A carpenter may have a crescent wrench somewhere in the tool box, but it’s not the main tool used to build a house.
If you write for a living, Microsoft Word is the crescent wrench to a carpenter. I like Word. I use Word. I won’t build a house with Word.
By that I mean that serious writing deserves a serious tool with specific functions to aid in the writing process, not detract from it. Word is a big, heavy, cumbersome crescent wrench.
Writers choose their words carefully and choose their tools with equal consideration. While the Mac’s overall market share may be around 5-percent or so, it’s much higher among writers.
I’m a teacher and a writer. Word has a place in my life but not anywhere near my creative juices. For Mac users who write, there are plenty of good choices in the world beyond Word.
For example, Bambi works in media and prefers to use Final Draft AV to create audio visual documents for production. It’s a specific tool for a well defined objective.
As another example, consider Alexis’ ability to find and compare new Mac tools to the status quo. She raved over Scrivener and with good reason. Writers need tools for projects and Scrivener delivers.
Mac360 reader Tom Coppinger extolls the virtues of using the right write tool to compose the next best seller novel. The choices are many.
My choice is both popular and capable. It’s both affordable and a specialty tool for writers.
For many Mac users who write for a living, Mellel II is the tool of choice, the perfect hammer, the sharpest saw, the straightest and strongest nail.
The key to understanding, using, and recommending a good Mac application is to know what you need to do, how you need to do it, and what tool does it best.
For example, Mellel has a place in education with the scholarly research requirements; citations and bibliographies, footnotes and endnotes, multilingual support, multiple note streams.
For those of us in the creative field, Mellel provides organizational tools that go beyond Word processing, including outlining, layout styles, sets and templates, as well as support for ultra long documents.
There’s a buzz phrase in writing these days. Distraction free. Our Macs have become polluted with distractions; email, RSS feeds, multiple documents open in multiple applications, instant messaging, Widgets, and worse.
Mellel creates a “zero interference” zone so you can focus on writing first, formatting and details later. No nags, no pop ups, no choices, unless you control the feature.
Most of Mac360’s readers are English speakers in the US, though we have a large following in Europe and the Far East. Mellel provide multilanguage support that is just plain embarrassing. I’m a teacher and I didn’t know some of those languages.
Mellel also offers support for Arabic, Persion, Syriac, and more, including Hebrew. In fact, Mellel means “text” in Hebrew.
If you’re using Microsoft Word or another tool to write for a living, then you have certain patterns of work that have developed over the years. Trying a new product, even one that may end up superior, is just a pain. Changing habits is difficult.
Mellel provides a rather lengthy comparison chart of features to major Mac word processors; specific features and performance comparisons.
That list alone should be sufficient to entice you to try Mellel. There’s also the 30 day free demo trial.
Another interesting feature not found in major word processors is the community forum. This is where you go to learn, to share, to complain. Any Mac developer with a robust forum for discussion and interchange is doing well.
Mellel isn’t free but there is an education discount which is priced at $35. The regular license is just $14 more. A bargain? Or, an indulgent, frivolous chrome-plated wrench? Try it and see.
Do you write? What’s you tool of choice? Share and compare with Mac360 readers in the Comments section below.