1. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Now I've done it

    Discussion in 'Software' started by Steerpike, Aug 27, 2016.

    I've gone and bought a Macbook. I still have my linux and Windows computers, but I thought I'd give Apple a shot, seeing as I haven't had an Apple computer in a long, long time.

    I have Scrivener, which I use in Windows but has more features in Mac. Any other good Mac software I should think about?
     
  2. Martin Beerbom
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    Martin Beerbom New Member

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    Depends on what you need.... :)

    Just two things I think are worth mentioning:

    1) There's a lot of stuff already build in. For instance, there's TextEdit, which is far more than just an editor and can count as a word processor (with RTF file format that sadly is not present anymore in Apple's Pages). Essentially, TextEdit is also the graphical front end of a command line tool called "textutil", which is a pretty little powerhouse of text related utilities (batch converting, merging etc.), if you are not turned off by using command line tools (and converts from and to various file types including .doc/.docx and .odt).

    2) I recently discovered a pretty full featured word processing program called "Mellel" (Hebrew for 'text'), made by a small Israeli outfit. It costs about $40, and also has an iOS version for $20. To date, it's Mac/iOS only. Not surprisingly, it features full right-to-left language support, and it is very strongly oriented to using styles, automation of structuring (numbering of section headlines, TOC etc., automated reformatting of styles etc.), bibliography, citation and referencing (it ties in with the bibliography software "Bookends"). It seems quite popular with scientific writing (in particular here in Germany), but it's also handy for final preparation of manuscripts because of it's automation features (file exchanges works via RTF, so no problem using Scrivener files), though it lacks full MS Word format output (doesn't export to .docx, and the export to .doc has some problems with complex formatted documents, but there's the tools I mentioned above :) ). Though it's not yet completely bug free, needs some training time (does things a bit differently than, say MS Word), and because the developer is such a small company, lacks a bit of support, but they do have a nice forum for communicating with other users and the developers. Nevertheless, it's a very interesting and promising app.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2016
  3. Raven484
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    Raven484 Contributing Member

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    Hey Steerpike, long time no see. Nice to here you have a new toy. Take at look at there IWorks package. I believe it is Numbers, Pages, and Keynote. They perform pretty much like Office but a lot more affordable. I think each one is less than $15. Have fun with your new toy, I think it comes with a lot of cool software also.
     
  4. Martin Beerbom
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    Martin Beerbom New Member

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    Pages, Numbers, and Keynote are free if you buy a current Mac (one bought after Oct. 1st, 2013). They're not pre-installed, but you can install them for free from the App Store.
     
  5. Raven484
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    Raven484 Contributing Member

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    Even better, thanks Martin. I got my wife one in 2012 so we had to pay, just can't remember exactly what it was. They are pretty good programs though, she likes them and she isn't very good with computers.
     
  6. Martin Beerbom
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    Martin Beerbom New Member

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    They are nice. Keynote is pretty much the best presentation program you can get, on any platform.

    There's only the little nit I already mentioned: Pages doesn't support much in the field of importing/exporting file formats. Essentially, the only word processing file format it supports (beside its own) that retains full formatting is Word (.doc/.docx). [It can also write the older Pages '09 format. Luckily, I retained my old copy of that. While not as refined user interface-wise, it has a lot more functions than the current Pages, and can read/write rtf. Doesn't help people coming anew, of course. Though I'm sure you can find ways to get a copy if you're careful :) .]

    For the average user, this is not a big problem. For me, it is. So much so that it's not my first choice recommendation for fully featured word processing programs anymore.

    If asked what I personally for Word replacements on Mac, here are my choices:

    1) LibreOffice Writer;
    2) Nisus Writer [rtf-based, very stable, very nice, around since 1989, they know what they're doing. $20 for the Lite version, $80 for the Pro];
    3) Mellel [see former post].

    [Another side note: Apple recommends the workaround to copy and paste to TextEdit, and save rtf from there. Unfortunately, this doesn't work completely for all files. It won't carry over two-column formatting, for instance, and no headers and footers (as they are not selected when you do a "select all" in Pages.)]
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2016
  7. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Thanks for the input, everyone. Pages, Keynote, and Numbers did come with the Mac. I've used both Pages and Keynote already, and they seem fine. I haven't tried moving back and forth between Pages and Word on Windows, which is functionality I need. I have a Word subscription, so I've mostly been using Word for Mac.

    I also found Ulysses, which is quite nice! I've never heard of Mellel - going to check that one out.

    TextEdit looks nice for a basic text editor. I also found an app called Text Wrangler.

    Thanks for the recommendations. It has been a good laptop so far.
     
  8. Martin Beerbom
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    Martin Beerbom New Member

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    TextWrangler is awesome!

    And since you mention Ulysses: There are tons of markdown text editors out there, each with its own strengths (and since it's just plain text with [mostly] the same markdown conventions, they all interoperate!). Some I like are Byword (because of its iCloud sharing between my Mac and my iPad), Markdown Pro (because it has a live preview pane), and Archimedes (which does LaTeX-style math typesetting without having a full TeX/LaTeX-install, ... if you ever need such a thing).
     
  9. NigeTheHat
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    NigeTheHat Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you're going to be doing anything spreadsheet-related, get Excel. Pages is OK - though I don't think that moving-back-and-forth thing with Word will happen, Apple seem to have devoted a lot of energy to making the two not talk - but Numbers is filth.
     
  10. Martin Beerbom
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    Martin Beerbom New Member

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    Speak for yourself, but for my modest spreadsheet needs Numbers is more than enough. Sure it's not an Excel-replacament, but for me it does not need to be.
     

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