There’s email, browsers, and word processors; the most personal of major applications on the Mac. For most, Microsoft Word is the top dog word processor, because it’s got every feature 12 committees could think of.
Those who actually write for a living have a different opinion. Enter Mellell II, which really may be the word processor for the rest of us who write for a living.
Mellel took forever to go from version 1.0 to version. The wait was worth it.
This is not your father’s word processor. It’s obvious after about an hour of use that people who actually write took the time to develop Mellel.
It’s fair to compare Mellel with Nisus Writer Express (now at version 2.5) because both have features that writers use, rather than just a condominium loaded with features that never get used.
Can you say, ‘Microsoft Word?’
Both Mellel and Nisus Writer Express cater to those of us who actually write for a living rather than require compatibility with the Windows world. Mellel is a writer’s word processor.
At the heart of Mellel is a remarkable autonumbering system which is powerful and flexible. Writers can autonumber document parts (tables, pictures, sections) and each part can have levels and each level can have its own format.
Mellel also reflects a document’s structure in a separate pane. All the standard word processor tools are there, easy to find, easy to use, out of the way when not needed.
No word processor that I’m familiar with does a better job of footnotes, table of contents generation, and handles bibliographies better than Mellel.
New in Mellel II are a number of user requested features that make the Mac application stand completely away from the competition, Word included.
Either choose a dictionary, or a hyphenation dictionary, or customize according to your requirements; personal dictionary, hyphenation limit, hyphenation zone (my favorite), or create your own hyphenation pattern.
Try all that in Microsoft Word.
A number of word processors do columns, including Word and AppleWorks. Mellel does columns, too, with support for up to 100 columns, column balancing, gutters and gutter lines, different column numbers on the same page, and so on.
If you write and use columns you’ll love the ability to set space above lines, set space above column sections, even do gutter line settings.
Mellel does columns very, very well.
One of my favorites is Mellel’s sections. This takes a bit of getting used to, but the amount of control you gain is worth the time to actually read the instructions.
Sections are merely components of text which are used to set columns, but they also set structure to the document; set background, format, etc. Set up section styles and you can use them with every document.
Import and Export
Of course, there’s the obligatory Word import and export, but Mellel is actually has more sophisticated ‘writer’ features. Import and exporting of RTF documents is standard, though there’s improved support for footers, headers, images, graphics, sections, columns, and more.
The List Goes On
Not to bore you, but Microsoft Word won’t look so feature-laden once you’ve devoted a couple of hours to Mellel.
Do you have trouble with tables and graphics and columns in Word? Of course you do.
Mellel II supports image and table height ‘rounding’ which simply rounds the height of the table based on line spacing in the nearby text.
That lets you solve the age-old problem of positioning elements in columns and keeping the columns in parallel.
Background colors can be inserted into sections, columns, and documents, and be made printable or non-printable. Mellel isn’t a page layout program, but for documents that need style, you may never notice the difference.
In fact, many of Mellel’s improvements in version 2.0 pertain to layout and display, but with special consideration to things like footnotes, numbering, paragraph layout, margins, and other components important to writers.
Also notable in the new version is a speed increase; opening documents, saving documents, and re-formatting are all improved over previous versions.
Mellel is produced in Israel with an international market in mind, so localizations are available in Spanish, Danish, Dutch, Italian, German, Portugese, Romanian, and Russion. Coming soon are versions in French, Czech, Japanese, Greek, Norwegian, Polish, and eventually Hebrew.
Mac360 readers have scolded us in the past for overlooking Mellel in reviews. No more. This is not only a solid improvement on an already excellent Mac application, the new feature set and speed rival any Mac word processor.
Remember, it’s ‘words’ for word processor. If you write, try Mellel. $49 is a nominal fee for what is becoming a stellar application. Click Here for a look at features, reviews, and the download link.
I like this version of Mellel after trying it out every year for awhile. This will give Nisus Writer Express some competition. The number of features will make true writers very happy.
I never thought I’d see Carol so impressed with a word processor and so ready to ditch Microsoft Word.
I write for a living and have never had a single Mac application that did everything I wanted. Mellel is close. I wish they’d marry Nisus Writer Express.
Tera Jean Patricks
Bambi called and said I should try this version so I put some time into it Monday night. I have to admit to being impressed; begrudging respect from one who loves Nisus and loathes Word. This version is faster and it’s easier to get to the more complex features. Nice job.