, side headings, run-in headings. Also, floating boxes does not appear as easy to manage as in FrameMaker. Workaround are available, but it would be better devoting time to improve documentation, instead of figthing with workarounds.

Some other layout features are there, but still underdeveloped, like master/template pages (to quickly readjust content to a different format, like when going from pocket size for printing to A4 for photocopying), cross-references (no easy jump from source to target and vice versa), or index markers (no multiple ones are allowed in the same position).

Collaboration is essential in thecnical writing, so the lack of track changes would be a serious issue when having to show differences between versions (I'm exploring Subversion as a replacement). Conditional text, that allows for easy exchange with translators, does not appear as flexible as in FrameMaker, but I'm still exploring it.

Conversion of older documents would be another issue. There is a company selling a converter, but the cost for the huge amount of documents I should convert seems a little too high for my company to pay.

Overall, it is a shame I cannot swich to InDesign, since there are some features I would like very much (syncronized master pages for a book, layers and better import/export filters), but at the moment I cannot see myself taking the time to do the switching, and I'm not yet ready to afford the lack of some of the missing features.

Paolo
Last edited by ptram on 2009-09-27 15:21:15, edited 3 times in total.

Timotheus
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Re: NW PRO won't open WORD 04 DOCs

Post by Timotheus » 2009-09-27 11:59:50

Thanks for your thorough explanation, Paolo! I sincerely do hope the next version of Indesign will offer the improvements you most need!

exegete77
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Re: NW PRO won't open WORD 04 DOCs

Post by exegete77 » 2009-09-27 18:57:37

Some essential layout features are still missing, like titles extending over more columns, side headings, run-in headings.
Just a note: InDesign 6 (part of CS4) includes what is called nested styles, which allows run-in headings.
iMac 21.5” / MBP 13” Retina
Mac user since 1990

ptram
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Re: NW PRO won't open WORD 04 DOCs

Post by ptram » 2009-09-28 05:38:22

Exegete,

Please help me understand if I understand rigth.
Nested styles in InDesign are used to apply a different set of attributes to words in a certain position. So, if you have the following paragraph:

"This is the title___(tab)___This is the main text of my paragraph."

you can specify a nested style that applies different attributes to the first four words, i.e., "This is the title" will be shown with different fonts/attributes. This is great for dictionary/catalogue definitions.

On the contrary, a run-in heading in FrameMaker is a structural item, whose lenght usually changes. So, a first time you might have:

"New features___(tab)___This is the main text of my paragraph."

but the second, you might have a run-in heading of different lenght:

"Detail on the new features___(tab)___This is the main text of my paragraph."

Also, can nested styles appear as true headins in TOCs and cross-references pointing to structural items (i.e., headings)?

Paolo

exegete77
Posts: 194
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Re: NW PRO won't open WORD 04 DOCs

Post by exegete77 » 2009-09-28 13:44:42

Greetings. Looks like we both might be right. Nested Styles allows the user to adjust the length of the run-in, by using the "up to" portion, and then including something special, like the en-space. So in your example it would work.

I was thinking using “styles“ for TOC,“ which it does; but that will only work with paragraph styles, whereas the Nestled Styles would be character styles nested within paragraph styles. So, you are correct, InDesign does not offer what you need.

Sorry for the confusion.
iMac 21.5” / MBP 13” Retina
Mac user since 1990

dshan
Posts: 333
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Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: NW PRO won't open WORD 04 DOCs

Post by dshan » 2009-09-28 20:31:07

ptram wrote:
dshan wrote:It's time to stop being held back by obsolete hardware and software
I wouldn't like to sound harsh, but pro tools like NWP are not meant to exhibit impressive numbers and utter modernity - they are conceived for working. Unfortunately, several of us pro users are tied to obsolete systems by a matter of events, like the slow development of other professional tools (due to the smaller user base).

Not to count large business, where upgrading the hardware is always slower, due to the large number of computers to change, and the longer cycle due to other expenses (not to count the current crisis, that is slowing any renewal).

Ironically, I cannot purchase a new Mac, even if this would help me get a deduction from taxes. The tools I'm forced to use on the Mac only run in Classic, therefore on Tiger. And when it is time to upgrade, I'll have to leave the Mac entirely.

Paolo
So Nisus should stick with PPC support and obsolete hardware and software for someone who soon won't even be a Macintosh user any more?

PPC is dead, it's three years since the last PPC Macs were produced, and over four since Apple warned everyone they were going to stop making PPC Macs in the near future. Classic, Rosetta (and Carbon for that matter) were never intended to last forever, just to get people over the initial hump of YAAC (Yet Another Architecture Change). Also, It's businesses in general who upgrade their equipment more frequently than home users (who don't get tax breaks and depreciation allowances for new gear). I'm not suggesting PPC support be dropped tomorrow, but by the time NWP 2.0 is ready it's time to put PPC away, and be on the way to dropping 32-bit apps too. Apple, Adobe and several others are clearly headed that way, the only major software vendor I can see dragging their feet might be Microsoft (they always drag their feet).

ptram
Posts: 280
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Re: NW PRO won't open WORD 04 DOCs

Post by ptram » 2009-09-29 01:02:50

Dshan, you convinced me. But I would go further: why an innovative firm like Nisus should stop to 64 bit? We need more! If I were them, I would go straight to the 128-bit realm, and be ready for the future! :-P

Paolo

Groucho
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Re: NW PRO won't open WORD 04 DOCs

Post by Groucho » 2009-09-29 01:15:30

I think it's not so much Intel processors as the passage from Classic to Unix that's been killing applications for years. As recently as ten years ago (recently from my point of view, at least), you had a score of vector applications spanning from Free Hand to Illustrator to CorelDraw to Canvas, and I remember there was an application, whose name I can't remember, that supported QuickDraw GX's features. Now all you have is Adobe Illustrator, take it or leave it, and a few carbon, now obsolete though still (sometimes half-) working applications, like CorelDraw, Canvas and Free Hand, which are being pushed out of the way by conjoined efforts of both Apple and Adobe. Plus, you can rely on Inkscape, which is a good (and free) application at the cost of dramatic limitations and an awkward GUI and the need of an X-windowing system.
In the past, a new version of the system, or even a dramatic change in the hardware, like the shift from 68K to PPC processors, only implied a relatively slight effort for the developers. Now this is apparently no longer possible. See NW Pro, for example: it's not a continuation of NW Classic, but a new application, something which can do many of the tasks that NW Classic did but with a quite different engine inside.
This is my real concern, that the marketplace has been narrowing for years. If they want to change processors, systems, or what-have-you, OK. But you can't go from a rich offer to a substantial monopoly.

Cheers, Henry.

ptram
Posts: 280
Joined: 2007-10-21 14:59:09

Re: NW PRO won't open WORD 04 DOCs

Post by ptram » 2009-09-29 05:20:36

Groucho wrote:Free Hand
Incidentally, much much speedier on my G5 than Illustrator. And it still does something more and better than Illustrator in some fields (like aligning to a blocked object).
you can rely on Inkscape
If you can rely on less features (but still a lot), there are Mac-native alternatives to Illustrator: Intaglio, VectorDesigner, Lineform, or EazyDraw are some of the names coming to my mind. There was a special on them in MacUser:
http://www.macuser.co.uk/labs/25:15/cs4 ... ction.html

I don't use them, yet, because they do not run on Tiger. I will try to do the swtich when I will eventually be on a fresher OS. From the tests I did, they seems effective, pleasant to use apps.
the marketplace has been narrowing for years. ... you can't go from a rich offer to a substantial monopoly.
Just wait 'till the (not so far) day you will only be able to open text documents with Pages or Word.

Paolo

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