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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

Word processor suggestions


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skyecade

 
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Member Since: May 04, 2006
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Hi guys,

I'm new to the Mac universe and need some guidance. I recently bought a Macbook, and so far I love it. I'm looking for a decent WP. I use Writley quite a bit and Openoffice for XP. I noticed Openoffice has a version for OS X, but it looks a little complicated to set up, X11 and all. Remember I'm still learning how to cut and paste, never mind installing non-native OS X apps.

I don't feel like dishing out $200+ for M$ Word, however I would like a WP that it to be compatible with it. Any suggestions? What is the most common WP for OS X? iWork? Mellel? Nisus? Is Openoffice easier to install than it looks?

Thanks again
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lil
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Search for NeoOffice/J. I think it works on the Intel Macs, its a little bit more Mac alike though has some way to go yet.

Vicky
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skyecade

 
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I just checked out their website and, unless I'm reading wrong, they do not yet support the Intel Macs. They're looking for a June alpha release.

It looks nice though. I can wait a month.
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MJGUK
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I highly recommend Mellel, it is a great WP.

Usually the way I work is to make my drafts in Mellel (Mellel Format) and then export the final into Word format so that it is easier to send to my tutors and so on. The export feature in Mellel does this excellently.

You could then use a free WP such as Open/Neo Office or a Word Viewer to view the .Doc files from Word if you needed to.

The things I especially like about Mellel are:

1) It's ability to structure your documents very efficiently - This makes writing really long papers MUCH easier. When you're writing 10k word dissertations, this is very very helpful.

2) The great layout features and options - Making it very easy and convenient to view everything you need all at once - Be it the text box, format box or structure window.

3) A plethora of advanced features, especially useful for academic/professional writers, such as advanced citations.

4) It's Universal Binary

5) It's very stable.

The list goes on but all in all, I've tried so many of these types of Apps - Copywrite, Word, Ulysses and many, many more - Nothing comes close to Mellel. The only thing I wish they'd include was a Full Screen Mode, but I think they are going to include that in the near future
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lil
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For serious technical writing, nothing beats LaTeX :flower:

Vicky
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goobimama

 
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I find iWork really neat. And when you compare its performance against Office on an Intel Mac, its really great. The templates are nice and its easy to use. the interface is also minimal...
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MJGUK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lil
For serious technical writing, nothing beats LaTeX :flower:

Vicky
I've heard LaTeX is the standard for Scientific papers and such, but I haven't heard such favorable reports from the other fields. I might give it a try though, it certainly looks 'in depth' - Which is exactly what I like about Mellel too

At first Mellel is a little obfuscating, or at least it takes a while to get used to - But once you get your head around it, there is an unlimited amount of features to take advantage of.
I showed it to my History tutor, he's writing his second PhD at Oxford at the moment and has been using Word for as long as he can remember.
But he's buying my iBook off me (He has one of the really old Powerbooks, old school :p ) and converting to Mellel - He was really amazed by it and especially excited to be able to structure his documents using the App.
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mac57

 
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For $129.99 (at www.macconnection.com) you can get Microsoft Office Student and Teacher Edition. This contains the full edition of Word, Excel, Powerpoint and a few others to boot. It comes with three licenses, for up to three machines. The Apple stores are selling these packages like candy. They recommend them to everyone. We are all students and teachers in one sense or another, so a sales person told me...

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zeta101

 
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TeX/LaTeX is very powerful but it takes a lot of effort to get good with it, seemingly simple things take say 30 minutes with google to figure out. Everything is written in plain ASCII text and you format things using codes (kinda like HTML or a programming language). Once you have a grip of it and have a template to work from it's easy and you can do pretty much anything with it.

LaTeX is not a word processor though really, it's a typesetter (That's why the documents look so nice). Also, you wouldn't really use it for very short documents (and you certainly wouldn't learn it if you are only going to be writing simple or short documents, it's just not worth it).

Skyecade, what kind of documents do you normally need to do? Also, I think your new mac comes with a free trial of iWork (look in your Applications folder, there should be an iWork folder in there near the bottom). See if you like pages (and if you have to do presentations then definatly have a play with keynote, it's amazing).

[Offtopic]--Is it me or did they add new smilies?
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cradom

 
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Not sure about Intel support but Abiword is pretty good.
http://www.abisource.com/

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lil
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This is all very true, LaTeX you have to learn the markup etc., as it is a typesetter like you say, you get a nice editor but for the best part, the actual technicalities of writing the material is done by hand. Good if you can remember commands and the likes...

My LaTeX is a little rusty but I'm sure I would remember it again quickly as it makes sense. It does come into its own when writing very long material such as dissertations, thesis, scientific reports, maths papers, long technical manuals and even just long prose.

The resultant text is typeset beautifully—something Word cannot claim to do. For anything these days with illustration (especially my books), I have reverted back to DTP with InDesign CS2, as the typesetting is beautiful, and it just works better, anchored objects also clear up one big gripe with regards to text shifting but the object not doing so. No one however, can deny that a good LaTeX editor is a lot faster than InDesign is.

That said, I'm very interested to see what this Mellel is all about!

Vicky
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Sobe

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mac57
For $129.99 (at www.macconnection.com) you can get Microsoft Office Student and Teacher Edition. This contains the full edition of Word, Excel, Powerpoint and a few others to boot. It comes with three licenses, for up to three machines. The Apple stores are selling these packages like candy. They recommend them to everyone. We are all students and teachers in one sense or another, so a sales person told me...

Good info ++
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skyecade

 
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zeta101, I'll be using my MacBook solely for pleasure. I do some writing for fun, fiction mostly. Honestly, I'm looking for something slightly better than a basic text editor. Nothing fancy. I found iWork on my computer and I'm gonna give that a try. I'm also familiar with Abiword from my linux days so I may install that aswell.

Does anyone know if Abiword is compatible with Intel based Macs (without having to use X11)?

And last but not least, I'm gonna grab a demo from Mellel. It seems to be getting high praise.

Thanks for all the suggestions. You've all been a huge help.

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skyecade.com ~ my humble little blog
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