Any advantage in changing from Word to Nisus Writer Pro?

I currently use Scrivener and Word 2008 (the latter as part of Office 2008 for Mac).

Would there be any advantage to me in changing to Nisus Writer Pro instead of Word? Would it work better in partnership with Scrivener? If so I am quite happy to cough up for Nisus as well.

Bearing in mind that I currently write newspaper and magazine articles but I am also working on short stories and a novel or three for (hopefully!) professional publication in the science fiction/fantasy genres (specifically, “steampunk”).

Will book publishers accept .rtf files or do they insist on .doc?

All advice gratefully received. :smiley:


There is a trick with RTF files that more people should be aware of. If you change the extension of it to .doc, in Finder, Word couldn’t care less, and the editor need never know they are actually opening an RTF file. :slight_smile: It’s a useful masquerade when working with external people who don’t realise RTF works just fine with Word.

Regarding Nisus Writer Pro: Next to Word (and perhaps even aligned with) that’s the best word processor option for integration with Scrivener. Because Scrivener’s best export format is RTF, and Nisus works in RTF as a base format, the two have a high degree of mutual understanding. The developers of Nisus have worked with Scrivener to help make this integration as good as possible.

As for advantages: I’m not sure if there would be any feature related advantages specifically within the realm of Scrivener integration. Outside of features though, you would have the benefit of working with a dedicated Mac developer and an outstanding word processor rather than Microsoft and their bloat. To many, that is advantage enough. :slight_smile:

I just recently did a clean install of Snow Leopard in my MacBook. Faced with my old MS Word 2004, I decided not to install it and get Nisus Writer Pro instead. The experience has been positive all around. But the best surprise to me was that Nisus opens old MS Word files that Word 2004 refused to open. The app itself is rock solid, and very quick, and the integration with Scrivener is flawless. I just finished a piece in Scrivener and compiled into an RFT file. When I opened it with Nisus, I just had to fix the headers for page numbering, but other than that, the document was ready to go.

I’m looking now for a way to run all my old MS Word files through Nisus to convert them into RFT files, which should be more universal and have a better life span than MS Doc files.

To try to lessen the load of converting, join the NWP forum, go to Nisus Writer Pro Macros and post a request for help. There may be an existing macro for doing something like this; if not either Martin (Nisus person and all-round good guy) or “Kino” (The Ioa of Nisus Macro-land) could well weigh in to help.

Mind you, I don’t know if it would be possible to do it through a macro … I have not found a great need for them.



Edited to add: One area to watch out for in moving files from Word to NWP is tables … in particular nested tables … and very much in particular tables created by people who just use a default setting of what seems to be 21 columns and reduce them to 6 or 7 by arbitrarily merging cells and adjusting cell boundaries!!! I had this problem in spades recently … OOo couldn’t handle them either, but NWP uses the OOo importer, so …
On the other hand, no one I have ever collaborated with has come back to me to complain about a table originated in NWP subsequently opened in Word.

Since 1995, I have published 15 novels so far, and I always used RTF in working with the editor, never Word/DOC. Actually, I’ve never used Word to write a novel. RTF even works when using annotations and all this line editing stuff ("user blue has inserted this ‘e’ on at ").

As far as tables are concerned, I don’t know. Tables are rarely used in novels. :smiley:

And I don’t know how it’s in other countries; my experiences concern Germany.

Thanks guys, it’s sounding like a change is not essential, but could offer some small benefits, not least of which is a poke in the eye for Microsoft. :wink:

Your helpful comments are much appreciated.

I shall download the trial version of Nisus and give it a test drive before I make a final decision.

Have you tried Bean? No footnotes or annotations, but nice and clean, rtf based, several more features than TextEdit… and free!
I use it for 90% of my non Scrivener writing. When I need advanced features like footnotes, outlining, change tracking, et al, I use Pages, which came bundled with my MacBook. But that’s used AFTER I’m done Scrivening the document, or independently of Scrivener. Pages doesn’t play so well with rtf, says Keith.

I haven’t tried Bean, but since you mention it I’ll have a look at it, thanks. Personally I don’t like Pages as a word processor but I have used it for page layout of newsletters etc.

Thank you for the tip. I’ll be visiting NWP forums.

Bean is a nice little word processor, but not really suited for professional writing. This is not said to belittle it, its a good replacement for TextEdit and I use it for all the little note-taking here and there.

I really like NWP, but Tables are awful. The 2 or 3 times that I’ve tried to create simple tables in NWP, I’ve had problems. For example, today’s experience: I could not edit, add, or delete text in a table cell. Also, I tried again from scratch and this time I could not merge cells.

Then I don’t know where you’re going wrong. I am often working with tables and have no problem with any of that.

For me the problem is that I periodically need to edit documents imported from Word containing tables that have been set up by people who click an automatic set-up button or some such, without thinking about the number of columns they need, and then try to get it looking the way they want by merging cells and playing about with column widths as a way of hiding the many extra columns rather than deleting the unnecessary ones. They also use inconsistent fonts, font-sizes and font-styles across a single table, and often don’t know about line-wrapping within a cell, so the result is a nightmare of a table. Often, it proves easiest just to produce a new table myself using their data; only with a very extensive table in which whoever had produced it — I suspect it was an html table subsequently opened in Word — had used tables embedded within cells … that proved too much of a headache for both NWP and me, and as it didn’t have the font quagmire and other problems — I suspect it was one I had originally produced for them in NWP — did I simply open my edited file in OpenOffice and re-paste their orignal table in place.

It’s true that Pages handles those imported tables better — OOo behaves like NWP in this, not surprisingly — but, with the exception of that one table, which also ran over three pages, I have never had the least problem editing content, merging, splitting, setting column widths or row heights, padding, borders … nothing, certainly never when producing my own. And I use NWP all the time.


I recorded a brief movie showing this problem. I just tried it once, and it failed as expected. I’ll try to find a place to upload it after I get some sleep :slight_smile:

Edit: Added video
It’s the first time I use Screenium to record a video, and the cursor position and mouse clicks in the video are not accurate. Still, I reach a point where I can’t work with the text.


  1. Add some text
  2. Create a 3 X 3 Table
  3. Drag text to Table cells

I can use Tables some times, but each time I work in the way I described above I’ve ran into problems.