Nisus now does comments

The public beta of Nisus Writer Pro 1.1 is now up on, and does comments, read and write on the Word - Scrivener - Nisus round trip. This is very good news – comments, to me, are much more relevant than Track Changes for working with editors. I feel that Nisus is now overtaking Mellel for my purposes; multiple note streams I can live without, and the Outline feature in Mellel has been, of course, superseded by the Scrivener binder… I feel guilty about this, because I really loved it at one stage, but I feel Mellel may be moving towards desuetude in my rig.

And the annotations in Scrivener export very nicely to Nisus comments, too… (Using RTF.) I definitely think Scrivener and Nisus are a good fit.

Yes, the Scrivener-Nisus combination is brilliant. :smiley:

The only way the bar could be raised higher for me is if it was possible for Nisus/Scrivener to read comments in Word docs (and docxs). That’s largely down to the converter Nisus use, which Martin tells me they are looking to replace, so I don’t know if/when it will become possible. I presume TextEdit, (hence Scrivener?) uses the same one without Nisus’ tweaks.

In the meantime, I’ll check-out the Commented-DOC --> NeoOffice to RTF --> Scrivener/Nisus to see how that works.

As for Mellel, as I’ve said in other threads, I had to give that up long ago for reasons of Chinese, but I’m sure most dedicated users will continue to do prefer it.


Having finished a new book in Scrivener I must, of course, deliver it in Word. I tried to finish the final revise in the new Word 2008. Well done, Microsoft. You’ve made a bad product worse - slow, unreliable, nasty all round. So I’m actually finishing the thing off in Pages which is working well - comment come through, plus the track changes works. True there’s stuff on the screen I don’t need such as footers and headers but at least it doesn’t keep falling over and the global find (all instances in a document in a single view) is very useful too.

Shame Pages has no workable outlining, long document management function though.

Yes, and that it does not save itself. That’s incredible these days.

But at least its beautiful. Surely the most beautiful textprocessor ever. :laughing:

Excuse me…

But what is the purpose of Nisus Writer and why does one need it if one has Scrivener?


Every so often, someone will request a feature, and Keith will say, “That’s a document layout and formatting feature. Scrivener doesn’t do that, and won’t.”

That’s when you need a dedicated word processor such as Nisus.

Common examples are complex footnotes, revision tracking, and table of contents/tables/figures generation, but there are plenty more.

I also wouldn’t use Scrivener for invoicing or business correspondence, and it would likely need to be augmented for journal articles, theses, and other things with highly specific formatting requirements.


I see…

Thanks you you for your response!


Not even that. I was shocked when I saw Pages’ text rendering. I have never seen my beloved Bembo (PostScript font) looking that bad. Strangely enough also worse than in Apple’s own TextEdit.

And what’s with the tiny toolbar icons?


I’m not sure any word processor looks ‘beautiful’ to me, or that I’d want it to. I just want the thing to work reliably and quickly. Pages does that for my purposes. I looked at the Nisus beta. The lack of a document-wide search function which reveals all instances of a word in the book makes it unsuitable for me - I take that for granted in Scrivener and Pages. But others might find this unimportant. It’s interesting that we have a wealth of choices now on the Mac - it didn’t use to be that way.

I’m actually very well impressed with Nisus WP and its comments in particular. It’s friendly to the user, it has a good forum and it’s developers listen to customers. In fact, I’m letting Pages (partially) and Mellel go: the first is not good for long files (although it’s great for graphic ones, like flyers and posters) and the second is way too contra-intuitive for my taste.

It also imports wonderfully from Scrivener. :slight_smile:

I can’t imagine what makes you think that. Nisus has had that since way back … there’s a “Find All” button at the bottom of the Find dialog. I’ve just checked it using the Project Gutenberg version of Jane Eyre, 308 pages in the type settings I have as default. I searched for “Jane” … it highlighted every example, including the times when Rochester calls her “Janet” as I didn’t ask for complete word.
What’s even greater about NWP/E is it has a full — I believe — implementation of GREP, in both a user-friendly version, known as PowerFind, and a code-based version, PowerFind Pro. I don’t know any other ordinary word processor that gives you that search and replace capability.


You still have to scroll through every one to find it in its position though. The global find in Scrivener and the Search panel in Pages shows you a separate panel with each instance in place so you can just go to everyone one without having to work your way through the document . Much, much quicker.

For me it’s a question of which kind of text we are dealing with. I think Pages has a beautiful interface, and for small projects is fine (although I tend to use Bean more in these… I just have a crush for Bean, I guess). It’s also great for something more graphical. However, I don’t think it’s that good for an article or a thesis – for these I’m having a very good experience with Nisus and, to a certain point, I also had a good experience with Mellel (alas, like I said, with a difficult workflow). I also have Word (I must, since I rely in Excel too much) but I never open it.

As for NWP search: it’s not as fancy as Scriv or Pages, but it’s quite enough for me. My main needs are different. :slight_smile:

(Needless to say I have way too many text editors.)

Mmm … OK. I see what you mean in Pages. I’ve done the same search, but I have to say that for me, scrolling down that list is not really any quicker than scrolling down the text in NWP. And although pages contextualises the word in terms of the immediately preceding and following characters, I prefer the fuller contextualisation I get from seeing the word actually highlighted on the page.
It’s horses for courses, of course, but I wouldn’t give up the GREP possibility for what might arguably be a slicker interface.


My fault but I have never, ever understood what GREP is or does, or why I might need it. Too dumb for it… Those contextual global search things though are great for me when I think ‘Where’s that scene where so and so does…?’

However, Nisus’ Find All has the advantage of letting you apply a particular formatting or style to all found occurrences. I find this invaluable in a word processor. Yes, I use NWP mainly for final touchup or translations, so this is the right way of working in that case; but Scrivener’s way is better in its own case (where styling is not involved, while keeping track of when and where is).

I use Scrivener for editing translations, and if I was doing translations I most definitely would … Vertical split; original text in the right hand pane; translation being worked on in the left … you can’t beat it. Export the results to RTF, pretty them up in NWP … Bob’s your uncle.

Here’s an example. I prepare lectures in OmniOutliner Pro, 'cos from there I can export it to Keynote for the presentation and to RTF to produce a printout. But the RTF has weird beginnings to the lines often with a tab, a listing number which may be one or two digits, followed by a tab then a “handle” which may be a downward pointing triangle and another tab.
I can use GREP to look for every occurrence of a paragraph mark followed by a tab and a number of either one or two digits, followed by another tab and the triangle in question and another tab, and replace it by a paragraph mark, followed by the precise number for each occurrence in turn, whatever it may be, followed by a single tab. I can then do a “Replace All” and, say, 35 rows retaining their appropriate consecutive numbers from 1 to 35 and a tab are the result. GREP makes that possible.
Nisus in both PowerFind and PowerFind Pro has an interface that lets you build the search and replace strings without having to actually learn the codes.


Coo… I’m so very glad I just write fiction. This is all too complicated for me. I do wish, though, that Pages could search and replace on formats like Word, because sometimes I forget to italicise words and it would be nice to do that on a global basis (which clearly Nisus can do as well). But since the last version has to go through Word anyway I can tweak it there.

I do think writing is about finding the tools that work for you, and they probably won’t for anyone else. There isn’t a right or wrong - only right and wrong for the individual.