Nisus Writer and technical writing

Everything related to our flagship word processor.
exegete77
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Re: Nisus Writer and technical writing

Post by exegete77 »

I have both Ragtime and Papyrus and have used both for projects over the past three years. Ragtime worked better for shorter projects (for me), like newsletters. This past year I began working with it for longer projects and finally was able to set it up the way I desired. Recently my work demanded Adobe CS4 Master Collection. So now I am trying to learning InDesign/Illustrator. But Ragtime was very capable and consistent. Never crashed.

Three years ago, I used Papyrus for 234 page book with 100+ photos, plus several tables. It was fast (it runs in RAM), reliable, accurate, and updated instantly when moving, rearranging (chapter numbering, photo numbering, table numbering, etc.). When I first tried the demo for Papyrus it was only in German, and I hadn't studied German in 40+ years. Yet soon I was able to find out some of the capabilities. After a month of trial, I bought the English version, and within three months I had the book ready in printer-ready PDFs. The reason it took three months is that I had a full time job as an analyst, and I was teaching in the evenings. For the book I did the actual writing in Mellel (which I had prior to buying Papyrus), so it was a matter of copying, pasting, and editing. Now that I have used it, I would do all my writing in Papyrus, because it feels like a word processor. Worked like a charm.
iMac 21.5” / MBP 13” Retina
Mac user since 1990

Groucho
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Re: Nisus Writer and technical writing

Post by Groucho »

greenmorpher wrote:NWPro 1.2 has different headers on facing pages? I know we talked about it on this forum, but I can't see it. Not that I have ever needed it because I'm producing my pages in DTP software (of a type that wouldn't suit you at all).
Yep, Geoff. Facing pages means header/footer is different. Give it a try. Of course, if you export text into dtp like InDesign any header and footer is lost.

Bye, Henry.

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greenmorpher
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Re: Nisus Writer and technical writing

Post by greenmorpher »

Thanks, Henry. I set up a document with facing pages in the palette just to text, but didn't see any indication that headers and footers were different on left and right pages. I didn't go any further. Maybe I should have tried actually entering some. Anyway -- since they ARE different, it ought to be indicated in the palette. Or maybe it is and I just don't understand what I am seeing (a not unknown phenomenon).

Hi exegete77

One does hope RagTime recovers even though I have never used it extensively because I never could quite get the hang of it (I worked in PageMaker for 20 years; in the end, I just did by hand in PageMaker the things I could have had automated in RagTime) and it had quirks and made demands I didn't want to go along with. The developers certainly had some odd ideas -- they had a built-in spreadsheet but didn't put an easy-to-use database front-end on it, relying instead for database on integration with FileMaker Pro, an unncessary and expensive add-on. RagTime was "professional" but relied for PDF translation on the free Ghostscript, to be downloaded and installed separately. Forget it. Their "chart" output from the spreadsheet was the same format as their "draw" tool, but you couldn't open the chart in draw mode to enhance it -- you had to go to an outside program. Stuff like that.

Interesting about Papyrus. Something that surprises me about them is that they have no credible HTML export. They tout it as a low end DTP program, but don't acknowledge that a very large proportion of current publishing is to the www. They DO have a database front end on their spreadsheet (or vice versa) though.

I'm awaiting the new version of NWPro with interst to see the directions in which it has moved to meet these challenges.

Cheers, Geoff

Geoffrey Heard
The Ad Doctor Online

Win business with the recession-busting "How to make great ads for (sm)all business: 99 real world advertising ideas to kickstart *your* business today". See http://www.worsleypress.com

Groucho
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Location: Europe

Re: Nisus Writer and technical writing

Post by Groucho »

greenmorpher wrote:Thanks, Henry. I set up a document with facing pages in the palette just to text, but didn't see any indication that headers and footers were different on left and right pages. I didn't go any further. Maybe I should have tried actually entering some. Anyway -- since they ARE different, it ought to be indicated in the palette
No indication that headers/footers are different. You just can set them differently, that's all. They can be different, but only if you enter different text purposely. It's always been so since NWE, that I know. Headers/footers should be named Left Header, Right Header, Left Footer, Right Footer, in my (and I think yours too) opinion.

Greetings, Henry.

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Hamid
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Re: Nisus Writer and technical writing

Post by Hamid »

When you have 'Use Facing Pages' checked, you get:
Click for Odd Header
Click for Even Header
and
Click for Odd Footer
Click for Even Footer

Groucho
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Location: Europe

Re: Nisus Writer and technical writing

Post by Groucho »

Oops, my fault. I wrote without seeing.

Greetings, Henry.

ptram
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Re: Nisus Writer and technical writing

Post by ptram »

Hi,

Two things I just saw.

- PDF Bookmarks
The PDF User Manual for version 1.3 does contain bookmarks. I don't know how this was achieved, but would like to.

- Variables
The use of variables for varying product names or software versions is already there, by using the Custom Properties.

Paolo

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greenmorpher
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Re: Nisus Writer and technical writing

Post by greenmorpher »

Hamid sez:
When you have 'Use Facing Pages' checked, you get:
Click for Odd Header
Click for Even Header
and
Click for Odd Footer
Click for Even Footer
"Yes, but WHERE?" I silently shrieked at myself.

And then I saw -- in the damned header. It's a default. In fact, it is not an option. You have to set two headers.

Different headers is good but not wanted all the time. It should be an *optional* setting that comes up in the Headers/Footers palette when we set Facing Pages in the sections palette.

Cheers, Geoff

Geoffrey Heard
The Ad Doctor Online

Win business with the recession-busting "How to make great ads for (sm)all business: 99 real world advertising ideas to kickstart *your* business today". See http://www.worsleypress.com

martin
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Re: Nisus Writer and technical writing

Post by martin »

ptram wrote:The PDF User Manual for version 1.3 does contain bookmarks. I don't know how this was achieved, but would like to.
We currently post-process the PDF using some Adobe software.

ptram
Posts: 280
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Re: Nisus Writer and technical writing

Post by ptram »

Geoff,
greenmorpher wrote:Different headers is good but not wanted all the time. It should be an *optional* setting that comes up in the Headers/Footers palette when we set Facing Pages in the sections palette.
Aren't these conditions tied? Turn Facing Pages on, and you have different left/right headers/footers. Turn it off, and left/right headers/footers are the same. Isn't this the reason after the Facing Pages parameter?

Paolo

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greenmorpher
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Re: Nisus Writer and technical writing

Post by greenmorpher »

ptram wrote:
- PDF Bookmarks
The PDF User Manual for version 1.3 does contain bookmarks. I don't know how this was achieved, but would like to.
You can also add links in Preview using Tools, Annotate. It's very straightforward and is well explained in the Help.

Just a bit tedious going through the document again.

Cheers, Geoff

Geoffrey Heard
The Ad Doctor Online

Win business with the recession-busting "How to make great ads for (sm)all business: 99 real world advertising ideas to kickstart *your* business today". See http://www.worsleypress.com

ptram
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Re: Nisus Writer and technical writing

Post by ptram »

ptram wrote:Revision and versioning
... When sending a revised document to the translators, it is very important to show where the original has changed.
I'm happy to report that this can be done with the new macro "Compare Documents" (http://nisus.com/pro/macros/?activeCat=Document).

Paolo

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greenmorpher
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Re: Nisus Writer and technical writing

Post by greenmorpher »

Ola Paolo

Would LyX http://www.lyx.org do anything for you?

It was mentioned today -- a GUI for LaTeX/MacTeX -- by Ferren McIntyre on the Nisus Dartmouth list.

Major download but free.

Cheers, Geoff

Geoffrey Heard
The Ad Doctor Online

Win business with the recession-busting "How to make great ads for (sm)all business: 99 real world advertising ideas to kickstart *your* business today". See http://www.worsleypress.com

ptram
Posts: 280
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Re: Nisus Writer and technical writing

Post by ptram »

Geoff,

Academics tend to say that LaTeX is the universal panacea for everything written. It works nice for academic texts written in English. Complex page layout is a hassle ("serious writers shouldn't even think to layout! leave it to pro publishers", LaTeX advocates use to say). Entering diacritical marks in a human fashion is something that might be in the study. You know, there is plenty of strange people, out there, using even accented letters.

So, unfortunately no, Lyx and similar is not a viable options.

Cheers,
Paolo

ptram
Posts: 280
Joined: 2007-10-21 14:59:09

Re: Nisus Writer and technical writing

Post by ptram »

Still exploring, I discovered another minus to using NWP for technical publishing: EPS vector graphics is rasterized as low resolution images. Word did this in the past (I don't know what they do at the moment). NeoOffice does not have this problem.

Paolo
Last edited by ptram on 2009-08-04 12:00:06, edited 2 times in total.

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