Best tool for word processing on a Mac?

10 Jan 2008 - 12:45pm
6 years ago
20 replies
684 reads
russwilson
2005

>From reading the Arial vs. Verdana thread, I wonder what designers' favorite
tool
for word processing on a Mac is. Framemaker has been mine in the past, but
is no
longer available for the Mac... and Word just doesn't cut it.

- Russ

--
Russell Wilson
Vice President of Product Design, NetQoS
Blog: http://www.dexodesign.com

Comments

10 Jan 2008 - 12:48pm
Todd Warfel
2003

On Jan 10, 2008, at 12:45 PM, Russell Wilson wrote:

> [..] Framemaker has been mine in the past, but is no longer
> available for the Mac... and Word just doesn't cut it.

Pages and InDesign. We do most of our reporting, proposals, etc. in
Pages, but occasionally go to InDesign when we need something really
complex with lots of different layouts through (e.g. really, really
long 60 page proposals).

I'm really impressed and surprised at how powerful Pages is. We've
been able to convert most of our old ID files into Pages templates.
And pages launches a lot faster than ID and hasn't crashed on us once—
not something I can say for Adobe or MS applications.

Cheers!

Todd Zaki Warfel
President, Design Researcher
Messagefirst | Designing Information. Beautifully.
----------------------------------
Contact Info
Voice: (215) 825-7423
Email: todd at messagefirst.com
AIM: twarfel at mac.com
Blog: http://toddwarfel.com
----------------------------------
In theory, theory and practice are the same.
In practice, they are not.

10 Jan 2008 - 1:11pm
Chad Mortensen
2007

Guess it depends on what you're looking for that Word "doesn't cut
it" with?
Unfortunately I still use Word for most docs because I collaborate on
documents that Windows users also need to be able to edit.

I've been using Omnigraffle more and more for documents that contain
a lot of wireframes, diagrams, etc.

Chad

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=24428

10 Jan 2008 - 1:19pm
Robert Hoekman, Jr.
2005

> Unfortunately I still use Word for most docs because I collaborate on
> documents that Windows users also need to be able to edit.

The Pages version that comes with iWork '08 should solve these problems.
Pages now tracks changes and comments, and all of these are maintained when
you open a Word doc in Pages. Likewise, when you export a Pages doc to Word,
all these changes and comments show up in Word. It's pretty dern seamless.

I'm currently finishing up my next book, and I've used Pages to write and
edit the entire thing so far, despite that New Riders requires the use of
their custom template. I've had no problems.

Pages is excellent. I'll never go back to using Word. I can't stand Word.

-r-

10 Jan 2008 - 2:07pm
Ari
2006

many rave about Mellel and Nisus Writer but file compatibility with Word is
poor although the editing features of both apps is considered very strong.
i wrote a book with Mac Word 98, sure, it crashed a lot but OS 8 was very
stable with all of the extensions i had installed. miss it.

i think pages is very pretty and nice for simple tasks but not quite up to
snuff for very large documents or particularly stable.

neoffice is a contender as Word compatibility is high but UI is very un-mac.

On 1/10/08, Robert Hoekman, Jr. <robert at rhjr.net> wrote:
>
> > Unfortunately I still use Word for most docs because I collaborate on
> > documents that Windows users also need to be able to edit.
>
>
> The Pages version that comes with iWork '08 should solve these problems.
> Pages now tracks changes and comments, and all of these are maintained
> when
> you open a Word doc in Pages. Likewise, when you export a Pages doc to
> Word,
> all these changes and comments show up in Word. It's pretty dern seamless.
>
> I'm currently finishing up my next book, and I've used Pages to write and
> edit the entire thing so far, despite that New Riders requires the use of
> their custom template. I've had no problems.
>
> Pages is excellent. I'll never go back to using Word. I can't stand Word.
>
> -r-
> ________________________________________________________________
> *Come to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah*
> February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA
> Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

--
--------------------------------------------------
www.flyingyogi.com
--------------------------------------------------

10 Jan 2008 - 2:18pm
Todd Warfel
2003

I'm doing the same w/my book for Rosenfield Media. I'll never touch
Word again.

On Jan 10, 2008, at 1:19 PM, Robert Hoekman, Jr. wrote:

> I'm currently finishing up my next book, and I've used Pages to
> write and
> edit the entire thing so far, despite that New Riders requires the
> use of
> their custom template. I've had no problems.

Cheers!

Todd Zaki Warfel
President, Design Researcher
Messagefirst | Designing Information. Beautifully.
----------------------------------
Contact Info
Voice: (215) 825-7423
Email: todd at messagefirst.com
AIM: twarfel at mac.com
Blog: http://toddwarfel.com
----------------------------------
In theory, theory and practice are the same.
In practice, they are not.

10 Jan 2008 - 2:40pm
mtumi
2004

> You should check out this recent NY times article - "An Interface
> of One’s Own"
> http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/06/magazine/06wwln-medium-t.html?
> _r=1&pagewanted=all&oref=slogin
>
> all about word alternatives (with a slant towards fiction writing)
>
> MT
>
> On Jan 10, 2008, at 12:45 PM, Russell Wilson wrote:
>
>>> From reading the Arial vs. Verdana thread, I wonder what
>>> designers' favorite
>> tool
>> for word processing on a Mac is. Framemaker has been mine in the
>> past, but
>> is no
>> longer available for the Mac... and Word just doesn't cut it.
>>
>> - Russ
>>
>>
>>
>> --
>> Russell Wilson
>> Vice President of Product Design, NetQoS
>> Blog: http://www.dexodesign.com

10 Jan 2008 - 4:27pm
Robert Hoekman, Jr.
2005

> i think pages is very pretty and nice for simple tasks but not quite up to
> snuff for very large documents or particularly stable.
>

Interesting. On my machine, Word is the one that crashes all the time. I
never have this problem with Pages—it's partly why I switched.

10 Jan 2008 - 4:37pm
Todd Warfel
2003

On Jan 10, 2008, at 2:07 PM, Ari Feldman wrote:

> i think pages is very pretty and nice for simple tasks but not quite
> up to
> snuff for very large documents or particularly stable.

Hmm, that's interesting. We use Pages for rather complex documents and
I've never once had it crash. Word and InDesign on the other hand...
well, that's another story.

Cheers!

Todd Zaki Warfel
President, Design Researcher
Messagefirst | Designing Information. Beautifully.
----------------------------------
Contact Info
Voice: (215) 825-7423
Email: todd at messagefirst.com
AIM: twarfel at mac.com
Blog: http://toddwarfel.com
----------------------------------
In theory, theory and practice are the same.
In practice, they are not.

11 Jan 2008 - 2:30am
cfmdesigns
2004

On Jan 10, 2008, at 9:45 AM, Russell Wilson wrote:

> From reading the Arial vs. Verdana thread, I wonder what designers'
> favorite
> tool for word processing on a Mac is. Framemaker has been mine in
> the past, but
> is no longer available for the Mac... and Word just doesn't cut it.

And Leopard won't even launch Classic, so FrameMaker is really
completely dead to me now. (I worked on FrameMaker at Frame
Technology and Adobe Systems for almost 10 years. Damn shame!) I
have to keep an old Mac available just to retrieve content from the
hundreds of old Frame docs I have around.

Pages is the thing for me now. I even did an event program (5.5x8.5
booklet, B&W) in it recently. Probably not as good as it would have
been in Frame -- I definitely felt a lack of the level of control I
was used to -- and this being my first, not as good as future ones
will be, but adequate and a sight easier than the same thing with Word
would have been.

I've never managed to jump into InDesign yet. I should, I know...

-- Jim Drew
cfmdesigns at earthlink.net

11 Jan 2008 - 7:40am
Ari
2006

well, all is not lost as you could run SheepShaver, a 68xxx emulator. with a
rom and version of MacOS, it will run lots of old Mac software. i had a
version of it running OS 9 under my last Mac running Tiger.

On Jan 11, 2008 2:30 AM, Jim Drew <cfmdesigns at earthlink.net> wrote:

>
> On Jan 10, 2008, at 9:45 AM, Russell Wilson wrote:
>
> > From reading the Arial vs. Verdana thread, I wonder what designers'
> > favorite
> > tool for word processing on a Mac is. Framemaker has been mine in
> > the past, but
> > is no longer available for the Mac... and Word just doesn't cut it.
>
> And Leopard won't even launch Classic, so FrameMaker is really
> completely dead to me now. (I worked on FrameMaker at Frame
> Technology and Adobe Systems for almost 10 years. Damn shame!) I
> have to keep an old Mac available just to retrieve content from the
> hundreds of old Frame docs I have around.
>
> Pages is the thing for me now. I even did an event program (5.5x8.5
> booklet, B&W) in it recently. Probably not as good as it would have
> been in Frame -- I definitely felt a lack of the level of control I
> was used to -- and this being my first, not as good as future ones
> will be, but adequate and a sight easier than the same thing with Word
> would have been.
>
> I've never managed to jump into InDesign yet. I should, I know...
>
> -- Jim Drew
> cfmdesigns at earthlink.net
>
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> *Come to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah*
> February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA
> Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

--
--------------------------------------------------
www.flyingyogi.com
--------------------------------------------------

11 Jan 2008 - 4:13am
Darek Paciorek
2007

Hi,

Like most of You I'm using Pages - simple, fast and stable.

Regards,
Darek

11 Jan 2008 - 9:42am
Akanowicz Ron
2005

For writing projects check out Scriviner

On Jan 11, 2008, at 7:40 AM, Ari Feldman wrote:

> well, all is not lost as you could run SheepShaver, a 68xxx
> emulator. with a
> rom and version of MacOS, it will run lots of old Mac software. i
> had a
> version of it running OS 9 under my last Mac running Tiger.
>
>
> On Jan 11, 2008 2:30 AM, Jim Drew <cfmdesigns at earthlink.net> wrote:
>
>>
>> On Jan 10, 2008, at 9:45 AM, Russell Wilson wrote:
>>
>>> From reading the Arial vs. Verdana thread, I wonder what designers'
>>> favorite
>>> tool for word processing on a Mac is. Framemaker has been mine in
>>> the past, but
>>> is no longer available for the Mac... and Word just doesn't cut it.
>>
>> And Leopard won't even launch Classic, so FrameMaker is really
>> completely dead to me now. (I worked on FrameMaker at Frame
>> Technology and Adobe Systems for almost 10 years. Damn shame!) I
>> have to keep an old Mac available just to retrieve content from the
>> hundreds of old Frame docs I have around.
>>
>> Pages is the thing for me now. I even did an event program (5.5x8.5
>> booklet, B&W) in it recently. Probably not as good as it would have
>> been in Frame -- I definitely felt a lack of the level of control I
>> was used to -- and this being my first, not as good as future ones
>> will be, but adequate and a sight easier than the same thing with
>> Word
>> would have been.
>>
>> I've never managed to jump into InDesign yet. I should, I know...
>>
>> -- Jim Drew
>> cfmdesigns at earthlink.net
>>
>>
>>
>> ________________________________________________________________
>> *Come to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah*
>> February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA
>> Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/
>>
>> ________________________________________________________________
>> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
>> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
>> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>>
>
>
>
> --
> --------------------------------------------------
> www.flyingyogi.com
> --------------------------------------------------
> ________________________________________________________________
> *Come to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah*
> February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA
> Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help

Ron Akanowicz
Usability Consultant
786-853-1666

ron at softerwareconsulting.com
www.softerwareconsulting.com

11 Jan 2008 - 1:03pm
russwilson
2005

What about the copy tools like Adobe InCopy and QuarkCopyDesk?
These seem to have better word processing capabilities than their respective
layout tools (InDesign & QuarkXpress)...
Maybe better style control?

On Jan 11, 2008 8:42 AM, Akanowicz Ron <ron at softerwareconsulting.com> wrote:

> For writing projects check out Scriviner
>
> On Jan 11, 2008, at 7:40 AM, Ari Feldman wrote:
>
> > well, all is not lost as you could run SheepShaver, a 68xxx
> > emulator. with a
> > rom and version of MacOS, it will run lots of old Mac software. i
> > had a
> > version of it running OS 9 under my last Mac running Tiger.
> >
> >
> > On Jan 11, 2008 2:30 AM, Jim Drew <cfmdesigns at earthlink.net> wrote:
> >
> >>
> >> On Jan 10, 2008, at 9:45 AM, Russell Wilson wrote:
> >>
> >>> From reading the Arial vs. Verdana thread, I wonder what designers'
> >>> favorite
> >>> tool for word processing on a Mac is. Framemaker has been mine in
> >>> the past, but
> >>> is no longer available for the Mac... and Word just doesn't cut it.
> >>
> >> And Leopard won't even launch Classic, so FrameMaker is really
> >> completely dead to me now. (I worked on FrameMaker at Frame
> >> Technology and Adobe Systems for almost 10 years. Damn shame!) I
> >> have to keep an old Mac available just to retrieve content from the
> >> hundreds of old Frame docs I have around.
> >>
> >> Pages is the thing for me now. I even did an event program (5.5x8.5
> >> booklet, B&W) in it recently. Probably not as good as it would have
> >> been in Frame -- I definitely felt a lack of the level of control I
> >> was used to -- and this being my first, not as good as future ones
> >> will be, but adequate and a sight easier than the same thing with
> >> Word
> >> would have been.
> >>
> >> I've never managed to jump into InDesign yet. I should, I know...
> >>
> >> -- Jim Drew
> >> cfmdesigns at earthlink.net
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> ________________________________________________________________
> >> *Come to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah*
> >> February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA
> >> Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/
> >>
> >> ________________________________________________________________
> >> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> >> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> >> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> >> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> >> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
> >>
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > --------------------------------------------------
> > www.flyingyogi.com
> > --------------------------------------------------
> > ________________________________________________________________
> > *Come to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah*
> > February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA
> > Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/
> >
> > ________________________________________________________________
> > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> > Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> > List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> > List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>
> Ron Akanowicz
> Usability Consultant
> 786-853-1666
>
> ron at softerwareconsulting.com
> www.softerwareconsulting.com
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> *Come to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah*
> February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA
> Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

--
Russell Wilson
Vice President of Product Design, NetQoS
Blog: http://www.dexodesign.com

11 Jan 2008 - 6:59pm
Jack L. Moffett
2005

I've been trying to decide what to do since Adobe acquired and dropped
Freehand. My documentation is typically short enough that InDesign
would be overkill, in features and cost, but there is no way I could
use Word to do what I've been doing. Freehand allowed me free reign in
my typography and page layout and provided all the tools I needed for
creating vector objects (lines, arrows, rectangles, etc.). I've been
thinking about checking out Pages. When you say "complex documents",
what exactly do you mean? I'd very much appreciate some
recommendations. This is going to be a big move for me.

Thanks,
Jack

On Jan 10, 2008, at 4:37 PM, Todd Zaki Warfel wrote:

> Hmm, that's interesting. We use Pages for rather complex documents and
> I've never once had it crash. Word and InDesign on the other hand...
> well, that's another story.

Jack L. Moffett
Interaction Designer
inmedius
412.459.0310 x219
http://www.inmedius.com

It's not about the world of design;
it's about the design of the world.

- Bruce Mau

11 Jan 2008 - 8:11pm
jarango
2004

Jack:

On Jan 11, 2008 6:59 PM, Jack Moffett <jmoffett at inmedius.com> wrote:
> Freehand allowed me free reign in
> my typography and page layout and provided all the tools I needed for
> creating vector objects (lines, arrows, rectangles, etc.).

Have you tried OmniGraffle? It's probably a good fit for your needs.

Cheers,

-- Jorge

11 Jan 2008 - 9:19pm
Jack L. Moffett
2005

On Jan 11, 2008, at 8:11 PM, Jorge Arango wrote:

> Have you tried OmniGraffle? It's probably a good fit for your needs.

I know it's great for wireframes, flowcharts, and the like, but does
it have page layout features? I wouldn't expect it to. I want to be
able to set up multi-columned text blocks that flow from one to
another and have typographic control that you typically find in the
likes of InDesign. As I come from Graphic Design, it's important to me
to have fine control of my document. My fear of moving to Pages is
that it would be limiting like Word is.

Jack

Jack L. Moffett
Interaction Designer
inmedius
412.459.0310 x219
http://www.inmedius.com

Charles Eames was asked the question,
"What are the boundaries of design?"

He answered,

"What are the boundaries of problems?"

- Charles Eames

11 Jan 2008 - 10:28pm
jarango
2004

On Jan 11, 2008 9:19 PM, Jack Moffett <jmoffett at inmedius.com> wrote:
>
> I want to be
> able to set up multi-columned text blocks that flow from one to
> another and have typographic control that you typically find in the
> likes of InDesign.

OmniGraffle doesn't offer this level of control over text layout; the
best it can do is text blocks and multi-column tables (no text flow
between columns or even between pages). It's definitely not a page
layout app.

However, it does offer some features that make multi-page documents
manageable, like variables (which you can use for page numbering,
among other things) and master canvases (like page templates). It also
seems the upcoming v5 has more features aimed at facilitating the
creation of multi-page docs.

I mentioned OmniGraffle because it sounds like cost is an important
factor in your decision. IMO it has a great bang/buck ratio.

Cheers,

-- Jorge

12 Jan 2008 - 8:37am
Todd Warfel
2003

On Jan 11, 2008, at 6:59 PM, Jack Moffett wrote:

> Freehand allowed me free reign in my typography and page layout and
> provided all the tools I needed for creating vector objects (lines,
> arrows, rectangles, etc.). I've been thinking about checking out
> Pages. When you say "complex documents", what exactly do you mean?

You can do some pretty complicated page layouts (e.g. brochures,
articles, books). There is some limited drawing capabilities, but I
haven't tried using it to create wireframes.

Cheers!

Todd Zaki Warfel
President, Design Researcher
Messagefirst | Designing Information. Beautifully.
----------------------------------
Contact Info
Voice: (215) 825-7423
Email: todd at messagefirst.com
AIM: twarfel at mac.com
Blog: http://toddwarfel.com
----------------------------------
In theory, theory and practice are the same.
In practice, they are not.

12 Jan 2008 - 8:38am
Todd Warfel
2003

On Jan 11, 2008, at 9:19 PM, Jack Moffett wrote:

> As I come from Graphic Design, it's important to me to have fine
> control of my document. My fear of moving to Pages is that it would
> be limiting like Word is.

Think of Pages as being more poweful in page layout than Word, but not
quite as capable as InDesign. It's kind of like a kid sister/brother
to InDesign. Word is mostly a word processor. Pages is a word process
and page layout program.

Cheers!

Todd Zaki Warfel
President, Design Researcher
Messagefirst | Designing Information. Beautifully.
----------------------------------
Contact Info
Voice: (215) 825-7423
Email: todd at messagefirst.com
AIM: twarfel at mac.com
Blog: http://toddwarfel.com
----------------------------------
In theory, theory and practice are the same.
In practice, they are not.

16 Jan 2008 - 8:04am
Etkin Ciftci
2007

So, in terms of the richness of features it seems like;

"indesign > pages > word"

Well, where to put openOffice then?

I recently began to use Pages and lovin' it. It's all-in-one-place
export screen, roomy interface are just great! But sometimes it
becomes frustrating when I just want to type a few words with little
formating. In this case, Apple's "Color Picker" and "Fonts"
modal windows offer supernumerary fine tunning features -again-
all-in-one-place so that a newbie might easily get lost.

I think openOffice is just between MS Word and Pages. It has very
advanced features like Pages, while maintaining a steep learning
curve. But according to my modest experience openOffice has serious
performance and stability issues.

Etkin Ciftci, PhD. Stu.
Industrial Design, ITU
eciftci[at]bilende.com

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=24428

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