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Nisus Writer Pro file format docx and rtf 
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Joined: 2015-01-26 02:01:31
Posts: 4
I am currently using Nisus Writer Pro, 14 day trial, on my Macbook.
Given that Apple and Microsoft no longer support "rtf" files, yet "rtf" continues to be the default format on NWP - are NWP considering including "docx" into their "save as" option? Currently "docx" can only be used under "export", which can corrupt/alter content when exporting.

Its a bit of a deal breaker really, as it seems rather risky for NWP (and there users) by staying with a redundant format and not future proofing their product.


2015-01-26 03:38:22
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Joined: 2012-12-19 05:02:52
Posts: 226
Hi laurenmg,
laurenmg wrote:
Given that Apple and Microsoft no longer support "rtf" files, yet "rtf" continues to be the default format on NWP (…) Its a bit of a deal breaker really, as it seems rather risky for NWP (and there users) by staying with a redundant format and not future proofing their product.

If you don't like the RTF format, why don't you then just make .doc the default format instead?

You can do that by going to Preferences > Saving > File Formats > Default format: Microsoft Word Format

Besides that, NWP offers a plethora of other formats you can use for saving your documents.


2015-01-27 00:07:15
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Joined: 2015-01-26 02:01:31
Posts: 4
Thanks Þorvarður. I can change it to microsoft word, but that is a .doc file not .docx.
My concern is, are Nisus staying abreast of latest trends in the market. If so, I would have thought that they would be providing best service for their users by recognising the advantages, and increasing dominance of .docx, and as such should be incorporating this format in their default selection settings. It has after all been around for some 6-7 years now.
Both .doc and .rtf, although still widely used, are nevertheless yester-year products. For someone about to choose a word-processing system, a key consideration must be for that system to be upgraded on a regular basis, which not only provides best service, but in turn gives confidence that the company (Nisus in this case) is robust enough to be around long term.


2015-01-27 03:49:20
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Joined: 2007-11-09 15:27:25
Posts: 86
laurenmg wrote:
Currently "docx" can only be used under "export", which can corrupt/alter content when exporting.


Do you mind explaining what kinds of corruption you've seen?

I haven't used this enough to know, but your comments make me wonder just what the 'risks' might be.
I don't have Word to check for myself.

Thanks


2015-01-27 13:41:26
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Joined: 2015-01-26 02:01:31
Posts: 4
Hi JB, I have just started using NWP on trial and haven't had any problems myself. Regarding file corruption or altering content under export, I am referring to comments made on NWP user guide, page 53, Managing Saving and Opening Your Files. Copied below.


Formats of saved files
Nisus Writer Pro makes a slight distinction between “saving” and “exporting” files.
Save As... should always preserve document content. Any format under Export As... cannot be trusted to fully preserve document information. No “export” format will preserve all the important information—even if the document “looks” right, important things, such as styles, may not persist. You can save a Nisus Writer Pro document (in order of preferred format):


2015-01-27 14:32:06
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Joined: 2007-11-09 15:27:25
Posts: 86
Ah, thanks.
Makes sense, I suppose, especially for styles.

No doubt it depends on what's in the document. As my needs are generally limited to only a few styles, page numbers, and footnotes, I doubt I have to worry much for some time at least. So far anyway, editors have not objected to either the rtf or doc that Nisus produces.

But perhaps tables and columns, e.g., are another matter.


2015-01-27 15:04:48
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Joined: 2012-12-19 05:02:52
Posts: 226
Hi again laurenmg,
I'm no expert in the field of data formats. There are people here that know much more about this than I do, and I hope they will chime in soon.

I would like to point out to you as a new forum member that it may take several days (and sometimes longer) until people here find time to respond. So don't be disappointed if it takes a while. :-)

laurenmg wrote:
Its a bit of a deal breaker really, as it seems rather risky for NWP (and there users) by staying with a redundant format and not future proofing their product.

What do you mean by "redundant" ? I can't see why it should be redundant. Do you perhaps mean "obsolete"?

Quote:
Given that Apple and Microsoft no longer support "rtf" files

It depends on what you mean by "support". I skimmed through Wikipedia articles about RTF today in several languages, but I couldn't find anything about that the days of RTF are counted. It may not be actively developed anymore (?) by Microsoft, but—in the usual sense of that word—I would say both Apple and Microsoft do support RTF files.

Apple's standard text editor, TextEdit, uses .rtf as standard format. RTF is also the default format for WordPad in Microsoft Windows, and Scrivener uses .rtf, if I remember right. But it's true, not all aspects of RTF are equally well supported. Apple's text engine doesn't support footnotes in RTF, for example.

Be it as it may, I have always found RTF the most reliable format when exchanging documents between word processors on the Mac as well as for cross-platform purposes.
Quote:
Both .doc and .rtf, although still widely used, are nevertheless yester-year products.

Perhaps I have overlooked something, but what features exactly are there in .docx that you need and .doc and .rtf can not provide?

From my point of view, it's not so much the data format that's of primary importance here. Much more important are considerations such as:

1. What kind of documents do you intend to create?
2. With whom will you be exchanging your documents, and what kind of word processors do they have?


I have tried all word processors for the Mac, and for my purpose NWP wins hands down. NWP is the only program that enables me to structure and do regular tedious formatting on the fly (with macros). It's the non plus ultra program when it comes to cleaning up text and reformat it in no time.

I believe Nisus' decision to offer a 14-day trial is a serious miscalculation which I'm sure backfires on the company. It's absolutely impossible to get adequate feeling for all the immense power NWP has in just 14 days.

The "Nisus Writer Pro User Guide" explains fairly well all elementary operations, but the real power of NWP lays in the glossary, the unparalleled, multilayered search engine and the macro language. Many features and operations you can do are not obvious to the beginner, because these features can't be found in the menus. Out of the box, NWP can't compare two documents, for example, but with a macro you can achieve this in an impressive way. There seems to be hardly anything you can't do with a Nisus macro, and on this forum there are some REALLY good and friendly macro writers who are ready to assist you if you need help.
Quote:
For someone about to choose a word-processing system, a key consideration must be for that system [1] to be upgraded on a regular basis, [2] which not only provides best service, but in turn [3] gives confidence that the company (Nisus in this case) is robust enough to be around long term.

[1] NWP is not upgraded on a *regular* basis, but I think that applies to most other Mac word processors too, more or less.

[2] Nisus has excellent support service, and you are always dealing with concrete human beings whom you can write to directly (not these awful, anonymous web tickets that so many software companies have).

[3] There is a long thread about this topic here:
http://nisus.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=5709


Last edited by Þorvarður on 2015-01-28 04:34:56, edited 2 times in total.



2015-01-28 00:02:53
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Joined: 2012-12-19 05:02:52
Posts: 226
laurenmg wrote:
I have just started using NWP on trial (…) Regarding file corruption or altering content under export, I am referring to comments made on NWP user guide, page 53

This isn't Nisus specific. This applies to ALL word processors on the Mac. As soon as you have unusually, fancy formatted documents with complicated shapes, elaborate tables, Drop Caps, etc., you can never be sure that they will be converted 100% correctly. This is how the situation was two decades ago, this is how it is today, and—as far as the Mac is concerned—I wouldn't be surprised if we still have exactly the same situation in 10 years from now.

If you are in the business industry and will be mainly receiving and creating good looking business documents which you must share with other people in the business, then MS Word may be a better alternative. If you are writing scholarly books and papers in the humanities or simply manipulating a lot of text, then I can't think of anything better than NWP. It's a real joy to work with.


2015-01-28 01:08:05
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Joined: 2006-12-08 00:46:44
Posts: 417
Location: London or Exeter, UK
To add to this, I think you should know that .doc and .docx are proprietary, binary formats which are not made available to other developers; the same goes for Apple's .pages. Nisus, like all other developers has to use another open format such as RTF as their native format, or write their own text engine and format as Mellel has done, and use third party 'translators' such as the one developed by Aspose, whose business is working out how to achieve that with no help from Microsoft. The only developer who gets that, it seems is Apple, or they have the necessary army of coders to develop their own translator.

Microsoft has changed their format several times over the years and documents from earlier versions are apparently no longer readable by Word; what's going to happen when MS decides that in future Office will no longer read .doc files? Apple developed the publicly-undocumented format used by Claris Works/Apple Works and then abandoned it and those documents are no longer readable by modern software. Their abandonment of RTF in the new version of Pages is a real step backwards.

RTF has the huge advantage that it is ASCII based, so an RTF document can be opened in any plain text editor. True, you have to work your way round all the formatting codes, but the text itself is directly extractable, and that is the best future-proofing.

The only other thing I would add to Þorvarður's comment, is that for long documents especially, I start in Scrivener for the draft, and use NWP in the final tweaking of formatting and co-editing phases.

Mark


2015-01-28 03:29:47
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Joined: 2015-01-26 02:01:31
Posts: 4
Some very useful replies, thanks. The feeling I'm getting about formats, is that we really are at the mercy of the big names; we don't know what will be dominant five years from now, let alone ten or fifteen, or if they will be supporting the older files.
I have recently purchased Scrivener and on their recommendation I'm considering NWP, for the same reasons as xiamenese. I don't think I've heard any negative comments about NWP and may well purchase at the end of trial. One can only hope that they will keep apace with the forever changing, and apparently rather fickle, format scene.


2015-01-28 05:47:05
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Joined: 2007-10-21 14:59:09
Posts: 272
laurenmg wrote:
The feeling I'm getting about formats, is that we really are at the mercy of the big names; we don't know what will be dominant five years from now, let alone ten or fifteen, or if they will be supporting the older files.

Well, RTF is probably the format that has crossed times better. I can still read RTF files from twenty years ago, and the fact it is no longer developed means that I will probably still have tools that can read it twenty years from now.

Paolo


2015-01-28 07:05:36
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Joined: 2015-01-28 12:34:09
Posts: 5
laurenmg wrote:
Given that Apple and Microsoft no longer support "rtf" files

How did you get that impression?

RTF is deeply ingrained in OS X, since it’s Cocoa’s ubiquitous internal attributed text format for display and storage. Whenever you see e.g. bold text in the GUI of an OS X app, it’s RTF. So as long as OS X and Cocoa will exist, RTF won’t go away.

Pages has never been the OS X default application for RTF; TextEdit is. And TextEdit won’t go away, either.

True, Nisus Writer Pro does a lot more with RTF than TextEdit does; TextEdit won’t display the images, headers and footers of Nisus Writer Pro. But neither did Pages when it could still open RTF.

So your premise is wrong.


2015-01-28 15:51:46
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Joined: 2007-10-21 14:59:09
Posts: 272
It's funny that Apple seems to recognize the fault of Pages. In a support note, they explain how to read RTF with a workaround:

"If you'd like to work with Rich Text Format (.rtf) documents, you can copy and paste the content into a new Pages document and it will retain its formatting."

http://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202227

Paolo


2015-01-29 07:33:33
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Joined: 2007-11-09 15:27:25
Posts: 86
I answer my own question above:

When I export to .docx, footnotes are lost.
I assume this is true for others as well, but if not please let me know.
(I'm on Yosemite.)

I guess the rest of the world will just have to be satisfied with rtf ;-)


2015-06-23 13:03:54
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