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Re: Book on Nisus Writer Pro

Posted: 2012-09-27 02:48:46
by tedg
Well, the more your book is like the one you did for (what is now called) Classic, the more likely for me to both buy it and come back to Nisus.

That may be the best computer book I have encountered, and it really made my life better.

Re: Book on Nisus Writer Pro

Posted: 2012-09-27 06:51:20
by BobHughes
I'd go along with that!
But whatever you can manage, I'll buy.


Re: Book on Nisus Writer Pro

Posted: 2012-09-28 04:00:21
by phspaelti
tedg wrote:That may be the best computer book I have encountered, and it really made my life better.
Yes, "The Nisus Way" is one of those books

Re: Book on Nisus Writer Pro

Posted: 2012-09-28 16:53:13
by lgreen
Hi Joe,

I wrote to Tonya asking why they don't have a Take Control book for Nisus Pro so you can count me a definite purchaser... I would welcome a slim volume [say 100 pages] which guides through advanced find/replace/GREP - macros (but more for confident amateurs than existing coders), tips on EPUB construction/publication, creative use of styles (particularly for long or related documents), interaction with Scrivener (maybe this is beyond remit but I think more than few would be interested) and generally tips from the decades of your experience with Nisus...

Afraid to say I was a dedicated Word 5/5.1 user on my SE/30 and so never used classic era Nisus or your earlier (famous) book

Hope this project comes together


Re: Book on Nisus Writer Pro

Posted: 2012-10-21 03:38:50
by scottwhitlock
I'm with most everyone else here. I'd purchase it because i support the platform, however, a "Take Control of Nisus Writer Pro Macros and Workflows" would be most useful to me, especially in workarounds for document sharing with other wp's (yeah, unfortunately we have to work with people who work with Word sometimes, and sometimes it can be a formatting bear - but I've found that this can be worked around with macros and styles). I believe that NWP is so intuitive that a basics book would probably not have much of an audience, especially since 1) if you care enough about word processing to use NWP, you probably are a pretty advanced user anyway, and 2) who, in this day and age, really need a step by step guide to saving, etc.

Just my $.02. Good luck, and I hope that the book makes it. The Nisus Way was one of my favorite books.


Re: Book on Nisus Writer Pro

Posted: 2018-09-10 10:42:41
by allenwatson
phspaelti wrote:
2012-09-28 04:00:21
tedg wrote:That may be the best computer book I have encountered, and it really made my life better.
Yes, "The Nisus Way" is one of those books
Agreed! I was really bummed when Nisus took so long to migrate to OSX in any meaningful way, and lamented the disconnect with the OS 9 version that meant your book didn't really apply any longer. That book was the whole reason I've been "following" your writings ever since.

Re: Book on Nisus Writer Pro

Posted: 2018-09-10 10:52:55
by allenwatson
I'm upset to see that this thread's last post was in 2012! I hope the idea has not died. I know you must be extremely busy now, having taken over the "Take Control" empire entirely. :P

I have been using Nisus Writer Pro now for several years, and write probably about a dozen pages in it every week. Things I could use insights on:

Using the Document Manager efficiently, including templates.
Ways to interface with other writing apps like Scrivener and Ulysses. Right now, I'm often doing writing in Ulysses with simple Markdown, selecting all and copying as Rich Text, then pasting into a blank Nisus document. I wish Ulysses would export directly to .rtf, or better, there was some way to say "Open in Nisus Writer Pro as Rich Text."
Macros, definitely.
Turning Nisus documents into EPUB books.

Re: Book on Nisus Writer Pro

Posted: 2018-09-10 14:05:06
by Bob Stern
Hi, Allen!

Have you tried posting individual questions to the forum? You're almost guaranteed to get a helpful response from Martin or one of the expert Nisus users.

Re: Book on Nisus Writer Pro

Posted: 2018-09-10 19:57:00
by joekissell
I'm sorry to say that the book is quite unlikely to happen. I think about it often, and in fact we just did a survey of Take Control readers last month, and that topic is one I asked about. Only 225 people (7.9% of those surveyed) expressed an interest in a book on Nisus Writer Pro, which isn't even in the top 20 of apps we mentioned. Because that's a very small fraction of the number of books we'd need to sell to break even, I can't see a financial justification for it. This makes me sad, but I have to spend my limited time on projects that will put food on the table.

Re: Book on Nisus Writer Pro

Posted: 2018-10-17 03:45:24
by levelbest
I just discovered this very old and recently updated thread. My thought is that, perhaps asking such a question on a user forum is not the place to ask. Counter intuitive I know, here is why I came to that conclusion.

I have long been a fan of Mac software and the Mac platform. I can't tell you how many times I have scratched my head wondering why a certain app is not better known than it is. Sure, there are the forums that users will go to to learn more and to share more information such as ... this one about Nisus. One problem with this approach is that, when I come to a forum I am already looking for some kind of an answer. Usually on a forum somebody will answer a question that I have, and then I move on. Eventually I will have the knowledge and the skill to help others on the same forum. And so it goes.

I am not saying I would not enjoy the book or learn much from it, I am suggesting that in being on the forum I am already thinking I can solve this on my own. Therefore I may not be your best audience to show an interest in your project. If getting interest on a user forum is your baseline for deciding to do the book then, how shall I put it, you may be using a tainted sample of data to go on.

I wish I had some clear suggestion what a better way could be. I am thinking of looking at this not just as a Nisus primer, but as a, “using the Mac to write” book. Years ago there was a Mac as a little black book or something like that. I never read it but it had excellent reviews. I read excerpts and it was a brilliant idea of making the world of using your mac to actually get things done into a day to day reality.

I am also thinking that it might be helpful to have more than one product in such a book. I love using Typinator. It beats my old text expander application hands down. Again, it isn't so much a step by step explanation we are looking for, it is a “Y” as you put it, a, “if this is what you want to do”, then, “this is how you get there” focused story. I write using many tools. Nisus, TaskPaper, Typinator, Curio.

Nisus of course could still be front and center of what I am describing. I am merely suggesting that the scope of your book could shift from a specific Nisus user manual for a great piece of Mac software, to a great manual on how to write for a living (or for pleasure) using Nisus and the mac.

With this in mind and, having done some technical writing in Word, it would help to be taken through the basics of professional document layout such as, how to not include your TOC in your page numbering, how to use footnotes and endnotes, how to turn a single page into columns and not alter the rest of the documents use of single column. As I learned to write in professional environments I had to use the help files in Word - a lot.

I would find it more helpful if a book did not already assume I must know how to write a technical document, but it took me by the hand and showed me exactly how to write a technical document using Nisus - using all the advanced tricks. The same goes for writing a screen play, writing a novel, etc.

And FWIW, I first purchased a license for Nisus when it had a big, thick, teal colored binder back in the 80s. I bought Nisus and FairWitness (which was a great outlining app) at the same time I purchased my first mac, a IIsi

My thoughts on the matter. Thanks for listening.

Re: Book on Nisus Writer Pro

Posted: 2018-10-17 04:28:41
by tedg
I entered this topic some time ago. I now realize that it was motivated by a need to understand my Mac environment as an extension of myself. As much to anchor who I am and what I make as anything else.

Guy Kawasaki wrote "The Mac Way" which set a public view of Apple and was one of the anchors for defining what attracted me to the company and way of working. But it was basically about imagination, energy and balls at what we would today call a Ted Talk level.

Joe's later book "The Nisus Way" tucked under that, being both a practical how to manual and an exposition on how to wrap one's self in the Mac. Digging into Nisus Writer and tailoring it the way I did with macros (with Frontier, FrameMaker and Oneclick) defined for me a vision of myself in the world, manufacturing bold descriptions of ideas. It will be nearly impossible to describe this feeling of empowerment to someone who did not live through it. The world has changed since. Web, Google, Facebook, Trump.

Mark Bernstein wrote his own "The Tinderbox Way" and this now serves the same role that Nisus did philosophically for me, but with less power. Tinderbox has the feel of the old Mac and the same sense of community and empowerment. But it isn't quite the same; the original Nisus Writer gathered more of the then existing world under it. I think my original note to Joe was because I miss those days where we did things because they were bursting from our hearts.

We did these as a community, from concept to practice, from tool to product all the way from our Pismos to our audience. And then they did likewise.

Joe, nor anyone else, could recreate that now, not using a word processor as the anchor and a business model as justification.

Re: Book on Nisus Writer Pro

Posted: 2018-10-18 07:16:00
by levelbest
We did these as a community, from concept to practice, from tool to product all the way from our Pismos to our audience. And then they did likewise. Joe, nor anyone else, could recreate that now, not using a word processor as the anchor and a business model as justification.
I’m not so sure that I agree with that. I have learned much on forums over the years. When I can, if there is a good primer, I will learn from that too. I agree that this is going to involve community feedback In a certain way. But, if you would allow me to digress, there is a more important point to me made here.

I can't think of a good word to describe what I wish I had a good word for but … there is a phenomenon that I am aware of where people can now perform tasks which used to require a great deal of education and technical understanding to accomplish. I will try to explain.

I used to take on a great many tasks as a temporary agency worker. I found that the more skilled I could become in the packages that the temp agency normally hired out, the more money I would make and the more money the temp agency could make as they were the ones selling my skills. Mostly this involved learning Word, Excel, and Powerpoint to an expert level.

I remember well the time I was hired to a regional cable company. The regional manager had to create a report for her upcoming presentation to her V.P. I was hired to put all the information together for her presentation. I needed database skills so that I could cull the information that she needed for her quarterly report. I had to have Word skills to put her package together. I had to have spreadsheet skills to crunch the numbers. I had to have powerpoint skills to put her presentation together after I had crunched all the numbers.

At one point I was supposed to add a pivot table using Excel. I had no idea what a pivot table was - not really sure I know now - or care to know. I was able to use the Excel help files and create a very nice pivot table as a part of all the rest of the data that she was looking for.

It was then that, I first started to understand that, not so long ago you really would not be asked to work with and to analyze data using a pivot table unless you first had a college education in a business related field. And, in many cases a masters level degree.

My point is that, we should not assume that just because the Mac and the computer age allows us to do things we never had access to doing in the past, that this also means that we would necessarily have a clear understanding of what we are doing.

Web design is another example. Anyone can point and click and drag and drop using WYSIWYG techniques to knock off a web sight quickly. But, if you want to be good at web design, build a cart to sell things, track SEO rankings - not to mention have a creative layout that psychologically drives customers to the click area for your advertising, then you have to study web design. Again, just because you have the skill because of the software, does not automatically mean that you know what you are doing.

There are many great courses for learning Word. Why? Because Word is a very robust program. It is standardized in government and in many other places. For good or bad, if you want to succeed in many areas, you need to be able to create output and to read input in Word.

My suggestion about coming to some understanding about Nisus and ones workflow with other key mac apps was coming from this perspective. Yes we have many tools on our macs. And yes, most of us have already realized how important harnessing our creativity to the wagon of our day to day productivity can be.

That was my idea anyway, to see a Nisus primer in context with doing some common aspect of business that, not everyone already has under his or her belt.

Anyway, it’s a thought. Who knows, maybe I will undertake this my self in the future?