I use Nisus Writer Pro, and yes, you can do exactly that. If you export say a section heading from Scrivener marked with particular font, size and style attributes … let’s say Arial 16pt Bold … when you select one stretch like that in NWP, down in the “Status bar" at the bottom of the window you will see a symbol a. If you click on that, you will find the option “Select all” which will select all text with those attributes. You can then choose the appropriate paragraph style from your style sheet and all instances will be converted.
I’m sure something similar must be possible in Mellel, but I don’’t use Mellel, so don’t know how you’d do it.
MMMV considerably. I don’t mind the interface, but as it won’t import .doc or .docx files in Chinese, treating them as plain ASCII text; and even worse, although it will import RTFs with Chinese — at least it used to — it won’t import Scrivener RTFs in Chinese.
For me that’s a total deal breaker. I have a licence for Mellel, but simply can’t use it.
Hi Mark. I don’t want to take this thread off-topic, but I’ve just tested pasting a load of CJK text into Scriv, exporting to rtf and opening in Mellel, and the result looks fine to me. If you’re interested we can follow up by PM or email.
We’re getting quite far from the original topic… I hope it’s OK, since I’m answering a question posed by the OP.
What is the difference between Nisus and Mellel in long documents?
I have a lot of experience with Mellel, and have only experimented with Nisus from time to time, so can comment mainly on the Mellel side of things. It doesn’t crash, it stays responsive even with very long documents, keeps cross-references updated live, and has a very logical separation of paragraph styles, character styles and TOC levels.
Mellel used with Bookends has a wonderful live bibliography feature (like Endnote’s ‘Cite While You Write’, but without the glitches).
On the other hand, Mellel doesn’t support comments, indexing, or export of table of contents to pdf (all of which can be done in NWP).
If I recall correctly, Nisus does what Word does in making TOC level a feature of paragraph style. I seem to remember reading also that its cross-references only update on saving/printing.
Much more important, it has been reported to get badly bogged down in documents (even quite short ones) with many footnotes: see this thread on the NWP forums. As you’ll see, the developers know and don’t seem to be able to fix it.
What do you mean for “long”?
I meant it vaguely… Say book length, or PhD thesis length. From a few tens of thousands of words up.
Word is really worse than these 2?
Well, maybe. It used to be well known for corrupting files, particularly when the master document feature (designed for long documents) was used: see here. I’ve never seen this myself, having always avoided the feature, but I have seen corrupted documents where the cause was probably tracked changes. More info on document corruption in Word.
Also Word’s implementation of cross-references feature is feeble, and it still moves images around when you aren’t looking… It’s also never quite managed to be a proper Mac application with a consistent user interface: see Pierre Igot’s posts about it over the years.
Some indication of how I feel: I’m currently working on a book in Word format (because it’s co-authored, and we need tracked changes and comments), so have copied the chapter I am working on into Pages 09.
It was the disastrous and total mastication of 45,000 words in a MS Word document in 2006 that drove me, via IdeaMason, yWriter, Power Writer and numerous other Windows long-form tools, to find Scrivener on the Mac. And extremely glad I was to do so - and still remain glad, particularly when I read as above that Word may still have problems after all this time.
Word, I believe, is designed primarily as a business tool, for letters and reports - short-form documents, in other words. I know some writers can and do use it successfully as their core tool for fiction, non-fiction and academic projects, and I admire what they do. But still, I suspect that those who use it for long-form work where livelihoods, futures and dreams may be bound up inextricably with the stability of a single project are too small a part of the market for Microsoft to devote large resources to their needs, and that is why problems continue to arise.
There is this ongoing myth about Nisus crashing. This happened in one of the first betas, and the dark reputation has become a matter of faith. Nisus does not crash. In years of use, I could prove it ‘rock-solid’, as they say.
On the other side, slowing-down with several notes is real. I discovered a workaround, consisting in breaking a long note with Return, and then joining it back with Backspace. Odd, but it works. It needs to be fixed.
I cannot confirm issues with cross-references, but I admit to having used them very sparingly.
On a personal level, I prefer TOC levels to be linked to paragraph styles. I cannot separate the appearance of a text section from its place in the logical structure. Heading 1 has to always be Helvetica Bold 24, or whathever you choose it to be. Apart for this, I find the management of styles in Mellel a bit confusing, or at least not the way I like to deal with them.