What is your favorite word processor to use with Scrivener?

What is your favorite word processor/page layout app to use with Scrivener?

  • Apple’s Pages
  • Microsoft Word
  • FrameMaker
  • InDesign
  • Nisus Writer Pro
  • Mellel
  • Mariner Write
  • Open Office/NeoOffice
  • Some version of TeX
  • Something else

0 voters

and why?

Just taking an informal poll/survey.

Thanks for participating!


My “something else” answer is LyX. Granted, it uses some form of TeX beneath the surface, but unless you want to get nitty gritty with it, that really is inconsequential. Scrivener -> MMD/LaTeX export -> LyX is a very nice way to make PDFs if the default LaTeX export is not quite enough.

For things that need to be something other than TeXish or PDF, Mellel is the only other word processor I can really abide by, since it is also within the philosophy of semantic style usage over format usage.


I don’t use any, but against the day – it could come – when I once again have to deal with fussy printouts, an editor who won’t settle for an .rtf file, a director who insists on a format I can’t cobble up in Scrivener or CeltX, I’ll be very interested in the comments you get.

Also will be useful when – it probably will come – editorial intransigence provokes me to try self-publishing.


Hi Amber,

I think I remember you from the FrameMaker and/or Mellel forums.

What do you mean by ‘semantic style usage’ vs. ‘format usage’?


I was going to ask that question, but I chickened out. :frowning:

You`re obviously braver than I am. :confused:

Welcome aboard Scrivener Jeff :wink:
Take care

There’s a difference between ‘favourite’ and ‘most frequently used’ though, for most of us.

My clients are all PC based, and use Word for virtually everything. So I use Word for Windows a lot when I’m on site, which is why it is far from my favourite. Word’s biggest quality, and biggest failing, is that you can beat it into doing almost anything textular. The problem is that mostly you do have to beat it.

I also use Nisus Express, rather than Pro, and Bean, as a text editor. Have we had a ‘my favourite text editor’ thread recently?

Favourite = most used: MS Word (for the reason others give: the world uses it)

Favourite = most liked: Nisus Writer Pro


Nisus Writer Pro. I started with Mellel many moons ago, and was getting used to the interface, but the deal-breaker for me was its inability to import Word .docs in Chinese … I had to open them in TextEdit and save them out as RTF, then import that into Mellel. I was also not too keen on having everything in a proprietary format.
Then I came across Okito Composer, which would import Chinese .docs directly and it looked good for development. In due course, the developer, Charles Jolley, sold it to Nisus and joined Nisus himself, so it became Nisus Writer Express and then Pro was developed. I keep thinking I ought to give Mellel another try, but basically, there currently isn’t much point for me.
And when I want to do more serious layout, I use InDesign — unfortunately still CS1 — and do it in that, but I haven’t yet taken anything straight from Scrivener into InDesign.


Hi Mark,

Yea, I agree with you. Mellel is rock-solid stable-it hasn’t crashed on me in years-and I love its outliner, however I too don’t like the proprietary format. The inability to do undos after saving is also a drawback. That said, I still think it’s one of the best. I voted for Apple’s Pages, Nisus Writer Pro, and Mellel, altho I like the open standard that OpenOffice/NeoOffice uses. They each have their strengths and weaknesses don’t they? Different strokes for different folks.


Pages. I like the clean interface and its display of searches in a left sidebar. It’s a snap for doing page layout for short documents with images or display type. Smoothly imports .doc or .rtf files, and exports to .doc or .pdf, the latter with live links. The Track Comments feature is also great, even when working with editors who use only Word. I’m using the iWork '08 version and bet versions to come will be only better. I have not used any MS products for over a year and don’t miss them at all. (Keep a copy of OpenOffice 3, if needed).

I had to say Word. I still have the 2004 version and I have enough macros set up to do a lot of stuff with a few keystrokes, that I won’t be giving it up any time soon.

I have Pages and like it, but tend to use it for things that I am not using a standard setup for. A recent bundle deal brought me Mellel, but I haven’t tried it yet. I also like some of the smaller ones - Bean, WriteRoom - but a lot depends on my mood and the complexity of the document I’m working with. Straight text can be done in any of them and I’m usually happy.

I tried Open Office on my EeePC, but found it frustrating, though to be fair that could have been the fault of the computer (and its tiny keyboard and screen) and not the software.

Which one would I love to be able to use? WordStar! :stuck_out_tongue: I loved the cursor controls in that program and still miss them. (I have set up a few in Word via macros - another reason I will not be moving to the 2008 version.)

If you only want a word processor I can recommend Abiword. I have completely removed Open Office from my EeePC because it just didn’t work that well on that tiny screen. It looked bulky. Abiword opens files quickly and hasn’t crashed on me yet (it can open .doc as well as .rtf)

I do have Ubuntu installed, removed the original OS, so you may experience differences.


Everything after the first draft I do with Papyrus, a German text processor and the only one with a spellchecker that really works.

My everyday writing (letters etc.) I do with Pages. Just because it’s beautiful, has a lot of possibilities to fiddle around with and does the job.

NeoOffice is, although slow and not really handy (not at least due the not-Mac-behaviour of its cursor keys), still undispensible while working with my editors: It’s the only non-MS-application that is able to hide the fact that I do not own Ms-Word at all.

I’ve been intrigued by Papyrus and have played with it. Have you ever used it’s built-in relational database? If so, how is it? Seems made-to-order for variable data publishing but I can’t find anyone who uses it for that.


Andreas. The Duden spellchecker that is part of Papyrus is also available for OpenOffice 2.x for the Mac (not yet for the upcoming 3.0 edition) and can be made to run in NeoOffice, too.


Same here. But the good news is that OpenOffice.org 3 RC1 (Aqua) is VERY promising. E. g., moving per word via alt-arrow works! Hurray! Then again, shortcuts for italics and such have to be set manually for whatever reason.


I’m using the OS spellchecker and I don’t think it is THAT bad. Yes, it has moods and tends to underline the first word of a text wether it is spelled wrong or not. Maybe it just wants to wave “Hello! I’m here and active!”.

In my native German my spelling is pretty okay and I use the spellchecker more as a typochecker. Because of that it is more important to me that I have a universal spellchecker and not a single one in every text program I use. Their default vocabulary naturally is limited and it is annoying having to add a word to a couple of dictionaries.


Papyrus is a solid piece of work, which I appreciate the more I use it. One of the best features is that you can save a hybrid format (proprietary *.pap format AND pdf) which you can exchange with other people who will be able to read the pdf part of it. Anyone using Papyrus will also be able to use the same document as a Papyrus document, modify it etc. No more keeping track of which version of a document corresponds to which pdf that you created two weeks ago. Very handy and very stable also, even when working with very large documents.

The database works seamlessly for letters, the addresses of which it can pull from a database (unfortunately not from Apple’s Addressbook).
I started developing a custom database in it but soon realized that it 1) would outgrow the possibilities offered in Papyrus and 2) this database did not need integration with a wrd processor and thus I migrated development to a real database program. I have to say that I liked what I saw of the database part. It does come with several examples. The most impressive is a customer database, which I understand is used by the devs to keep track of their own customers.

Thanks Prion,

I wonder if it can be used for variable-data publishing, by which I mean more than just mail-merge so that you can customize ebooks or PDFs for each customer with variable data applicable to them so you have a different customized version for each individual customer?



I have not tried it but as long as you don’t expect this to be a 5 second point and click exercise and are comfortable with basic scripting in general, I am rather confident that it might.
Don’t take my word for it though, they have a 30 day demo and are rather understanding if you ask for an extension.