Nisus vs Pages

Everything related to our flagship word processor.
rwg
Posts: 20
Joined: 2008-03-31 21:16:23

Re: Nisus vs Pages

Post by rwg »

CrisB wrote: 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. :!:
I solved this annoying problem with AppleScript/iKey.
loulesko wrote: 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.

As has been pointed out more than once on this forum, one thing that still can't be customised in Nisus is the background colour in page view, and for me this means that I use Nisus only when there isn't a viable alternative for what I want to do. I work mostly in Scrivener and Mellel, where I have the background colour set to a pale green, and moving from that to the white glare of Nisus is always a bit of a shock to the eyes. I realise this is a matter of personal preference, but if even Bean has this functionality, why can't Nisus? :(

Rolf

Timotheus
Posts: 68
Joined: 2007-04-13 07:16:41

Re: Nisus vs Pages

Post by Timotheus »

I fully agree with rwg. In Nisus, the color of almost anything can be customized, except the color of the most basic thing of all: the page on which one writes. One of the things which keeps me from adopting Nisus as my wordprocessor of choice, is this strange omission. Strange, because almost anything else in Nisus can be colored as one likes, which implies that the developers consider color customizing a matter of some importance.

perran
Posts: 13
Joined: 2009-11-04 09:58:41

Re: Nisus vs Pages

Post by perran »

As the other replies imply - it depends what you are looking for. Pages is wonderful but very restricted, like most of Apple's own software. You need to try them both to see what suits you. Nisus is great - the nearest to Word IMHO. Mellel, Scrivener and the others are somewhat specialist and require a lot of work to fit to your needs, if you like to automate, have sequential multi-layered lists, etc. Eg I write long documents with numbered paras, different types of headings, tables and figures with captions. Pages can't cross-reference, which is deal-breaker, and has irritating features such as inability to incorporate tabs into an automated style (eg make a style for heading or a para, and you have to opt-tab to insert the tab). Nisus is *very* customisable, including a comprehensive ability to associate keys with actions, and macros, whereas Pages can do neither of these. It does not take long to master styles in Nisus, and once you have you may conclude that it is the easiest of all WPs to automate styles in. Nisus has no graphics, whereas Pages has shapes, but you can use the tables menu to make text-boxes and lines, though this can be cumbersome and in some instances not possible (I cannot understand why Nisus does not deal with this). You can customise the 'palettes' also, though there could be some improvement there. It imports from Word far better than Pages, and seems to me (so far) to be the most suitable if you work in an environment that requires Word imports and exports. Another critically important feature is that Nisus is good with sections and you can insert easily (easier than Word, as with most things in Nisus) landscape sections - Pages cannot do this.

There are some things I have not tried yet, such as Bookends and Mathtype, but the general opinion seems to be that they work well enough - Mathtype is no good in Pages (or in Word for Mac), although I cannot verify this yet. Doing much of the above on Mellel is too hard, if possible at all (it won't do sequential multi-layered lists without a huge amount of workaround). A wonderful feature of Pages is the whole screen view, and Nisus cannot emulate that (though if you zoom and put a nice gutter colour you get near, but no WYSIWIG nor footnotes - Nisus, why can't you improve on this?). Nisus could well be the best WP for Mac, though as I said it depends on what you are looking for: it is certainly the best if, like me, you started on a Mac in 1980, migrated through different systems to MS-DOS and PCs, in Windows stuck though to Lotus Amipro, then Wordpro, and finally gave in to that horrible beast Word when it started to be able to do things that other WPs had done for years and the opposition went out of business, but then migrated back to Mac with Intel. In other words, if you customised Word, Nisus is probably for you, as the learning curve is not steep. There are many other things one can say, but I hope these comments help anyone - we should all do our best to develop diversity in the industry, which is too dominated by big players who produce bloated, expensive and useless software :)

xiamenese
Posts: 441
Joined: 2006-12-08 00:46:44
Location: London or Exeter, UK

Re: Nisus vs Pages

Post by xiamenese »

perran wrote:Nisus is great - the nearest to Word IMHO. Mellel, Scrivener and the others are somewhat specialist and require a lot of work to fit to your needs
While I agree with you that Nisus is great, and am a virtually totally Microsoft-free Zone, and found Mellel's interface hard work — though my reasons for abandoning it were different and specific — putting Scrivener in with the mix is mistaken. But Mellel is just a word-processor like Nisus and is not "specialist". it has a proprietary text-engine, which is perhaps its strength and its weakness; it is very good, and apparently better than Nisus, at some things, but it has a quirky interface that people can or can't get on with. Perran is right, the Nisus interface is very good and very Mac-native.

On the other hand, Scrivener is not a word-processor and is not intended to be, and is hugely flexible in terms of getting it to work how you work in creating a draft manuscript or whatever your text is, in whatever field you are working in. In fact, like half the users of Scrivener, I would say that Nisus is its best partner in terms of putting the finishing touches to your manuscript, formatting footnotes, comments etc. as needed, though there are others, especially academics in the humanities who advocate Mellel strongly. If writing in a linear fashion is what suits you, use a word-processor; if writing in non-linear fashion is what suits you, look at Scrivener, or Ulysses or the other similar software. It's a different thing altogether.

Disclaimer: I am merely a long-term, very satisfied user of both Scrivener and Nisus, and am not in any way connected to the developers of either, and am located many thousands of miles away from both of them.

Mark

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

Re: Nisus vs Pages

Post by ptram »

Rolf,
rwg wrote:one thing that still can't be customised in Nisus is the background colour in page view
Is the draft view an option to you? Its background color can be customized, and it looks not too different than the page view. You can consider this latter like sort of an interactive print preview.

Paolo

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

Re: Nisus vs Pages

Post by ptram »

xiamenese wrote:I am merely a long-term, very satisfied user of both Scrivener and Nisus
A fantastic combo indeed. Shape your document and write the draft in Scrivener, then switch to Nisus for the final writing. It's a powerful combination.

Paolo

perran
Posts: 13
Joined: 2009-11-04 09:58:41

Re: Nisus vs Pages

Post by perran »

I take Xiamenese's point, which is really what I meant about 'specialist', and what I meant when I said it depends what you want. When I was looking for alternatives, having gone back to Mac, what *I* wanted was a word processor that could do what I was used to. That is the strength, I think, of Nisus. The 'composition' advantages of Scrivener are indisputable. If I look back at the beginning of my search, I wish I had found a source of information that set all the issues out clearly. But experience is the best teacher - albeit the most expensive ...

User avatar
dspedersen
Posts: 19
Joined: 2009-10-20 05:44:25
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Re: Nisus vs Pages

Post by dspedersen »

ptram wrote:
xiamenese wrote:I am merely a long-term, very satisfied user of both Scrivener and Nisus
A fantastic combo indeed. Shape your document and write the draft in Scrivener, then switch to Nisus for the final writing. It's a powerful combination.

Paolo
Sounds like an interesting combo - can you provide an example of, how you use it in this way?

I am a scientist, writing scientific papers, and those aren't necessarily linear, at least not in the writing process. Would I be able to benefit from this combo, even though I usually don't exceed 20 pages?

Thanks :)
Dan

Msc, PhD student
University of Aarhus
Denmark

xiamenese
Posts: 441
Joined: 2006-12-08 00:46:44
Location: London or Exeter, UK

Re: Nisus vs Pages

Post by xiamenese »

dspedersen wrote:Sounds like an interesting combo - can you provide an example of, how you use it in this way?

I am a scientist, writing scientific papers, and those aren't necessarily linear, at least not in the writing process. Would I be able to benefit from this combo, even though I usually don't exceed 20 pages?

Thanks :)
I don't think it's appropriate on this Nisus forum to go into a discussion on how I use Scrivener and all it's features. So suffice it to say: (a) my work is largely editing translations from Chinese to English, writing up full versions of lectures I give, and occasionally collaborating with a colleague on papers intended for publication. Nothing I have written so far has been as much as 20 pages, though I will be combining material into a longer text; (b) among the many users of Scrivener there are scientists who find it invaluable. The best thing for you to do would be to download a copy, watch the tutorial videos and do the interactive tutorial and see whether and how you can fit it into your personal workflow — Scrivener has an extremely generous 30 working-days trial period. The forum members are also very helpful, as is Keith the developer.

For the Nisus end, I would never do without NWP. Scrivener is for drafting and storing research documents, etc. But having produced the draft, then all the polishing, editing, layout tweaking and so on needs to be done in a word-processor, and for that NWP is pretty much perfect. Some people find they have to use Word because of publisher's insistence on the use of Change Tracking. You are also presumably finding the points at which NWP might not handle some of your needs as fluently as you would like, but that is true of all word-processors, I believe.

For the combination, they just work beautifully together: both use RTF/RTFD as their native file formats; both integrate well with BookEnds for one for bibliography management (I don't use Sente or BibDesk though there are those on both forums who do); Scrivener's inline comments can be exported as margin annotations if required or retained as inline comments and both are handled smoothly by Nisus; footnotes/endnotes from Scrivener are handled well by Nisus (Pages won't import footnotes in RTF files!) … so all-in-all, to me, NWP is the perfect partner for Scrivener, to take the draft that has been put together in non-linear fashion in Scrivener and turn it into a publishable or publisher-acceptable document.

Mark

perran
Posts: 13
Joined: 2009-11-04 09:58:41

Re: Nisus vs Pages

Post by perran »

This forum has been a learning experience for me! I have bought Scrivener and am using it with NWP as Mark as described, and it is indeed an excellent combination. Highly recommended for anyone who writes longish documents, reports, etc, which require assembling much information from different sources. You need Mathtype (still plagued by the *.docx problem - Macs (ie including NWP) cannot read equations in *.docs files) and Bookends (or similar) as well, to complete the functionality, and you have something far superior to anything Mr Gates can offer ... Thanks Mark for the heads up.

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

Re: Nisus vs Pages

Post by ptram »

I write mostly three different types of documents: computer articles, humanistic papers, narrative. In all these activities I use Scrivener for collecting research data, shape a structure, writing the first draft.

When I'm ready for the final rewriting, I export to RTF, and continue working in Nisus Writer. The outline is there, comments and footnotes are there. I can continue shaping the document, but usually at this point the structure is well defined, and only style is concerned.

I think both apps as part of the same writing kit -- one focusing on shaping, the other on touching up.

Paolo

germanix
Posts: 4
Joined: 2009-12-05 05:17:47
Location: Germany

Re: Nisus vs Pages

Post by germanix »

ptram wrote:I write mostly three different types of documents: computer articles, humanistic papers, narrative. In all these activities I use Scrivener for collecting research data, shape a structure, writing the first draft.

When I'm ready for the final rewriting, I export to RTF, and continue working in Nisus Writer. The outline is there, comments and footnotes are there. I can continue shaping the document, but usually at this point the structure is well defined, and only style is concerned.

I think both apps as part of the same writing kit -- one focusing on shaping, the other on touching up.

Paolo
Amen to that, Paolo, I could not agree with you more. Scrivener is the popcorn and Nisus the butter, Scrivener is the cake and Nisus the cherry on top. The combine beautifully together and I cannot do without the one or the other. During the month of November I took part in the NaNoWriMo and wrote a novel of more than 50.000 words. I could not have done is were it not for Scriverer. When the draft was finished, Nisus was the perfect partner in which to export the draft for the final edit and touching up.

Post Reply