New poll: What's your favorite word processor?

What are your favorite word processor and/or page layout apps to use with Scrivener?

  • Apple Pages
  • Microsoft Word
  • Nisus Writer Pro
  • Mellel
  • Bean
  • Papyrus
  • OpenOffice/NeoOffice
  • Tex/LyX/LaTeX
  • Adobe InDesign
  • Something else

0 voters

and why?

Just taking an informal poll/survey.

This is similar to the one in the ‘Zen’ thread, except I took out two options that no one seems to be using anymore (FrameMaker and Mariner Write) and replaced them with two options people brought up under ‘other’ (Papyrus and Bean).

Also, I think it’ll get more views and replies in this section.

Thanks for participating!


Actually, FrameMaker is the one single program I use most, and the one that makes me earn more money. But since I wouldn’t call it strictly a wordprocessor, it is OK not to find it here.


Word, Pages and InDesign, but of those “favourite” only really applies to Pages. I use Word and InDesign because I have to, not because I like them :wink:

Interesting that you put InDesign in the same category of dislike as Word. It seems that ever since the bean counters have taken the reins from the original innovative founders at Adobe that they seem to be more like MS all the time. They just came out with CS4 today which now includes three versions of Acrobat: Acrobat 9 Standard, Acrobat 9 Pro, and Acrobat 9 Pro Extended. I tried to download a trial of Pro Extended only to find out that Pro Extended is a Windows-only product. Only Acrobat Standard and Pro have Mac versions, but the Mac version is not available as a trial. I can’t try it out on my platform, so I suppose I’ll stick with Mac PDF alternatives like PDFPen and PDFClerk and hope they continue to improve.

Mellel, without any doubt. It’s easy to create a list of things that don’t work well in Mellel, and another list of essential features that are still lacking. This has already been done many times: for instance, recently, here . Moreover, Mellel certainly isn’t the easiest wordprocessor to master.

But Mellel’s strong points are very strong . I just mention:

  • excellent stability: Mellel is solid as a rock
  • superb outlining
  • excellent cross-references
  • possibility to put hundreds of pages and thousands of footnotes into one single document.

For those who don’t write very long documents with many footnotes etc., Mellel may be overkill. But for academic use Mellel is clearly the best choice.

My second choice is Papyrus, which however outside the German speaking world is not very well known. Moreover, the most recent English version of Papyrus for some reason traditionally lacks a whole series of features which are already incorporated into the most recent German version.

Nisus Pro is very nice, but for academic use not as good as Mellel.

Mellel, NWP, and Pages. Were we able to list a fourth, it would be Papyrus (despite the fact that even after registering, they won’t let me post :wink: ).

Mellel for academic writing, NWP for everyday tasks, and Pages for simple 8-page newsletter for our seminary.

I use open office, because alot of the time im not using Scrivener on my Mac Mini and the only other computer I have is a Linux machine. Plus in my opinion, the documents can be transferred between, open office, neo office and microsoft office. I also of course use Scrivener for my book and I use MS office 2004 for mac. :slight_smile:

I use NeoOffice now and will switch to OpenOffice 3 once it’s released: Both are great for exchanging documents with Microsoft Office and OpenOffice on Windows/Linux. Also, my favorite spellchecker (Langenscheidt Duden) cooperates with NO/OO.

On my iBook, I use Bean instead as it is really fast (for editing I usually move the docs to my Mac Mini with its 20" screen, a fast Intel CPU and enough memory to make NeoOffice usable).


Re InDesign, to be honest I haven’t liked it since it launched, and I admit it’s partly just because I was a hardcore Quark user for many years. Also, I never liked Illustrator to start with, so when ID came along with basically the same structure and UI, I was less than impressed.

But I’ve ranted about this before, so I shan’t repeat myself. Suffice to say that if Quark were still a serious contender, InDesigned would never have touched my machine :wink:

Hi there,

I voted for Nisus, Mellel and OpenOffice. Perhaps I should explain why … Because, well, I mostly use Nisus. :smiley:

So that’s that covered. When working with Scrivener, I use Nisus to put the manuscript in shape for the editors and customers. Mostly because I am just comfortable with its way of dealing with styles, but also because of RTF comments which my editors tend to use. Too often. But I digress.

Mellel doesn’t support any comments submitted by WORD users or the like, so, yeah. I use Mellel mostly for complicated tech documentation with craploads of structure which won’t get edited by, well, an editor. Also, for camera-ready files, as Mellel’s text rendering is – in my eyes – far superior to anything Apple’s text rendering (which both Scrivener and Nisus use) could come up with. All I say is OpenType fonts with ligatures …

OpenOffice / NeoOffice? Well, compatibility. I have quite a few people exchanging documents with me who are on Linux. Probably because I, too, used to use Linux before switching to OS X. There’s about a hundred OOorg documents on my harddrive still, all written before I even dreamed about buying a Mac.

I also sometimes use Pages, as it can deal with “track changes” and comments in real WORD documents. Nisus wants to have either an RTF or one of those RTF-renamed-to-DOC documents. Oh, well. Thankfully, my customers don’t often send me .doc, so that’s that.

If I could create my perfect word processor, it would be Nisus with Mellel’s outlining features and Papyrus’s clipboard and mummify function. One can dream …


Interested in hearing from Mariner Write users – or former users – as to their likes/dislikes. Surprised no one seems to use this. I bought a license (on a recent Mariner buying binge), but haven’t played with it much, as most of my non-screenplay work is in Word.

Like most of us here, I pretty much detest Word, but at some point I found that writing my advertising stuff in Pages then converting to Word was a matter of principle – not speed or convenience – so I find myself opening Word to begin a project (especially a one-day job).

Hi Sascha,

What do you mean by Papyrus’s clipboard and ‘mummify’ function?


As to Mariner Write: it still exists, but its development has come to an almost complete stand still. In the past three or even four years hardly anything has changed in this application, and I don’t think its developers have the intention to develop it any further. The company now concentrates on applications like MacJournal or Montage.

Hi Jeff,

Papyrus has a clipboard next to the text window where you can drag text snippets to, for future use and the like. Or put down notes. (the thingy on the right.)

Also, with “mummify” you can select text and hide it without deleting it. Say, if you’re editing a short-story and figure “na, this paragraph isn’t really necessary”, you just hide it. If later on you realise that the paragraph is still needed, you un-hide it. No need for multiple copies or snapshots in the editing process.


P. S. The makers of Papyrus will release a special version for writers come the Frankfurt book show. Might be interesting to have a look, then.

For those in search of a really down-to-earth, simple, but effective wordprocessor, besides Bean there is also Schreiben . Not free, but very, very cheap … and very favourable reviews!

Thanks for the explanation Sascha. When is the Frankfurt book show?

Jeff, the Frankfurt Book Fair is 15-19 October this year.


Also “google docs” is pretty good, its reliable and always there so if you have an old computer or your computer crashes, you do not have any issues with recovery. I currently use it as a backup storage.

OpenOffice 3.0 officially launches Oct. 13.

Lovely, but I don’t see how OpenOffice is relevant to what I said…?