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Ten Years After: essential function

Posted: 2003-10-06 13:55:13
by thorby
I'm a very experienced user of various WP tools on the Mac (and other systems) and I would be delighted to find a non-Microsoft replacement for AppleWorks for general document work. I've tried NWE1 and while I'd certainly encourage the developers to keep going, I have to say, it ain't there yet.

Here's a very simple benchmark: give me as much function as I get from a treasured copy of WriteNow 4 (1993) running in classic mode.

WriteNow was (still is!) a full-featured WP application that fit on a 1.4MB floppy and ran happily in a Mac Plus. Here is a short list of WriteNow features that are not in NWE ten years after.

* Copy a ruler (indent settings) from one paragraph, paste onto any amount of selected paras.

* Copy font-size-style from selected text; paste font-size-style onto any amount of selected text.

* Create/edit tables - complete support, equal to any HTML editor.

* Copy a graphic from another app, e.g. Safari or Graphic Converter or Grab, and paste into document -- shouldn't need to go through the Insert>Images dialog. (Which I can't make work, anyway.)

* Create/edit user-defined, named, character styles with a heirarchical relation and inheritance.

* Create/edit user-defined, named, paragraph styles with heirarchical relation and inheritance. Appleworks has this, but it lacks two WriteNow features: the ability to specify the next-paragraph style and to specify an Fkey to apply the style.

* display current para style in window frame, as pop-up menu of styles, apply style via menu or via Fkey.

* Insert footnotes, cut/copy/paste footnotes, set consistent style by editing Footnote para style.

Another feature necessary to a usable WP program is automatic creation of paragraph prefixes (set as part of the para style definition of course), so you can define automatic numbered and bulleted list paragraphs, and numbered heading paragraphs.

With this set of features, NWE 2.0 would be a good tool for the creation of reports, papers, and short manuals, and I'm ready to buy it.

Dave Cortesi

Re: Ten Years After: essential function

Posted: 2003-10-08 06:33:38
by jabbott
Also: WriteNow allows you to start again at the point you left off when you open a document -- critical when you have book-length manuscripts. (Nisus Classic did this as well, but NWX doesn't.)

Treasured is the right word for WriteNow. That's one app I will never delete off my hard drive; just wished it behaved better running under Classic. I love WriteNow 4 and still use it on my Pismo running 9.2 -- it takes up much less battery power than Nisus or Word, so I can write for much longer periods away from my desk. In fact most of my research and brainstorming notes for a new book are in WN4, simply because it remains my WP of choice on my laptop. Simple, stable, fast as anything, and easy to use in every way.

I like many others was disappointed NWX didn't offer all the cool features of Nisus Classic, but completely understood because Nisus is a small company and recreating Nisus under OSX was going to take time. I tried thinking of NWX as simply the new WN4 (streamlined and elegant) but I think, Dave, you summarized where NWX is still falling short rather well. (Although NWX does have some advantages for sure over WN4, such as a great thesaurus and fantastic find/replace with summary function).

I have to start on my new book this week and I'll probably write the first draft in Nisus Classic or WN4 -- I have high hopes for NWX, but it's not there yet. (Yes, I paid for it -- I wanted to support Nisus.) Hopefully soon, and hopefully the nice folks at Nisus take these comments in the spirit for which they are intended.

Posted: 2003-10-08 20:21:24
by charles
When I started in the word processor business three years ago, I was really surprised at how many people wrote in to tell me that WriteNow was absolutely the gold standard against which they compared all other word processors. It is indeed a very nice word processor!

My hope is that in the coming year, as we add most of the features you identified above, Nisus Writer Express will become the elegant replacement for WriteNow that many have hoped it would be. I think that we have developed a good user experience that gives us that potential, now we are focused on adding all the features to go with it!

We really do appreciate our loyal customers who have supported us over the years. We know several of you have purchased Nisus Writer Express even though it did not meet all of your needs just to support us. You are the reason that all of us are continuing to work hard to make Nisus Writer the best word processor on the Mac again.


Posted: 2003-10-08 23:57:26
by MacSailor
How far from the release of the NWE version 1.1 are we today? Will it be released the same day as Panther will be available (Oct 24) or earlier?

I'm not able to use neither version 1.0 nor an coming version 1.1 until I have got hold of the new Panther, since I'm still stucked with the Puma (did not care about getting the Jaguar). But I'm curious anyhow :D

Will the footnotes and endnotes be available in the new version? This is essential for me, otherwise it's impossible to replace MS Word v.X in my studies.

If the footnotes and endnotes are implemented in the new version of NWE, will it be possible to import/open/use my old NW documents and still be able to use my old work with the footnotes/endnotes without any loss of data?

Will it be possible to export any new document - version 1.1 or higher - containing footnotes/endnotes, to RTF or .doc, so that it will available for others at the University who do not use NWE? Or do I have to save the document as a PDF-file?

Posted: 2003-10-09 20:31:53
by charles
Peter Edwardsson wrote:How far from the release of the NWE version 1.1 are we today? Will it be released the same day as Panther will be available (Oct 24) or earlier?
We are pretty close to releasing 1.1. Currently we are going through the final testing stages. We hope to release right around when Panther is out, but it depends on the bugs that we find during out testing and how long it takes to fix them.

Unfortunately, we will not have footnotes/endnotes in 1.1. This feature takes some time to add and we are still working on it. (We are working on it though, we know it is the most important feature for everyone!) You can be sure that as soon as they are done, we will put out a new release. When we do add support for footnotes, you will be able to open your Classic files containing footnotes just fine.

The "native" format of Nisus Writer Express is RTF. You can also save in DOC format so you can share your files with everyone else.

I hope that helps to bring you up to speed.

Posted: 2003-10-11 07:14:27
by MacSailor
charles wrote:
Unfortunately, we will not have footnotes/endnotes in 1.1. This feature takes some time to add and we are still working on it.
Will the feature "Save As PDF" be ready from the next version of NWE and working from within the NWE? It would be smoothly not be forced to first go through the process of printing - preview - save as pdf....

WN4 and NWE

Posted: 2003-11-21 20:08:35
by dshan
As almost everyone agrees that WN4 was the king of WP how about support for importing (and if possible exporting) WN4 docs in NWE? I don't use WN4 anymore but I do have some old WN4 docs that I'd like to be able to bring into NWE directly and easily.