Why do you choose Nisus?

Things not necessarily Nisus. Chat about the latest Apple release, your adorable three-toed sloth, or whatever else you fancy.
martahoskins
Posts: 1
Joined: 2019-06-07 20:31:03

Re: Why do you choose Nisus?

Post by martahoskins » 2019-06-07 21:17:08

Hello,
Why do I use Nisus?
I bought a mac book pro in 1991.
Sometime after that I started using Nisus.

I used it until I bought a mac book pro in 2014. I try to use Pages which is limited but always in evolution and interesting for current practices. Then I realised I had a key to Nisus purchased in 2010, so I updated it, and there you go! I love Nisus.
I have fond memories of the 90’s when I was making compositions of words in visual patterns with hyperlinks to interract with other artists in Paris. The Nisus interface is intuitive for me and seems to respect the way my mind works. I came to word processing via piano (1963) and typewriters (1970) in 1986. As a visual artist I use Adobe (since 2004) after xpress (1990).
When my children were in school (2002) I bought word to keep up with them but I find it uninspiring and it puts me in a bad mood. Decades later my children use everything available.
They communicate with their peers in whatever language is needed.
Thank you very much.
Marta

Amontillado
Posts: 2
Joined: 2019-06-20 11:13:06

Re: Why do you choose Nisus?

Post by Amontillado » 2019-06-20 18:14:11

I like Nisus. There are things I would change, but it's the best fit I've found so far.

Draft view is where I work. I don't want to see page breaks or margins, and I want the text to reflow if I work in a small window. Screen splitting is also very important. It would be nice to be able to open a split in a separate window, but splitting one window is still very appreciated.

Style sheets are done without fuss. I wish styles extended to pages. If the headers, footers, and margins were in a selectable style, that would be handy. I have to change my headers and footers when I have a work that goes to two different critique groups.

I use mail merge at least weekly, and I like how easy that feature works.

There are two areas where I think Nisus could improve.

I think it's held back by Apple's RTF support, which I believe Nisus relies on. I'd vote for Nisus doing its own RTF rendering.

My least favorite feature in Nisus is the Document Manager. It's OK for storing templates, and I have a bunch of those, but when I start using it for files, I see a few quirks pop up. Nothing major, so count this as a minor issue. Sometimes files will disappear from the Document Manager until you exit and reopen the Document Manager's window. I've never lost any files, so I feel my work is safe.

Þorvarður
Posts: 276
Joined: 2012-12-19 05:02:52

Re: Why do you choose Nisus?

Post by Þorvarður » 2019-06-21 09:46:53

Hi Amontillado,

I see you have just joined the Blank Page forum. Thank you for sharing with us your experience. I assume you are talking about Nisus Writer Pro and not Nisus Writer Express.
I like Nisus. […] it's the best fit I've found so far.
Allow me to make a few remarks here. Best fit for what? Don't forget, we have no idea what you use Nisus for. Therefore it would be helpful if you mentioned what kind of documents you are creating. Business documents you must share with other people? Scientific documents with formulas, equations and graphs? Poems? Novels? Short Stories? Scholarly papers in the humanities?
I wish styles extended to pages. […] I have to change my headers and footers when I have a work that goes to two different critique groups.
I agree, page styles would be nice. But can't you use templates as a workaround?

From what you write, it's neither clear who those critique groups are nor why you need different page layouts for them. I'm just trying to understand the problem.
I think it's held back by Apple's RTF support, which I believe Nisus relies on. I'd vote for Nisus doing its own RTF rendering.
In what way is it held back?
My least favorite feature in Nisus is the Document Manager.
I admit it took me a long time to get used to the Document Manager. Now I like it. I use Folder Groups for different types of templates and Custom Groups for long term projects I'm working on. The Filter Groups are quite useful too. I just wish the groups could be displayed hierarchical.

Sometimes files will disappear from the Document Manager until you exit and reopen the Document Manager's window. I've never lost any files, so I feel my work is safe.
I would open a thread for this particular issue in the Nisus Writer Pro forum. Perhaps someone else has encountered this behavior too and might be able to help. I haven't experienced this myself.

Amontillado
Posts: 2
Joined: 2019-06-20 11:13:06

Re: Why do you choose Nisus?

Post by Amontillado » 2019-07-04 19:30:47

How rude of me - I posted and forgot to check back! Mea culpa, my apologies.

Regarding the best fit, I've found Nisus to be a very flexible tool. I don't use it for coding, but just about anything else seems a good fit. I write technical documents, short stories, essays, letters, and I frequently use mail merge to let Congress have a broadsides. Bless their hearts, even the focussed might of Nisus itself seems strained by the collective inertia of 535 tiny dancers in the intellectual cotillion.

About once a year I hack at a novel. As a service to the literary community, I trash those after a few thousand words - but I'm getting closer to something readable. Maybe.

There are two critique groups I submit stories to for review, and each has its own specific rules for format, including headers, footers, one group wants line numbering, and paragraph spacing is different. I think it's a bit much to ask, because a close approximation would work as well. Most of what I need to change is a matter of loading a different style library. Page and section styles would be welcome.

My complaints about Nisus' rendering are minor. At times I see a little bit of unevenness in PDF line spacing, but that might not be Nisus. Preview may be doing that. Or, I have a flaky font. Whatever is doing it, it's not a major problem. I generally don't notice it.

I've been tempted to write a "binder" application. Just something to perform Scrivener's binder function with Nisus documents. I think it would be nice to have separate chapter files with a navigable menu of what's there with a one-click way to compile them into a single Nisus document.

One of these days I"ll brush up on Swift and do that.

As to why I posted about my affinity for Nisus, the details elude me right not. Mostly, I posted out of exuberance. I remember being pretty happy with the particular spin of the Earth that day, but the details may be lost to the fog of history. No matter. Things have only gotten better in the interim.

I got laid off this year (twice) and have landed on my feet without difficulty, this last sacking leading to a position as a senior engineer. One of the things that helped in my interview was I said I liked to write, and offered examples of my technical work.

The written word is powerful. A measurable chunk of my pay comes from writing. I'm a happy, lucky, guy. Strike me down and I rise better paid than the last HR department would have imagined.

And I'm very happy to have Nisus in my toolbox.

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