Favorite Word Processor?

I see the point for cases where multiple folks are editing the document and everyone is in agreement on this as the approach that will be used.

In both cases, the changes made are clearly tracked.

My concern again is for the situation where someone modifies a document (inadvertently or maliciously) and passes off the changes (inadvertently or maliciously) as still belonging to the original author. This is far easier to do with a Word file than with a PDF file. Granted, as needed, we can check behind, for example by looking at the date+time modified stamps. In essence though, submitting a Word file as a document of record says to me that you accept that it can be changed even without your permission, the changed file can be re-distributed or evaluated as though it is still your document, and you may have to bear the full consequences to rectify any damages that might follow (inadvertently or maliciously) from your record being modified and passed off as yours.

To make a specific case (here in counter to your note about submitting Word files at your university) , I will never accept a Word document from my students as their final report. I insist on PDF files. Even though I hold myself to a standard of integrity, the chances that I might muck up something inadvertently while I am grading their document of final record are too high. PDF editing tools are sophisticated enough now that I have no reason to use Word files “because they are easier to grade” (or whatever other reason might be given to request a Word file).

“Trust everybody, but cut the cards (yourself)” comes to mind here.


[quote=“DrJJWMac, post:10, topic:18738”]
My concern again is for the situation where someone modifies a document (inadvertently or maliciously) and passes off the changes (inadvertently or maliciously) as still belonging to the original author.[/quote]

That’s understandable, and I would always send a PDF if it’s a source document. Sharing editable documents (Word and Excel) in my work environment is common.


The academic staff teaching the course I am doing specifically ask for submission of assignments as Word docs. I don’t know why.

Then I suggest this article on how to protect a Word document from being changed as a resource. You may know about it already. I would insist to submit my Word document in a protected state, at least to the level that any further changes are explicitly tracked.

The protesting voice in me might have suggested for you to rally against the requirement for a Word document and to send PDF files in protest. But that would certainly be presumptuous of me.

Thanks for the enlightening discussion.


I love using Microsoft word, but also use docs.google.com sometimes. It is quite simple and easy to process when compared to ms word :) However, we can see more features in ms word though.

All Microsoft words my favorite

I use Microsoft Word for a long time and I can’t think about shifting from that to any new one, may be that’s the reason why I have not tried to use any other option available. I’m a resume writing service professional and currently working for an online firm. The entire work nature for me is well connected to typing and saving and hence if I tried something new and failed, my entire projects will have an impact of the same as well.

Mabel Smith
Resume Writer at http://resumeplus.us

Microsoft word for the win!!

Depends. For collaboration on texts in my work environment I usually have to use Word, which is actually getting better and better with every iteration.

For my own writing projects, for concepts and drafts I LOVE to use Ulysses. It works seamlessly on every platform, offers power and simplicity (images inside a markdown document) and is basically always there for the task. Nothing better around for content creation, if you ask me.


Nisus Writer Pro. Nisus started perhaps before OmniGroup, and of the old classic Mac word processors, they appear to have been the only one besides Word that survives as a Mac app (Maybe Mariner write?)

Nisus is fantastic for my legal work. Uses RTF and PDF. Has GREP searching capabilities. Does things that even Word cannot do (specifically, it manages tables of authorities better than Word does). Handles links in PDF’s better than word, though not perfect. As far as Mac word processors go, there’s Word, Nisus and Mellel in the “heavy hitter” category, then everyone else. Each of those three does all the basics, and each does some things better than the other (Mellel, for instance, does multi-language and right to left text better than anyone).

In fact, Omni and Nisus Group have a small connection: LinkBack technology was invented by Nisus, and Omni scooped it up. Not sure who maintains it now, but LinkBack is really System 7’s Publish and Subscribe, brought to the modern age. It’s no wonder that Nisus, a very long standing Mac company, would want to bring that feature back to the future.

I’ve just discovered Manuscripts. I’d put it just above Ulysses as a minimalistic UI for content input. Compared to Scrivener as a document writing app for the liberal arts side of the world, Manuscripts seems to be positioning itself as a tool for sciences and engineering side of the world.


I like that it handles I/O for Markdown and LaTeX.

I’d also position it over and above OmniOutliner for writing manuscripts, if not for completing a manuscript from an outline. Manuscripts approaches the topic of document writing holistically, whereas OO essentially forces you to create outlines that eventually will want to become manuscripts. By analogy, OO is a multifaceted screwdriver that you try to use to shave off the rough edges of a document, whereas Manuscripts gives you a basic screwdriver and a good planer and some different levels of sandpaper. For all of this, Manuscripts has has far less clutter in its UI than OO.

Manuscripts is NOT a word processor, in case that matters.


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Currently not “getting” the working part of manuscripts enough for it to be useful- somehow you are supposed to write in it as well, aren’t you? For now editing a document in Manuscripts is an alpha experience with all the glory of not being able to do what you want to do (delete a paragraph) and the app crashing every second time I start another test. No sir, this will take a while to take the throne of currently any other word processor.

My personal preference is for Mellel , which also has an iOS version now.

Very good for structured documents, a powerful style and paragraph type model, and better than MS Word for non English content.

( especially strong handling of RTL scripts, and mixing LTR with RTL )

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Yes. I very much agree. Manuscripts looks promising. But looks are no help against a lack of robustness for routine operations.

Again, the difference here is between word processor versus document typesetting engine. I would not deem Manuscripts a word processor, nor would I deem Word a document typesetting engine. Technically speaking, I also would not put Ulysses down as a word processor nor a document typesetting engine. Rather, it is a markup editor. So, in this regard, my previous post announcing Manuscripts hijacked the thread with a tangent (and I offer no apologies just a note to this effect), and, in full respect to your statement, Manuscripts will actually never be positioned to “take the throne” as a word processor.


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Me too, i’ve been using Microsoft Word since I’ve started writing on the computer. I recommend it to all beginners and also professionals. M W has never disappointed me.

Microsoft word? Gaack!!!

Mind you, the most recent word I’ve used is Word for Mac 2011 (13?) But Word regularly drives me crazy. Trying to keep numbering consistent – especially with nested numbering of items that may continue in multiple paragraphs.


1 This is a numbered head.

A. This is a sub head.

a. This is a lettered list item
b. And another lettered list item
c. but this item has two paragraphs.
This is the second paragraph of item 1Ac.
d. This is next list item

Everytime I try to mess with this in word, I hve to spend hours playing around with line number styles and paragraph styles.

Word is tolerable for a document up to 5 pages long.

And the equation editor is unspeakable.

So what do I prefer? Not Pages. I used to use FrameMaker, when I was a linux geek. There was a patch in the wild that allowed you to use the 5.56 beta release indefinitely. Since there was no legal release, I continued to use that. Frame maker is a Discipline and Bondage editor. You can’t NOT use styles. (Later versions relaxed this. Too bad.) And when you changed a style, it changed globally. Fabulous system for writing a 300 page manual.

Currently most of my editing is done in TextWrangler. Basically BBEdit Lite. Most of my writing now is web pages. I use a combination of TW along with Markdown, and some scripts to produce my website.

Occasionally I need something fancy. If it’s only a few pages, I suffer with Word. If longer than that, I write up the text, and my wife runs it through In Design.

What do you use to prepare the markdown for indesign?

I would say, IA Writer is the my favorite one. Fast, small and does not have many issues.

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ya me too, its the best & user friendly.

This topic hasn’t had any real traffic in years, and appears to be a spam magnet.