Is there a "best writing program"?

Discussion in 'Software' started by littlebluelie, Dec 30, 2008.

  1. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    I don't mind the updates coming in as they're ready. But then, I use a rolling linux distribution where you've got a regular stream of updates coming in to keep the system right at the edge of the latest releases.

    With respect to security patches, I'd want those released immediately and not held for a monthly bundle of updates. Everything else could wait I suppose :)
     
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  2. Nyx Redus

    Nyx Redus New Member

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  3. antlad

    antlad Banned

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    The security is taken care of by the way the system works. On mac & linux you are not automatically administrator, like you are on windows, you need to sign in to change/allow things, but is much easier than windows. The biggest single factor that makes windows a security hole is always being admin, but if you are not it is a pain.

    Simple analogy-
    windows- your house has a lock on it's front door and that is it.
    mac & linux- you have a lock on every single door and window; even if something gets in, it has nowhere to go and those machines become conduits for virus/malware.
     
  4. Vincent Liang

    Vincent Liang New Member

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    Microsoft Word is what I use, generally. But only after I disabled most of the more annoying automatic formatting like Smart Quotes and the like.
     
  5. Link the Writer

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    I use both the Pages app and Microsoft Word on my iPad. Really, it's up to the person him/herself what writing program they wanna use.

    Whatever helps you write the best, use it.
     
  6. Millyme11

    Millyme11 Member

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    I've seen a lot of writers on this forum mention the use of Scrivener. I'm quite happy with using Word at the moment but I have that feeling of 'don't know what I'm missing'.

    Is it worth buying Scrivener? (To those that have Scrivener)

    What do you think is best for writing?
     
  7. Wreybies

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I've merged your question with the longstanding thread that already exists on the basic topic.

    Me, I can't imagine writing-life without it. I'm not a very linear writer - scenes come to me as they please - and if you're like me, you may well find it useful. If you're linear - page 1 to page done, in that order - perhaps not so much.
     
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  8. big soft moose

    big soft moose All killer, no filler. Contributor Community Volunteer

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    I am a very linear writer, and having tried scriv i gave up and went back to open office .. thing is for a linear writer a lot of what it offers isn't needed and for purely sitting down and writing I didn't find its GUI particularly intuitive.
     
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  9. Millyme11

    Millyme11 Member

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    Apologies, I saw the 'Software' area after I posted it haha :)

    I've heard a lot of good things from Scrivener, but I don't want to pay up until I know that I'd use it.
     
  10. big soft moose

    big soft moose All killer, no filler. Contributor Community Volunteer

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    You can get it on a one month no obligation free trial (which is what did)...
     
  11. Millyme11

    Millyme11 Member

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    I might give that a try then.

    Do you know if I would be able to get my work out of it if I then decided not to use it and the expiry ran out?
     
  12. big soft moose

    big soft moose All killer, no filler. Contributor Community Volunteer

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    In theory yes, but it would be wise to back up your work as pdf or similar as you go along as scriv files can't be opened by other software -its a relatively painless process to export them to pdf or .doc or whatever though
     
  13. Millyme11

    Millyme11 Member

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    Thanks :)

    Do you know if it is a one-off payment or a monthly/ yearly subscription?

    Also, is anyone aware of a discount code through Writing Forums? (Just checking)
     
  14. Komposten

    Komposten Insanitary pile of rotten fruit Staff Supporter Contributor

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    A .scriv file is essentially just a folder (on Windows it is a folder) that contains a bunch of .rtf files. So even if Scrivener is lost you can still access your files (although they're all called 1.rtf, 2.rtf, etc.).

    1) Scrivener is a one-off payment.
    2) We used to have a discount code, but I think it has expired. @Wreybies, can you shed some light on this?
    3) The 30-day trial is not your usual trial that expires 30 days after you activate it. Instead it expires after you have used it for 30 (consecutive or non-consecutive) days. So if you use it one day a week it will last 30 weeks. This also means that if you end up not using Scrivener more than a week or two (maybe you end up not liking it), the trial will not expire (since your days only get used when you actually use Scrivener) and thus you should be able to open Scrivener and export your files when you need/want them. :)
     
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  15. big soft moose

    big soft moose All killer, no filler. Contributor Community Volunteer

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    According to google the most recent discount code that works is HAPPY CAMPER which ought to give 20% off .... these things change all the time though, so by the time you get to purchase it may well be different
     
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  16. Millyme11

    Millyme11 Member

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    Brilliant! I will install the free trial another day and see how I find it. If I do decide to purchase then I'll try to do it through a link on Writing Forums, so that it can gain any credit. :)
     
  17. Millyme11

    Millyme11 Member

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    Thanks, I'll keep an eye out :D
     
  18. Komposten

    Komposten Insanitary pile of rotten fruit Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Some advice for when you do try it out: Don't let all the features scare you. There are a lot of features (although not as many as Word has, and everything is oriented towards writers), but there is no reason to use them all. I probably only use 20-30% of what Scrivener has to offer, while the rest are things that either I don't need right now or that don't fit with my writing process.
    It can be a good idea to get a grasp of what Scrivener can do, then select the many or few features that you actually like (and most other features can be completely hidden from the interface you that don't even have to seem them if you don't want to ;) ).
     
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  19. Wreybies

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Supporter Contributor

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    And in the same vein as @Komposten's comments concerning not being intimidated by all the features, I made little video a while back about clearing up the screen so that you have a more clutter-free workspace. I'm not a pro tutorial maker or anything, so please be kind. :bigoops:

     
  20. Katharina Souvatzis

    Katharina Souvatzis New Member

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    this is actually what i need to know.
     
  21. jazzabel

    jazzabel Contributor Contributor

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    For me Ulysses app is the first writing programme that worked wonders. I opened it and in minutes I was writing on it. I didn't like Scrivener at all, I found it cumbersome and convoluted, and basic pages on Mac couldn't be shared fluidly across devices.
     
  22. MulberryWriter

    MulberryWriter Senior Member

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    i am picking this thread up half way through...but, I've used Scrivener since its inception. I still don't use all its bells and whistles but I find it the only way to write. I have a projects to organise my poetry, and one for each novel or type of writing. I do export to Word for final formatting and editing after I send a draft to someone else (who may not use Scrivener) and, should you not like Scrivener, you can export your work before the 30 days expires, no worries.

    One of the best features of Scrivener is that it backs up automatically and frequently and you can lose the whole app and still have your files. Another, which I have just learned the value of, you can do a universal change of things like back to front punctuation with quotes...In Word with my final edit, I have to change from the American ,' to the British ', (unless the comma is part of the quote) for any dialogue that is interrupted by narrative as in 'I think so too,' John said, 'it is...'. For the British a common within the first pair of quotes would only be there if it was part of the phrase...anyway, whether or not I have it back to front here, both this sort of thing and the universal change from hyphen to M-dash is easier in Scrivener than Word...
     
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  23. Millyme11

    Millyme11 Member

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    Brilliant. I am yet to complete my 30 trial, so I will decide when the time comes how I feel about it. Many thanks for the advice! :)
     
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  24. UnderTheMoon

    UnderTheMoon Member

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    In regards to those talking about MS Word, there seem to be authentic sellers on eBay doing it pretty damn cheap - I've been using Pages but I worry the Word/docx conversion tool isn't perfect...
     
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  25. Martin Beerbom

    Martin Beerbom Member

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    There's the word processor Nisus Writer (for Mac). It offers two options for .doc conversion: 1) Mac OS X (faster); 2) LibreOffice (more complete). (The text of each option is taken verbatim from the preferences.)

    Take away from that what you want. (I guess you need to have LibreOffice installed for option 2. But since it's only a download away...)

    Sidenote: Since the last update, Pages has brought back RTF support! Yeah!
     
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