Please help me decide

Everything related to our flagship word processor.
Post Reply
nmember
Posts: 2
Joined: 2009-03-26 19:36:27

Please help me decide

Post by nmember »

I've done a lot of research for a good word-processor in the last few days and would like some of your opinions. From what I've read, Nisus is more user-friendly than Mellel, which some say has a steep learning curve, something I really don't need. Also, Nisus is said to work well with the Scrivener writing program. Do any of you use it to Outline your writings or does it not have an outlining feature?

I just need some opinions to push me over the edge to buy Nisus. I don't plan to write any long books, just papers mostly, and would use Nisus to pretty-up the final copy.

xiamenese
Posts: 445
Joined: 2006-12-08 00:46:44
Location: London or Exeter, UK

Re: Please help me decide

Post by xiamenese »

nmember wrote:I've done a lot of research for a good word-processor in the last few days and would like some of your opinions. From what I've read, Nisus is more user-friendly than Mellel, which some say has a steep learning curve, something I really don't need. Also, Nisus is said to work well with the Scrivener writing program. Do any of you use it to Outline your writings or does it not have an outlining feature?

I just need some opinions to push me over the edge to buy Nisus. I don't plan to write any long books, just papers mostly, and would use Nisus to pretty-up the final copy.
If you're using Scrivener, then do your outlining in that ... that's one of Scrivener's great strengths, the binder/outiliner/corkboard. If your papers are going to be straightforward, and if you need to use bibliographic software but are happy to do the formatting of that in two passes, running the output of Scrivener through Bookends or whatever you use before opening it in Nisus, then Nisus will do what you want. If you want your word processor to be integrated with the bibliographic software and do the citation referencing and bibliography creation automatically, then I believe you'll need Mellel.

Both of them will do what you want, but if ease of learning is essential to you, then there's no question that Nisus is the winner there.

Mark

nmember
Posts: 2
Joined: 2009-03-26 19:36:27

Re: Please help me decide

Post by nmember »

Mark, thanks for your answer. I did notice when reading about Nisus and Mellel that what you called bibliographic software was important. Can you explain that to me? Is a biblio not just a reference to origins? If so, don't both programs allow that? I'm showing my ignorance here, but I don't understand the difficulty. Thanks again!

dude
Posts: 30
Joined: 2007-04-29 13:32:09

Re: Please help me decide

Post by dude »

I have Mellel and NWP. I never use Mellel. Personal choice.

I write in Scrivener and then do my polishing in NWP. It works great that way. I just started using Sente as my reference manager and all of the big ones can work with NWP because they just scan the document and create another document with the correct information inserted. Some have this ability inside the word processor and some don't. Not that big of a deal but hopefully one day NWP will have it built in with Sente or on one of the good Mac reference manager.
Just a guy trying to be a dude...

xiamenese
Posts: 445
Joined: 2006-12-08 00:46:44
Location: London or Exeter, UK

Re: Please help me decide

Post by xiamenese »

nmember wrote:Mark, thanks for your answer. I did notice when reading about Nisus and Mellel that what you called bibliographic software was important. Can you explain that to me? Is a biblio not just a reference to origins? If so, don't both programs allow that? I'm showing my ignorance here, but I don't understand the difficulty. Thanks again!
To add to what Dude says, a good bibliographic manager — Bookends, Sente and others; I use Bookends as I found it suited me better than Sente, but Dude and others would perhaps say the opposite — manages all your references for you, from whatever source they come. It builds a list of all the books, articles, papers, internet references that you use through your filling in all the necessary publication information, and when you include a reference in your writing it puts a code in there — I'm assuming you're doing this in Scrivener, where you have the shortcut Cmd-Y or Shift-Cmd-Y, that you set up in preferences telling it which bibliographic software you have — and when you export to RTF, you either open that in Bookends/Sente and it converts the references into proper citations and builds the appropriate bibliography if you're using Nisus, or it does it within Mellel itself, I believe, without having to run the bibliographic software separately. These bibliographic managers have presets for nearly all the styles for citations and bibliographies that are required by the major journals, publishers and thesis authorities.

Believe me, if your papers have a lot of citations and references, bibliographic management software removes a tremendous amount of hassle and heartache.

Mark

dude
Posts: 30
Joined: 2007-04-29 13:32:09

Re: Please help me decide

Post by dude »

I like bookends and sente both good enough I purchased both. :-). I am a recent convert to Sente.

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

Re: Please help me decide

Post by Timotheus »

@ nmember: as will also be clear from the other contributions to this thread, much depends of the kind of use you want to make of your wordprocessor. Mellel and Nisus are both very good, but they have partially different qualities.

- do you also write in oriental / right-to-left languages?
- do you like to cram hundreds of pages with a thousand or more footnotes into one single document?
- do you have special wishes of a typographical kind?

If your answer to one or more of these questions is 'yes', then perhaps the best choice is Mellel. But if you consider yourself in most respects an 'average' user of wordprocessors, then you might choose Nisus. Which of course doesn’t want to imply that Nisus is just an 'average' wordprocessor. On the contrary: Nisus is a very good and very attractive program. I have been using Mellel daily for five years now, and I think I'll stick with Mellel, because I'm the kind of person which makes very long and complex documents. But I must confess that I continue to be tempted by Nisus.

Let me add one more thing: if flawless exchange between your wordprocessor of choice and Word is vital to you, then you might choose Nisus rather than Mellel; because exchange between Word and Mellel is still not very good.

User avatar
loulesko
Posts: 89
Joined: 2008-01-20 11:08:35
Location: California
Contact:

Re: Please help me decide

Post by loulesko »

Hi there. I'm speaking from the experience of almost nine months of trying out different writing software used almost daily to write magazine articles, blog posts and a second book. I gave each piece of software a fair shake by doing at least one complete assignment in each. Nisus writer won. Overall Nisus is brilliant to use, but it really, really shines when you take a few minutes to customize it. For example, I write almost always in full screen mode. With a simple assigned Key Stroke, I can bring up a floating palette containing the Thesaurus and then make it disappear. Same with word stats to keep track of my word count which is imperative for assignment writing.

My second example knocked me over when I discovered it. For the two blogs I write for, I wrote a simple macro that finds the italic and bold attributes and converts them to HTML tags. For example I find all the text in italic and surround it with "em" tags for blog publication. Block quotes are just as easy by finding the highlight attribute color. The macros took only a few minutes to make.

Scrivener came in a close second. It is really fabulous software, but it wasn't quite the right for me. Nisus is my most used software on my computer. To fully address your question, I used Mellel as well, very nice, but Nisus had me up and going much more quickly.

best
Lou

MacSailor
Posts: 290
Joined: 2003-04-03 08:38:41
Location: Linköping, Sweden

Re: Please help me decide

Post by MacSailor »

dude wrote:I have Mellel and NWP. I never use Mellel. Personal choice.

I write in Scrivener and then do my polishing in NWP. It works great that way. I just started using Sente as my reference manager and all of the big ones can work with NWP because they just scan the document and create another document with the correct information inserted. Some have this ability inside the word processor and some don't. Not that big of a deal but hopefully one day NWP will have it built in with Sente or on one of the good Mac reference manager.
I have both Mellel and NWE (never bought NWP), but I prefer Mellel even if it had a “a steep learning curve“. Both NWE and NWP are great writing tools, but for my needs, not great enough to replace Mellel as my primary word processor. NWE is right now not even on my hard drive anymore. I tried them all nearly, but the only word processors I still have on my computer are Mellel and Pages (bundled with Keynote and Numbers).

Give both NWP and Mellel a try. Both are good tools, but maybe not for you.
Peter Edwardsson
..............................

Post Reply