Struggling with booklet

Have a problem? A question? This is the place for answers from other Express users.
dpbsmith
Posts: 5
Joined: 2004-10-09 17:44:30

Struggling with booklet

Post by dpbsmith »

I have a booklet I prepared with Nisus Writer 6. I've just upgraded to Nisus Writer Express 2.0 and no matter what I do I cannot get the thing to print as a booklet. I've struggled with every format option I can find.

I searched the site under "Booklet" and got this reference:

http://www.nisus.com/NisusWriter/Suppor ... ngBook.php

This is exactly what I want, but I cannot find the Layout Page button or any equivalent to it.

I double-checked and the file prints perfectly as a booklet in Nisus Writer 6.0 but not in Nisus Writer Express 2.0.

Where is the Layout Page feature in Nisus Writer Express 2.0?

JBL
Posts: 169
Joined: 2003-04-25 14:33:59

Post by JBL »

That page describes how to make a booklet in NW 6 not NWE. As the "Express" implies, NWE has only a subset of the features of NW 6 (albeit with a nicer interface). You could try creating a document in landscape orientation and printing two columns, but there are limits to what you can do this way (e.g., I don't think page numbers will work).

dpbsmith
Posts: 5
Joined: 2004-10-09 17:44:30

???? Then what product do I need?

Post by dpbsmith »

I bought Nisus (as it was then called) in 1991 specifically for its ability to make booklets, which has always been one of the highlights of the product. It is probably the main reason that has kept me upgrading for over a decade. Classic is clunky and has various minor problems, and Apple is clearly moving away from supporting it (it is still shipped with new systems but does not install by default and is all but hidden). I'm moving toward updating all my software to be OS X native.

I thought Nisus Express 2.0 was the OS X version of Nisus. If it isn't, which product _is_ the OS X version of the full Nisus, what is it called, and how do I get it?

And where exactly does it say that Nisus Express 2.0 lacks traditional Nisus features? Where can I find a full list of what else is lacking?

JBL
Posts: 169
Joined: 2003-04-25 14:33:59

Post by JBL »

First, you might want to check out one of several programs designed to make pdfs into booklets. I haven't used any of them so I can't really recommend one, but it sounds like they may do what you want. Find them at http://www.versiontracker.com and search for booklet.

Second, I don't work for Nisus so nothing I write is "official." I am a long time Nisus user (since 3.17, when was that?) so I share some of your concerns.

When Apple switched to OSX from OS9, most developers chose to "carbonize" their applications. This involved doing the minimum necessary to allow their apps to run under OSX. Nisus chose a different path, instead chosing to rewrite their code from scratch using Cocoa. This should allow NWE to automatically incorporate advances Apple makes to their Cocoa frameworks.

The choice not to carbonize has pissed off a number of long time users, including myself, because it has resulted in a rather long delay during which we have to use Classic in order to use the features we have gotten used to in Nisus, or simply to read our old files with proper formatting. I have said that I will not buy NWE until it can correctly open my old files. On the other hand, NWE (minus a few bugs) really does everything I need a word processor to do (and 90% of what I would want a word processor to do), and does it more intuitively than any other word processor I have tried. So I got work to buy me a copy. (But listen you Nisus people, if you want me to buy a licence for the copy I use at home, fix it so my old documents open correctly!)

Nisus has reorganized their website since the introduction of NWE 2.0. I don't know if there is any official explanation of the relationship between Nisus Writer Express and Nisus Writer Classic. At various times on these forums people who work at Nisus (Charles and Rmark) have stated that they hope NWE will eventually have almost all of the features of NW Classic. You can find the current feature list at http://www.nisus.com/Express/features.php. I don't think there is a list of features from Classic that have yet to migrate to Express. Some obvious ones are the graphics layer, cross references, line numbers, widow and orphan control...

dpbsmith
Posts: 5
Joined: 2004-10-09 17:44:30

Thanks for the background.

Post by dpbsmith »

I guess I'll look at them, but they cost almost as much as Nisus. What the heck is so darned hard about printing booklets? The OS X print dialog now offers a two-up formatting option. All a word processor needs to do these days is invoke that feature and automatically output the pages in the correctly-imposed order

I guess I'm ready to call myself a pissed-off long-time user, too. I'm absolutely astonished by your comment that it doesn't open old Nisus documents correctly.

As a little experimentation convinces me, they have indeed changed their document format. That's another huge loss. One of the most brilliant things about Nisus is, or was, that the data fork of Nisus documents is plain ASCII text, all formatting being kept separately in the resource fork. This, too, was something I always understood to be a fundamental characteristic of Nisus' design.

It looks as if RTF is now the "preferred" format. Bleeeagghhh. As far as I know, the RTF spec, although published, is not an industry standard but is defined and controlled by Microsoft.
[/b]

Todd
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Making a booklet

Post by Todd »

Contented, non-pissed off new NWX user here. I have found the File>Page Setup>Settings>Custom Paper Size menu option to be very helpful in composing new documents with unusual dimensions.

Here's how I'd make a booklet:

Hit "New" and input the dimensions you want your booklet to be – use the same ones from Nisus Classic, if you'd like. Save the paper size. Then change the orientation in "Page Setup". Once you're in the document, make two columns and adjust the column width and gutter in the tool palette. Then comes my favorite part: choose View>Page Guides and manually adjust the document margins to the desired spot. (I love this feature.) Voila, a booklet!

For an effective "paperback book" look to your documents, go to Custom Paper Size and try:

Height: 7.3
Width: 4.2

Printer Margins: .25 all around.

Use 9pt. text in your document with a serify font (Big Caslon is my current favorite) and publish away, Hemmingway.

Hopefully Nisus will supply us with several preformatted paper sizes in upcoming releases (hint, hint). It sounds like an easy enough feature to implement. In the meanwhile, we can work out the formatting in the forums.

dpbsmith
Posts: 5
Joined: 2004-10-09 17:44:30

I tried it. It didn't work.

Post by dpbsmith »

Todd wrote:Here's how I'd make a booklet:
OK. Trying to follow your suggestion exactly: freshly installed Nisus Writer Express. File, New. Page setup: Page attributes, paper size U. S. Letter, orientation landscape (middle choice of the three), scale 100%. Custom Paper Size, New. Name Test. Dimensions as suggested above. Save. OK.

In the Tools drawer: Sections. Columns 2. Font size: 9. Font: Big Caslon.

I am now looking at a landscape page with two vertical pagelike rectangles on it. So far so good. I will call what I'm looking at a "spread" and I will call the rectangles I see the two "pages." I now paste in a bunch of text and select and delete stuff until Nisus says I have 16 "pages."

Problem number 1. I click on the footer to add page numbers. There seems to be only one footer for the spread. I can add a single page number to the spread but I can't get seem to get individual page numbers for the left and right page. Let's assume that's just my unfamiliarity with the program, but it's not a promising start.

Problem number 2. I print it. The pages come out in the wrong order. What I see is ordinary "two-up" printing, just like I could get by selecting Layout, 2 pages per sheet from any Print dialog. The first sheet has pages 1 and 2. The second has 3 and 4, and so forth. The pages are not imposed at all. If you hold them in your hand as loose sheets you can read them in order, but if you print them on the front and back of eight sheets of paper and fold them into a booklet, the order is scrambled.

I don't think you understand what the Nisus "booklet" feature does. It doesn't just print the pages two-up.

It prints the pages in the proper scrambled order so that they come out right after you fold the pages into a booklet. With Nisus, you put a stack of sixteen sheets of paper into the printer, print them, turn them over, print the other sides, and find that the first sheet of paper, first side has page 32 = the back cover on the left and page 1 = the front cover on the right. First sheet, other side has page 2 on the left and page 31 on the right. Second sheet, first side has page 30 on the left and page 3 on the right. Second sheet, second side has page 4 on the left and page 29 on the right, and so on.

Yes, most word processors won't do this. But Nisus always has. It's one of the reasons people like Nisus. Or did. Yes folks, Nisus was different from other word processing programs. Is Nisus Express designed on the theory that "if Word doesn't do it, Nisus shouldn't, either?"

Yes, there are expensive separate programs that can impose pages eight ways from Sunday. I don't need to put 32 imposed pages on a printer's plate. Never have. But I need to do a booklet. It comes up all the time. I recently got a new printer and have had some problems printing from Classic, so I figured it was time to update my copy of Nisus. I didn't spend days researching the product, I just bought what I thought was the OS X version of Nisus.

I need to have this booklet done by Wednesday. I can't take any more time to screw around. I'm just going to have to finish my editing and boot back into OS 9 to print it.

Maybe Nisus Express is a nice program for people who have never used Nisus, but as far as I can tell it happens to lack the single feature that a) it always used to have, and b) I happen to need.

JBL
Posts: 169
Joined: 2003-04-25 14:33:59

Post by JBL »

This isn't the greatest solution but it might get you through your Wednesday deadline and it is free. Combine PDFs allows you to take any pdf and reorder the pages.

http://versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/20286

charles
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Post by charles »

Hi:

Another option is Cocoa Booklet. This one is also free and will take any PDF file and paginate it correctly for booklet form.

We do plan on adding booklet printing support in the future; we may even partner with one of these tool makers so we can do it sooner.

-Charles
Charles Jolley
Nisus Software, Inc.

dpbsmith
Posts: 5
Joined: 2004-10-09 17:44:30

Thanks and thanks

Post by dpbsmith »

...for the suggestions. Partnering with Cocoa Booklet would seem reasonable since that seems to be very close to the original Nisus functionality.

But my previous question remains. Given that OS X can do 2-up printing via the Layout option... at least it can with every printer I've seen so far (is this an intrinsic Mac OS X capability? Well, I see it's documented in Mac Help so it looks as if it is...)... it would seem as if all that's needed is a) set Layout set for 2-up printing and b) have a word processor that knows how to output pages in the right order for booklet imposition, i.e. page 32, 1, 30, 3, 28, 5 for the first side of a 32-page document.

I.e. an "output pages in booklet order" feature.

Could be that's not as easy as it sounds, but then, what is...

Todd
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Re: I tried it. It didn't work.

Post by Todd »

dpbsmith wrote:I didn't spend days researching the product, I just bought what I thought was the OS X version of Nisus.
I'm tempted to say 'caveat emptor', because only a few weeks ago this information was easily accessible throughout the Nisus website. I recall reading elaborate statements from both Charles and Jerzy about what NWX was and how it differed – radically in many cases – from Nisus Classic.

But now that Nisus has changed its website, I can't seem to find those statements anywhere. Putting them back in the website would avoid confusion for Classic users like yourself.

It wouldn't help your booklet issue, of course, but at least you would've known more about the capabilities and limitations of NWX.

dcowart
Posts: 2
Joined: 2004-10-12 05:40:40
Location: South Dakota

Booklet Printing is Possible!

Post by dcowart »

I have to print a weekly bulletin and have been asking for booklet printing all along. The first time I asked I was promised it was coming. When it did not appear on the feature lists I wrote again. The folks at Nisus then sent me a work around. It takes a bit to get used to, but it works. The following is the email that was sent to me with the work around. Of the two options given I use Cocaobooklet (as a plugin). Hope it helps.

Hi:

Thanks for letting us know about the features that are important to you as we continue to build the new Nisus Writer for OS X. There are actually some other products that you can use in conjunction with Nisus Writer Express to get the ability to do booklet printing today. Both of these utilities convert a PDF document to a booklet form. You can create a PDF document from a Nisus Writer Express document by choosing "Print" from the file menu and then clicking on the "Save as PDF" button at the bottom of the print dialog that appears.

BookLightning by metaproducts is very fast but costs $49:
http://www.metaobject.com/Products.html#BookLightning

CocoaBooklet is a free application but it is a bit slower.
http://fabien.iconus.ch/english/cocoabooklet.html

We know that this solution is not as easy as most people would like, so we are planning on integrating a booklet printing feature in Nisus Writer in the future. In the mean time, these applications along with Nisus Writer Express should fit your needs.

Let me know if we can help you with anything else.

Sincerely,
-Charles

Charles Jolley
Nisus Software, Inc.

rmark
Official Nisus Person
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Re: Struggling with booklet

Post by rmark »

dpbsmith and others,

Let’s go back to the beginning for a moment.
dpbsmith wrote:I have a booklet I prepared with Nisus Writer 6. I’ve just upgraded to Nisus Writer Express 2.0 and no matter what I do I cannot get the thing to print as a booklet. I’ve struggled with every format option I can find.

I searched the site under "Booklet" and got this reference:

http://www.nisus.com/NisusWriter/Suppor ... ngBook.php

This is exactly what I want, but I cannot find the Layout Page button or any equivalent to it.

I double-checked and the file prints perfectly as a booklet in Nisus Writer 6.0 but not in Nisus Writer Express 2.0.

Where is the Layout Page feature in Nisus Writer Express 2.0?
Indeed, the page on the Web site describes Nisus Writer Classic not Nisus Writer Express. I can understand that the "Tips" link does not explicitly state that these relate to Nisus Writer Classic. (I've requested that explicit mention be made there.) However, everything about the "Making Book[lets]" tip depicts the OS 9 (Classic) environment.

There is no "Layout Page" feature of Nisus Writer Express because you can always see and modify the margins, etc. in Page View.

I don't know how many times I’ve mentioned to people:
,\ark's standard explanation about the difference between Nisus Writer Classic and Nisus Writer Express. He wrote: Nisus Writer Express was first released in July of 2003. It is all new, it is not a port of Classic Nisus Writer. It is not like any version of Nisus Writer that has come before. We know, there are features missing at this point, but in time this application will be a lean, clean (even elegant), word processor that will compete with anything out there.

These first versions of Nisus Writer Express are aimed at the 98% of the market that does not use Nisus. These people have basic word processing needs, and probably have no clue as to what Nisus is about. We believe (and we are gaining real world evidence to support our belief) that this group will be very glad to learn what they can now do with an OS X Cocoa word processor.

In February of 2004 we released version 1.1.2 which included features such as a Language Palette, show invisibles, back to front printing, an integrated thesaurus (Nisus Thesaurus, to be exact!), the ability to change the background color, (limited) WordPerfect translation and Panther (Mac OS X 10.3) compatibility (some features work better (or only) in 10.3). It did not, however, have a whole variety of features that so many Nisus Writer Classic users (myself included) so appreciated… most of those features are on the list for future versions.

In September of 2004 we released version 2.0 which implemented three crucial features: footnotes (and endnotes), tables and user defined styles. These, along with many smaller touches are significant additions to the feature set of an elegant writing environment.

While that represents a lot of progress in a short time, please believe me when I state: We are still working on the Nisus Writer that fulfills your needs, because then, it will fulfill ours.
Then, at 2004-10-11 11:00:54, dpbsmith wrote: Yes, most word processors won't do this. But Nisus always has. It's one of the reasons people like Nisus. Or did. Yes folks, Nisus was different from other word processing programs. [snip snide comment]
Indeed, there are (as I mentioned) many things that made Nisus Writer Classic unique that are not part of Nisus Writer Express. It always struck me as odd that even big name "desktop publishing" tools could not create booklets, something Nisus Writer Classic could do with about three clicks of the mouse!

But, remember, OS X is a brand new working environment. If making booklets was easy to implement (in Nisus Writer Express), we would have done it already. "Rome wasn’t built in a day." "Patience is a virtue." (Does anyone have another platitude to add?) And I can’t tell you how many booklets I’ve made in Nisus Writer Classic to which I continue to return and print (in Classic!).

Now, for those of you who have printers that will not print from the Classic environment (and hey, we didn’t prevent the printers from working!), There is another possible solution, one to which I’ve resorted more than once in a variety of contexts.

You can print your Nisus Writer Classic booklet to a PDF and then open the new PDF file in Preview (OS X) from which you can print it correctly. You can do this using the commercial (expensive) full version of Adobe Acrobat, or the sharware (inexpensive) PrintToPDF by James W. Walker.

I hope this offers a bit more clarity and help.
Write On!
Mark Hurvitz
Nisus Software Inc.

Todd
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Re: Struggling with booklet

Post by Todd »

rmark wrote:If making booklets was easy to implement (in Nisus Writer Express), we would have done it already. "Rome wasn’t built in a day." "Patience is a virtue." (Does anyone have another platitude to add?)

"Good things come to those who wait."
-Lamentations 3:25


"Patience, n. A minor form of dispair, disguised as a virtue."
-Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary, 1911


"Our patience will achieve more than our force."
-Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France, 1790


"Beware the fury of a patient man."
-John Dryden, Absalom and Achitophel, 1681


"All commend patience, but none can endure to suffer."
-Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia, 1732


"Let him that hath no power of patience retire within himself, though even there he will have to put up with himself."
-Baltasar Gracian, The Art of Worldy Wisdom, 1647


"Patience makes lighter
What sorrow may not heal."
-Horace, Odes, 15


"Beware of requesting platitudes when English majors may be listening."
-Todd Krainin, Nisus Forums, 2004

shades
Posts: 118
Joined: 2002-11-12 18:51:49

Post by shades »

Patience - now that's a virtue I can't wait for!

shades, 1999

;) :D :lol:
MBP 2.4 GHz, OS X 10.5.6
NWP 1.2, Mellel 2.6, iWork 08

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