When it comes to writing for a living I’ve tried every tool a Mac user would care to try, let alone buy. Today’s modern writing tools are all about minimalism and synchronizing files between devices. If you want a powerful writing tool, you’ll need this blast from the past.
The Writer For Pros
When Mac users are asked which app they use to write, the answers are many and varied, but often include Apple’s free TextEdit and Microsoft’s Word.
Any writing app that gets what’s in your head to the keyboard and screen will do, but some do more than others.
A friend asked me what word processor to use on her new Mac, so I returned the question with more questions.
Her answers took the minimalist apps out of the equation. She needed multiple languages, table of contents, indexing, cross references, style sheets, tables, watermarks, and much more.
That list separates the little boys from the big boys. Money was an object so I asked her to try an old favorite– Nisus Writer Pro.
Why? It looks and feels and performs like a real word processor, not one of those lightweight minimalist apps that go for a pittance.
The toolbar alone tells you NWP is packed with power. There’s draft view and fullscreen mode. You control the toolbar options (or, just make it go away).
NWP works with multiple languages and has Unicode support built-in. Even the dictionary knows which language you’re using at the time. Tables are easier to create than Microsoft Word and the pop out sidebar gives you additional tools for text, graphics, tables, and editing.
Most of us who write for a living have hundreds or thousands of documents to manage. NWP provides a built-in Document Manager which not only handles files, but displays what’s open, what was recently used, and keeps track of files in the Style Library and Templates.
This isn’t your father’s word processor. The feature list screams ‘Made for Writers!’ Table of Contents are easily created, as are footnotes and endnotes. Customizable macros make quick work of tedious, repetitive text. Hey, it even does mail merge (that’s a blast from the past).
Having ditched Microsoft Word years ago, I can attest that the Windows maker shoves in plenty of features, but they’re not as elegantly implemented as NWP, not even as fast, or usable. I have friends who’ve used Nisus for almost 20 years and wouldn’t touch any of the new minimalist apps.
Nisus is built around what writers know and want. The NWP version has a trial, but there’s also Nisus Writer Express (fewer features, easier to master) for those on a budget.