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  1. Jesse Bassett

    Jesse Bassett New Member

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    RE: What is the best word processor ?

    Discussion in 'Writing Software and Hardware' started by Jesse Bassett, Feb 25, 2020.

    Hey fellow authors,
    I am wondering something....what do YOU think is the best word processor for a writer? I use Microsoft Word and WriteItNow 4. I like the latter better because the program separates the manuscript into chapters and I can add/remove character information, etc. What are your thoughts?
     
  2. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    there isn't really a right answer to this - I write fiction in libre office and non fiction in scrivener, but realistically any word processor on the market will do a more than adequate job
     
  3. Earp

    Earp Contributor Contributor

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    Yeah, the best one is the one you're most comfortable using. I always used Wordpad for fiction until I switched to Linux. Now I use a decent text editor. I also boot my laptop into DOS from a USB drive and use a text editor called VDE, which uses Wordstar keyboard commands.
     
  4. Jesse Bassett

    Jesse Bassett New Member

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    Have any of you heard of WriteItNow? It is a great program to use!
     
  5. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I've heard of it. It looks like a Scrivener clone with more of a Windows-friendly lean. Scrivener is unapologetically Mac in the way it looks, walks, and talks; hence, it's my platform of choice as a Mac guy.
     
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  6. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    I downloaded yWriter recently on the laptop (that I rarely use). Looks like a fairly decent 2nd or 3rd tier story-planning software (in other words poor man's Scrivener). Decent enough if you don't want to shell out for the real deal.
     
  7. minstrel

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Supporter Contributor

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    I use Scrivener. It's terrific. I take a lot of notes when I write, and it has rich note-taking abilities. Also, I can set it up to look any way I want, so that it's comfortable to write in, and it will automatically compile into standard manuscript format. That's a very cool feature.
     
  8. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    I should add that, once I started using story planning software that includes a word processor (like Scrivener, yWriter, etc) I now consider it better than just a word processor by itself (for novels anyway). The ability to structure nested sets of folders allows you to develop things amazingly, like I never could before.
     
  9. Seven Crowns

    Seven Crowns Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Currently Reading::
    "Chronic City" by Jonathan Lethem
    I've got Word and Scrivener. I use LibreOffice mostly.
    But lately I've switched to minimalist editors. I'm using Typora right now. You can scroll down on their site and see how elegant it is.
    It can do tables and lists, etc., but all I need is an occasional italics and a spell check. I wish I could catch duplicate words too (the the), because those seem to turn invisible when I revise. I'm not sure if there's a way to catch those . . . the creators deliberately kept the layout simple.

    I use the Windows and Linux versions. They're free. We'll see what happens when it goes out of beta. I might actually buy it because I do like it lots.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Amontillado

    Amontillado Active Member

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    Fun topic. You can change the world with a sharp stick, iron gall ink, and a supply of rat-skin vellum. Software helps, and your rats will appreciate a good word processor, too.

    I've never messed with Markdown in Scrivener. Anyone know how that works?
     
  11. Glen Barrington

    Glen Barrington Senior Member

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    I like Smart Edit Writer and Wavemaker, but I've decided to experiment with using nothing but OneNote.
     
  12. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    The human brain is the best word processor. Sorry. :p
     
  13. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    if only it could output a .docx file
     
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  14. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    Hah! New type of body piercing—implanted USB ports in the temples.
     
  15. Aaron Smith

    Aaron Smith Banned Contributor

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    LaTeX for the sole reason that it doesn't fuck with your formatting mid-writing, ruining the flow. Plus formatting is super comfortable.
     
  16. iowawriter

    iowawriter Senior Member

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    I have Open Office on my older laptop and Ultra Office on my new one.
     
  17. GraceLikePain

    GraceLikePain Senior Member

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    Me too! Except I actually miss Wordpad, and I need to get Wine on my computer so that I can mess with it. Then again, LibreOffice with autocorrect turned off works pretty well for me now. To be perfectly honest, I hate automation in writing. Particularly since science fiction involves obscure words or made up ones. It's also annoying that writing programs seem to think "grey" is incorrect. In any case, my preference is for a simple word processor with minimal features. Though I'd be interested in something that would make title pages and table of contents easier.
     
  18. Amontillado

    Amontillado Active Member

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    I've often thought just a binder application would be a neat thing, either in ncurses or a gui. Basically, a thing that you add filenames to. Editing would be done with whatever you wanted. When it's time to compile to an ebook, or docx or whatever, it would call pandoc with the files in the order they appear in the binder, using options fetched from a config file.

    One of these days I'm going to write that.
     
  19. Glen Barrington

    Glen Barrington Senior Member

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    I'm starting to think that maybe "the best word processor" is like "the best camera"; it's the one you have with you when you need it.
     
  20. tde44

    tde44 New Member

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    One of my fountain pens and some decent paper. That and Word. :)
     
  21. Amontillado

    Amontillado Active Member

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    A happy day today - Mellel 5 is out with full docx and ePub support. I’ve just downloaded a copy so I don’t have a real evaluation yet. It looks nice, though, and I suspect will be as rock solid as Mellel has always been.

    I don’t like Word, and word users might not like Mellel, but it’s going to be nice to have bidirectional communication with the docx/open office world.

    That’s kept me from using Mellel, in fact. It’s got nice support for collaboration and document commenting and there’s a story points feature I want to explore. Now that my work will export to open formats, it may be where I do my work.

    I’ll still need my trusty trash can, of course. I’m not exactly publication quality yet.
     
  22. SNJade96

    SNJade96 Senior Member

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    I use a bunch of different things - Reedsy Book Editor is the thing I use to write the actual manuscript, because it's free and it gets the job done. I don't use Wavemaker to write, but it's a pretty good word processor, and Bibisco is a story writing/planning software that splits things into scenes and such like Scrivener, though it's not as detailed. It does have a good feature I like, that it has a "Reasons" category, that sort of forces you to make sure that the chapter actually matters to the story.
     
  23. Martin Beerbom

    Martin Beerbom Senior Member

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    Mellel is a great word processor. On the Mac, another one is Nisus Writer. I have a hard time deciding which is better.

    Thing is, they're still 'traditional' word processors AKA like-Word. These things still have a strong formatting focus that I have to deal with. Things like margins, paper size, where to put the footnotes etc.

    But for a lot of my writing that's all not important. A novel is just a stream of words, essentially, and may end up formatted very differently, say, for the hardcover, paperback, or end up as an e-book, where the formatting is out of the hands of even the publisher and can be changed by the reader. While writing, word processors force me to deal with it although it's absolutely unnecessary. If I want formatting, I use a desktop publishing program (for me, that's Affinity Publisher.)

    So for almost anything but short business letters, I use Scrivener. Takes all of that away except for just the amount I need for making my workplace comfortable, and then puts it back when needed.

    Or I LaTeX if I need math or science. LaTeX is damn near perfectly reliable and stable with cross-references, citations, and getting a great looking formatting out (though Mellel comes close on stability, unless you need math. I mean, it doesn't have anything special for it. You CAN do it, but it's not comfortable once you get to a certain level of math or physics, which is already fairly basic. But for other sciences Mellel is a great choice, and is popular there.)

    Even the aforementioned business letters I could to with the publishing program. Has all the editing tools one needs. And there's an awesome LaTeX-macro for business letters.

    For me, like-Word is a dying class of application. I just continue to use them because I grew up with them, and they feel like home. But most of my serious work is done elsewhere, nowadays.
     
  24. Amontillado

    Amontillado Active Member

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    I agree. I'm a long-time Nisus fan, and will probably always use it for correspondence. Mail-merge, for one thing, and it's clean and easy to use.

    In Nisus, I write in draft view with most things turned off. It looks approximately like Notepad.

    Mellel appears to be much better with epub export, with features like spine support.

    It tries to enforce WYSIWYG, but there are ways around some of that for the committed rebel.

    Since Mellel supports page styles, you can rip out your headers, footers, and line numbers. The compact view gives you page breaks (drat!) but they are just single pixel lines. Otherwise, you get a simple Notepad-like view. Then, for what Scrivener would call a compile, three mouse clicks swaps the style set.

    I find I can live with two views, a narrow and a wide view. Since Mellel's compact view doesn't rewrap lines (drat, again!) when you shrink a window horizontally, I have an alternate style set for narrow windows. The only difference is the font sizes. Or, you could change the margins in the page styles. Actually, that might be better, since compact view clips off the margins.

    I can squish the window into the narrow size I like, swap style sets, and set the zoom down. That reflows the text and gives me the narrow window I want.

    Nisus can give some trouble with things like the Power Find feature. Mellel is rock solid. Nisus is intuitive to the point of almost not needing a manual. Mellel has a steeper learning curve, but it supports more stuff. The Story points are pretty nice.
     
  25. Friedrich Kugelschreiber

    Friedrich Kugelschreiber marshmallow Contributor

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    Longhand, huh? Cool. Then do you transcribe it into Word?
     

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