Nisus Blog

Pronounced "Nice-us"


Letter Case Conversions

May 28th, 2020 · No Comments

Sometimes you need to fix text with the wrong letter case. Maybe you copied text that’s all uppercase letters, but you need lowercase letters (eg: change “EXAMPLE” to “example”). Nisus Writer has two ways to help you convert such text.

Character Conversions
Most often you will want to do a one-shot conversion of your text using the menu Edit > Transform Text. For example, using the To Lowercase command. That will convert the underlying characters to their lowercase counterparts (eg: “A” to “a”) at the single moment in time when you activate the command.

Text Display Conversions
Instead of converting the underlying letters, Nisus Writer can also display a converted version of your text. In this way your text remains unchanged; it’s just the display that changes on screen (and in PDFs and printouts).

You enforce such display conversions using the menu Format > Letter Case. Commands on that menu operate like other kinds of text formatting (eg: bold font) in that they are continual. If you retype the text to which that formatting is applied, what you see immediately undergoes the same transformation. The newly typed text will be converted for display automatically, without reapplying the command.

Typically these kinds of display conversions are employed via styles. It’s nice when (for example) your headings have consistent uppercasing, no matter what’s been typed in your document. This also makes it easy to change your mind– just edit your style and all your text will be updated as needed automatically.

Small Capitals
One very popular kind of text display conversion is small caps. That’s where all letters in your text are displayed using capitals, but lowercase letters appear smaller:

Nisus Writer supports small caps for all text and fonts. Proper typographic small caps will be used if a font provides them. If a font lacks typographic small caps Nisus Writer will synthesize their display by shrinking the font size like so:

The above screenshot shows a “faux” small cap for the Zapfino font. It’s somewhat surprising that Zapfino lacks typographic small caps considering all its other font features like crazy ligatures.

You might wonder, what are proper typographic small caps? Aren’t all small caps just shorter versions of uppercase letters? Typographic small caps may have been customized by the font designer, usually so the small caps are more distinctive. Here’s a screenshot showing Adobe Garamond Pro:

The small caps F (rightmost blue) may look like it’s simply a smaller version of the capital F (leftmost yellow), but it’s not. The middle image above shows a shrunken capital F overlaid on top of the small caps F. You can see the small caps F is actually quite a bit heavier.

Hopefully this shows you some of the many ways Nisus Writer can help you process your text and the intricacies involved. If you have any questions please let us know by commenting below, joining our forum discussion, or contacting us directly.

→ No CommentsTags: Martin · Nisus Writer Express · Nisus Writer Pro · Tips

TidBITS at 30

May 13th, 2020 · No Comments

I guess I’m an old timer because as long as I’ve been a Mac user (almost 30 years now) I’ve known about TidBITS. However, there is plenty I did not know, and Adam Engst’s appearance on The Talk Show podcast fills in quite a few of those gaps.

Congratulations to Adam and Tonya Engst for 30 years of TidBITS. 

→ No CommentsTags: Dave · General

Ten Lorem Ipsum Generators To Make Your Placeholder Text Sizzle!

May 8th, 2020 · No Comments

Lorem ipsum is the standard text placeholder that typesetters, web designers, and other weirdos use to test text layout. It dates from the 1500s, when an unknown typesetter jumbled pieces of Cicero’s De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum (“On the Extremes of Good and Evil”) to use in a type specimen book. Things didn’t work out so well for Cicero, but lorem ipsum has survived for several centuries. 

Lorem ipsum is fine for general use. If you are a Nisus Writer Pro user we offer a macro that will let you produce all the scrambled Latin your heart desires. However, if you’d like to add some zip to your ipsum, there are several variations to spice things up a bit. 

Here are some of my favorites:

Bacon Ipsum

Are you kidding? This one is great. All the bacony goodness you can stand. Here is a sample: “Bacon ipsum dolor amet drumstick filet mignon jowl, shoulder corned beef brisket ground round beef ham ball tip andouille flank tenderloin.

Veggie Ipsum

Since I chose one with meat it’s only fair I chose one for vegetarians: “Veggies es bonus vobis, proinde vos postulo essum magis kohlrabi welsh onion daikon amaranth tatsoi tomatillo melon azuki bean garlic.

Pirate Ipsum

Yar! Do I really have to explain this? “Prow scuttle parrel provost Sail ho shrouds spirits boom mizzenmast yardarm.


Hipsters. They really do exist. They even have their own ipsum generator: “Etsy truffaut yr sartorial, ramps cray pour-over farm-to-table cred authentic meh retro salvia put a bird on it artisan. 

Office Ipsum

Pretty straightforward here. Everything you have ever heard in every meeting ever. Try to stay awake while reading this: “Cloud strategy market-facing message the initiative or player-coach nor can you champion this that jerk from finance really threw me under the bus.

Cat Ipsum

If you have a cat, you know this is what they are thinking when you think they are being adorable: “Lay on arms while you’re using the keyboard spread kitty litter all over house cats woo paw at your fat belly hunt by meowing loudly at 5am next to human slave food dispenser.

Legal Ipsum

Legal gibberish, just like the End User Agreements we never read: “To make sure the software is provided in the code itself as the Maintenance section of LPPL to apply to the terms and conditions of Section 2.1 with respect to a third party.

Lit Ipsum

This is another favorite. Choose between seven different classic literature passages: “They now walked on in silence, each of them deep in thought. Elizabeth was not comfortable; that was impossible; but she was flattered and pleased. His wish of introducing his sister to her was a compliment of the highest kind.

Monocale Ipsum

Monocale ipsum is… well, just look at it: “Monocle ipsum dolor sit amet winkreative sleepy exquisite international Fast Lane Melbourne first-class quality of life cosy.

Cheese Ipsum

Now we are talking. All the cheese with none of the crackers: “Cream cheese stilton macaroni cheese. Cheesecake pecorino taleggio cauliflower cheese fondue cauliflower cheese pecorino croque monsieur.

Bonus ipsum: Chuck Norris Ipsum

Yet another favorite of mine. Yes, it’s silly, but it’s Chuck Norris! “Chuck Norris doesn’t read books. He stares them down until he gets the information he wants. There is no theory of evolution. Just a list of creatures Chuck Norris has allowed to live. The quickest way to a man’s heart is with Chuck Norris’ fist.

This is just a small sample of the many interesting takes on lorem ipsum. If you have any favorites please leave a comment below. We’d love to hear from you.  

→ No CommentsTags: Dave · General · Nisus Writer Pro

Trump and Two Spaces

May 4th, 2020 · 2 Comments

I recently came across a copy of the COVID-19 economic relief explanation letter being sent out by the White House here in the United States:

economic relief explanation letter

What was interesting to me was not the contents of this letter, but rather the spacing after each period.

You can see that there are two spaces after nearly every period. That standard is passé now (so much so that Microsoft Word is now flagging two spaces after a period as an error). The use of two spaces was not surprising. What is unexpected is that sentences starting with the letter “A” don’t appear to be preceded by two spaces:

In the above comparison you’ll see that the bottom two sentences have less space after the period, before the letter A. It looks like a single space to me. Only sentences beginning with the letter A have this reduced spacing.

These spacing differences could be explained by kerning if they occurred within a word. Fonts usually customize the space between adjacent printable characters based on the actual letter geometry, so everything looks nice and neat. But I don’t think kerning can account for the big differences seen in this letter, especially considering the spacing variations occur for whitespace, not printable characters.

Ultimately this is pretty strange. I’ve never seen a single document intentionally use both single and double spaces after a period.

→ 2 CommentsTags: General · Martin

Line Wraps and the Zero-Width Joiner

April 30th, 2020 · No Comments

Sometimes the most exciting thing about an iOS update is all the new emojis. In recent history the new emojis in iOS 13.2 included several interesting characters:

sloth emojiice cube emojiringed planet emoji

That last one is technically called the Ringed Planet emoji; but let’s get real, that’s Saturn. Even in emoji-form the cosmos is beautiful. These photos of Jupiter taken by the Juno probe are particularly stunning in their detail.

What does this have to do with line wrapping? We’ll get to that. First let’s explain a technical detail about emojis. Most Unicode characters and emojis have a distinct Unicode code point (aka character code). Each code tells software what character to display. The number 127823 is an apple, while 129411 is a turkey. But sometimes a new emoji will not have a new code. Instead the emoji is designated using a composite of existing codes. For example, the female chef emoji does not have a distinct code. Instead it combines the woman emoji with the frying pan emoji:

how the female chef emoji is composed

How does does an emoji do that in text? By using a zero-width joiner character between its constituent characters. That way software knows to display all the codes together as a single glyph or image on screen. This joiner trick is used for a variety of purposes like skin tone and gender modifiers.

Now to the part where we explain how the zero-width joiner character can help your writing. In certain situations you might consider inserting a joiner character to change where line wrapping occurs. The joiner acts as a signal to the text layout engine that the adjacent characters should be joined. You can think of the joiner like a glob of glue that keeps its neighbors together. The characters won’t display a single image as with emoji, but rather they will be kept together on the same line.

Consider the following example text:
text example

The page margins may cause an undesirable wrapping point at the slash, so the words “when” and “if” are split across lines like so:
text badly wrapped to margins

To prevent that you can place the insertion point after the slash character and insert a zero-width joiner character. That instructs text layout to keep the slash character together with the “i” in “if” like so:
fixed line wrapping by using zero-width joiner

To insert the joiner character in Nisus Writer Pro you can use the menu Insert > Special Character > Spaces > Zero Width Joiner, or use our customizable Special Characters palette.

→ No CommentsTags: General · Martin · Tips

What Day Is It?

April 24th, 2020 · 1 Comment

Are you having trouble figuring out what day of the week it is? I know this sounds like a joke, but with the days all seemingly the same it really is hard to tell.

We have a solution for that. Our helpful What Day Is It page will correctly tell you what day it is. No more guess work, just the correct day of the week.

We’re happy to help any way we can.

→ 1 CommentTags: General

How to Search for Menu Commands and Help Topics

April 9th, 2020 · No Comments

At some point you’ve probably forgotten where a particular menu command is located. The good news is that you can quickly use Nisus Writer’s Help menu search to find it. Just open the Help menu and type a word or two into the search field like so:

The above screenshot shows a search for the word “hyphenation” which turns up the relevant menu commands. You can do two things with the list of matching menu commands:

1. Let your mouse pointer linger over the command to see its location in the main menu structure. A large arrow indicator appears like so:

2. Click the command to activate it, as if you’d used it normally.

For an app like Nisus Writer Pro that has a full user guide you will also see a list of associated help topics in the search results. If you click any of those results you’ll be taken directly to the associated help topic in your web browser (Safari by default).

You can use this Help menu search in any macOS apps that support it. It’s relatively standard and nearly all apps from Apple provide it, including Apple Mail, Numbers, Finder, etc.

→ No CommentsTags: General · Tips

Launch InfoClick At Startup

April 2nd, 2020 · No Comments

InfoClick is a great tool for searching and finding email in Apple Mail. However, to get the most out of InfoClick you need to have it analyze and index your email constantly. Also, I’m impatient and I want things when I want them. The best way to do that is to have InfoClick launch at startup so that it can index new emails in the background. 

To do this, go to your InfoClick preferences and check “Open InfoClick automatically when you log in.” 

Once you do that InfoClick will launch at startup and will be ready to go when you need it. 

→ No CommentsTags: InfoClick · Tips

Take Control of Working from Home Temporarily

March 17th, 2020 · No Comments

While we are settling in to the new normal, there is going to be quite a bit of advice, both good and bad. Our friends at Take Control Books are attempting to cut through the noise by releasing a new book, Take Control of Working from Home Temporarily.

The book is completely free (one per customer, please) and there is plenty of good, solid advice. If you have never worked from home, this is all new and the book will help you navigate the current situation.

I understand that perhaps the book was written and edited in a certain word processor (Nisus Writer Pro). I’ll work to confirm this TidBIT.

Stay safe out there and please, wash your hands!

→ No CommentsTags: General

Quick Tip: Using Spotlight As A Launcher

February 24th, 2020 · No Comments

Did you know you can use the Spotlight search box as a launcher? It’s true. Here’s how:

  • Click in the upper-right corner of the menu bar. Alternatively, you can use the Command + Space Bar shortcut.
  • Type in an application (Nisus Writer Pro, for example). You should see a list of results:
  • Double-click on the result you are looking for, and your application will open.

It’s a small thing, but if you don’t already use an alternative launcher, this will do nicely.

→ No CommentsTags: Tips

Taika Waititi Does Not Care For the Butterfly Keyboard

February 19th, 2020 · No Comments

Apple needs to fix those keyboards. They are impossible to write on — they’ve gotten worse. It makes me want to go back to PCs. Because PC keyboards, the bounce-back for your fingers is way better. Hands up who still uses a PC? You know what I’m talking about. It’s a way better keyboard. Those Apple keyboards are horrendous.

Taika Waititi speaking to the press after winning an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay.

→ No CommentsTags: General

A Few Words About Catalina

October 28th, 2019 · No Comments

A few weeks ago Catalina, or macOS 10.15 was released. Since then, it seems like mayhem has followed. Catalina breaks from the past in significant ways. Speaking of breaking, it also breaks some apps. Security has been tightened. There is quite a bit going on here that users should know. Since this is on a Nisus blog, we’ll start with Nisus apps.

Nisus Writer and Catalina

Nisus Writer Express 4 and Nisus Writer Pro 3.0.3 and above are compatible with Catalina. All previous versions of Nisus Writer are not compatible with Catalina and will not be updated. If you are planning on upgrading your Mac to Catalina, you will need to update and purchase a new license.

Catalina and Other Applications

Another issue is that we are now living in a 64 bit world and much like bell bottoms, 32 bit applications are out of fashion. To be fair, Apple has been warning users for years that 32 bit apps weren’t long for this world. Now it is a reality and these older apps either need to be updated or you need to find others apps that work similarly. I can say that all of our apps are 64 bit and have been for quite a while. If you need help with this, there is a great utility called Go64 from St. Clair Software that scans your app folder to find these 32 bit applications.

If you are an Adobe user you may want to read this first and take the appropriate steps.

In any event, you may want to check with developers of apps you rely on and make sure they will work with Catalina before you upgrade. It will save you quite a bit of work.


Lastly, there is a big focus on security in Catalina. It’s a different world now and the security changes are welcome. Here is an article that explains some of the new security features. Basically, Catalina is more secure by default. However, these new features are either helpful or annoying, depending on your point of view.

Look Before You Leap

These a just a few of the changes. You should also keep in mind that point zero releases of a new operating system can be buggy. Recently there was a supplemental update to Catalina that fixed a few issues. Since then there was a new release of the supplemental update. I’m not giving advice here, but I normally wait a release or two before I upgrade. By then most of the major bugs have been fixed. Let’s hope that is the case with Catalina.

All of this prose is to say that with Catalina you need to look before you leap. Make sure you know what you’re getting into before you upgrade. There are plenty of great Catalina reviews out there. Read a few and then decide.

→ No CommentsTags: General · Nisus Writer Express · Nisus Writer Pro

Tips and Tricks: How To Change the Default Window Size and Position

October 23rd, 2019 · No Comments

A question that comes up in support quite a bit is how do you change the default window size?

First, a bit of an explanation. Whenever you create a new document in Nisus Writer a template file is loaded. The settings in the template file are used for the new document. This template is called the “Nisus New File”. To control the default window dimensions and placement you’ll want to edit the Nisus New File template so the window appears how you’d like.

  1. Open your Nisus Writer preferences.
  2. Switch to the “New File” pane.
  3. Click the “Advanced” tab.
  4. Under “Template File” where you see “Nisus New File”, click the button “Open For Editing”:
  5. The new file template will open as a normal Nisus Writer document.
  6. Make any desired changes, eg: resize and reposition the window on screen.
  7. Save the changes to disk, eg: using the menu File > Save.
  8. Close the template document.

Once you’ve edited the template all new files will load your updated settings from that template. This includes not only the window size and placement, but all other settings like styles, default view, etc.

We hope this tip is helpful. If you have a tip of your own to share, or any suggestions or comments, please let us know. We’d love to hear from you!

→ No CommentsTags: Tips

Nisus Writer and Catalina Compatibility

October 7th, 2019 · No Comments

macOS 10.15, or Catalina, has been released. For Nisus Writer users, this means Nisus Writer Express 4 and Nisus Writer Pro 3.0.3 and above are compatible. However, all previous versions of Nisus Writer are not compatible with Catalina and will not be updated.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

→ No CommentsTags: Nisus Writer Express · Nisus Writer Pro

Nisus Writer Express 4

October 2nd, 2019 · No Comments

We are very happy to announce the release and immediate availability of Nisus Writer Express 4. There are over 200 new features, fixes, and enhancements in this new version. Among the new features are:

  • A redesigned UI and palette system.
  • A significantly updated full screen view.
  • Focus mode for the active line or paragraph.
  • Typewriter scrolling.
  • Cloud sync for almost all settings.
  • Icons updated for Retina displays.
  • Plus much more…

There is a long list of all the changes available on the Nisus Writer Express release notes page.

If you are coming from a previous version of Nisus Writer Express, the new features and enhancements make this an even more flexible, powerful writing app.

Nisus Writer Express 4 is $26 USD. For those upgrading from any previous version of Express, the cost is $20. If you are upgrading, you will need your previous Express license. This can be found by using our license lookup tool, which is located on our main support page.

On a personal note, Express is my writing tool of choice. I’ve been using it for years. As someone who wrote quite a bit recently in Nisus Writer Express 4 in Full Screen Minimal view with Focus mode I can attest to its strengths. It is my writing tool of choice.

If you would like to learn more about Nisus Writer Express 4, please visit the Nisus Writer Express product page. You can download the demo and give it a 15 non-consecutive day trial. You’ll see why this is the writing app I use happily.

→ No CommentsTags: Nisus Writer Express

Nisus Writer Pro 3.0.4

September 26th, 2019 · No Comments

Nisus Writer Pro 3.0.4 contains a few important fixes that were discovered after the release of the last update:

  • Editing in Page View with footnotes or endnotes no longer crashes in certain situations.
  • Replace all properly redraws text on the screen.
  • The Language palette no longer often fails to update automatically.

The complete list of fixes can be found on our Nisus Writer Pro release notes page.

Nisus Writer Pro 3.0.4 is available now and is a free update to all users of Nisus Writer Pro 3. You can update from within the app (Nisus Writer Pro > Check for Updates), or download from our Nisus Writer Pro download page. Mac App Store users can download the update directly from the Mac App Store app.

For those who have not purchased the upgrade to Nisus Writer Pro 3, you can do so from our store for only $45. Users of Nisus Writer Pro versions 1 and 2 are eligible for upgrade pricing. An academic version is available for $55, and the full version is $65.

At this point upgrade pricing is not supported on the Mac App Store. If you would like to upgrade a previous Mac App Store purchase you can do so using these instructions.

Nisus Writer Pro 3.0.4 requires macOS 10.11 and is Catalina compatible, pending the final release of Apple’s latest operating system.

→ No CommentsTags: Nisus Writer Express · Nisus Writer Pro

Catalina Compatibility Updates for Nisus Writer Pro, InfoClick, and Nisus Thesaurus

August 22nd, 2019 · No Comments

September should see the official release of macOS Catalina. To prepare for this we are rolling out macOS Catalina compatible updates to a few of our apps.

First up is Nisus Writer Pro 3.0.3 ($45 upgrade). This release fixes a few issues that were discovered after the release of Nisus Writer Pro 3.0.2:

  • Fixed issues with custom date/time stamps.
  • Callouts are correctly loaded from files.
  • Renaming a file from an external drive no longer cases future saves to fail.
  • Fixed a few issues with sections and breaks.
  • Compatibility fixes for macOS Catalina.

There are also a few minor fixes and changes, all of which can be found on the Nisus Writer Pro release notes page.

Next up are InfoClick 1.2.5 ($15) and Nisus Thesaurus 1.2. Both apps have the following changes:

  • Dark Mode.
  • Compatible with macOS Catalina.

Nisus Writer Pro 3.0.3, InfoClick 1.2.5, and Nisus Thesaurus 1.2 are available now on our site, the Mac App Store, and inside each app using the menu Check For Updates.

These are free updates to anyone who owns Nisus Writer Pro 3 or InfoClick.

→ No CommentsTags: InfoClick · Nisus Thesaurus · Nisus Writer Pro

Nisus Writer Pro 3.0.2

June 27th, 2019 · 2 Comments

Summer is here. Happily, so is Nisus Writer Pro 3.0.2. Out latest release contains over 200 changes in this version, including bug fixes and refinements. The entire uncut list of changes can be found on the Nisus Writer Pro release notes page.

Nisus Writer Pro 3.0.2 is available now as a free update for anyone using Nisus Writer Pro 3.x. You can upgrade any version of Nisus Writer to version 3.0.2 for only $45 through our store. Mac App Store customers wishing to upgrade to 3.0.2 can do so by following these instructions.

Nisus Writer Pro 3.0.2 requires macOS 10.11 El Capitan or later.

→ 2 CommentsTags: Nisus Writer Pro

Introducing Nisus Writer Pro 3

October 24th, 2018 · 4 Comments

After a lengthy development and private beta testing period we are very happy to announce the release and immediate availability of Nisus Writer Pro 3. There are over 300 features, fixes, and enhancements, along with a lower price. Among the new features are:

  • Split View, which allows you to:
      ○ show two or more parts of a document for simultaneous reading or editing
      ○ show or hide personal notes and pre-writing materials attached to your text
  • Comments and tracked changes can be included in printouts and PDFs.
  • Synchronized scrolling.
  • Typewriter scrolling.
  • Find and Replace matches can be shown as a results list, opened in a separate window.
  • Faster when editing long and complex documents.
  • Footnotes and endnotes are now editable in Draft View.
  • Enhanced Note style options.
  • Cloud sync (iCloud or Dropbox) for nearly all app settings.
  • Updated Full Screen View
  • Icons and other UI updated for Retina displays.
  • The palette area can optionally float freely as a separate tool window.
  • Palettes redesigned to improve their look, streamline behavior, and add new options.
  • Much more…

The comprehensive release notes are available on the Nisus Writer Pro release notes page.

Price and Availability

Nisus Writer Pro 3 is available now at our store and the Mac App Store for the new low price of $65. You can upgrade from previous versions of Nisus Writer Pro for $45. The academic version is $55. Those of you who have purchased Nisus Writer Pro 2 from our store in the last 90 days will be upgraded to Pro 3 for free. An email containing a license number and a link to download should be arriving shortly.

Mac App Store Purchases

The Mac App Store does not allow us to offer upgrade pricing. If you would like a discounted price when upgrading Nisus Writer Pro from the Mac App Store, you can purchase version 3 from the Nisus Store by following these instructions.

System Requirements

Nisus Writer Pro 3 requires at least macOS 10.11.

More Info

For more information and to download the 15 day fully working demo please visit the Nisus Writer Pro page.

→ 4 CommentsTags: Nisus Writer Pro

Mojave Updates for Nisus Writer Pro and Nisus Writer Express

October 4th, 2018 · No Comments

Hot on the heels of Nisus Writer Pro 2.1.9 and Nisus Writer Express 3.5.9 comes Nisus Writer Pro 2.1.10 and Nisus Writer Express 3.5.10.

These releases fix issues related to macOS Mojave: possible random crashes closing document windows, problems when customizing the toolbar, and an inability to send feedback reports when using a non-English localization on recent versions of macOS.

Nisus Writer Pro 2.1.10 and Nisus Writer Express 3.5.10 are available now and are free for users of Nisus Writer Pro 2.x and Nisus Writer Express 3.x.

If you do not currently own Pro or Express, they can be purchased from our store and the Mac App Store. Nisus Writer Pro is $79 USD. Upgrades from previous versions of Nisus Writer Pro are $49.

Nisus Writer Express can be purchased for $20 USD on our store and the Mac App Store.

Nisus Writer Pro 2.1.10 and Nisus Writer Express 3.5.10 require OS X 10.8.5 or above.

→ No CommentsTags: Nisus Writer Express · Nisus Writer Pro