Nisus Writer Pro 2 is released

For any of you Nisus fans, just in case you haven’t heard, Pro v. 2 has just been released … floating text boxes, change-tracking, vertical ruler … lots of goodies!



Thanks Mark. On the basis of a skim of the new features, it really does look like a complete alternative to MS Word now.

Yes, they seem to have covered almost all the bases. I had to give up reading the release notes they’re so long … couldn’t give it the necessary time.


I like Nisus Writer in spite of the buggy behavior with tables, but at $49 for the upgrade I will pass. I hope that they make the fixes available for all users. If I want enhancements and added features I’ll buy an upgrade, but the many bug fixes should be part of a free update. Here are the fixes just for tables:

Fixed: tables: if a table is enclosed in selection (but no cells have been directly selected), the table cells should still be affected by formatting changes.

Fixed: tables: merged cells should not lose certain kinds of special content (eg: bookmarks) when a file is reopened.

Fixed: tables: “Fit to Contents” did not take ruler’s head/tail indent into account.

Fixed: tables: annotations inside table cells can appear at the wrong vertical offset in the annotation pane.

Fixed: tables: possible crash when sorting particular tables.

Fixed: tables: deleting whole tables where two cells have exactly the same content can cause crashes.

Fixed: tables: fixed possible crash when deleting whole tables from document.

Fixed: tables: possible crash when deleting many table rows at once.

Fixed: tables: possible minor issues when focusing table selections.

Fixed: tables: selecting a table in the document body (instead of the cells themselves) and sorting paragraphs produces errors.

Fixed: tables: selection inside a table becomes permanently invalid after doing certain drag-drops in table cells.

Fixed: tables: should not use uninitialized selection anchor point, which can produce out-of-range table selections.

Fixed: tables: table cell shading can improperly bleed out from prior rows.

Fixed: tables: table row minimum height should not be enforced for rows interior/internal to a span that user cannot adjust.

Fixed: tables: trying to insert a newline when in table cell selection mode should start an edit in a cell and insert that newline.

More fixes can be found here:

I have to say that this paid upgrade is a big disappointment to me.

Eddie —

You linked to release notes that run over 9,000 words and seem to scroll on forever, and you want all that work to be free? Wait, you’re not one of my freelance clients, are you?

A big disappointment? But why? Because the upgrade as such isn’t very interesting, or because in your opinion it’s too costly?

No Sean. As I said, I only expect bug fixes to be made available for free. I’ve reported bugs and have not seen any fixes in over a year, and now the fixes are here but I have to pay more money just to have the software perform the way it was supposed to perform in the first place. That doesn’t sound right.

If you and others find that surprising, let me say that I’ve mentioned this before to other developers and they’ve agreed with me.

In fact, I mentioned this to a developer almost exactly 2 years ago. I was entitled to a free upgrade to version 9 of one of his applications, but I mentioned that “…there may be people using version 8 who don’t get the free upgrade and are left with a program that is buggy…”
His response on May 21, 2009: “…we will release a version of 8.x customers shortly with the above bug fixes as well.

Even though I have free updates for life for all of his applications, I sometimes buy more licenses to show my support. My most recent purchase was last month. I’ve also paid for Mellel and Office and gladly pay for their upgrades. (Yes, I like Microsoft Office :slight_smile: ).

English is not my native language, but I thought this was very clear:

If I want enhancements and added features I’ll buy an upgrade, but the many bug fixes should be part of a free update.”

Do I want added features for free? No.
Do I expect bug fixes to be made available for free? Yes.

Maybe I’ve been spoiled by other developers :wink:

Anyway, it’s not a big deal. If you like the software and their policies, buy it. I have nothing against Nisus and I do like Nisus Writer Pro. It’s obviously buggy, but I still use it for simple documents. YMMV.

Out of principle I do not like bug fixes not being part of a free update.
I can’t comment on the actual software since I have not tried it, so the software itself may not be disappointing at all. Maybe it’s amazing. Maybe for many it’s even worth $79 or $49 (upgrade).

In my case, I think that the upgrade price is a bit much, especially since I feel like a beta tester. I bought version 1 to support an alternative software and a nice company, but it was always buggy. Support was good, but bugs remained.

I’d rather spend that money on Scrivener, which for some odd reason I haven’t bought even though I’ve been a fan for years. At $79 Nisus seems to be priced on the expensive side. In contrast, the prices of some other writing applications I have:
Ulysses $30
Mellel $39 (I may eventually pay $19 for the lifetime upgrade even though I already have a permanent license)
StoryMill $50 (usually on sale for less)
Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac Special Media Edition $45 @ Amazon :open_mouth: I got my copy cheap when it first came out ($120?), but not this cheap. I still use it everyday, but use the Web Services Edition of Entourage. It also included Expression Media and I got a free upgrade to version 2 when it came out. Now it’s called Media Pro, is no longer a Microsoft product, and sells for $199.

There are more but, although cheaper, Nisus Writer and Write Room are not really comparable, for example.

I hope this clarifies my comment.

It’s not always possible or feasible for a developer to keep adding bug fixes to an older version as they fix the newer version. It may well be that half of the fixes were only possible because of major underlying changes in the code for 2.0 - fixing the bugs in both versions may well have worked out as a double effort rather than a simple matter of applying the fixes across, which would have hindered development altogether. I say this from experience - there were heaps of bug-fixes in Scrivener 2.0 over Scrivener 1.54, but there would have been no way for me to apply many of these to Scrivener 1.54 without turning it half into 2.0. In reality it’s just impossible to separate these things out cleanly.

So, although I do understand your frustration, in all fairness Nisus 1.0 was out for several years and in that time there were many free updates and bug-fixes; I think $49 is more than fair for all the hard work that Martin and the team have put into it.

I’ve been using Nisus 2.0 in beta for a while now, and it’s fantastic.

All the best,

Over on the NWP forum, folks are fussin’ because the 2.0 upgrade is $10 more than the academic upgrade, and the latter is not yet available. Doesn’t the word “academic” define a vicious fight over very small stakes?

Druid–I might just be sensitive since academe is in the process of total liquidation in my country, but I hardly would call it “fussin” that people are asking the developers about the proper upgrade path. I would suspect this question applies to a very high proportion of Nisus users and it surprises me that the developers have yet to answer their questions.

For what it’s worth, I hope they priced it correctly. I’ve used Nisus since 2006; they’re obviously not a greedy bunch, but it seems a bit steep to me. However, this impression is also highly personal and probably has more to do with the fact that Nisus already does what I need (less and less, it turns out, especially as my scholarly writing and even lecture/lesson planning takes place almost entirely in Scrivener…)

Thanks for your response Keith. I agree with you. It’s just frustrating that I reported bugs for over a year and will have to keep on using the buggy version. Prior to this release, there were no updates to Nisus Writer for over a year. I feel like I did whenever I bought a version 1 application from Apple; a user who pays to beta-test software :confused: I was just not expecting this from Nisus. In fact, other than Apple, I’ve had good experiences using version 1 software.

In Scrivener’s defense, it’s been very fairly priced. Due to various promotions I’ve ended up with other applications, but Scrivener is one that I’ll definitely buy. In addition, you’ve taken the time to ask for feedback from your users.

No carpenter that I know of has ever complained about the price of a new Estwing. It’s the best; it does what you need; and your wrist isn’t tired by the end of the day. And . . . it pays your bills.


Good tools pay for themselves many times over. Ineffective tools are a waste of time and money, no matter how “reasonably” priced.


I sympathize and tend to agree (at least in principle) with Eddie. A software developer (or anyone selling a product) has an obligation to see that his product works as advertised. If the application does not, it is unfair to require customers to pay a new fee to get a fixed version. After all, in this cynical world, what would prevent a developer from purposefully building in those annoying bugs as an incentive to customers to buy the fixed version? How would any of us know if that were happening?

Of course, as Keith points out, there are practical exceptions, and basically it comes down to how well the rest of the application works and how much you trust the developer. I have the utmost faith that Scrivener is built with every ounce of integrity Keith is able to endow it with. I don’t have any experience with the developers of Nisus, so am not in any way implying they do this. In fact, I doubt they do. I’m just saying that we need to hold developers to a high standard – and the only way to hold them to that is looking at their track record and deciding for ourselves if they are worth the support. Eddie says “no” to Nisus, and I can’t fault him for that.

With regard to the developers of Nisus, they are great guys. Martin has given me no end of help with the OS X text system over the years just because he’s genuinely nice - there are text system bugs that would never have been fixed in Scrivener without Martin having been kind enough to share his experiences with me when I have bent his ear.

As a user of Nisus products since System 6 days (ca. 1991) and then the transition to OS X, I find that Nisus has been very reasonable in its price (especially considering the feature sets). Can there be improvements along the way, including bug fixes? Yep. But for the most part, Nisus has done a great job. Last time I paid for an upgrade was 4 years ago… so $49 for an upgrade to NWP 2 makes it $5/year. Not a bad price. Of course, I write as one who has what he needs in NWP, and live with some of its limitations.

Satisfied customer of Nisus Writer Pro 2, Mellel, Tinderbox, and Scrivener. :smiley:

I just noticed Nisus 2.0’s “track changes” icon. Best track changes icon ever!