Thursday, June 05, 2008

Nisus Writer Professional - the manual is a work of love

Nisus Writer Professional is not cheap for families. The license covers a single user at a time, so a family like ours with 5 users would need to spend $200 for use on a single machine. Other software has similar policies, but Nisus is very explicit about this during installation. Word and Pages leave such details to the imagination.

On the other hand, some testing shows NWP doesn't enforce the license (though for all I know NWP reports violations). They also have a generous upgrade policy for past licensees.

What else can I criticize about NWP/Nisus Writer Express?
  • HTML export is pretty darned unimpressive
  • I'm annoyed that NWE didn't survive the migration from 10.4 to 10.5.3. Many of my old apps run fine in 10.5.3, but NWE locked up when I tried to import a simple Word 97 document.
  • NWP can't translate a Word Table of Contents into a NWP Table of Contents and vice-versa.
  • NWP doesn't do image compression! Word has fabulous image compression, so a 2MB Word document can balloon into a 32MB NWP/NWE document.
I'll have more to say about the good things after I play with NWP a bit more. NWE has been my word processor of choice, and, even with the family licensing costs, we're staying with Nisus.

I'll point out one marvelous sign that most everyone else will miss. Nisus has a 400 page work-of-love PDF manual, which is sold as a bound book for $25.

These people love their product. That's a very encouraging sign.

There are some other things, from my time with Nisus Writer Express, that I expect

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