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nightlong
Aug 11, 2012, 03:56 AM
For those who make their living with words, whether journalism, fiction, blogging, or in the course of a day job ... What mac gear do you use, and what are your favourite apps?

My own system ... In transition, still using my 2007 iMac at desk with Word, use ipad2 for a lot of writing, typed and handwritten, favorite apps so far are iA Writer, Noteshelf, Quickoffice, Penultimate, Pages. With apple BT keyboard and Wacom baboo stylus.

Air 13 inch would be ideal next buy for me in every way except for perhaps the screen. has anyone taken the leap to rMBP just for sharp text, even if the rest of the machine is overkill for yr purposes?



MarcDean
Aug 11, 2012, 04:22 AM
The rMBP would definitely be overkill for just writing purposes.
It does indeed have a lot of processing power for dealing with big documents but the MBA should be sufficient for that.

Also it does have a lot more portability than the rMBA even though its thin. The footprint and screen size of the MBA is great and you can really use it anywhere you like, on your lap it never really gets too heavy or anything.

Regarding your question about programs, I cannot answer that, I am just a college student and for writing I just use pages and the Microsoft Office pack.

nightlong
Aug 11, 2012, 04:46 AM
The big attraction to the Air is portability, at home mostly, not being so desk-bound, but a screen with sharp text is a big priority too. how do other Air users who write all day get along with its dreary TN screen?

MarcDean
Aug 11, 2012, 05:00 AM
The big attraction to the Air is portability, at home mostly, not being so desk-bound, but a screen with sharp text is a big priority too. how do other Air users who write all day get along with its dreary TN screen?

Have you ever taken a good look at the MacBook Airs' screen? It's very crisp and sharp, no doubt about it. It is a great screen!
Go to an Apple Store and take a look for yourself and compare the two MBs.

Skoopman
Aug 11, 2012, 05:04 AM
I am a copywriter and use my MBA with iA Writer and Marked to export to HTML. I tried a few other "minimal writing apps", but I didn't like them. iA Writer has the best font in my opinion. It needs some time to getting used to it, but after that you will not regret it. Since I administrate tons of websites of my clients I also use 1Password to store all the logins, Numbers for spreadsheets and Skitch to optimize images. If I need to edit a HTML file I use Mou, which is currently in beta, but still a great app.

For maximum privacy I also use a VPN, if you want to know which one, write me a pm, I don't want to promote anybody here.

About the screen: It is really sharp, I have an external 1080p Samsung monitor which looks like crap compared to the Samsung screen of my MBA.

nightlong
Aug 11, 2012, 05:17 AM
I was ready to buy Air 13, was just waiting for ML to come with it, and then all these posts were appearing about the screen problems and how you need to rush out and spend hundreds of dollars on calibration gear to get optimism performance! I started to think rMbp might be better value, even though I don't need all that power, I do need a readable screen.

----------

That's encouraging, two people who find the screen sharp enough for long days with text. The spelling robot here got in the way in my last post, of course I meant optimum performance, not optimism.

I found iA writer on iPad took some getting used to, also. Not used to such a blank page!

Skoopman
Aug 11, 2012, 06:27 AM
I was ready to buy Air 13, was just waiting for ML to come with it, and then all these posts were appearing about the screen problems and how you need to rush out and spend hundreds of dollars on calibration gear to get optimism performance!

Ugh, don't listen to those people. You know, the problem with Apples' "no questions asked" return policy is, that people start to complain about every little thing: "OMG, I have a Toshiba SSD, the world is doomed, I'm gonna return it." Next time the same person get's a LG screen and returns it again and so on. I mean, why would you stress about that so much? Buy the MBA, use it and be happy. If you really don't like it, return it after a few days. I have the Samsung screen and Toshiba SSD and don't really care. The time I would spend calibrating my screen and trying to find a little scratch I would loose money - time is money.

Anyway, with ML even the LG screens have a good calibration profile, there is no need to calibrate it with professional software.

JonLa
Aug 11, 2012, 06:47 AM
macbook Air 2010 13" C2D here - great screen, use Word 2011 for writing - the full black screen with just your page on it view is wonderful for writing. Also used Scrivener on trial for planning and writing, and tempted to move to that.

I think my screen is supposed to be the poor one, but I don't see it. Beats my old Sony into the ground, and all the Dells we use on desktops at work. The only thing that beats it is the iMac we have in one room at work, though that's more reflective if it's in sunlight.

nightlong
Aug 11, 2012, 07:13 AM
Ugh, don't listen to those people. You know, the problem with Apples' "no questions asked" return policy is, that people start to complain about every little thing: "OMG, I have a Toshiba SSD, the world is doomed, I'm gonna return it." Next time the same person get's a LG screen and returns it again and so on. I mean, why would you stress about that so much? Buy the MBA, use it and be happy. If you really don't like it, return it after a few days. I have the Samsung screen and Toshiba SSD and don't really care. The time I would spend calibrating my screen and trying to find a little scratch I would loose money - time is money.

Anyway, with ML even the LG screens have a good calibration profile, there is no need to calibrate it with professional software.-

Thanks for this Skoopman, some have said ML has sorted this, some say not. I'm sure there are zillions of happy Air users out there, but people most often don't list text when evaluating it. I just want a great portable writing machine that won't give me eye strain .... Which I've never had since I got my 2007 iMac.
Resolution has improved since then but it's still a great screen.

----------

macbook Air 2010 13" C2D here - great screen, use Word 2011 for writing - the full black screen with just your page on it view is wonderful for writing. Also used Scrivener on trial for planning and writing, and tempted to move to that.

I think my screen is supposed to be the poor one, but I don't see it. Beats my old Sony into the ground, and all the Dells we use on desktops at work. The only thing that beats it is the iMac we have in one room at work, though that's more reflective if it's in sunlight.

Do you use a bigger screen with the Air when at a desk, or just the Air?
I've been looking at scrivener, can't decide whether it is over-complicated or brilliant.

Anyone here using Scrivener?

Skoopman
Aug 11, 2012, 08:02 AM
Anyone here using Scrivener?

Depends on what you write. For a book where you need a lot of research material it could be worth it. I get all my infos from the internet so iA Writer is more than enough. Dual monitor set up could be worth it, too. iA Writer on the MBA screen, Safari on the external monitor.

ZirkMan
Aug 11, 2012, 08:10 AM
I write a lot and my MBA 13 2011 is certainly the best writing machine I've ever had.
I was using iA Writer + Simplenote combo but recently have switched to WriteRoom 3 and prefer it over the iA Writer.
I use two themes: day with a white background and night with the WriteRoom default full screen background. Both have the same font settings: Bitstream Vera Sans size 19.
A week ago I also bought the iLap stand. Writing outside of a big monitor setup is much more comfortable now.
Put it all together and MBA= ZMA (Zen Writing Machine) .
Edit: I forgot to mention Freedom - an app that cuts you completely from internet for a given time. Without it I could hardly done any writing at all :).

nightlong
Aug 11, 2012, 08:39 AM
I've had to have 2computers for a long time as backup in a very busy freelance writing and editing biz, and also wrote music as part of this, so I've had 2 screens for long time (Imac, mini mac with a proview scrren) but not dual monitors, which I've been using lately, dell u2412 with my iMac while waiting/dithering about the Air. I'm only writing for money part-time now, I've been working on a trilogy in fiction for several years, massive research etc, and have been loving the dual monitors, with writing on one, research, dictionaries etc on the other, plus my iPad on hoverbar for mail/messages/safari. Feel like a screen-surround stockbroker! .. Without the money, alas.

Was looking at some pix of writers rooms a while ago, not a dual monitor setup in sight, nearly all had laptops with no additional keyboard.mouse ... Like, begging for neck and back trouble. iPad has freed me a lot from desk, but when at the desk I love big screens and seeing things at a glance that before I had to burrow to find.

nightlong
Aug 11, 2012, 08:52 AM
Freedom ... Comes with the territory in rural Australia when you have to have satellite for broadband that is not reliable or fast but worst of all has very loud-fan modem. I turn that off when writing ... Have 3G on iPad for mail etc, but I don't answer anything that's not urgent, often for 2 or 3 blissfully uninterrupted days.

JonLa
Aug 11, 2012, 09:24 AM
Several writers like Michael Marshall and Charles Stross (both SF and thriller writers) love and recommend Scrivener. I think its a neat tool for planning and structure, while the writing window is as neat as Word - useful if you write in fragments and then plan your work around them.

I just have a laptop at home, iMac at work, but my writing there is for the web, so I often find myself writing in dreamweaver with the split design/code screen so I can see my copy and it's base structure before dropping it into our CMS.

Were I a pro who worked for himself (the dream) I'd have an iMac and an Air...

CoMoMacUser
Aug 11, 2012, 10:13 AM
My main machine is a 2008 iMac. I recently bought a 2012 MBA because after two years, I found that an iPad with Quickoffice just was not a viable substitute for a laptop. One reason was that Quickoffice struggles with anything longer than a few pages. Another reason is that typing on glass sucks.

The vast majority of my work is done with Word 2008. I also occasionally use PowerPoint and Excel. I have Acrobat on a Windows Vista laptop when I need to edit PDFs, but that's not very often.

nightlong
Aug 11, 2012, 10:49 AM
I'll try scrivener when I get the Air, which I've decided to do after all the positive feedback here ... 8/base model/256. Your dream of being a pro writer ... It has many benefits but after doing that and music composition freelance for 20 years and for last few years writing fiction too .... Too much sitting, too much same thing even though different sorts of writing ... And writing through illness, through anything, don't get paid if you don't make the deadline! I mostly do non-writing work for money now, consulting and running or organising workshops, so I can reserve slumping in chairs mostly for fiction writing. My spine is much happier! the iPad also has reduced sitting hugely. With the Air I'll do more writing outdoors on the farm I live on, looking forward to that.

----------

I also have word 2008, which some say is better than 2011. But apparently Microsoft isn't doing mac version of 2013 .... And I'm sick of Word anyway, such a massive clunky and so PC dull old dinosaur ... It's exciting that people are now developing software for writers instead of for word 'processors'.

jcg878
Aug 11, 2012, 10:56 AM
I am not a writer, but I am a professor who does a lot of writing on the MBA. Works just fine for me. If you want to be upset about the screen, spend a lot of time on here reading the posts from people whining about them. I'd think it was perfect otherwise.

nightlong
Aug 11, 2012, 11:00 AM
My main machine is a 2008 iMac. I recently bought a 2012 MBA because after two years, I found that an iPad with Quickoffice just was not a viable substitute for a laptop. One reason was that Quickoffice struggles with anything longer than a few pages. Another reason is that typing on glass sucks.

The vast majority of my work is done with Word 2008. I also occasionally use PowerPoint and Excel. I have Acrobat on a Windows Vista laptop when I need to edit PDFs, but that's not very often.

I agree iPad has limitations. So what do you think of the Air as writing machine, what sort of writing do you do?

tdhurst
Aug 11, 2012, 11:01 AM
I write all day on a combination of a 20" Dell Widescreen monitor and an 11.6" 2012 MBA.

No problems whatsoever.

If I ever feel like I need to focus more on just my words, I use Scrivener or WriteRoom to go full screen on just the 11.6".

You're of course free to spend on a rMBP, but that's serious overkill.

nightlong
Aug 11, 2012, 11:12 AM
I write all day on a combination of a 20" Dell Widescreen monitor and an 11.6" 2012 MBA.

No problems whatsoever.

If I ever feel like I need to focus more on just my words, I use Scrivener or WriteRoom to go full screen on just the 11.6".

You're of course free to spend on a rMBP, but that's serious overkill.

I'm not going to splurge on the rMbp, I really don't want to spend that much on a supposedly unrepairable laptop that falls between portability and desktop uses for me. However, if it was my only option to get sharp text ... I wouldn't consider it overkill any more than a gamer or video editor would if the machine fulfilled their major need.

tdhurst
Aug 11, 2012, 11:19 AM
I'm not going to splurge on the rMbp, I really don't want to spend that much on a supposedly unrepairable laptop that falls between portability and desktop uses for me. However, if it was my only option to get sharp text ... I wouldn't consider it overkill any more than a gamer or video editor would if the machine fulfilled their major need.

Of course not. If you're making money with your machine, you should spend as much as you need to in order to be more productive.

I'm a freelancer as well, and my main need was portability and speed. I was worried that "downgrading" from a 13" MBP would be an issue, but the weight and the SSD quickness were more than worth any issues with resolution.

I also prefer to use smaller screens most of the time, as it keeps me focused on one thing (well, it helps, anyway) instead of the 15 different things I can easily have open when I'm using multiple monitors.

I'm just biased toward any 15" MBP, after watching people spend $2k on a machine that they only use for email and web surfing and then complaining about how expensive Apple laptops are.

All this being said...the rMBP screen is absolutely gorgeous and I can't wait to have something like that in a smaller form factor.

nightlong
Aug 11, 2012, 11:40 AM
Does yr dell screen have the anti glare? I'm still getting used to that on the new dell screen I have .. Such a contrast next to the super gloss iMac. I think they are about the same in sharpness but it's hard to say, my eyes go through quite an adjustment from extreme gloss to extreme matte. I do sometimes spend 12 or more hours a day at screens (with some breaks) ... That's why I'm so fussy about screens ... Before the iMac I often got eye strain and headaches on terrible screens then, such as eMac, and various screens I used for laptops. The iMac is great and I don't want to step down or backwards from that, so it's worth doing some research.

tdhurst
Aug 11, 2012, 11:44 AM
Does yr dell screen have the anti glare? I'm still getting used to that on the new dell screen I have .. Such a contrast next to the super gloss iMac. I think they are about the same in sharpness but it's hard to say, my eyes go through quite an adjustment from extreme gloss to extreme matte. I do sometimes spend 12 or more hours a day at screens (with some breaks) ... That's why I'm so fussy about screens ... Before the iMac I often got eye strain and headaches on terrible screens then, such as eMac, and various screens I used for laptops. The iMac is great and I don't want to step down or backwards from that, so it's worth doing some research.

The Dell monitor I have is some refurb. It doesn't LOOK all that glossy!

But seriously, I have no idea. Right now, I use three screens, a crappy 19"acer, dell 20" and my MBA.

Maybe I'm lucky in that my many, many hours a day staring at them doesn't create eye strain, but if it did, I certainly wouldn't balk at spending whatever I needed to in order to eliminate that.

I've found more issues with Apple screens (iMacs and displays) calibrated by my designer/photographer friends. Eye strain galore after only a few minutes.

Perhaps my eyes have conformed to factory settings. If so, I'd love to know how to package and bottle this ability.

nightlong
Aug 11, 2012, 12:25 PM
Perhaps my eyes have conformed to factory settings. If so, I'd love to know how to package and bottle this ability.[/QUOTE]

Haha! Of course you can package that ability, starting on the MR forums that have been causing my Air dithering with horror screen stories ... You could, for a handsome fee, guide them to the calm, quiet, productive state of Living With Factory Settings!

aaronvan
Aug 11, 2012, 01:58 PM
-

Thanks for this Skoopman, some have said ML has sorted this, some say not. I'm sure there are zillions of happy Air users out there, but people most often don't list text when evaluating it. I just want a great portable writing machine that won't give me eye strain .... Which I've never had since I got my 2007 iMac.
Resolution has improved since then but it's still a great screen.

----------



Do you use a bigger screen with the Air when at a desk, or just the Air?
I've been looking at scrivener, can't decide whether it is over-complicated or brilliant.

Anyone here using Scrivener?

Me. Love it.

JonLa
Aug 11, 2012, 02:17 PM
I tried Scrivener using the 30-day free trial on their website. It's a neat feature you obviously don't get from the App Store version. Just need time and ideas for that novel!

stockscalper
Aug 11, 2012, 03:13 PM
I use a late 2010 13" MacBook Air as my computer to write on and Scrivener software. At one time or another I've tried all of the dedicated writing software and Scrivener is the best, followed fairly closely by Storyist. You can really customize either software, set up corkboards and plot outlines.

The MBA screen is plenty big enough too. I split Scrivener into two vertical panes with an icon bar on the far left that has chapters, characters, locations, etc. The left pane is the writing window and the right pane I vacilate between one of the character files or the plot outline. There's plenty of room for all of this on my 13" screen. When I write I like to relax in my favorite chair and the MBA sits nicely in my lap and is very light. Plus the battery life is excellent.

nightlong
Aug 11, 2012, 05:13 PM
I use a late 2010 13" MacBook Air as my computer to write on and Scrivener software. At one time or another I've tried all of the dedicated writing software and Scrivener is the best, followed fairly closely by Storyist. You can really customize either software, set up corkboards and plot outlines.

The MBA screen is plenty big enough too. I split Scrivener into two vertical panes with an icon bar on the far left that has chapters, characters, locations, etc. The left pane is the writing window and the right pane I vacilate between one of the character files or the plot outline. There's plenty of room for all of this on my 13" screen. When I write I like to relax in my favorite chair and the MBA sits nicely in my lap and is very light. Plus the battery life is excellent.

That sounds great, amazed you can fit all that on a small screen. So you are looking down all the time when writing, with the MBA in your lap? The ergonomics sound bad but you must have worked out ways around that.

----------

Me. Love it.

Are you a scriptwriter.... ?

Zeke D
Aug 11, 2012, 06:33 PM
I do my rough/first drafts on my powermac G5. I use iCloud to sync it to my MBA if I am writing on the patio or something. When I find myself at some sort of boring event my wife has dragged me to I bring my iPad along and work on it.

When I gt o the developemenal editing or copy editing I usually switch to the MBA until the work is done so I can utilize office 2011 for collaborating with my editor and beta readers. Then I stick with the MBA for kindle formatting and the like.

I intentionally do not have photoshop on my MBA because it is so horribly under powered compared to my G5.

nightlong
Aug 11, 2012, 06:48 PM
Thanks zeke d for detail of yr process. So are you making e-books? Multimedia?

confused about why yr MBA is so underpowered compared with g5?

Zeke D
Aug 11, 2012, 07:10 PM
Thanks zeke d for detail of yr process. So are you making e-books? Multimedia?

confused about why yr MBA is so underpowered compared with g5?

The MBA has a C2D 1.8, SSD and 2GB RAM, but the cooling is so bad protection kicks in and swallows CPU cycles like a madman. I have found that Photoshop CS1 on my Dual 2.0 G5 with 4GB RAM and a SATAII drive kills the MBA running CS3 or CS5. Plus a lot of my games are PPC-based and I cant run rosetta on the Lion partition and I am keeping the Snow partition rosetta free.

I suppose the newest MBAs have solved a lot of the problems I complain about, but If I were to get a new MBA, I would give it to my wife and take over her 2011 MBP.

I stick with Kindle Select for my short stories and do everything for my novelettes and novellas. I used to work for Fox News and did a lot of multimedia and audio editing, but now I just do photoshop on my G5 and some writing on my MBA.

cavgirl
Aug 11, 2012, 10:12 PM
New here, but couldn't resist this thread. I've just written my first entirely original (I've done loads of fanfic, a PhD thesis, and a published spin-off novel before) book. I'm a very recent convert to OS X/iOS, and I've absolutely loved the experience of writing across these two platforms. Gnashing my teeth that I didn't make the move earlier!

Software wise I've used:

iaWriter on the iPad for notes and rough drafts.

Scrivener to write. Such an amazing app, I'd have killed to have had something like it for my doctorate.

I'm going to try Macjournal for blogging, and I realised tonight that the combination of Scrivener, Sigil and the Kindle Previewer between them creates really lovely .mobi files that should read well on any Kindle app or device.

Oh, and Preview allowed me to add text to my cover image and tweak it to my heart's content. Before I realised I could do that I was cursing Pixelmator and missing Paint.Net rather badly....but Preview's sheer ease of use blew P.N well and truly out of the water.

nightlong
Aug 11, 2012, 10:22 PM
New here, but couldn't resist this thread. I've just written my first entirely original (I've done loads of fanfic, a PhD thesis, and a published spin-off novel before) book. I'm a very recent convert to OS X/iOS, and I've absolutely loved the experience of writing across these two platforms. Gnashing my teeth that I didn't make the move earlier!

Software wise I've used:

iaWriter on the iPad for notes and rough drafts.

Scrivener to write. Such an amazing app, I'd have killed to have had something like it for my doctorate.

I'm going to try Macjournal for blogging, and I realised tonight that the combination of Scrivener, Sigil and the Kindle Previewer between them creates really lovely .mobi files that should read well on any Kindle app or device.

Oh, and Preview allowed me to add text to my cover image and tweak it to my heart's content. Before I realised I could do that I was cursing Pixelmator and missing Paint.Net rather badly....but Preview's sheer ease of use blew P.N well and truly out of the water.

Congratulations! Are you doing all the coding etc yourself for publishing e-book .... XHTML and e-Pub? Which computer are you using, you only mentioned iPad?

happyslayer
Aug 12, 2012, 12:30 AM
I use a 2011 MacBook Air 11.6 with Mountain Lion and latest Scrivener to write fiction (mostly Sci-Fi.) I especially like Scrivener's full screen mode.

Previously, I used a 2010 Air 11.6 with Storiest 2.0.

The text is very sharp and I have no issues using it for prolonged periods of time. I just finished Camp NaNoWriMo (June 2012) and had a few 8 hour plus days with little to no eye strain. I would highly recommend the MBA as a good writing tool!

jojoba
Aug 12, 2012, 04:04 AM
Do you use a bigger screen with the Air when at a desk, or just the Air?
I've been looking at scrivener, can't decide whether it is over-complicated or brilliant.

Anyone here using Scrivener?

I use Scrivener, and I vote brilliant. I think it's an excellent program which really enhances my work flow. I love the fact that I can import all my sources, data, and notes and view them side by side with the draft I am writing. I love the snap shot function - I no longer have tons of separate files with previous versions of a document. It's great for work processes that are not non linear (that would include most larger writing projects), and it's really easy to keep an overview of a large project. It also automatically syncs to Elements on my iPad (as well as Simplenote, but I prefer Elements), so my fuill draft is always with me.

nightlong
Aug 12, 2012, 07:01 AM
Thanks for the info, Scrivener sounds great, ive been checking it out in a tutorial.

Ready to order my MBA but according to the Frustrations With Mountain Lion thread, it's still terrible to the point of unworkable with bugs. Anyone here using ML yet?

I'm still on SL, surely one of the best systems ever.

jojoba
Aug 12, 2012, 07:24 AM
Thanks for the info, Scrivener sounds great, ive been checking it out in a tutorial.

Ready to order my MBA but according to the Frustrations With Mountain Lion thread, it's still terrible to the point of unworkable with bugs. Anyone here using ML yet?

I'm still on SL, surely one of the best systems ever.

I've been I'm ML since a couple days after launch. One instance of Internet connectivity problems, otherwise no issues.

JonLa
Aug 12, 2012, 11:27 AM
ML Works great on my 2010 Air - the battery life on the 2010's isn't as good as the 2012 anyway but it doesn't seem to have got any worse (about 4 hours as opposed to the 6-7 on 2012) and it's more of an evolution of Lion than the jump from SL-Lion. I wouldn't let ML put you off - it's worth it for the Notification Centre alone!

jcg878
Aug 12, 2012, 12:52 PM
I have zero issues with ML. It actually fixed my 'wake from sleep lag' that I had under Lion.

nightlong
Aug 12, 2012, 05:51 PM
Great, thanks.. On that thread it sounds like end of the world with havoc with even basics like Mail and Safari, and whole computer freezes and so on.

cavgirl
Aug 12, 2012, 06:42 PM
Congratulations! Are you doing all the coding etc yourself for publishing e-book .... XHTML and e-Pub? Which computer are you using, you only mentioned iPad?

I can't code to save my life, sadly. I can just about tweak HTML if I must, but it ends there! I'm using an MBA 2011 base and producing my ePub sources from Scrivener. However, I wasn't entirely happy with Scrivener's version of my ToC, so I downloaded Sigil, and used the sidebar to open contents.xhtml, and removed the entries I didn't want. I then just saved the file and opened it in Kindle Previewer - and that automatically generated my .mobi.

But yes, actual coding aside, I've done everything myself. I'm also planning to do a promotional video using iMovie and Screenflow. The video will be shot using the new iPad.

Oh, and using ML. I'm another who is bemused my all the negative comments - I used my MBA for two hours earlier and I've still got 69% battery life!

nightlong
Aug 12, 2012, 07:00 PM
I put on a workshop last Saturday with an e-publisher who used In Design, then opened in Dreamweaver where code could be checked and tweaked. Looked do-able for a non- code writer like me. But your solution, from Scrivener, sounds even better, for me, as I don't have In Design.

cavgirl
Aug 12, 2012, 07:44 PM
I put on a workshop last Saturday with an e-publisher who used In Design, then opened in Dreamweaver where code could be checked and tweaked. Looked do-able for a non- code writer like me. But your solution, from Scrivener, sounds even better, for me, as I don't have In Design.

Neither do I, and tbh I preferred to avoid Adobe in any case. Scrivener's extremely nimble and I have it up virtually all the time. You do need to spend time tweaking the compile settings though, and it doesn't hurt to have calibre on board to check epubs - although Sigil is probably better for that anyway.

Lunchb0x8
Aug 12, 2012, 07:58 PM
I am by no means a writer, but spend about 11 hours a day typing.

My setup is an HP 2560p for work, and a 2012 MBA for home, both have a Razer Blackwidow mechanical keyboard.

This is by far the most comfortable typing experience I have ever had, and my typing speed is massively improving.

D*I*S_Frontman
Aug 12, 2012, 08:36 PM
Okay, I might be completely dense and missing the point of this thread, but I am absolutely baffled at the hardware discussion regarding WRITING TEXT on a computer. I mean, hasn't Stephen King written REAMS and REAMS of prose on his Batman-esque Pismo G3?

I've done audio production and video production work, and for those applications (especially video), heavy iron is necessary for getting things done. Dual monitors are a must. So are gobs of RAM, fast CPUs, and rock-solid, stable and rocket-fast i/o. But writing? Word processing? Didn't we cross that threshold with the Timex Sinclair?

Software is perhaps a different story. I've used FinalDraft in the past, which is okay, but the customer service is draconian. I'd gladly switch to something else, and the Scrivener buzz has me wanting to have a look at the demo. Right now I am writing a piece of historical fiction, and I'm just using Pages, which seems to be handling the scale of it reasonably well (98,000 words/315 pp. at the halfway point). I have to finish this draft and do at least one complete rewrite and copyediting run before I need to worry about coding for Kindle/iPad/Nook e-readers. It might have been nice to have used a software aid for structuring my book, but it's really an adaptation of an earlier story from another project, so I know where its going ahead of time. Still, I'm going to give Scrivener a once-over in case it can make my life a lot easier.

I suppose if a person were were doing a large research project and wanted a lot of windows open for reference material, research findings, etc., maybe a dual monitor would be helpful. But I wouldn't think dual monitors woul be as necessary as they are for graphic designers who need a dozen palettes open; or audio engineers with sample libraries, track samples, and mixers to view and tweak; or video editors who have audio and video plug-ins and multiple video streams to pull from.

I've run dual monitors while writing, but only to have a free window to surf from when I need a small break. I certainly wouldn't NEED a second monitor to get things done.

So help me understand the hand-wringing over what hardware to use for writing, because to me it sounds a lot like a serious discussion regarding what kind of crane you'd need to lift a feather with.

Lunchb0x8
Aug 12, 2012, 09:41 PM
In regards to the above reply, how very accurate, if a little harsh...

For serious writers, any computer that has enough memory for spellcheck should suffice...

Or are we just finding out what the "writers" are using at starbucks to look like writers?

lambertjohn
Aug 12, 2012, 10:20 PM
I'm a professional writer: money in exchange for words. Been doing it for 15 years. I use a 15" 2010 Macbook Pro with the 1680x1050 matte screen. Bought it on the refurb site for $1369 plus tax. Don't need a speed demon for writing; however my computer is based on the i7 2.8ghz CPU, and it's pretty darn fast.

Retina Macbook? Not in this boy's future; it's an overpriced luxury in my opinion. Way overkill for a writer. In my world, what matters most is producing clearly written prose on deadline, every time. A matte screen with lots of real estate, and a decent CPU is the only way to go. Pretty much any Macbook Pro from the last 4 years will get you those specs. Throw in Microsoft Word and you're good to go.

Now, if you're a kid who just wants to scratch out a love letter to Ms. Prissy, then buy the latest Macbook Bling Bling.

----------

I also have word 2008, which some say is better than 2011. But apparently Microsoft isn't doing mac version of 2013 .... And I'm sick of Word anyway, such a massive clunky and so PC dull old dinosaur ... It's exciting that people are now developing software for writers instead of for word 'processors'.

This, current and future writers, is the kind of "non-professional" advice you don't want to listen to.

Word is the de-facto standard in any profession that requires a transference of ideas in word format. Except for Hollywood, which relies on specialized software to produce movie scripts and other visually appealing entertainment media. When someone says something like, "massive clunky and so PC dull old dinosaur," they obviously do not make their living in any kind of professional writing capacity. In my line of work, Word is my bible, and it's paid for itself time and time again.

nightlong
Aug 12, 2012, 10:39 PM
DIS Frontman, in reply to the sarcastic elements, yes we could use a quill or typewriter. Photographers could also use equally antiquated tools. However, many new avenues are opening up for writers - avenues for their writing, and also in self-publishing via ebooks and so on, including multimedia with photos, video, etc.

So this thread isn't just for quaint novelists (as you seem to think all writers are) in some attic with fountain pen and parchment paper, it's for people using words in all manner of ways with technology. I started the thread because while I am interested in learning more about the technology I use and to better plan my upgrade steps etc, I'm a writer more than a geek and I thought it might be interesting to connect with others using Mac gear for creative word-based projects.

Like most other people, I use my computers for more than just text. Even if I didn't, I would still want the best system I could afford in terms of productivity, comfort/ergonomics, flexibility (desk and portability).

Text (and the relentless sitting required to do a lot of writing) is very demanding of eyes and body, and people who don't do much writing (just emails etc) often don't appreciate that for a writer who chooses to use technology (rather than quill), the computer, screen, desk, chair, software etc are just as important as they are to programmers, video editors etc.

nightlong
Aug 12, 2012, 10:56 PM
lambertjohn ... thanks for the lessons in professionalism! I've been making my living as a professional writer for 43 years, and yes, like everyone, I know how 'standard' Word is. It might suit your needs, but, with new developments it doesn't continue to suit everyone's or not for every purpose.

Lunchb0x8
Aug 12, 2012, 11:25 PM
My comments were more of a jab at the "writers" not at the Writers.

People who actually write will use any machine that works, some have different preferences, but I find a good keyboard is what makes typing easiest for me.

D*I*S_Frontman
Aug 13, 2012, 12:03 AM
DIS Frontman, in reply to the sarcastic elements, yes we could use a quill or typewriter. Photographers could also use equally antiquated tools. However, many new avenues are opening up for writers - avenues for their writing, and also in self-publishing via ebooks and so on, including multimedia with photos, video, etc.
I didn't intend to come of that sarcastic. But having said that, even making a media-rich e-reading experience shouldn't require a supercomputer. Don't you just need the right kind of software to make the project work properly on the various e-reader devices it is intended for, and the know-how to code it properly?

So this thread isn't just for quaint novelists (as you seem to think all writers are) in some attic with fountain pen and parchment paper...
Where did I imply that?

..it's for people using words in all manner of ways with technology. I started the thread because while I am interested in learning more about the technology I use and to better plan my upgrade steps etc, I'm a writer more than a geek and I thought it might be interesting to connect with others using Mac gear for creative word-based projects.
I don't claim to be a successful writer, but from everything I've studied on the subject, the most important prerequisites to becoming one are a) reading good writers and b) constantly writing. "Killer laptop" nor "external monitor" didn't make the lists I've read, though.

Like most other people, I use my computers for more than just text. Even if I didn't, I would still want the best system I could afford in terms of productivity, comfort/ergonomics, flexibility (desk and portability).
Isn't that a different question? "Hey writers.. what do you use?" isn't the same query as "What's the best computer for me, seeing that I'll be doing a lot more besides actually writing with it?"

Text (and the relentless sitting required to do a lot of writing) is very demanding of eyes and body, and people who don't do much writing (just emails etc) often don't appreciate that for a writer who chooses to use technology (rather than quill), the computer, screen, desk, chair, software etc are just as important as they are to programmers, video editors etc.
Well, now we are getting somewhere. Since writing generally requires someone in a seated position for hours at a stretch, using a keyboard as his/her main means of input, viewing the process from a monitor, good peripheral choices are probably FAR more important than the CPU.

What type of chair is best? How often does one take breaks to stretch? What daily hand exercises/range of motion regimen do writers generally employ to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome? Which keyboard has the best tactile sensation and gratifying "click" when a key is pressed? At what angle to it are the wrists? Is the monitor at the proper height to prevent neck strain and at the proper distance to prevent eye strain? Do either the laptop screen and/or the desktop or secondary monitor have a display that is sharp and clear without being too bright? What is the ambient light level of the room, and how is the monitor output adjusted to compensate?

Answers to these questions and to inquiries about writing specific software are certainly more important to me than how "snappy" Safari is on a new laptop. At this point in the world of technology, ergonomic concerns for professional writers probably outweigh CPU specs on the priority list by 10:1.

If any full-time career writers out there want to refute any of this, I'm ready to hear from you. Correct me where I'm off. You're living it, so your real-world experience trumps my limited exposure to that world.

nightlong
Aug 13, 2012, 12:21 AM
Dis Frontman ... great to see so many interesting and constructive comments/questions from you, much more interesting than just bashing the thread.

Please note: the title of the thread is Hey Writers ... What Do You Use?

Not, Hey Writers What CPU Do You Use?

I happened to ask some questions about MBA and ML because I'm about to buy a new computer with this software. I started this writer thread here, rather than on a different sort of non-tech forum, because I wanted to find out what writers interested enough in technology to come to a Mac forum, are doing, as well as using.

What Do You Use leaves it wide open to talk about anything used in writing with a computer, all you listed, and more.

jojoba
Aug 13, 2012, 01:01 AM
lambertjohn ... thanks for the lessons in professionalism! I've been making my living as a professional writer for 43 years, and yes, like everyone, I know how 'standard' Word is. It might suit your needs, but, with new developments it doesn't continue to suit everyone's or not for every purpose.

I second this. Moving from Word to Scrivener has MASSIVELY improved my work flow. I really can't emphasise this enough. For my purposes, Word is a little toddler where Scrivener is an experienced professional. Obviously, your milage may vary, but to imply that anyone doing writing should just be happy with word and any thread discussing alternatives to that make no sense, comes across as a curious mixture of condescending and naive. And yes, a second monitor hugely improves my workflow, too, although it's not something I regularly rely on.

I still have to use Word because I work in a Windows based environment, but I only use it when necessary for co-writing. At the moment, I compile my Scrivener projects to Word, but will probably swith to Pages for my non collaborative writing projects, since it syncs seamlessly with my iPad.

nightlong
Aug 13, 2012, 01:05 AM
One more thing ..... I take it for granted that any writer using a computer is using it for other things too, and that they come to a mac forum to find out things about the complexities that often arise on a multi-tasking machine. Complexities, and problems. And also, possibilities.

Ten billion years ago, in the other half of my professional life, musician/composer, when I left the long and winding road and set up a home studio to write music for various things, it was brilliant because along with a room full of music gear, I had an Atari computer with Notator software, nothing else on this, so nothing to upset or annoy the music software, I used a Mac for my writing work and other things. Things became more complex, with Pro Tools and all sorts of other massive and sophisticated software, which often upset each other, all on the Mac(s).

On one level, just writing, I could recreate this specific use, strip an ancient laptop of everything but writing software ... but on other levels that doesn't work, if I want to use other media in writing projects, and more sophisticated software than Word. I even need Lion or ML to get Pages now!

Anyone making their living from writing these days (who is not a huge-selling international author who might never have to work again) will probably be writing across lots of mediums, and " any old computer that works" (as another poster suggested) probably won't work for them.

"Any old computer" works in a vacuum, but as soon as you connect it to the internet ... etc, etc, etc.

So the reference to "quaint author" was about this idea that writers can be luddites and should make do with minimalist technology as words don't strain a CPU too much, and can't use dual screens because they are made for graphic designers, and any old computer, no matter what the screen quality, will do, and how dare a writer even think of buying an rMBP just for text, even though sharp text is what most writers (who do long hauls) crave and the rMBP will deliver that more than anything else right now, but no, that's overkill if you are not a graphic designer.

I'm amazed by some of these old-fashioned ideas about writing from writers who, I'm sure, are much younger than me.

JonLa
Aug 13, 2012, 06:36 AM
I think there are lots of us who write or edit as part of our jobs and it's perfectly normal to talk about what helps us work more productively. My work pc, provided by my employer, was a 5 year-old Windows Vista machine running MS Word 2007, Photoshop and Dreamweaver CS3. It had a standard monitor which never seemed to show the colours correctly for photoshop, despite all attempts to calibrate it. When it was new it was pretty good but by the end of the 5-years it was a hinderance to effective working. It might have been improved by reinstalling windows or upgrading to Win7 but in most businesses this sort of thing isn't done except in cases of hardware failure. Most employees are not administrators on their own machines, for obvious and logical reasons.

We all want to work more effectively at what we do, and that's what this thread is for! Didn't really appreciate the snark.

david3000
Aug 13, 2012, 07:47 AM
-
Do you use a bigger screen with the Air when at a desk, or just the Air?
I've been looking at scrivener, can't decide whether it is over-complicated or brilliant.

Anyone here using Scrivener?

I use Scrivener exclusively for writing fiction. It's one of those things you ask yourself "How did I live before this?" It's that amazing! It is as simple or complex as you want it to be. Download the free trial at literatureandlatte.com and give it a spin (be sure and take the included tutorial).

As to external screen use, I owned a cinema display for a while until I found I write much better with the 13" MacBook Air screen. It is a more intimate writing experience.

One other thing, Scrivener for iPad is in the works--I can't wait!

Hope I was helpful.

nightlong
Aug 13, 2012, 09:17 AM
Enjoying posts by jojoba, jonla, david3000, talking about the way you work.

Interesting what david3000 says about abandoning external screen as the MBA screen feels like a more intimate writing experience.

wondering if with such portable machines as MBA ...

Do you still have a special space for writing, or doesn't that matter , you can write anywhere? Or maybe anywhere with Internet connection, if you need that for research? Less reliant on paper reference books? Don't need book-lined study these days?

I built an office for writing, with everything exact height, very expensive chair etc, and considering the hours/years writing there, it was a good decision health wise, but since getting the iPad I have been enjoying moving around to other spaces. Then again, my familiar office space can really help concentration, it's as though my body is programmed to start writing as soon as it is in that chair at that desk.

Are people interested in posting pix here of their writing spaces, if they still have them?

I've never posted a pic on this forum. Would appreciate instruction from anyone who has?

Anyway, let's hear about your writing environment, whatever that is, and ... Do you prepare for writing in any way? Any techniques for improving concentration, keeping yourself going when writing badly, coping with the anti-social, isolating nature of writing. Some people (like me) love that, for others it is a trial.

jojoba
Aug 13, 2012, 11:11 AM
Do you still have a special space for writing, or doesn't that matter , you can write anywhere? Or maybe anywhere with Internet connection, if you need that for research? Less reliant on paper reference books? Don't need book-lined study these days?

Anyway, let's hear about your writing environment, whatever that is, and ... Do you prepare for writing in any way? Any techniques for improving concentration, keeping yourself going when writing badly, coping with the anti-social, isolating nature of writing. Some people (like me) love that, for others it is a trial.

I do most of my writing in my office in a university building. It's a pretty standard office space, but the atmosphere says 'work' so it helps me get going. I do some of my writing on my windows machine there, and some of my Air which I just set up next to the desktop.

Sometimes I go away (e.g. to a coffee shop) to read through drafts, but most of my actual writing is in the office (and from time to time at home).

I sometimes do a 10-15 min meditation before starting to write, to increase my focus and rid my mind of the thousands of other things that are up there. Recently I've started listening to calm background music while writing.

Most of the time, I like the solitary nature of my work. I use internet forums to get a break now and then, and I schedule in some lunches or coffee breaks with colleagues. We also work collaboratively with texts in progress at irregular intervals, and I find providing and receiving that kind of feedback very helpful.

Oh yes, and the big cup of tea and some fruit next to me, that's important :)

Ibamac
Aug 13, 2012, 12:31 PM
This is an interesting thread for me, as I am interested in becoming a writer of sorts. I've done plenty of writing daily in my career, plus short writing or outlines to accompany lectures, a bookchapter, some articles, but don't consider myself a writer. I've actually turned down invitations to write columns, etc. but am now interested in producing textbooks in iBooks Author. I don't own a mac (have new PC's which I'm quite happy with) and have been testing www.macincloud.net, which unfortunately doesn't work for me (apparently my internet speed is too slow to make it usable). So now I realize I have to buy a computer I don't need for access to the iBooks Author. Of all the macs, the one that would make the most sense for me outside of iBA is the 11" MBA (the 13" would duplicate what I already have), so I'm very interested in your experiences writing with such a short palm rest and small screen. Using a wireless keyboard and elevating the screen to the right height while at a desk is a great idea. Btw, I, too, thought that text looked best on the rMBP I saw at the store. The other macbooks screens looked like tv screens to me (I have a matte IPS screen on my Lenovo X220), and would take some getting used to. Anyway, just wanted to check in and say I enjoy reading your posts.

Also, I am looking forward to learning about Scrivener but wonder why writers enjoy things like iAWriter vs. Word or Pages. I don't think I'd enjoy something that looked like typewriter font, as that would only bring up bad memories for me, lol. Also, I am most familiar with Word, but on other forums I have seen people suggest that it's best to write in Pages because it has built-in functionality that translates better to iBooks Author when it's exported in ePub format (like the ability to have the page-flipping animations on the iPad). Anyone want to weigh in on Pages vs. Word?

Finally, I'm new to the world of forums, so if my response has breached forum etiquette by bringing up other things, I apologize!

nightlong
Aug 13, 2012, 05:57 PM
Welcome ibamac! I'm also keen to try iBook Author. Drag and drop, no programming, sounds ideal to me. I have spoken to only one person who has used it, he didn't like it at all and thought Pages was better.

Hopefully others here can give us more insight into this?

nightlong
Aug 13, 2012, 06:27 PM
FYI ... Cult of Mac has a step by step guide to blogging using only iPad.

I'm using iPad to write this ... Is it possible to post link to a story on a site to here with iPad? I can't see how to do it.

warth0g
Aug 15, 2012, 10:02 AM
Unfortunately I don't make any money from writing (well, not strictly true, as the day job requires me to write the occasional white paper etc) although I'd love to jack in the 9 to 5 and release the inner novelist.

With a full time job, wife and 2 kids though, it's never been easy to start writing outside of work. I started blogging and that went pretty well but I still needed more motivation to dedicate more time to writing.

So I went completely over the top and bought a 13" Air which, in theory, was unnecessary because I already had a perfectly decent windows laptop. However there's something about the combination of the wonderful keyboard, trackpad, form factor, screen plus the software that I choose to use that is just a joy to write on.

Yes, it's ridiculous and if I was a "real" writer then it would have been unnecessary. But it's worked for me and I've been happily churning out the pages. Well, sentences anyway.

So a 13" MBA, plus IA Writer for actual writing, plus Evernote for organising ideas, etc has been perfection for me. If I ever step up to tackling a novel then I guess I'll get Scrivener too. And Pages is probably good idea to format the work that I've done in IA Writer, but for now I couldn't be happier with what I've got.

DrumApple
Aug 15, 2012, 02:41 PM
I wouldn't use the MBA just because it has a glossy screen. If you're a serious writer, you'll want a matte screen with minimal reflection and glare and less eye strain, and a nice keyboard. Also stick to Microsoft Word, it's the industry standard. Those other writing apps are so gimmicky and your publisher will most likely want the final output in a Word doc (if you're writing books, etc.).

The Samsung Series 9 screen is magnificent.

Cool Story Bro
Aug 15, 2012, 03:55 PM
Hi all.

I've been lurking for a while but thought I'd finally register so I could post here. This topic caught my attention as I'm a writer, as well.

I write screenplays (optioned, but haven't cracked that six-figure sale, yet!) and use Apple hardware exclusively. Prior to, I was a Sophocles user on Windows until they canned the product.

These days, I use a combination of things for writing and writing-related-tasks: Final Draft 8, Scrivener, iA Writer, Highland and Bronson Watermarker on my MBP and Mini; FDX Reader, iA Writer and Index Card on my iPad.

When I'm not procrastinating and actually writing, I've usually got 2 FD8 windows up side-by-side. I have my outline on the right, and my draft script on the left. I use Scrivener to keep track of other things: brainstorming notes, character writeups, loglines, synopses and sometimes a narrative version of my screenplay. iA Writer (particularly on the iPad), comes in handy when I don't feel like schlepping around the MBP. I'm comfortable with the Fountain markdown syntax for screenplays, and when used in conjunction with Highland, I can convert the plaintext work product back to FDX format or vice-versa. Index Card for IOS (used in conjunction with Scrivener) is great for rearranging scenes, and I use it to keep track of companies I'm pitching to, and the notes they've given me.

Hardware-wise, my main machine is a mid-2009 15" MBP 2.6Ghz C2D, with 8GB of memory and a hybrid SSD/DD. For longer writing sessions at home I have a similarly-equipped mid-2009 Mac mini hooked up to a 27" display, and use an Apple Wireless Keyboard and Magic Trackpad. My iPad is 2nd generation wifi-only unit. I live in NYC and frequently have Skype meetings with people in LA, and I use a Logitech C910 1080p camera, since my built-in webcam is of lower quality.

I've always been a tech geek and in my younger years made many an irrational purchase. I've been 'good' for the past 3 years by holding onto this MBP, but the upgrade bug has bitten me and I'm really considering a maxed-out 13" MBA or 15" cMBP with the hi-res antiglare and a RAM/SSD self-upgrade. I've researched and played with the rMBP for a bit, but don't think it's ready for primetime just yet. It took me a long time to realize though, that your tools are not indicative of your skill level (or vice-versa), and that from a technical perspective our computing needs aren't that demanding.

Glad to see there are a few other writers on these boards, and am looking forward to reading up on what others are using and doing.

aaronvan
Aug 15, 2012, 04:33 PM
That sounds great, amazed you can fit all that on a small screen. So you are looking down all the time when writing, with the MBA in your lap? The ergonomics sound bad but you must have worked out ways around that.

----------



Are you a scriptwriter.... ?

Aren't we all? :p

Not a WGA member and never sold anything...so I guess not! :(

OnceYouGoMac
Aug 15, 2012, 04:40 PM
I use M$ Word 2008 on my MacBook Pro and LibreOffice on my Air. I usually save files in .doc in case I have to email them to anyone. It ensures they don't have trouble opening it. I hate the .docx format though.

Nychot
Aug 15, 2012, 06:23 PM
For my eleventh non-fiction book, and now beginning my twelfth and for journalism i've been using the mac mini from 2010 with the superdrive, 4gb ram, attached to a 23 inch non-glare hp monitor that does both landscape and portrait, the apple bt keyboard and the apple bt trackpad. Word 2004 and snow leopard. I have a wifi brother printer that does about 30 ppm. I email my copy. To sometimes escape being tied to my desk i have a 2012 base 13" macbook air with lion and word 2011 (very compatible with word 2004.). I wrote my first book years ago using an apple 2c. Many apple and macs along the way to the present.

nightlong
Aug 15, 2012, 06:41 PM
Interesting new posts.

A few questions. After a lot of research on threads here, I have finally ordered my MBA 13 with 8 gb/256gb ...

Are those running ML still okay, though I haven't been searching for it I'm still coming across lots of drama with computers freezing or crashing.

Also, quite a few people having trouble with Word 2008 and 2011, and have had to delete certain fonts and do other fixes they've found in help threads. Anyone here having trouble with Word?

Picking up on a question in an earlier thread by Ibamac, anyone who prefers Pages to Word ... Can you tell us why?

nightlong
Aug 15, 2012, 08:37 PM
Unfortunately I don't make any money from writing (well, not strictly true, as the day job requires me to write the occasional white paper etc) although I'd love to jack in the 9 to 5 and release the inner novelist.

With a full time job, wife and 2 kids though, it's never been easy to start writing outside of work. I started blogging and that went pretty well but I still needed more motivation to dedicate more time to writing.

So I went completely over the top and bought a 13" Air which, in theory, was unnecessary.

I don't think it is so much time as giving yourself permission to take seriously something that you haven't yet proved to yourself you can do, and it's also about head space.

Time: remember some major authors got their first novel written by just getting up at 5am, just 2 hours to write before getting their kids to school and then to day job. A bit hazy but I think Toni Morrison started like this.

Permission: at first, being a freelance journalist used to working very fast and efficiently, churning out a substantial feature story in the morning, writing invoice in afternoon, then rewriting it all or in part to sell the story again to a different not competing publication .... So, not so easy to give myself permission at first to spend days on something I'd more likely throw away. Hey, when exactly will we be writing an invoice for all this???.

Head space: you can have heaps of time but still not get any good writing done if your brain is full of other stuff, or worried or preoccupied, etc.

So I think buying a computer, that you didn't otherwise need, for writing is a great big giving yourself permission step.

jojoba
Aug 16, 2012, 04:47 AM
Interesting new posts.

A few questions. After a lot of research on threads here, I have finally ordered my MBA 13 with 8 gb/256gb ...

Are those running ML still okay, though I haven't been searching for it I'm still coming across lots of drama with computers freezing or crashing.

Also, quite a few people having trouble with Word 2008 and 2011, and have had to delete certain fonts and do other fixes they've found in help threads. Anyone here having trouble with Word?

Picking up on a question in an earlier thread by Ibamac, anyone who prefers Pages to Word ... Can you tell us why?

I had one instance of connectivity issues after downloading ML, but nothing after that. No crashing or freezing or anything like that.

I have the latest version of MO installed on my Air, I have had some issues with it but I think that has a very particular reason due to a corrupted installation file from my uni, so really nothing that should apply to you.

I work in a Windows environment so will have to stick to Word for a significant part of my work, but I'm thinking of getting Pages and transferring parts to that, primarily because it should sync wirelessly with my iPad.

nightlong
Aug 16, 2012, 07:11 AM
Thanks, and glad to hear you are not being plagued with crashing/freezing, I've been reassured by a few people that these ML problems are rare.

PDFierro
Aug 16, 2012, 01:48 PM
Good thread here. I completely get the point of it, too bad some don't.

I write screenplays daily, but I currently use a Windows laptop. But I love Apple products and will be picking up an Apple laptop or iPad really soon, just my budget is kind of limited right now. I hate writing on Windows, to me the software and the device you are writing on can really help your process.

I haven't tried Scrivener, but have heard good things. I use Final Draft. Both of those are going to be coming out with an iPad app by the end of the year, which is pretty exciting. Final Draft already has a reader app out, but being able to use the same program on the iPad and the desktop will be really cool.

I'm looking at going towards a low-end MacBook Air or the rumored iPad Mini. I don't think I would lose anything writing on an iPad with a full-featured Final Draft app if I decided to go that away opposed to a Mac.

nightlong
Aug 17, 2012, 01:02 AM
I love the iPad, it's brilliant providing you've got a computer to handle all the things iPad wasn't designed to do. I don't think I'd like a screen size smaller than what it is now though, for writing.

nightlong
Aug 18, 2012, 04:21 AM
What are your favourite reference apps/sites, general and also specific to your genre or area of writing?

eclipse
Aug 18, 2012, 04:46 AM
* I'm thinking about moving to a portable solution like an iPad, and I'm after a writing app that can save to .doc so I have flexibility in moving back to other software if I become dissatisfied with this one.

* I'd like a great Thesaurus and Dictionary.

* I'd also like to be able to store images that inspire parts of my story. (Like actors faces that remind me of what I want my characters to look like).

* And, if possible, I'd LOVE a drop and drag wiki / database for this fantasy world's encyclopaedia. When creating alternative worlds, it is very useful to have interactive wiki's that let you easily change a major name, and it automatically changes all references to this name through all the sub-wiki's for you.

Is there anything like that?

wordsworth
Aug 18, 2012, 05:52 AM
I'm a freelance editor and writer. I began as an amateur music journalist and then gradually found myself doing more editing than writing, and at a professional level.

I currently use a MacBook with external keyboard and mouse plus external 23-inch Hanns-G monitor. I tend to do most of my editing on the MacBook's built-in screen and most of the proofing of PDFs on the external monitor. It seems to work for me.

Most of the magazine's contributors use Windows machines so my own work process involves receiving these files and transferring the text across to Pages, which I much prefer to work in. If I may use a gardening analogy, it feels a little like working with a simple wooden-handled gardening tool (Pages), lighter and altogether more satisfying as a user experience, rather than a heavier, metal-handled implement (Word for Mac).

I eventually pour the fully edited and formatted text back into Word files, tweak a little, and forward to our designer.

Some years ago I used to work in Quark but it didn't seem to enhance the production flow at all so I was happy to evolve a new system in partnership with our designer. Word as part of that system seemed like the lesser of the 'evil' options. I really did not want to work solely in Word. ClarisWorks was replaced by AppleWorks, which then became iWork (featuring Pages).

I have a dedicated office space (I work from home) and I 'clock in' daily. I do write reviews and the occasional article though I prefer the editing these days.

eclipse
Aug 18, 2012, 06:07 AM
Hi Wordsworth,

Interesting. What would you use if you worked out of home and only had an hour lunch break at work to write in? Say writing was on the sidelines of your life, and you were just moving into it. A little before work, and a little at lunch. Those plot ideas you just HAVE to get down, and quickly. What hardware would you use for portability? An iPad? Macbook Retina? Air?

Also, any ideas on a 'database' or wiki? Have you ever tried to write fictional worlds and manage reams of data and back-story, kind of like the Appendix to Lord of the Rings? Is there any software you know of that can help manage all that better, with an easy drop and drag interface that lets you click on the 'Rivendell' or 'Aragorn' wiki, and then you decide to change one of these major names and it just goes through the entire encyclopaedia and changes it all for you?

wordsworth
Aug 18, 2012, 06:42 AM
These days I'd probably buy an Air for portability if I were more mobile (rather than office-based) and grabbing some writing time on the hoof.

Can't help you with your other queries, I'm afraid.

nightlong
Aug 18, 2012, 06:51 AM
Eclipse, I like writing on iPad but it does have limitations, I'm getting a 13 inch Air as a halfway tool between total mobility ( iPad) and desk (iMac and large screen for Air).

A lot of posters here love Scrivener ... Not for iPad yet but from what I've seen in their online tutorials, might answer some of your needs.

Geekbabe
Aug 18, 2012, 07:05 AM
The big attraction to the Air is portability, at home mostly, not being so desk-bound, but a screen with sharp text is a big priority too. how do other Air users who write all day get along with its dreary TN screen?

I run a website using my 13 inch Air & I don't find the screen to be dreary at all.

nightlong
Aug 18, 2012, 07:14 AM
Antiquated then ... TN technology isn't exactly cutting edge.

jojoba
Aug 18, 2012, 06:22 PM
Hi eclipse,

I use a 13" Air for a lot of my writing, and I think it's great - the screen (compared to the 11") really makes a difference for me, but it's still very portable. However, my iPad is my main portable device which I always carry with me, with an external keyboard when needed. I find it superior to my Air in certain settings/ for certain tasks due to the combination of long battery life, stylus input and 3G access.

I don't know of any apps that meet your specific requirements re wiki etc. I use Scrivener for my main writing (on my Air and windows desktop at work), which syncs with Elements on my iPad (as others have said, they're working on an iPad version). Scrivener is great for managing larger writing projects, because you can import all your data, research notes, pdfs, brain storming mind maps, and so on, and place them next to each other as you write. Scrivener can also take snap shots of your different drafts, which I find hugely helpful - no more stacks of 'previous versions' files when I write.

For taking notes on the go I often use Circus Ponies notebook on my Air or iPad, or Daedalus and Notability (the latter for hand writing) on my iPad. If it's more a brain storming/ outlining type of job, I use CurioCore on my Air, or a mind mapping app (iTHoughtsDH) on my iPad which I later sync to Curio. A lot of people seem to also use Evernote for writing notes on the go, personally I use that more as a personal admin app (directions, recipes, receipts, that kind of stuff).

Regarding screen, I find the Air find to write on. My iPad is definitely crisper, but I really love my Air.

stockscalper
Aug 20, 2012, 12:44 PM
That sounds great, amazed you can fit all that on a small screen. So you are looking down all the time when writing, with the MBA in your lap? The ergonomics sound bad but you must have worked out ways around that.

----------



Are you a scriptwriter.... ?

No, actually it all fits nicely on the screen. I'm not looking down as I use the laptop while my legs are propped up. I tend to assume a relaxed position when I write. Not a scriptwriter, but a writer of novels.

dwburnell
Aug 20, 2012, 02:06 PM
So happy to stumble across this thread! I will start out saying I am not even close to being a writer, but my fiance is, and in my opinion a pretty fantastic one for not going to school for journalism. I just bought her a MBA for this exact purpose. She also has an original iPad. How would you recommend she gets started? And what programs should she start to use? She has a bunch of ideas written down but not to much actually typed up. Don't know if it makes a difference, but she will be writing fiction. Thanks for the help!

nightlong
Aug 21, 2012, 03:08 AM
So happy to stumble across this thread! I will start out saying I am not even close to being a writer, but my fiance is, and in my opinion a pretty fantastic one for not going to school for journalism. I just bought her a MBA for this exact purpose. She also has an original iPad. How would you recommend she gets started? And what programs should she start to use? She has a bunch of ideas written down but not to much actually typed up. Don't know if it makes a difference, but she will be writing fiction. Thanks for the help!

Welcome, and your girlfriend too. By getting started do you mean with technology, or in writing? There's quite a lot of information on here about various apps, how and why people use them, from the most standard word processor MS Word to the writer-specific Scrivener, and also Apple's Pages and the simple but effective iA Writer.

Getting started with writing ... Well, there is much debate about whether creative writing can be taught. I think it's a bit precious when people say writing can't be taught ... like, you are born a genius and it all comes naturally and easily or ... forget it! Absolute rubbish, brilliant musicians and painters study for years, but writers are expected to know how to create their equivalent of a symphony - a novel - with no instruction whatsoever. Another myth is that you can learn everything simply from reading great literature. Yes, well, you can learn a lot, but you are reading polished, completed work, it can be very daunting to compare your first sketches or even tenth drafts with work of this calibre.

So I think creative writing courses can help to inspire, encourage, and keep you from taking a very long time by trial and error to reinvent the wheel with technicalities that you can learn much more quickly from an experienced writer.

I've been a journalist for a long time, but not much of that training and writing helps with novels, it's a very different craft. These disciplines carried over from there, do help me:

Sit down and start writing, something will happen. Don't be intimidated by a blank screen, don't worry if what you write at first is awful, just keep going. I learned a long time ago to separate the creator and the editor in myself ... if the editor is called in too soon it can be very destructive, if the creator is left to meander too long, nothing will ever get organised and finished.

This might not work for everyone, but these things have helped me.

eclipse
Aug 21, 2012, 07:05 AM
Very well put Nightlong. And, personally, that's why I like the look of Scrivener. I've never used anything like that, but it looks great precisely BECAUSE it gives you a place to suddenly start writing creatively... and then lets the editor come in and tidy it up. So you write that great scene that just popped into your head, and you write it with the passion of the fresh vision. Then you save it as "Battle scene" or "Conversation by the Roses" or "The pizza fight" or whatever, and fill in a 3 line sketch as to what happened in those creative pages. It's now labelled.

Now, will the "Conversation by the Roses" happen before the "Battle Scene" or after? And where will the pizza fight go?

Too easy with Scrivener! Just drop and drag those 'summary stickies' around.

I LOVE that idea. I was trying to do it in word by using lots of headings, and then just dropping and dragging the headings up and down in Outline view. But it's no where near as tidy as Scrivener's Stickies, and the 'headings' would have to get pretty long to have as much summary description as plonked onto Scrivener.

What simply AMAZES me is that Word haven't got it yet! Have they? Surely there's a function like that coming in word? I'm amazed they don't have it.

What about Pages? The thing that really bugs me is that Scrivener isn't working on iPad. I'd LOVE to have something like that for iPad, because that's about all I can afford for my writing 'hobby'.

TaKashMoney
Aug 21, 2012, 08:42 AM
I dont have an Air (I realize these are the Air forums) but I have had tremendous experience with the iPad and external keyboard (I use the Adonit Writer Plus). I use iAWriter with dropbox.

What features of having a full blown mac really help? (this is an honest question not being facetious)

I find that I am able to focus for longer periods of time, plus the battery life and ability to write notes on a stylus is so useful.

nightlong
Aug 21, 2012, 11:59 AM
I dont have an Air (I realize these are the Air forums) but I have had tremendous experience with the iPad and external keyboard (I use the Adonit Writer Plus). I use iAWriter with dropbox.

What features of having a full blown mac really help? (this is an honest question not being facetious)

I find that I am able to focus for longer periods of time, plus the battery life and ability to write notes on a stylus is so useful.

When you get down to it .. The It is of course content and skill with language and it doesn't really matter what tools you use or how full-blown your Mac is, but as Eclipse was describing ... There's a lot of organising in structure and how you tell the story .. If it's not just a simply told auto-biography. I think Scrivener for example, is a very much more organised way of doing what writers have always done with heaps of journals, scraps of plot and character bits of paper tacked to walls and endless Word documents piling up in separate folders and so on.

I agree, Eclipse, with your comments about Word. I upset someone in this thread by calling it a clunky old dinosaur ... I meant that considering how long it has been around it hasn't progressed a great deal in terms of creative 'word processing'. How much technology you need comes down to how you like to work and what else you do with a computer ... I've already posted a rant about that here.

It's also about how you want to export the work, and whether you want to combine other media with words in, say, ebooks or other multimedia projects.

I think it's a very exciting time for writing, whatever form it takes.

----------

I think Scrivener for iPad is coming. And as has been mentioned Pages on iPad and mac can sync.

nightlong
Aug 21, 2012, 12:50 PM
Further to what I have just posted ... I think Virginia Woolf would have loved a funky laptop and Scrivener ... She was no doubt a genius but she did something like 40 drafts of most of her fiction. She also, in non-fiction, offered this wonderfully droll piece of advice on avoiding boring and bad writing ... Which, she thought, was too concerned with the dreadful business of getting from breakfast to lunch!
Another favourite teacher of mine, George Orwell in his Politics And English Language essay summarised in just a few pages the worst word crimes.

Who are your favourite writing teachers?

shamash
Aug 21, 2012, 01:02 PM
I dunno if I posted in here already, but I do a good bit of writing, and the 13" MBA + iPad with Pages is great. You can sync all your writing between devices and just pick up and work on something with either device. It's pretty great!

eclipse
Aug 21, 2012, 10:59 PM
Blargh! I just found out Scrivener for iPad will not be available probably until next year.
http://www.literatureandlatte.com/blog/?p=290

I'm curious about screensize - do you professional writers think Scrivener on an iPad will work, just from a sheer size point of view?

Cool Story Bro
Aug 22, 2012, 10:41 AM
I'm curious about screensize - do you professional writers think Scrivener on an iPad will work, just from a sheer size point of view?

I don't think they could/should use the same exact frame layout that they do in their desktop version, as that would take up valuable editing space on the right side. If they had auto-hiding or a smaller indicator of where you were in your folder hierarchy that would be more efficient.

In general, it could work if they take into account the limited real estate without limiting the workflow writers are used to in the desktop version, and taking advantage of 'touch' features, e.g., dragging to rearrange, selective highlighting, ex.

I'm waiting for Final Draft for the iPad to release in a few weeks, but am wary of similar issues in execution as well.

eclipse
Aug 23, 2012, 04:25 AM
Who are your favourite writing teachers?

This is one of the best books I've ever read on writing.
http://www.marktredinnick.com.au/index.php/writing/more/writing_well_the_essential_guide/

My wife is a graphic designer and we meet lots of editors, especially in church circles. The author below is not a church type, but is just so good at teaching and inspiring writers that these church Pastors arranged a workshop to hear him speak on writing. His book is well worth it, and I'm going to revisit it for years to come.

It used to be the "Little Red Writing Book" which I own; the version above has more US examples than Australian examples. The "Little Red Writing Book" has a twin: the "Little Green Grammar Book" which I also own. Except... there was a problem. I wanted the little Green Grammar book, but ended up with the Large Print edition somehow when I ordered it on the net! :confused:;):D

iamsen47
Aug 23, 2012, 04:43 AM
Doesn't anybody use Evernote?

Not a writer, but it works great for sharing notes across my iphone, ipad and laptop and probably even my soon to come MBA.

I use it to write blog posts, take pictures, keep track of inspiration and write stuff in general.

Ibamac
Aug 23, 2012, 07:16 AM
I was wondering if Pages and Keynote on the iPad are watered down versions of the Mac versions. I have an iPad, but no Mac yet. I'll probably try an 11" MBA, since the 13" is so similar to my current Lenovo x220, but I figured I'd wait a few weeks to see if the 13" rMBP gets released, and if so, for what price (and I could very well end up with the 13" MBA). I've always written in Word, but now have Scrivener, and I was thinking it might make sense to familiarize myself with Pages and Keynote now.

Also, do any of you recommend resources for legal issues in ebook publishing (e.g., clearing photos and videos, linking to websites, etc.)? What about errors and omissions insurance? Anything I'm missing from the world of self-publishing?

Thanks.

eclipse
Aug 23, 2012, 07:18 AM
Doesn't anybody use Evernote?

Not a writer, but it works great for sharing notes across my iphone, ipad and laptop and probably even my soon to come MBA.

I use it to write blog posts, take pictures, keep track of inspiration and write stuff in general.
How much does Evernote cost? Does it have the plot drop-and-drag functionality of the Scrivener 'stickies' & storyboard?

Wienerau
Aug 23, 2012, 08:49 AM
I've now written 1 1/4 novels using my 13" MBA 2011 and Scrivener. MBA lets me sit in a comfortable chair with my feet up and the computer on my lap. I have no issues whatsoever with the screen (as long as I have my reading glasses).

I used to use Pages (I'm allergic to microsloth), but the organizational tools in Scrivener have saved an immense amount of time. The ability to keep my research, story ideas, and the text itself organized in what Scrivener calls the "Binder" is a huge timesaver.

And it seamlessly compiles (outputs) to the most useful formats. With a few clicks, I can create a pdf in standard manuscript format, a Word manuscript to share with my editor, or an ePub so I can review my day's work on my iPad in bed.

Having said all that, even with the best tools I've ever had, the books don't seem to write themselves.

nightlong
Aug 24, 2012, 01:22 AM
Eclipse ... I have the Little Red Book too. Evernote is free, in the Apple App store, for ipad and macs.

eclipse
Aug 25, 2012, 07:56 AM
Hi all,
I was playing with scrivener and watched a tutorial. Very cool! However, he imported a mind-map and I have to admit to finding that an attractive idea.

So I'm asking writers if they used mind-maps, what software they use to generate a quick, easy, FREE template of their plots? Just over here in this thread.

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=15524282#post15524282

PS: The storyboarding in Scrivener will probably do most of my work, but I like to plot out some things in graphics and lines and flowcharts. Thanks.

nightlong
Sep 3, 2012, 04:14 AM
Has anyone tried Final Draft Writer for iPad yet?

Bilalo
Sep 3, 2012, 06:58 AM
For those who make their living with words, whether journalism, fiction, blogging, or in the course of a day job ... What mac gear do you use, and what are your favourite apps?

My own system ... In transition, still using my 2007 iMac at desk with Word, use ipad2 for a lot of writing, typed and handwritten, favorite apps so far are iA Writer, Noteshelf, Quickoffice, Penultimate, Pages. With apple BT keyboard and Wacom baboo stylus.

Air 13 inch would be ideal next buy for me in every way except for perhaps the screen. has anyone taken the leap to rMBP just for sharp text, even if the rest of the machine is overkill for yr purposes?

MBA for sure... even if rMBP has sharper text, trust me MBA is enough... And sharper text requires a smaller size = glasses or sitting close to be able to read...

Its a shame to pay an extra $1000 for an rMBP, if you want you could wait a month's time and 13" rMBP would be out and get that one then if you want, but MBA is lightweight and easier for transporting.

nightlong
Sep 3, 2012, 12:08 PM
I agree, and I did get MBA 13 inch, love it.

sexiewasd
Sep 3, 2012, 09:53 PM
Ok, so i'm not a writer. I do enjoy programming though, and that involves lots of writing, and a whole bunch of backspacing. I have a 2011 MBA 11". It's the perfect size for lounging

I've found MindNode Pro to be an acceptable mind mapping software, which helps to lay out ideas. I say acceptable because i haven't found one yet that doesn't have problems. MindNodes problems are thats it's simple, and doesn't have many features, but what it does have all works very nicely.

Pages works really well if your doing any kind of presentation work, I'm not sure that I could just sit down and rough draft with it though. A very excellent program that goes with just about any layout work is xScope. I use it for my UI, for graphics, and for documentation. It's probably one of my best app investments (behind mobile mouse for couch time netflix surfing).

I rely on Dropbox for nearly everything, not much more to say about that one.

The notes app, don't over look it, really handy with iCloud!

Three finger tap dictionary lookup, WOW!

I have scrivener, I haven't used it much, but so far it seams like a really nice piece of kit.

I prefer the couch, but for at the desk, there is nothing with keys that beats the Happy Hacking Keyboard Professional 2, just close your eyes and click buy without looking at the price :D

There are some tools that I use more than any others. They help me to focus on ONLY the task at hand, and have such a polished interface that it just feels purely natural to use them. Some links:

Pencils (http://www.amazon.com/Dixon-Ticonderoga-13872-Woodcase-Pencil/dp/B00125Q75Y/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1346726727&sr=8-9)

Sticky Notes (http://www.amazon.com/Post--Sticky-Assorted-Colors-MMM6756SSUC/dp/B001GXDI90/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1346726869&sr=8-6)

Legal Pad (http://www.amazon.com/Cambridge-Premium-Wirebound-Letter-Canary/dp/B007UGJFT4/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1346727030&sr=8-10)

White Board (http://www.amazon.com/Erase-Board-Melamine-Aluminum-Plastic/dp/B004E2O876/ref=sr_1_3?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1346727112&sr=1-3)

Some times simple is just more productive.

Ibamac
Sep 4, 2012, 09:18 AM
Does Scrivener save in its own format so that I can easily work on the same documents using Dropbox on both the MBA and my Lenovo PC? That's my plan.

fyi, I just bought a refurbished 2012 11" MBA with i7/8GB/256. It was the only one they had with 8GB, although I certainly don't need the i7. I'm on the fence re: cancelling my order, as it was only net $45 cheaper than taking advantage of the current education discount, and I worry about buying refurbished vs. buying new, and spending money for what I really don't need. I'm also unsure about the screen size and palm rest issues, but I couldn't really tell typing standing up at the apple store. Ultimately, I've been deciding b/n the 11" MBA and the yet to be released 13" Retina MBP, as the 13" MBA pretty much replicates my Lenovo x220 with a larger footprint. As you might recall, I'm buying a Mac so that I can use iBooks Author (and maybe other apple exclusive software down the line). I also wonder if I can make due with the 128, as my photos and videos and documents tend to be all in the cloud or on the PC's. But my Lenovo laptops seem to fill up their hard drives without any of the above on them either. Not sure if that's a Windows specific issue or not, and I don't want to max out the hard drive.

Thanks for all the great advice and encouragement on this thread.

nightlong
Sep 4, 2012, 09:50 AM
I'm still learning scrivener, so will leave that question to more seasoned users.

I spent ages considering the Airs versus retina MacBook versus retina iPad versus waiting for 13 inch retina MacBook. My priority for writing being sharp text, I was so tempted by the rMbp but ...too many downsides. Hard to justify retina iPad when my ipad2 is still perfect and, while I love it and do use it creatively, the iPad has its limitations.

So, finally, settled on 13 inch Air, the TN screen I was so worried about is actually pretty good. I've never bought refurb, the price reduction isn't usually enough IMO to be worthwhile. There are countless threads here about 13 v 11 inch, that's something only your specific needs can decide.

For what I do, mostly writing with some music, photography, and investigating ebook projects, text and multimedia, the Air gives me great portability combined with iPad, and good desk situation with external screen.

Ibamac
Sep 4, 2012, 10:34 AM
Thank you. That's what I'm thinking. The savings isn't that great, plus I don't know if I can get the discounted apple care with the refurbished computer so I think I might return it (before it comes) and order new. Now, just to decide on the processor and the hard drive. 8gb ram is a definite. For those without access to the education discount, the savings on the "ultimate" MBA is substantial (about $250).

nightlong
Sep 4, 2012, 11:01 AM
A lot of advice I've read on threads here suggests that base model is fine if you're not doing gaming, video editing etc.

Despite the stupid price, I think 256 gb is worth it ... even though most of my photos, music, audio books and all movies are on external USB3 drive, I like having the option to have things on the computer. But if it's not affordable, usb3 is so much faster for accessing external drive, you might find 128 plenty.

PDFierro
Sep 5, 2012, 02:36 PM
I see some responses on here about Final Draft and Scrivener for the iPad. From what I've heard, the recently-released Final Draft iPad app is good. I'm so glad it is finally released. It's great to know that whenever I got an iPad, the app would be available to me from day one.

I'm kind of cash-strapped right now, but I need to get something new. I would love a MacBook Air, but I'm thinking about going for the iPad Mini for writing. Or I could maybe get the base 11" 64GB with 8GB of RAM.

Ideally, I'd love the maxed-out version. Because I have some movies and TV shows I'd like to store locally, but I'm not sure if I want to splurge on that right now. I am going for the new iPhone, just not sure what else to complement it. At this point, iPad Mini.

Glad to see people still contributing to this thread!

jojoba
Sep 5, 2012, 03:41 PM
I don't think they could/should use the same exact frame layout that they do in their desktop version, as that would take up valuable editing space on the right side. If they had auto-hiding or a smaller indicator of where you were in your folder hierarchy that would be more efficient.

In general, it could work if they take into account the limited real estate without limiting the workflow writers are used to in the desktop version, and taking advantage of 'touch' features, e.g., dragging to rearrange, selective highlighting, ex.

I'm waiting for Final Draft for the iPad to release in a few weeks, but am wary of similar issues in execution as well.

Yes, I would expect that the iPad version would have a very different layout. At the moment, Elements is doing a pretty good job for me in syncing my Scrivener projects, but sometimes it messes up the formatting a bit. Simplenote is another option for syncing Scrivener projects to the iPad, but it doesn't keep the order of the folders, which is why I switched to Elements.

Doesn't anybody use Evernote?

Not a writer, but it works great for sharing notes across my iphone, ipad and laptop and probably even my soon to come MBA.

I use it to write blog posts, take pictures, keep track of inspiration and write stuff in general.

I use Evernote for various note taking tasks, but not that much in conjunction with my actual writing. It just sits in a different place in my work flow. I'd rather just type my notes directly into scrivener or elements.

Does Scrivener save in its own format so that I can easily work on the same documents using Dropbox on both the MBA and my Lenovo PC? That's my plan.

Scrivener does save in its own format, and you can use dropbox to sync. I don't work in dropbox directly, but I have automatic sync set up between dropbox and my Air. I need to find a similar app for my pc, just haven't looked into it. Previously, I was copying and pasting via dropbox. I've been sceptical to work directly in dropbox, but to be honest I can't remember why right now - i.e. whether I've actually read somewhere that it's not a good idea, or if it was just some idea I had myself. In general, the syncing has worked fairly well. The pc version of Scrivener is a bit different from the mac version, and is missing some of the features on mac. But no biggie so far for me.


A lot of advice I've read on threads here suggests that base model is fine if you're not doing gaming, video editing etc.

Despite the stupid price, I think 256 gb is worth it ... even though most of my photos, music, audio books and all movies are on external USB3 drive, I like having the option to have things on the computer. But if it's not affordable, usb3 is so much faster for accessing external drive, you might find 128 plenty.

I maxed out my 2011 Air when I ordered it as I plan to keep it for a while - but yes, I'd definitely 'survive' with the 128 and an external drive if I had to. That's probably partially because a lot of my work stuff just stays on my work pc.

---

Can anyone say a bit about the differences between Scrivener and Final Draft Pro? I couldn't believe the price of that last app :eek: what makes it worth all that money?

----------

I'm kind of cash-strapped right now, but I need to get something new. I would love a MacBook Air, but I'm thinking about going for the iPad Mini for writing. Or I could maybe get the base 11" 64GB with 8GB of RAM.

Ideally, I'd love the maxed-out version. Because I have some movies and TV shows I'd like to store locally, but I'm not sure if I want to splurge on that right now. I am going for the new iPhone, just not sure what else to complement it. At this point, iPad Mini.

Do you really feel comfortable on writing on such a small screen? I'd prefer the base 11" (but of course, this stuff is a lot about preferences).

nightlong
Oct 9, 2012, 11:49 PM
And, any interesting new discoveries in apps or ways of using them in writing related tasks?

Anyone using jailbreak on iPad to use BT Mouse?

Saw a video on a thread here for setting up and using this, looked great, you could still use the touch screen too but with a Bluetooth mouse ... A great solution for writing on iPad with external keyboard when having to reach up to the screen all the time isn't ideal, for me at least.

I've upgraded to IOS6, which isn't jailbroken yet, so can't use that.

Writergirl7
Jun 4, 2013, 10:19 AM
Hi Nightlong
It has been a while since this thread wound up but I thought I'd reply because I have a similar dilemma to the one you had last year. I'm a writer and completed an MA in Creative Writing on my 7 year old ASUS 15" laptop but it now freezes half way down a page of writing. Not only is this very annoying but it fuels my huge tendency to procrastinate. I have a retina iPad for browsing and notetaking but ergonomically it's not great for me to write on (neck issues from looking down and lower back stuff as well as eye strain sometimes). I have decided to move to Mac and I want to use Scrivener to full effect. I also do some photography. My dilemma is whether to buy the iMac 21" and initially use a desktop system (I have a dedicated study where I seem to focus best) or to go for mobility (which would be great to have for the times I can't be at my desk) and either purchase the MacBook Air or the 13" Retina Pro. You wrote that ergonomics were important to you so I was wondering how you feel about the MBA now that you have been using it for a few months. Is a 13" screen enough realestate to 'enjoy' running Scrivener on? Does the MBA give you eye strain if you use it all day? Would you recommend it as a writer's main computer? Or is it best to start with an iMac and maybe get a refurbished MBA down the track? I've also considered getting an Air or rMBP and hitching it up to an external monitor. What would you recommend given that technology does influence productivity :)

Scepticalscribe
Jun 4, 2013, 11:19 AM
An absolutely fascinating thread, - thanks for starting it, OP - and I've enjoyed reading the entire thread.

Reading the thread, I've learned quite a bit, (especially about Scrivener, is it really that good? If so, it may merit a closer look...), and also have some thoughts and experiences that may be worth airing.

I'm an academic (and published author of history books), who has strayed, in recent years, into public service. In all of my jobs for the past twenty years, writing (and editing) have played a huge role; in my current position I write reports most days.

Re the thread itself, I would like to make a few general points. Personally, I use Macs. My first Mac was a 15" MBP which I replaced with a 13" MBA in late 2010 and which is now my sole personal computer. I love it, the form factor, the ease of use, the weight, (I travel a lot and weight matters), the blazing speed of the SSD, and the sharp screen, which was the best screen Apple had in a laptop prior to the introduction of the retina screen in the past year or so. In fact, the MBA is easily the best computer I have ever had.

However, for writers who have to interact with the big, bad, real world, firstly, most of the working world still uses Windows computers (as did all of the universities in which I worked - though they also had Apple) - as did the Government, when I worked for them, and as did all of the international organisations I have ever worked for.

Thus, despite the use of the adjective 'dinosaur' (and the other adjective, 'clunky'), secondly, Word, however slow and out of date it may be, is still the industry standard, and is still what every organisation I have ever worked for uses to this day. So, on each and every Mac I have owned, I have had Office for Mac, because Word is a must for me.

However, for my own writing, and when I am writing something detailed which requires a lot of thought, I work from my MBA, rather than the sluggish (and much abused office machines).

nightlong
Jun 4, 2013, 11:26 AM
Hi Writergirl .... Sympathise with your dilemma, and it is ongoing for me because the perfect solution isn't available yet. That is, for me, a large screen, Apple preferably, of Retina quality, so I could use a 13" MacBook retina for mobility, and no loss of sharpness when plugged into external monitor at desk.

Meanwhile ... My compromises:

Compromise 1: Using an ipad4 for a lot of writing, with external keyboard and hoverbar, at eye level, so no neck strain. The screen is beautiful, but of course it has limitations with lack of file system etc, but for just writing in a simple way, using whole screen it is pretty good and I can write for longer periods than with the Air's screen.

Compromise 2: at desk, the Air with a Dell U2412 monitor (similar quality to the Air, so not great but not bad, didn't want to invest too much in a monitor, saving up for that future big retina screen which is likely to be very expensive).

Compromise 3: the Air in a comfortably close position in a very expensive reclining chair ... With bluetooth trackpad on arm of chair. Chair tilts back, feet up, Air on a padded board. Easing my back from too much vertical sitting, as well as my eyes, as the screen isn't too bad at this distance, especially when using full screen in Scrivener.

I really don't like sitting at a desk anymore, but do mainly for my other projects which involve music and photography. But when just writing, l'm avoiding desk most of the time.

I will probably get a MacBook retina, the more I use the ipad4 the harder it is going back to the Air and my old iMac. But didn't want first generation with the screen problems etc, so waiting to see how the next gen is.

If you are only going to have one machine and you want the sharpest for text I would recommend the MacBook retina but, if at a desk, with external keyboard and mouse or trackpad and the laptop raised to eye level.

I can't see much point in buying retina and plugging it into an external monitor of inferior quality all the time, but you might find that preferable to using a small screen, especially if you get the 13".

I love my old iMac and the screen is still quite good and it is very quiet, and I would recommend an iMac if you don't need portability, or if you kept your iPad for that. But .. with SSD or fusion drive. SSD is so much faster and, apparently, less prone to premature death!

I hope this helps. Would like to hear what you choose.

PDFierro
Jun 4, 2013, 01:13 PM
Revisiting this thread, nice to see it still going. I'm finally in the market to splurge on a Mac again.

I've been anxiously awaiting WWDC so I can pick one up. I love the 11-inch Air, but I'm 90% sure I'm just going to go with the 13-inch rMBP. I've checked out the screens and while I have no problem with the screen on the Air, a Retina display is amazing. Only problem is that Final Draft (my main writing software) isn't updated for Retina and won't be until they put out the next software version. Oh well.

nightlong
Jun 4, 2013, 06:01 PM
Is a 13" screen enough realestate to 'enjoy' running Scrivener on?

I meant to answer this and the next question:
I find Scrivener on MBA easily usable, though it is better on large screen, especially if you often have other apps open. Even better when using dual screens, with other apps on the second screen. That gets me back to long hours at a desk though ... until I design a solution.


Does the MBA give you eye strain if you use it all day?
Not combined with using ipad4 ... I do early stage writing on iPad, where I write non-stop for long periods, hardly looking away from the screen. Then pick it up via Dropbox on the Air, for Scrivener, to add it to something else, or edit etc, but these are shorter sessions usually.

Writergirl7
Jun 4, 2013, 06:13 PM
Thanks for the info :). I too am waiting for WWDC before I buy. While that's good and has allowed me to research the best computer for my needs, it also predisposes me to over-think things ;). When I first toddled off to the shop to have a look at these beasties I fell for the 15" rMBP. As I currently use a 15" laptop it would seamlessly replace the old warhorse (The current ergonomics work for me). The problem is that if I upgraded the base 21" iMac to 16GB and added a fusion drive, it is still a few hundred $$ cheaper than the base 15" rMBP upgraded to 16GB ram. A customised MBA or 13" MBP with a really good external monitor starts to approach the MBP. The 15" rMBP gives me some mobility but not as much as the 13". It's screen is smaller than the iMac. In reality it also gives me more power than I really need (although crisp text and photo reproduction are very desirable). So, I'm still not sure what I am going to do but I will ponder further and make a decision in the next couple of weeks. Who knows WWDC might unveil just the right beast for me.

JMountainDew
Jun 4, 2013, 07:05 PM
I've been anxiously awaiting WWDC so I can pick one up. I love the 11-inch Air, but I'm 90% sure I'm just going to go with the 13-inch rMBP.

Only problem is that Final Draft (my main writing software) isn't updated for Retina and won't be until they put out the next software version. Oh well.

My thoughts, as well, except that I use Word. Can someone tell me if Word for Mac works well with Retina?

Excellent thread. Thanks, NightLong, for posting it.

nightlong
Jun 6, 2013, 09:10 AM
An absolutely fascinating thread, - thanks for starting it, OP - and I've enjoyed reading the entire thread.

Reading the thread, I've learned quite a bit, (especially about Scrivener, is it really that good? If so, it may merit a closer look...), and also have some thoughts and experiences that may be worth airing.

I'm an academic (and published author of history books), who has strayed, in recent years, into public service. In all of my jobs for the past twenty years, writing (and editing) have played a huge role; in my current position I write reports most days.

Re the thread itself, I would like to make a few general points. Personally, I use Macs. My first Mac was a 15" MBP which I replaced with a 13" MBA in late 2010 and which is now my sole personal computer. I love it, the form factor, the ease of use, the weight, (I travel a lot and weight matters), the blazing speed of the SSD, and the sharp screen, which was the best screen Apple had in a laptop prior to the introduction of the retina screen in the past year or so. In fact, the MBA is easily the best computer I have ever had.

However, for writers who have to interact with the big, bad, real world, firstly, most of the working world still uses Windows computers (as did all of the universities in which I worked - though they also had Apple) - as did the Government, when I worked for them, and as did all of the international organisations I have ever worked for.

Thus, despite the use of the adjective 'dinosaur' (and the other adjective, 'clunky'), secondly, Word, however slow and out of date it may be, is still the industry standard, and is still what every organisation I have ever worked for uses to this day. So, on each and every Mac I have owned, I have had Office for Mac, because Word is a must for me.

However, for my own writing, and when I am writing something detailed which requires a lot of thought, I work from my MBA, rather than the sluggish (and much abused office machines).

I still use Word for biz things, but Scrivener for writing. I think it is the perfect writing app but might not suit you. Check out the tutorials at literatureandlatte.com

Scepticalscribe
Jun 6, 2013, 10:32 AM
I still use Word for biz things, but Scrivener for writing. I think it is the perfect writing app but might not suit you. Check out the tutorials at literatureandlatte.com

Thanks, I most certainly shall do so, (as I write both for myself and also for those who employ me); nothing I have read here excludes the use of both.

Thanks, also, for starting and maintaining this thread. It is a mine of information and a most interesting read.

nightlong
Jun 7, 2013, 07:25 PM
Great to see this thread reincarnated by people who are enjoying it. Thanks for the positive comments.

One poster mentioned that he/she didn't have an Air but wanted to post. I was very new here when I started this, I stArted it in the Air forum because I was particularly interested at the time in researching the Air as a writing machine. But, don't feel limited by the forum it is in. In my view any computer or software, any kind of writing is on topic.

Anyone using Scapple? My latest download, made by the Scrivener developers, and you can drag and drop notes from Scapple into Scrivener. Not exactly a mind-mapping app ... you can make notes anywhere and connect them with drag and drop. Simple but useful clever design with intuitive interface.

robanga
Jun 7, 2013, 07:31 PM
My main machine is a 2012 Air. Once in a while i use an iMac or a Mini that is in the house too. Occasionally I write from the iPad as well.

I use Scrivener, Word and sometimes Pages depending on my mood and the project, and Evernote for a digital storehouse of raw material.

nightlong
Jun 7, 2013, 08:31 PM
My main machine is a 2012 Air. Once in a while i use an iMac or a Mini that is in the house too. Occasionally I write from the iPad as well.

I use Scrivener, Word and sometimes Pages depending on my mood and the project, and Evernote for a digital storehouse of raw material.

I like Evernote, and sometimes use it with Penultimate, but not so keen on the subscription situation.

What sort of writing are you doing?

robanga
Jun 8, 2013, 12:19 PM
I like Evernote, and sometimes use it with Penultimate, but not so keen on the subscription situation.

What sort of writing are you doing?

I do a lot of business writing, some technical writing, and I am getting back into writing fiction for the first time in 10+ years :)

I should have also mentioned that i use Dragon to dictate a lot as well, and the results of that usually go into Word.

ritmomundo
Jun 8, 2013, 01:20 PM
I was ready to buy Air 13, was just waiting for ML to come with it, and then all these posts were appearing about the screen problems and how you need to rush out and spend hundreds of dollars on calibration gear to get optimism performance! I started to think rMbp might be better value, even though I don't need all that power, I do need a readable screen.

You're right. It wasn't until the rMBP came out that I realized all other screens were utterly unreadable. I don't know how we managed before... Just take a look at my screen:
http://groups.csail.mit.edu/uid/deneme/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/writing-1-distort-1.png


:rolleyes:

eclipse
Jun 8, 2013, 09:56 PM
I use Mindnode Pro for raw plot outlines in mind-map form, so I can quickly visualise any plot conflicts, and then use Scrivener for writing.

Seriously, if any of you are writing a long thesis or novel, it's just GOT to be Scrivener! Scrivener Scrivener Scrivener! The sticky-notes board for moving arguments or plot summaries is just amazing! Seriously.

Watch this and you'll understand why.

http://www.literatureandlatte.com/videos/ScrivIntroLarge.mov

Writergirl7
Jun 8, 2013, 11:58 PM
I'll wait until I get my new computer before I download Scrivener but I was wondering if you can use it to create mind-maps in any form. Or if you cant, can you use a different mind-mappping tool (any suggestions?) then import the mind-map into Scrivener so you can see it next to the text like you can with your research?

nightlong
Jun 9, 2013, 01:21 AM
I'll wait until I get my new computer before I download Scrivener but I was wondering if you can use it to create mind-maps in any form. Or if you cant, can you use a different mind-mappping tool (any suggestions?) then import the mind-map into Scrivener so you can see it next to the text like you can with your research?

Have you seen Scapple? See my post a few back .... There's a video tutorial on literatureandlatte.com

eclipse
Jun 9, 2013, 01:41 AM
Have you seen Scapple? See my post a few back .... There's a video tutorial on literatureandlatte.com

Freemind is free Open Source and work OK on Mac, but for $20 you could use Mindnode Pro which feels a ton more Mac. Then, if you ever have to, you can save from Mindnode Pro back to Freemind compatible files.

http://freemind.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/Main_Page

But when I consider the money people waste on their gambling hobbies etc, I don't mind paying a mere $20 something bucks for my writing hobby to get mind maps that look nice.

http://mindnode.com/

http://mindnode.com/images/screens/660/MindNodeTouch22-568h-1.png

Writergirl7
Jun 9, 2013, 04:31 AM
Have you seen Scapple? See my post a few back .... There's a video tutorial on literatureandlatte.com

Thanks, Nightlong. Scapple looks ideal for my current project - a novel set in a particular geographical location - with a particular timeline - and with historical elements. :)

Makes me want to get a really big screen though ;)

----------

Freemind is free Open Source and work OK on Mac, but for $20 you could use Mindnode Pro which feels a ton more Mac. Then, if you ever have to, you can save from Mindnode Pro back to Freemind compatible files.

http://freemind.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/Main_Page

But when I consider the money people waste on their gambling hobbies etc, I don't mind paying a mere $20 something bucks for my writing hobby to get mind maps that look nice.

http://mindnode.com/

Image (http://mindnode.com/images/screens/660/MindNodeTouch22-568h-1.png)


This looks good too but for creating a timeline and linking events to locations Scapple seems ideal.

Writergirl7
Jun 9, 2013, 05:52 AM
Also, can anyone tell me how the resolution / text readability of the current 21" iMac compares with the Air connected a midrange 24" screen from say the Dell ultra-sharp series or similar? Or is that like asking how long a piece of string is (depends on which monitor...)? :D.
I'm assuming the iMac is better but how much?

nightlong
Jun 9, 2013, 07:07 AM
Also, can anyone tell me how the resolution / text readability of the current 21" iMac compares with the Air connected a midrange 24" screen from say the Dell ultra-sharp series or similar? Or is that like asking how long a piece of string is (depends on which monitor...)? :D.
I'm assuming the iMac is better but how much?

I can't compare the current model iMac, or not side by side. I have a Dell U2412, which I use either with the Air or as dual screen for my 2007 iMac.
According to several posts on this forum, the Dell is similar spec to the iMac screen. It has severe anti-glare coating which some people love and some don't.

I think the iMac is a bit sharper for text and also more dynamic, but this may be because I am so used to glossy Mac screens, and my eyes go through quite an adjustment when using dual screen mode from super gloss to super matte. The matte is less tiring, without reflections etc, but I prefer the iMac screen.

But the Dell is a lot cheaper than Apple monitors, and has heaps of ports, and swivel mode for portrait/landscape, and good warranty. Yes, it looks and feels cheap compared with Apple but, until the mortgage-inducing large retina screen is available, i can live with this compromise and it is at least not worse than the Air's screen.

Writergirl7
Jun 11, 2013, 03:55 AM
Thanks, Nightlong :)

What do you think of the new MBA? If it had a HD screen that would have tipped the balance for me - but it doesn't. Might be leaning towards the iMac now... But great battery life in the Air... Will need to trot down to the Apple store on the weekend and make a decision!

nightlong
Jun 11, 2013, 05:59 AM
Thanks, Nightlong :)

What do you think of the new MBA? If it had a HD screen that would have tipped the balance for me - but it doesn't. Might be leaning towards the iMac now... But great battery life in the Air... Will need to trot down to the Apple store on the weekend and make a decision!

It is a pity that the MBA didn't get a screen upgrade, but I think battery technology will have to take a quantum leap before they could run a retina or even just a better screen on that. Here's what I want ... A quantum leap iPad that retains all the best of its form factor but has evolved just enough so that I don't need a computer or an iphone either, and can plug into a 21" retina screen when I want more screen space, but all this at the same price, so every 4 years I spend only $1000 to upgrade an ipad, not $3000 for a powerhouse computer i don't need. Is that so hard Apple?

jakeOSX
Jun 11, 2013, 07:14 AM
just thought i'd throw in my two cents to the orignal question.

at first i was strictly NeoOffice for my writing, back in the G4 days.

now i have an air and an ipad and an iphone. for the most part i have converted to byword + dropbox for my scribbles, allowing me to work whereever. i use evernote for quick things or notes on characters and such.

the air was an amazing upgrade to my writing life. the difference between it (i have the 11inch) and the 15 inch macbook pro was one of portability. the 11 inch air is about the size and weight of a notebook. like a paper notebook. keeping it on me at all times was a no brainer.

i went from scribbling notes to myself at lunch time, to actually writing on my breaks. so, i do recommend the air.

byword is great because it allows me to sync between my devices, and since it is just a TXT file, i don't have to worry about file conversions. i've been burned from WPS to LWS to WKS to SWF to ODT to... you get the idea. (this is one of the reasons I only use pages for final layouts, the .pages format) I even find myself writing on my phone when i have some spare moments.

side note: i used storymill for a while, and i have such a weird relationship with it. i absolutely love this program for laying out and writing a novel (or even something longer) and find myself never using it. i don't know what that means, but i suspect the lack of cloud is what is doing it for me.

so the air + full screen writing has been my choice for now. byword is simple and elegant, and does what i want.

that being said, Scrivener is on my 'to see' list.

roadbloc
Jun 11, 2013, 07:24 AM
I use a wide range of hardware and software. It is annoying having several parts of a chapter scattered across several devices in several formats but I find it refreshing to change interface.

I'll list what I currently write on and the software I use.

iMac G4 - Microsoft Word 2004
Custom built PC - Microsoft Word 2013
Toshiba Satellite - Microsoft Word 2010
MacBook Air - Microsoft Word 2011
IBM RS/6000 - Vi
Thinkpad 560E - Microsoft Word 5.5
Thinkpad X11 - LibreOffice
Chromebook - Microsoft Word Web App
Raspberry Pi - Vi

Writergirl7
Jun 11, 2013, 07:55 AM
I use a wide range of hardware and software. It is annoying having several parts of a chapter scattered across several devices in several formats but I find it refreshing to change interface.

I'll list what I currently write on and the software I use.

iMac G4 - Microsoft Word 2004
Custom built PC - Microsoft Word 2013
Toshiba Satellite - Microsoft Word 2010
MacBook Air - Microsoft Word 2011
IBM RS/6000 - Vi
Thinkpad 560E - Microsoft Word 5.5
Thinkpad X11 - LibreOffice
Chromebook - Microsoft Word Web App
Raspberry Pi - Vi

I'd get lost if I wrote in so many different computers! :)

----------

It is a pity that the MBA didn't get a screen upgrade, but I think battery technology will have to take a quantum leap before they could run a retina or even just a better screen on that. Here's what I want ... A quantum leap iPad that retains all the best of its form factor but has evolved just enough so that I don't need a computer or an iphone either, and can plug into a 21" retina screen when I want more screen space, but all this at the same price, so every 4 years I spend only $1000 to upgrade an ipad, not $3000 for a powerhouse computer i don't need. Is that so hard Apple?

Haha! It seems very reasonable to me ;)

I love my iPad for web surfing (including research) and email but for some reason I haven't enjoyed writing on it - even with a BT keyboard. The screen is a bit too small maybe... I guess it's all personal preference in this game. :)

PDFierro
Jun 11, 2013, 08:11 AM
I'm looking forward to trying some writing apps that are Mac-exclusive. For my field (screenwriting) many times they only release them for Mac, because that's what everyone uses obviously.

I'm dying to get a Mac. I was hoping to buy a new rMBP, but looks like that won't be out until the fall.

Do any writers in here use the Retina screen? I'm actually quite fond of the 11-inch Air, but I think the Retina screen would make a big difference while I'm reading/writing.

I don't think I can wait anymore, so my options are buy the new MBA or get the rMBP that's out now. Awesome.

eclipse
Jun 12, 2013, 02:57 AM
I'm looking forward to trying some writing apps that are Mac-exclusive. For my field (screenwriting) many times they only release them for Mac, because that's what everyone uses obviously.

I'm dying to get a Mac. I was hoping to buy a new rMBP, but looks like that won't be out until the fall.

Do any writers in here use the Retina screen? I'm actually quite fond of the 11-inch Air, but I think the Retina screen would make a big difference while I'm reading/writing.

I don't think I can wait anymore, so my options are buy the new MBA or get the rMBP that's out now. Awesome.

Is portability that important for writers? I for one love my iMac and Scrivener. Other than that, I'm an OO man. Scrivener's the only writing software I would pay for, OO will probably do all my other admin needs, and Mindnode Pro for quick plot outlines is the best.

nightlong
Jun 12, 2013, 05:25 AM
Portability for me isn't just about working away from home but also about freeing me from sitting at a desk too much. I saw this drawing on Facebook a while ago, a skeleton sitting at a computer, the caption said: sitting is the new smoking! It was humorous but not entirely groundless. Sitting apparently does damage to more than your back ... To various organs and increases the risk of bowel cancer, according to a few things I've read, which may or may not be true.

Some people have had desks made to work standing up. Not just recently but long ago, Hemmingway for example. I wouldn't go that far but with the Air and the iPad I have reduced desk time and i haven't had any back problems since then.

I've written about this a few times and I don't wish to make a crusade of it, but for writers it can be a serious issue ... if, like me, you have a tendency to become so immersed that you forget to eat let alone jump up in the middle of a very promising paragraph to rush to a gym or do mind-emptying yoga. Ha ha.

nightlong
Jun 12, 2013, 05:38 AM
I'm looking forward to trying some writing apps that are Mac-exclusive. For my field (screenwriting) many times they only release them for Mac, because that's what everyone uses obviously.

I'm dying to get a Mac. I was hoping to buy a new rMBP, but looks like that won't be out until the fall.

Do any writers in here use the Retina screen? I'm actually quite fond of the 11-inch Air, but I think the Retina screen would make a big difference while I'm reading/writing.

I don't think I can wait anymore, so my options are buy the new MBA or get the rMBP that's out now. Awesome.

How important retina is depends very much on your eyesight ... I wear glasses for distance but my close range vision is perfect and so the difference between my iPad4 and MBA screens is major, whereas some friends who have defective close range vision don't notice much difference. the difference isn't so great with the iMac as I am sitting further away. Are you near a Mac shop, can you test them side by side?

zen
Jun 12, 2013, 05:44 AM
I'm a novelist. I do most first draft work on an 11" Macbook Air, using Scrivener and Excel. It's fine, and very small and light for working away from my desk.

However, after a couple of years of use, I'm finding the screen is too small. When it comes time to replace this laptop, I'm going to get a 15" Macbook Pro. I have a feeling the size and weight isn't going to be an issue, because by the time I put the MBA into a case, and then put in the cables, etc, my shoulder bag weighs a tonne anyway!

I'd consider the retina MBP simply for the additional screen real estate when you run it at the highest res - you can always bump the font size or magnification up on whatever document you are working on.

I do also have a Mac mini with a Thunderbolt display. I tend to do most editing here after the first draft, as I find the screen real estate very useful.

I actually use MS Office 2010 for Windows on my Mac, because the Mac version is too unstable, particularly when it comes to track-changes, an essential part of my work. I've lost too much work to Mac Office crashes! Running the Windows version of Office in Parallels with Windows 7 is seamless and has caused no problems - and I can be sure that what I'm doing is 100% the same as what people will see on their PCs.

Edit: Other bits -

Dropbox
Apple BT keyboard for the Mac mini, with a new Razer Deathadder 2013 mouse (best mouse I've ever used)

I did try and edit on an iPad, but gave up, and I only use the iPad for reading material back (although increasingly I use my Kindle for that, given the size and weight).

Writergirl7
Jun 12, 2013, 07:39 AM
Portability for me isn't just about working away from home but also about freeing me from sitting at a desk too much. I saw this drawing on Facebook a while ago, a skeleton sitting at a computer, the caption said: sitting is the new smoking! It was humorous but not entirely groundless. Sitting apparently does damage to more than your back ... To various organs and increases the risk of bowel cancer, according to a few things I've read, which may or may not be true.

Some people have had desks made to work standing up. Not just recently but long ago, Hemmingway for example. I wouldn't go that far but with the Air and the iPad I have reduced desk time and i haven't had any back problems since then.

I've written about this a few times and I don't wish to make a crusade of it, but for writers it can be a serious issue ... if, like me, you have a tendency to become so immersed that you forget to eat let alone jump up in the middle of a very promising paragraph to rush to a gym or do mind-emptying yoga. Ha ha.

But don't you find sitting in a comfy chair/ sofa/ outdoors is still just sitting? My back doesn't discrimate - sitting is sitting and it doesn't like it. Although I think you mentioned your expensive recliner chair - that sounded like a good option.

Other than the standard ergonomic workstation set up are there any other hints you could give us?

zen
Jun 12, 2013, 07:42 AM
But don't you find sitting in a comfy chair/ sofa/ outdoors is still just sitting? My back doesn't discrimate - sitting is sitting and it doesn't like it. Although I think you mentioned your expensive recliner chair - that sounded like a good option.

Other than the standard ergonomic workstation set up are there any other hints you could give us?

Standing desks, and even treadmill desks, are increasing in popularity. I'd love one or the other, but I can't fit either in my house.

I have an Eames lounge chair for writing on the MBA downstairs, and an Eames office chair in my office upstairs.

Writergirl7
Jun 12, 2013, 07:48 AM
I do also have a Mac mini with a Thunderbolt display. I tend to do most editing here after the first draft, as I find the screen real estate very useful.


I read somewhere that the native resolution of the 27" screen made reading font difficult and that you had to jump through hoops to get something you could read. It sounds like your experience is different. Or was that just the 27" iMac?

zen
Jun 12, 2013, 08:20 AM
I read somewhere that the native resolution of the 27" screen made reading font difficult and that you had to jump through hoops to get something you could read. It sounds like your experience is different. Or was that just the 27" iMac?

The native resolution of the TBD and the 27" iMac is the same - 2440 x 1440. In Word, I usually work at maybe 150% magnification, but that's why things like Word have zoom controls!

PDFierro
Jun 12, 2013, 11:46 AM
How important retina is depends very much on your eyesight ... I wear glasses for distance but my close range vision is perfect and so the difference between my iPad4 and MBA screens is major, whereas some friends who have defective close range vision don't notice much difference. the difference isn't so great with the iMac as I am sitting further away. Are you near a Mac shop, can you test them side by side?

Yeah, I'm young so my vision is good. I did test both out extensively at an Apple store a few months ago. The MBA screen wasn't bad, but I much preferred the Retina. And I want my text to be as sharp as possible. I've been contemplating an MBA, but I really don't know if I would be happy with it.

----------

Is portability that important for writers? I for one love my iMac and Scrivener. Other than that, I'm an OO man. Scrivener's the only writing software I would pay for, OO will probably do all my other admin needs, and Mindnode Pro for quick plot outlines is the best.

Portability is important to an extent. However I would never purchase an iMac or a desktop.

Writergirl7
Jun 16, 2013, 10:03 AM
Yep, I have another question :D
I know this is a MBA thread but Nightlong's original post asked what we writers used...
Am leaning towards buying the 21" iMac (at the moment - although I would love the new MBA too ;)) and I am going to head into town to the New Apple store tomorrow and see what I come home with (or order). Other than Scrivener, which I'm looking forward to checking out, I assume that I will need either MS Office for Macs or Open Office as I can't see myself abandoning Word completely (and I have a lot of documents to be loaded off my old laptop). I have thought of acquiring Parallels or Bootcamp and putting Windows on the machine - but I don't really see the point of that at the moment. So, writers, what do you use for general word processing on these beautiful computers? Is Open Office good enough? Is it stable? What are the downsides? Is it better to pay for Office? What would you recommend? :)

----------



I actually use MS Office 2010 for Windows on my Mac, because the Mac version is too unstable, particularly when it comes to track-changes, an essential part of my work. I've lost too much work to Mac Office crashes! Running the Windows version of Office in Parallels with Windows 7 is seamless and has caused no problems - and I can be sure that what I'm doing is 100% the same as what people will see on their PCs.

.

Ah just reread this. So I should go for the windows option? What is the extra cost (approximately)?

nightlong
Jun 16, 2013, 10:20 AM
But don't you find sitting in a comfy chair/ sofa/ outdoors is still just sitting? My back doesn't discrimate - sitting is sitting and it doesn't like it. Although I think you mentioned your expensive recliner chair - that sounded like a good option.

Other than the standard ergonomic workstation set up are there any other hints you could give us?

I was forced to revise the amount of sitting when, in the middle of a major project, my lower back suddenly went on strike ... So bad, couldn't sit at all or even walk much for weeks, so bad I couldn't even have treatment for 2 weeks. I managed to complete the work horizontal with iPad, at home, painstakingly typing with one finger instructions to staff at office, and with skype.

Major change after that was not sitting when I don't have to ... All the things I can do on iPad .. Internet things, but also revising previous day's writing, and research reading, skype sessions, anything that doesn't require intensive typing. Whereas before after writing for a few hours I would sit longer doing email or reading things, I will now do that with iPad on a hoverbar horizontal. As i am doing right now. and will mix this, and using the Air in reclining chair, with sitting at desk throughout the day. I still do sit a lot, but not relentlessly, if I need to think about something or using the phone for example, I stand up and walk around while talking or thinking.

I mostly work from my home office, but even at my office in town I don't sit when I don't have to, and not for more than 2 hours.

Haven't had any problem, not even the slightest twinge since making these changes.

nightlong
Jun 16, 2013, 04:33 PM
I do get the occasional crash with MS Office Mac version, but not enough to call it unstable, might not happen in months of regular use. Still using 2008 version.

nightlong
Jun 16, 2013, 04:44 PM
And, as I said a while back, this thread being in the Air forum was a newbie mistake ... i didn't mean to limit discussion to Air users. At the time I was researching the Air as writing machine.

happyslayer
Jun 16, 2013, 04:58 PM
I use an 11" Air with Scrivener. I write fiction - short stories and novels. This has been the best combo for me to get anything done. And my new 11" Air gets delivered either tomorrow or Tuesday! So now I will be able to write twice as long before I need to find a plug.

Writergirl7
Jun 16, 2013, 07:32 PM
Major change after that was not sitting when I don't have to ... All the things I can do on iPad .. Internet things, but also revising previous day's writing, and research reading, skype sessions, anything that doesn't require intensive typing. Whereas before after writing for a few hours I would sit longer doing email or reading things, I will now do that with iPad on a hoverbar horizontal. As i am doing right now. and will mix this, and using the Air in reclining chair, with sitting at desk throughout the day. I still do sit a lot, but not relentlessly, if I need to think about something or using the phone for example, I stand up and walk around while talking or thinking.



Thanks, NIghtlong. I like the idea of the hover bar. I'm trying to picture how you use it. You lie down and hover the iPad over you? I've been having back issues for a couple of years now and need some new strategies :). My problem has been that I write better at my desk - I'm more focused there - but your suggestions for movement are useful.

PDFierro
Jun 17, 2013, 08:21 AM
And, as I said a while back, this thread being in the Air forum was a newbie mistake ... i didn't mean to limit discussion to Air users. At the time I was researching the Air as writing machine.

I briefly considered getting the new Haswell MBA, but I can't. The screen quality isn't there for me. So I'm either waiting for the updated rMBP, or buying now. Most likely the 13-inch, I think I like that form factor better.

I am looking forward to writing on a Mac. I hate Windows. I truly believe that a certain OS can increase your productivity. There are also writing applications that I'd like to use that are Mac-only, and of course my main software that I use now does work better on a Mac.

kazmac
Jun 17, 2013, 09:58 AM
my 2010 iMac with Word, Final Draft and Movie Magic Screenwriter. Looking forward to Siri (dictation) etc. in 10.9 as this is the one aspect of the iPad that has helped me writing-wise.

I tried using iPads 2/3 and Mini for writing multiple times, I just cannot warm up to most of the apps (Scrivener: huge learning curve etc.) and typing on iPads is a P.I.A. - even with external keyboards. I love the dictation feature, but reading and writing on them are just not for me.

The battery life of the 2013 Airs is amazing, but I will have to compare the screens to the rMBP (with my vision, retina is a techy godsend.) Plus there's the possibility of me dabbling in design again (it's on and off like my writing), so I'm not sure what I will eventually upgrade or add to my trusty 2010 iMac. I may wait and see what the Haswell rMBPs are like in terms of real world performance for writing and design. But I may also try comparing the screens of the Airs to the rMBPs too.

nightlong
Jun 17, 2013, 02:14 PM
To Writergirl: I love the hoverbar, I have two, use them in various ways, in the car, kitchen, outside table. Use one in my bedroom, for browsing Internet, reading, and so on; and also for sofa, it does literally hover and is perfect angle.

To Kazmac: there is no scrivener for iPad yet. There is a learning curve, but there are excellent video tutorials on the Literature &Latte website, also on YouTube.

To PDFierro: I magnify text on the MBA, it is usable but still fuzzy compared with the retinas. When I bought mine the 13" retina hadn't arrived, and I didn't want to pay so much money for the first gen 15" with the screen problems etc. I often feel tempted to buy a refurb 15", as the screen would have been tested. But, I think it might be worth holding out for the refresh, hopefully the screen issues will be sorted, battery life might be better, and it will probably have the new faster wifi (I've forgotten what that's called) and that will be important as I would be keeping this computer for a long time. Also waiting because I don't really need the power of the 15" but I don't want to buy a 13" retina and then plug it into an inferior monitor for desk-bound work. If there still isn't a retina monitor when I'm ready to buy, I will get the 15" rMBP.

PDFierro
Jun 17, 2013, 11:44 PM
To Writergirl: I love the hoverbar, I have two, use them in various ways, in the car, kitchen, outside table. Use one in my bedroom, for browsing Internet, reading, and so on; and also for sofa, it does literally hover and is perfect angle.

To Kazmac: there is no scrivener for iPad yet. There is a learning curve, but there are excellent video tutorials on the Literature &Latte website, also on YouTube.

To PDFierro: I magnify text on the MBA, it is usable but still fuzzy compared with the retinas. When I bought mine the 13" retina hadn't arrived, and I didn't want to pay so much money for the first gen 15" with the screen problems etc. I often feel tempted to buy a refurb 15", as the screen would have been tested. But, I think it might be worth holding out for the refresh, hopefully the screen issues will be sorted, battery life might be better, and it will probably have the new faster wifi (I've forgotten what that's called) and that will be important as I would be keeping this computer for a long time. Also waiting because I don't really need the power of the 15" but I don't want to buy a 13" retina and then plug it into an inferior monitor for desk-bound work. If there still isn't a retina monitor when I'm ready to buy, I will get the 15" rMBP.

I hear you. I'm not looking at going with an external monitor, but a Retina display would be the only thing I would pair a rMBP with.

I'm going to try waiting if I can, but my main Windows laptop just went kaput last night. I remember liking the 13-inch form factor better when I was in the Apple store, but that's a good thought process you have. Both are good options.

Writergirl7
Jun 18, 2013, 02:13 AM
I trotted down to JB HiFi today as yesterday's foray to the Apple store still left me with some doubts. Anyway I was (and still am) impressed with the iMac as a great all round computer for videos/ photo editing - all that kind of stuff. II think it will suit me well. I had a play with the rMBP of both sizes and was very impressed. But I wanted a larger screen than the 13" for photos and the 15" with the specs I'd like costs about $3200 AUD. Then I decided to do some typing, for fun, on the 11" MBA. Wow! It is so light and so fast and even though it's little its like the Mercedes of writing machines. I think I've found my 'Preciousss' :). My plan (I know I've changed my mid about a hundred times in the last month) is to order one of these little beauties tonight. Then later on, when the iMAcs are refreshed, and I can save up more money, we can get one for all the larger real estate stuff. The cost of the two will be less than the 15" rMBP with 16GB.
My Preciousss.... :)

Well... maybe the iMac plus 11" Air wont cost less than the rMBP (if I include Applecare) BUT it will be a lovely mix of technology :).

Is the 128 GB hard drive big enough to run Office for Mac?I wouldn't think I'd be loading it up with heaps of music and videos. It would mainly be used for writing - Office/ Scrivener/ research/ some photos

Collider
Jun 18, 2013, 04:20 AM
Is the 128 GB hard drive big enough to run Office for Mac?I wouldn't think I'd be loading it up with heaps of music and videos. It would mainly be used for writing - Office/ Scrivener/ research/ some photos

FWIW, that's exactly what I was banking on when I ordered my 128GB.

I've got a massive music collection and some videos and games split between my main computer and a large external harddrive, and, while it might going to take a little getting used to not having them all at my fingertips on the new machine too, I'm getting the Air specifically so I can write more freely away from my desk and ideally without those distractions. I figure, the less space I have to play with, the less 'playing' I'll be tempted to do!

128GB should be ample for the likes of Office and Scrivener, and bearing in mind word-processed documents, even Scrivener files, are pretty nonexistent in size, you shouldn't ever have to worry about that. And bear also in mind, you can also free up a lot of space by uninstalling iLife apps like GarageBand, iMovie, iPhoto, etc, if you don't plan on using them.

Writergirl7
Jun 18, 2013, 07:21 AM
FWIW, that's exactly what I was banking on when I ordered my 128GB.

I've got a massive music collection and some videos and games split between my main computer and a large external harddrive, and, while it might going to take a little getting used to not having them all at my fingertips on the new machine too, I'm getting the Air specifically so I can write more freely away from my desk and ideally without those distractions. I figure, the less space I have to play with, the less 'playing' I'll be tempted to do!



My thoughts exactly. A lean, mean writing machine :)
And it feels beautiful to type on...

nightlong
Jun 18, 2013, 08:31 AM
My thoughts exactly. A lean, mean writing machine :)
And it feels beautiful to type on...

Great to hear you have found yr solution. You might want to check out the sale at Dick Smith on USB 3 external drives ... Small (pocket size) 1TB for $98, rather than $188. If you partitioned that, heaps of space for media on one side, Time Machine or Carbon Copy Cloner on the other, and USB3 is so fast. In case you dont know .... With CCC you get a bootable drive but the backup is what you have at the time, with Time Machine you get everything but the system, but you retain versions until the disk is full.

Writergirl7
Jun 18, 2013, 06:08 PM
Great to hear you have found yr solution. You might want to check out the sale at Dick Smith on USB 3 external drives ... Small (pocket size) 1TB for $98, rather than $188. If you partitioned that, heaps of space for media on one side, Time Machine or Carbon Copy Cloner on the other, and USB3 is so fast. In case you dont know .... With CCC you get a bootable drive but the backup is what you have at the time, with Time Machine you get everything but the system, but you retain versions until the disk is full.

Thanks, Nightlong. I'll look into it. I should probably get some kind of USB hub as well. My laser printer isn't wireless and my photo printer works best by USB. The irony in all this is that, after weeks of research, I came back to my original idea of getting both an iMac as a desktop and a MBA for portability. I'm just doing it in reverse order because the Air was refreshed and the iMac refresh is yet to come. Although later I'll have to work out how best to network them :).

I ended up getting the 8MB and 256 GB version. The former for performance, the latter because I want the option of running Windows (maybe) later on and it can get pretty tight once you partition a 128GB HD and put windows on the machine. I will be keeping it free of too many 'distractions' however ;)

kazmac
Jun 18, 2013, 06:20 PM
To Writergirl: I love the hoverbar, I have two, use them in various ways, in the car, kitchen, outside table. Use one in my bedroom, for browsing Internet, reading, and so on; and also for sofa, it does literally hover and is perfect angle.

To Kazmac: there is no scrivener for iPad yet. There is a learning curve, but there are excellent video tutorials on the Literature &Latte website, also on YouTube.

To PDFierro: I magnify text on the MBA, it is usable but still fuzzy compared with the retinas. When I bought mine the 13" retina hadn't arrived, and I didn't want to pay so much money for the first gen 15" with the screen problems etc. I often feel tempted to buy a refurb 15", as the screen would have been tested. But, I think it might be worth holding out for the refresh, hopefully the screen issues will be sorted, battery life might be better, and it will probably have the new faster wifi (I've forgotten what that's called) and that will be important as I would be keeping this computer for a long time. Also waiting because I don't really need the power of the 15" but I don't want to buy a 13" retina and then plug it into an inferior monitor for desk-bound work. If there still isn't a retina monitor when I'm ready to buy, I will get the 15" rMBP.

Thank you for the assist, Nightlong. :o I know I used Scrivener on a Mac something - must have been my iMac. It's been a long while. No time for tutorials at the moment, but thanks for the info on them.

Even though my 2010 iMac is chugging along wonderfully now (it feels like a brand new machine) the glare is woeful. Since I've finally tested enough iPads to realize they just aren't for me, I am hoping to keep the 2010 iMac for awhile and get some kind of laptop. It will most likely be a refreshed rMBP because my vision comes before anything else - IF the display issues are fixed and battery life is 10 hours or more. A part of me thinks, get the 13" rMBP as a more current machine while extending the life of the aging iMac until the retina versions finally materialize. Truth is, I get drooly over any Mac computer announcement lately, but I have to hold out since the iMac is going very strong now. (Hopes it outlives the warranty expiration by at least a year).

Writergirl7
Jul 1, 2013, 09:09 PM
Bother, bother, bother! I don't think my eyes like my lovely knew air. I was fine with my old Asus WXGA display and not too bad with the iPad - although my eyes go a bit blurry if i focus on the one thing for too long. i have tried turning down the brightness and contrast and I installed f.lux last night. So that might help. I don't have an external monitor - i was going to wait until I got an iMac - but now I don't know what to do. I have raised my air at my desk and am using a BT mouse and keyboard for ergonomics. It sits about an arm length away from me. I do have an imbalance in my eyes anyway from an old injury...

So - any advice? Do I return the air and get something else? I've had it just over a week but the peripherals arrived the thursday before. Would a retina screen be better (I remember Nightlong saying that it was)? But I'd lose the portability. Or do I get an external monitor while I wait for the iMac. I think I do need something larger to look at. It's at night that I have the main problem.

thelookingglass
Jul 1, 2013, 10:03 PM
Bother, bother, bother! I don't think my eyes like my lovely knew air. I was fine with my old Asus WXGA display and not too bad with the iPad - although my eyes go a bit blurry if i focus on the one thing for too long. i have tried turning down the brightness and contrast and I installed f.lux last night. So that might help. I don't have an external monitor - i was going to wait until I got an iMac - but now I don't know what to do. I have raised my air at my desk and am using a BT mouse and keyboard for ergonomics. It sits about an arm length away from me. I do have an imbalance in my eyes anyway from an old injury...

So - any advice? Do I return the air and get something else? I've had it just over a week but the peripherals arrived the thursday before. Would a retina screen be better (I remember Nightlong saying that it was)? But I'd lose the portability. Or do I get an external monitor while I wait for the iMac. I think I do need something larger to look at. It's at night that I have the main problem.

That was my main beef with the 11". Portability factor was lovely, but that durn screen was a pain to look at for extended periods of time. I jumped up to the 13" this time around and, to me, it's just as portable. Don't miss the weight and footprint difference at all.

Now granted the 13" screen isn't the best thing to stare at for extended periods either, but it's a heck of a lot more comfortable than the 11" for me.

Writergirl7
Jul 1, 2013, 10:34 PM
Now granted the 13" screen isn't the best thing to stare at for extended periods either, but it's a heck of a lot more comfortable than the 11" for me.

thanks
My dilemma is 'do I stay or do I go' as I'm still within the 14 day exchange period. The whole point of the 11" was portability. It felt way lighter than the 13" to me... And I was going to get an iMac later anyway.
If I went for 13" I'd consider the retina pro... but that is a wee bit heavier again.

----------

Long term I think I would be spending about 25% of my time on the Air and 75% on the larger screen. Although I could get another monitor for now then have a dual monitor system later... ;).

----------

But maybe I just need bifocals... ;)

nightlong
Jul 1, 2013, 11:20 PM
i think better screens are coming soon ... maybe a new Thunderbolt, but I think generally screens might improve soon (but who knows!)

Is the 11inch okay in portable situations, when you are sitting close than at a desk?

Writergirl7
Jul 1, 2013, 11:35 PM
i think better screens are coming soon ... maybe a new Thunderbolt, but I think generally screens might improve soon (but who knows!)

Is the 11inch okay in portable situations, when you are sitting close than at a desk?

Its not too bad in daylight so it possibly a 'settings' issue. I've been having a play in different spots. Will see how it goes with F.lux tonight. It could be just my eyes. The text is sharp enough - although when I enlarge it it is bolder than what I'm used to. I'm not sure how getting the 13" screen would help as I can enlarge the text to 175-200% which is okay. The problem is something to do with the overall feel of my vision using this computer compared with my old one. I can't pin it down. I googled screens and the Airs seem to have a WXGA display like my old ASUS although I'm not sure what that means.

MacPoulet
Jul 1, 2013, 11:41 PM
Neat thread.

My main writing machine is my trusty aluminum PowerBook G4. It'll be 10 years this December and it's still my favourite keyboard ever.

It also helps that Movie Magic works better on it than newer machines (all features still don't work in lion) and word x is blazing fast and easier to use than newer versions of word.

I'm tempted by the new retina displays, but none of my writing software is optimized for it yet. One day...

arsimoun
Jul 2, 2013, 02:02 AM
I have made my living as a writer since I was 22 years old; I'm 55 now. At various times in my life, I have used typewriters, a UCSD P-system custom machine with typesetting software and a text editor, a ton of CPM, DOS, and Windows boxes, but until 2013, nothing from Apple. That changed with the Retina display.

I write mostly screenplays and television scripts, though I have also written a dozen video games or so, one Broadway play (never produced), a novel, way too many short articles, and a ton of treatments, essays, and shorter documents of various stripes.

Over the years, I have come to the opinion that two things matter to a writer: the keyboard and the screen. To my taste, most portable keyboards are at best okay. The Retina display, however, is wonderful!

13" vs. 15" is something of a religious argument, by which I mean the feelings aren't amenable to reason: you like best what you like best. I like 15".

As to software, use what works for you. My friend, science fiction writer Harlan Ellison still uses a typewriter. I like computers, though when I am having a tough time or need to think conceptually, I will revert to legal pads and a fountain pen.

Software-wise... Word is pretty much the standard. I use it all the time. I also like Scrivener. The entertainment industry uses FINAL DRAFT and MOVIE MAGIC SCREENWRITER 2000. I have both, slightly prefer Movie Magic, and am happy to work with either if there is a preference one way or the other on the part of a producer I am working with or a television show I am writing for.

I bought the 15" Retina laptop after decades of Windows desktop systems. To my surprise, it has become my main work machine.

Use what you like. The rest of it is noise.

One man's .02

Adam Rodman

mac82
Jul 2, 2013, 02:14 AM
Bother, bother, bother! I don't think my eyes like my lovely knew air.

Think about the 13" rMBP. For years I thought it was normal to get dry, sore, tired eyes after spending a couple hours staring at a laptop screen. After buying an iPad 3 (with retina screen), I realized that LCDs don't have to bother my eyes. I would end up browsing the web on my MBP, and then opening anything I wanted to spend time reading on the iPad. After purchasing a 13" rMBP, I no longer have to use the iPad for reading; its screen is absolutely wonderful. I've also read a few articles on how the new retina screens reduce eye strain, so others are also realizing the benefits.

The only problem then becomes one of portability. The 13" rMBP is certainly larger than the 11" MBA, though it is smaller than the 13" MBA. It is also about 1.2lbs heavier. So your conundrum is: a machine that is ultra-portable, but bothers your eyes, or one that's slightly (and I do mean slightly) less portable, and is much easier on your eyes. I would, and did, choose the latter, though our priorities may differ. Look into the 13" rMBP, though. The current model is wonderful, and the one coming possibly this fall should be even more so.

Booji
Jul 2, 2013, 04:41 AM
Neat thread.

My main writing machine is my trusty aluminum PowerBook G4. It'll be 10 years this December and it's still my favourite keyboard ever.

It also helps that Movie Magic works better on it than newer machines (all features still don't work in lion) and word x is blazing fast and easier to use than newer versions of word.

I'm tempted by the new retina displays, but none of my writing software is optimized for it yet. One day...


I'm really fascinated at how really good writers sometimes have very old school preferences like striped-down writing programs and even typewriters. I've seen some of the best writers with really old gear and they swear by it. I think its cool actually - each to his own and writing is one of those mysterious activities that having just the right type of appliance can make the difference and there seems to be no consensus on what is ideal, but to me nothing is cooler than somebody hammering out text on a manual typewriter!

zipur
Jul 3, 2013, 07:33 AM
Ugh, don't listen to those people. You know, the problem with Apples' "no questions asked" return policy is, that people start to complain about every little thing: "OMG, I have a Toshiba SSD, the world is doomed, I'm gonna return it." Next time the same person get's a LG screen and returns it again and so on. I mean, why would you stress about that so much? Buy the MBA, use it and be happy. If you really don't like it, return it after a few days. I have the Samsung screen and Toshiba SSD and don't really care. The time I would spend calibrating my screen and trying to find a little scratch I would loose money - time is money.

Anyway, with ML even the LG screens have a good calibration profile, there is no need to calibrate it with professional software.

This post should be a sticky. I agree totally! Use it, enjoy it, if not return it. But do not get hung up on these post. I love the Air, it works and keeps my wife happy. So I can buy more stuff.

Writergirl7
Jul 3, 2013, 07:45 AM
Think about the 13" rMBP. For years I thought it was normal to get dry, sore, tired eyes after spending a couple hours staring at a laptop screen. After buying an iPad 3 (with retina screen), I realized that LCDs don't have to bother my eyes. I would end up browsing the web on my MBP, and then opening anything I wanted to spend time reading on the iPad. After purchasing a 13" rMBP, I no longer have to use the iPad for reading; its screen is absolutely wonderful. I've also read a few articles on how the new retina screens reduce eye strain, so others are also realizing the benefits.

The only problem then becomes one of portability. The 13" rMBP is certainly larger than the 11" MBA, though it is smaller than the 13" MBA. It is also about 1.2lbs heavier. So your conundrum is: a machine that is ultra-portable, but bothers your eyes, or one that's slightly (and I do mean slightly) less portable, and is much easier on your eyes. I would, and did, choose the latter, though our priorities may differ. Look into the 13" rMBP, though. The current model is wonderful, and the one coming possibly this fall should be even more so.

Thanks Mac82
I went to the Apple Store today to compare my MBA, the iMac and the retina MBP 13". The result is I'm sending my Air back tomorrow. The text in the Air had slightly fuzzy edges compared with the retina. As I have unbalanced vision in my eyes anyway I think this fuzziness further discombobulated my brain's perception of the text. The iMac was only a little better but the rMBP was a great improvement. Came home, thought about it and will ring Apple in the morning and send the Air back. Looks like the 13" rMBP wins :)

kazmac
Jul 3, 2013, 10:31 AM
Neat thread.

My main writing machine is my trusty aluminum PowerBook G4. It'll be 10 years this December and it's still my favourite keyboard ever.

It also helps that Movie Magic works better on it than newer machines (all features still don't work in lion) and word x is blazing fast and easier to use than newer versions of word.

I'm tempted by the new retina displays, but none of my writing software is optimized for it yet. One day...

Darn, Movie Magic and Final Draft are not retina ready? :eek: Figures. Thanks for posting this info, MacPoulet.

Well, I am going to hold out to see what the rMBPs will deliver as far as battery life...I really have to get a retina laptop to sideskirt bifocals (I refuse to go that route unless I have no other choice.)

arsimoun
Jul 3, 2013, 10:59 AM
Neither is Retina ready, but they both work fine. If you need to avoid work worrying about something, go get yourself a free typeface called Courier Prime. It is the nicest Courier I have seen and I am quite the bear about these things.

Adam Rodman

PDFierro
Jul 3, 2013, 12:24 PM
Thanks Mac82
I went to the Apple Store today to compare my MBA, the iMac and the retina MBP 13". The result is I'm sending my Air back tomorrow. The text in the Air had slightly fuzzy edges compared with the retina. As I have unbalanced vision in my eyes anyway I think this fuzziness further discombobulated my brain's perception of the text. The iMac was only a little better but the rMBP was a great improvement. Came home, thought about it and will ring Apple in the morning and send the Air back. Looks like the 13" rMBP wins :)

Glad I'm not the only one struggling. The 13-inch rMBP absolutely wins, but my problem is that I want a Haswell Mac right now. So I'm stuck ordering the current rMBP or the new MBA.

I can only imagine how much better it would be reading text on the Air. Glad you made your decision.

Neither is Retina ready, but they both work fine. If you need to avoid work worrying about something, go get yourself a free typeface called Courier Prime. It is the nicest Courier I have seen and I am quite the bear about these things.

Adam Rodman

Oh yes, I love Courier Prime. Nice to see some screenwriters on here. I'd have hesitations about running Final Draft on the rMBP as it is not updated for Retina, but there are at least other good app alternatives.

BenTrovato
Jul 3, 2013, 01:09 PM
I really like Scrivener. I heard about the steep learning curve so I watched the 10 minute intro video on their website before I purchased it. It was very easy to use and get around. I wish there was a daily/weekly word count feature with it though. I don't have much experience with Final Draft although it seemed easy enough to use. It gives me more of a screen writing feel though, so I went with Scrivener.

Also, the text on the rMBP is very very very nice but I prefer the MBA screens with the jagged edges. It seems very pleasant on the eyes especially after working for long hours. There's a certain softness to it that I enjoy :)

PDFierro
Jul 3, 2013, 01:13 PM
I really like Scrivener. I heard about the steep learning curve so I watched the 10 minute intro video on their website before I purchased it. It was very easy to use and get around. I wish there was a daily/weekly word count feature with it though. I don't have much experience with Final Draft although it seemed easy enough to use. It gives me more of a screen writing feel though, so I went with Scrivener.

Also, the text on the rMBP is very very very nice but I prefer the MBA screens with the jagged edges. It seems very pleasant on the eyes especially after working for long hours. There's a certain softness to it that I enjoy :)

Well, Final Draft is first and foremost for screenwriters. I don't see why someone writing anything else would buy it for how much it costs.

nightlong
Jul 3, 2013, 10:57 PM
Booji's post about nothing being cooler than someone hammering out text on a typewriter ... evoked some memories ... Life was so simple then, in one sense, the directness of writing like that and, in journalism at least, you did learn to think and write very fast on these small pieces of paper with just a paragraph on each. Fine for short news stories, not so convenient later I discovered when I was freelancing, writing long features in various versions to sell to different magazines or newspapers, how wonderful cut and paste would have been then!

Now? I'm so lazy thanks to Apple's shallow-travel keyboards,a typewriter would feel like driving a heavy old car without power-steering!

Thanks to Booji's post, I've managed to write a whole post in this thread without mentioning screens. Ha ha

Writergirl7
Jul 4, 2013, 08:08 AM
Since you mention screens ;) the 13" rMBA is SO MUCH EASIER TO READ.
(Had to shout about that)

PDFierro
Jul 4, 2013, 08:55 AM
Since you mention screens ;) the 13" rMBA is SO MUCH EASIER TO READ.
(Had to shout about that)

You mean the rMBP, right? Yeah, I'm already aware of the difference between screens. Just still mulling it over since the Haswell rMBP isn't out.

Writergirl7
Jul 4, 2013, 10:13 AM
You mean the rMBP, right? Yeah, I'm already aware of the difference between screens. Just still mulling it over since the Haswell rMBP isn't out.

Yes, I meant the pro. If I could have waited for the Haswell I would have but I couldn't. Still it is a lovely machine and I'm not likely to need longer than seven hours battery life. I don't get any of the weird, swirling vision effect the air gave me which is an immense relief :).

nightlong
Jul 4, 2013, 10:21 AM
Since you mention screens ;) the 13" rMBA is SO MUCH EASIER TO READ.
(Had to shout about that)

Yes I can even mention screens when I'm writing about keyboards, that's how retina-addicted i am.

So did you get an rMbp 13? And if so, how is that going in a desk situation without an external monitor or did you get a monitor too?

Sharp as it is, I think 13" would be too small for me at a desk. and despite my workarounds, I still have to do quite a lot at a desk.

I looked back over the beginning of this thread today ... quite a few posters back then thought I was mad even considering a retina laptop with quad core power just for or mostly just for writing (the 13" wasn't out then). I sometimes regret not getting one then, but if I spent $3000 to get that screen and it had ghosting and IR, and then sending it back, waiting, setting up again, maybe more than once as these problems sometimes take a few months to manifest .... Just seemed to risky for me, being 500km from the nearest Apple shop.

Let's hope the second gen models will be worth the wait!

PDFierro
Jul 4, 2013, 10:17 PM
Yes I can even mention screens when I'm writing about keyboards, that's how retina-addicted i am.

So did you get an rMbp 13? And if so, how is that going in a desk situation without an external monitor or did you get a monitor too?

Sharp as it is, I think 13" would be too small for me at a desk. and despite my workarounds, I still have to do quite a lot at a desk.

I looked back over the beginning of this thread today ... quite a few posters back then thought I was mad even considering a retina laptop with quad core power just for or mostly just for writing (the 13" wasn't out then). I sometimes regret not getting one then, but if I spent $3000 to get that screen and it had ghosting and IR, and then sending it back, waiting, setting up again, maybe more than once as these problems sometimes take a few months to manifest .... Just seemed to risky for me, being 500km from the nearest Apple shop.

Let's hope the second gen models will be worth the wait!

I really found the 15-inch to be way too huge. But that's just me.

Writergirl7
Jul 4, 2013, 11:24 PM
Yes I bought the 13" rMBP. It seems great so far but I'll know after I use it for a couple of days. The text is crisp even if it is enlarged and I can focus on the page - I don't have the weird, out of focus 'tunnel vision' that the MBA induced. I would have loved to wait for the Haswell upgrade but you cant have everything. It is a lovely machine. If I find the print is too small after I've used it for a few days I will get the 15" base model but I think this will be okay. The 13" is still portable and yet it seems comfortable to use. :)

I wonder if they will do a retina thunderbolt display any time soon? That would be amazing (even more amazing if I could afford it ;)). Even if they brought out a 21" option...

PDFierro
Jul 4, 2013, 11:31 PM
Yes I bought the 13" rMBP. It seems great so far but I'll know after I use it for a couple of days. The text is crisp even if it is enlarged and I can focus on the page - I don't have the weird, out of focus 'tunnel vision' that the MBA induced. I would have loved to wait for the Haswell upgrade but you cant have everything. It is a lovely machine. If I find the print is too small after I've used it for a few days I will get the 15" base model but I think this will be okay. The 13" is still portable and yet it seems comfortable to use. :)

I wonder if they will do a retina thunderbolt display any time soon? That would be amazing (even more amazing if I could afford it ;)). Even if they brought out a 21" option...

I'm surprised you didn't check out the screens at an Apple store before trying out the Air. The rMBP screen is absolutely gorgeous. Sure the MBA screen isn't THAT bad, but if you're someone who takes their work seriously then the Retina display is going to help with your writing so much.

I tested out the 13 and 15 rMBP extensively at the Apple store. Not only did I find the 15-inch too big, I didn't notice much difference in screen real estate when pulling up the same thing side by side. The 13 is also far more portable. Plus, the 15 has even more extra width due to the speaker grilles.

I just might jump on a 13-inch rMBP soon and give in. Let us know how you end up liking it, I think it's a gorgeous machine. I hope you have found the model that ultimately suits you.

There are whispers of a Retina Thunderbolt display coming out later in the year. I imagine with Thunderbolt 2 and the Haswell rMBP, it's a strong possibility.

Writergirl7
Jul 5, 2013, 12:03 AM
I'm surprised you didn't check out the screens at an Apple store before trying out the Air. The rMBP screen is absolutely gorgeous. Sure the MBA screen isn't THAT bad, but if you're someone who takes their work seriously then the Retina display is going to help with your writing so much.

I tested out the 13 and 15 rMBP extensively at the Apple store. Not only did I find the 15-inch too big, I didn't notice much difference in screen real estate when pulling up the same thing side by side. The 13 is also far more portable. Plus, the 15 has even more extra width due to the speaker grilles.

I just might jump on a 13-inch rMBP soon and give in. Let us know how you end up liking it, I think it's a gorgeous machine. I hope you have found the model that ultimately suits you.

There are whispers of a Retina Thunderbolt display coming out later in the year. I imagine with Thunderbolt 2 and the Haswell rMBP, it's a strong possibility.

I did check out the MBA screen in the shop - spent ages in there :). It seemed fine, although not as good as the retina, and I loved the idea of extreme portability that the 11" offered. But when I began using it for an hour or two at my desk and increased the size of the font to 150% because it was further away, I began having headaches and found it hard to focus on the page. It was a very weird sensation. I asked my husband to check it and it seemed reasonable to him, but I have other eye issues so that may have contributed. I really appreciate Apple's 14 day return policy because sometimes you cant tell if a macine will suit you until you try it under 'work' conditions :). I may not get to do that on the rMBP 'til Monday but I think it will be fine. My retina iPad never gives me any problem.

PDFierro
Jul 5, 2013, 12:20 AM
I did check out the MBA screen in the shop - spent ages in there :). It seemed fine, although not as good as the retina, and I loved the idea of extreme portability that the 11" offered. But when I began using it for an hour or two at my desk and increased the size of the font to 150% because it was further away, I began having headaches and found it hard to focus on the page. It was a very weird sensation. I asked my husband to check it and it seemed reasonable to him, but I have other eye issues so that may have contributed. I really appreciate Apple's 14 day return policy because sometimes you cant tell if a macine will suit you until you try it under 'work' conditions :). I may not get to do that on the rMBP 'til Monday but I think it will be fine. My retina iPad never gives me any problem.

Cool. Yeah, I checked out the Air in store and it was just really bad compared to the Retina. I was even considering the Air again until recently, but I've come to terms that I'm really going to need the Retina display for my reading/writing. And the Apple 14-day return policy really works for what you said, because what may seem good while testing out in store, may not live up to your expectations at home.

I think you will like the rMBP. Just a gorgeous display. What kind of writing did you say you do? Unfortunately, my main writing application is not updated for Retina. But luckily there are good alternatives for the meantime that are. So that isn't a big concern of mine. Based on some stuff I've seen, I can't see myself running a non-Retina app on a rMBP.

Writergirl7
Jul 5, 2013, 02:39 AM
I think you will like the rMBP. Just a gorgeous display. What kind of writing did you say you do? Unfortunately, my main writing application is not updated for Retina. But luckily there are good alternatives for the meantime that are. So that isn't a big concern of mine. Based on some stuff I've seen, I can't see myself running a non-Retina app on a rMBP.
Yes the retina screen is gorgeous :)
Nowadays I write fiction - mainly YA. Completed a Masters in 'Creative Writing' a while back. Have done some freelance science writing too. Still plodding along in my part- time day job to finance my 'habit' ;)

Collider
Jul 5, 2013, 06:40 AM
Anyone else on this thread who finds the MBA screen actually kind of perfect for writing? I have the 15'' rMBP as my main workhorse, and got the 11'' MBA for its portability for when I don't want to be tied to my desk, and I absolutely love it thus far. The screen has an almost old-school feel when I use it after extended periods on the retina, and that works well for me -- it kind of feels like going back to one of those old word-processors, and sometimes that old-school feeling is exactly the kind of focus I need.

I definitely miss the screen real-estate of the retina when I'm planning in Scrivener sometimes, and I'm not sure I could live with it as my only machine, but for just sitting down and hammering out words distraction-free, I find that switching to the slightly grainier screen actually adds to my productivity rather than taking away from it. Maybe I'm just weird?

nightlong
Jul 5, 2013, 06:52 AM
Has anyone here self-published fiction, or is anyone planning to do so?

nightlong
Jul 5, 2013, 08:14 AM
Anyone else on this thread who finds the MBA screen actually kind of perfect for writing? I have the 15'' rMBP as my main workhorse, and got the 11'' MBA for its portability for when I don't want to be tied to my desk, and I absolutely love it thus far. The screen has an almost old-school feel when I use it after extended periods on the retina, and that works well for me -- it kind of feels like going back to one of those old word-processors, and sometimes that old-school feeling is exactly the kind of focus I need.

I definitely miss the screen real-estate of the retina when I'm planning in Scrivener sometimes, and I'm not sure I could live with it as my only machine, but for just sitting down and hammering out words distraction-free, I find that switching to the slightly grainier screen actually adds to my productivity rather than taking away from it. Maybe I'm just weird?

Perfect in every way other than the screen ... I love the size, weight, shape, speed, quiet (I've only heard the fans when rendering video), battery life (when just writing and not using Dropbox or other apps that drain battery) but I can't do the sort of hours on this screen that I can do on my iMac and ipad4.

Tysknaden
Jul 5, 2013, 08:57 AM
I am using an Air and an iPad. Pages on both. No extra keyboard. And it will shock you: I do prefer the iPad, because I do not have to sit on a chair in front of a table. (Maybe an Aspie thingie.)
Working on books/ one already finished.

BenTrovato
Jul 5, 2013, 09:31 AM
Anyone else on this thread who finds the MBA screen actually kind of perfect for writing? I have the 15'' rMBP as my main workhorse, and got the 11'' MBA for its portability for when I don't want to be tied to my desk, and I absolutely love it thus far. The screen has an almost old-school feel when I use it after extended periods on the retina, and that works well for me -- it kind of feels like going back to one of those old word-processors, and sometimes that old-school feeling is exactly the kind of focus I need.

I definitely miss the screen real-estate of the retina when I'm planning in Scrivener sometimes, and I'm not sure I could live with it as my only machine, but for just sitting down and hammering out words distraction-free, I find that switching to the slightly grainier screen actually adds to my productivity rather than taking away from it. Maybe I'm just weird?

That is so funny! This is how I feel about the soft grainy screen. I just sit down and can write for hours. It's like the screen doesn't distract from my creative abilities and the words just flow. I hate the higher end display on my desktop when I need to get a lot done. I guess it's all personal preference but funny to see someone else feels the same way.

Dr Charter
Jul 5, 2013, 10:27 AM
Most of my writing is academic, so I need hardware and software to keep my notes and bibliography organized in addition to word processing.

I use Pages, Evernote, Endnote, and Bento for writing and notes. I use an 11" Air and an iPad mini. I have a Thunderbolt Display at home to spread out. It's been a great setup.

I tried using an iPad (full size) for writing but it could not handle my bibliography software very well. Endnote has made progress with their iPad app but it is still cumbersome to use. I'd love for an iPad to be a laptop replacement but it is not quite there for me.

----------

Anyone else on this thread who finds the MBA screen actually kind of perfect for writing? I have the 15'' rMBP as my main workhorse, and got the 11'' MBA for its portability for when I don't want to be tied to my desk, and I absolutely love it thus far. The screen has an almost old-school feel when I use it after extended periods on the retina, and that works well for me -- it kind of feels like going back to one of those old word-processors, and sometimes that old-school feeling is exactly the kind of focus I need.

I definitely miss the screen real-estate of the retina when I'm planning in Scrivener sometimes, and I'm not sure I could live with it as my only machine, but for just sitting down and hammering out words distraction-free, I find that switching to the slightly grainier screen actually adds to my productivity rather than taking away from it. Maybe I'm just weird?

I completely agree with this. I actually sold my 15" rMBP and went with an 11" Air + ATD at home. When I'm out, that smaller screen and old-school feel you describe seems to keep me focused when I switch Pages to full screen. It also fits much better on those tiny coffee shop tables. I will say that I am hoping for a retina air next year. That would be the perfect computer for me.

PDFierro
Jul 5, 2013, 12:19 PM
I was just reading last night that Final Draft intends to have Version 9 out this year finally. Aside from many improvements, it'll come with Retina Display support. I knew it was coming, but no idea when. So, awesome! I know quite a few people on here have mentioned using the program, other than myself.

Anyone else on this thread who finds the MBA screen actually kind of perfect for writing? I have the 15'' rMBP as my main workhorse, and got the 11'' MBA for its portability for when I don't want to be tied to my desk, and I absolutely love it thus far. The screen has an almost old-school feel when I use it after extended periods on the retina, and that works well for me -- it kind of feels like going back to one of those old word-processors, and sometimes that old-school feeling is exactly the kind of focus I need.

I definitely miss the screen real-estate of the retina when I'm planning in Scrivener sometimes, and I'm not sure I could live with it as my only machine, but for just sitting down and hammering out words distraction-free, I find that switching to the slightly grainier screen actually adds to my productivity rather than taking away from it. Maybe I'm just weird?

I see your viewpoint, but I disagree. Though I wish I could do that like you! For me, I need the best text/screen possible. Going from Retina to the Air screen, makes me unable to focus.

arsimoun
Jul 5, 2013, 12:24 PM
I like the Final Draft program and the guys who run the company are good guys. All of that notwithstanding, I have been hearing about the imminent arrival of FD 9 for a veeerrrrryyyyy long time. I'd be glad to see it, but I am not holding my breath.

FWIW

Adam Rodman

MacPoulet
Jul 5, 2013, 02:10 PM
I'm really fascinated at how really good writers sometimes have very old school preferences like striped-down writing programs and even typewriters. I've seen some of the best writers with really old gear and they swear by it. I think its cool actually - each to his own and writing is one of those mysterious activities that having just the right type of appliance can make the difference and there seems to be no consensus on what is ideal, but to me nothing is cooler than somebody hammering out text on a manual typewriter!

Never got into the habit of using a typewriter, but I always use a pen for early drafts of most work. And I tend to be very picky about my pens. Most tend to be cheap as the expensive ones are usually quite heavy.

Darn, Movie Magic and Final Draft are not retina ready? Figures. Thanks for posting this info, MacPoulet.


No worries, I'm usually on their case about that and bug them periodically. What's worse is that Movie Magic isn't fully Lion compatible yet (a bunch of features don't work in 10.7/10.8). And I may have discovered a nasty bug with dual dialogue not printing properly after the latest update, which kinda sucks since I'm shooting next week and need to run off copies.

Good times.

I like the Final Draft program and the guys who run the company are good guys. All of that notwithstanding, I have been hearing about the imminent arrival of FD 9 for a veeerrrrryyyyy long time. I'd be glad to see it, but I am not holding my breath.

FWIW

Adam Rodman

I'm glad you had a positive experience with the Final Draft folk. I switched away after they shut down the authenticating server for version 6, crippling my perfectly good copy to drum up more sales.

Writergirl7
Jul 10, 2013, 09:02 AM
What do you guys suggest for a 24" monitor to go with the 13" rMBP? Am finding my eyes are getting tired after 3-4 hours with the usual breaks (but not like the half to one hour with the MBA) so I need a bigger desk screen. Am thinking of the Dell U2412M but somewhere I heard that small text wasn't clear. I want a comfortable monitor for reading/ writing text plus good colour reproduction.

Harmonious Zen
Jul 10, 2013, 09:36 AM
What do you guys suggest for a 24" monitor to go with the 13" rMBP? Am finding my eyes are getting tired after 3-4 hours with the usual breaks (but not like the half to one hour with the MBA) so I need a bigger desk screen. Am thinking of the Dell U2412M but somewhere I heard that small text wasn't clear. I want a comfortable monitor for reading/ writing text plus good colour reproduction.

Just get one of the Dell IPS panels for a good price on Amazon. They work great.

I can't help but wonder if perhaps the issue is with your eyes. I don't mean to be facetious, but I found my woes with the MBA screen disappeared once I updated my prescription recently. Weird how that works.

Writergirl7
Jul 10, 2013, 09:50 AM
Just get one of the Dell IPS panels for a good price on Amazon. They work great.

I can't help but wonder if perhaps the issue is with your eyes. I don't mean to be facetious, but I found my woes with the MBA screen disappeared once I updated my prescription recently. Weird how that works.

Haha! I probably need to think about glasses for my computer monitor viewing but my old ASUS 15" monitor was and is fine (apart from it freezing every 5 minutes). I could use it all day which is why I kept it for seven years. But it's taking its last agonal gasps now ;). The iPad is fine too but I don't usually use it for as long a time.

Tarrou8
Jul 10, 2013, 10:01 AM
Considering that every great writer throughout history has survived sans Air or Retina (and the vast majority without any computer at all), I'm fairly certain that any current Apple product will more than suffice for our needs.

SpyderBite
Jul 10, 2013, 10:13 AM
I use my 2012 cMBP 13" and some templates I created for writing articles for various publishers depending on their formatting requirements.

I use OpenOffice most of the time except when I need to open and edit something on my iPad 3 in which case I use Pages.

hakr100
Jul 10, 2013, 11:18 AM
Considering that every great writer throughout history has survived sans Air or Retina (and the vast majority without any computer at all), I'm fairly certain that any current Apple product will more than suffice for our needs.

Ernest Hemingway wrote standing up at a writing table. He used pens and pencils on legal sized yellow pads. I don't know how he managed to write well enough without a computer to receive the Nobel Prize. :D

arsimoun
Jul 10, 2013, 11:53 AM
Ernest Hemingway wrote standing a wooden table? Feh! Tom Wolfe wrote on the top of a refrigerator. Now that's how a real writer does it! 15" 13" 11" Real writers use Frigidaire!

:-)

Adam Rodman

nightlong
Jul 10, 2013, 01:15 PM
New Thunderbolt screen might appear along with the launch of Mac Pro, whether it actually will appear, whether it will be better and less glossy is all speculation. It will almost certainly be more expensive than the Dell U2412 ... I have one of them, and it is very good for the price with lots of inputs, height and swivel variations, the colour is good but the anti-glare coating is severe and IMO seems less sharp than iMac for text. Whether it is sharper when the source is rMPB rather than Air, I don't know.but I recommend trying before you buy if possible because the anti-glare coating is extreme, which might suit your eyesight issue Writergirl, but might not.

hakr100
Jul 10, 2013, 01:30 PM
I think the choice of word processing software depends upon the user, what he or she has to write, and how and where the output will be used.

I have been a professional writer for more than 40 years, producing essays, reports, manuscripts, print and broadcast commercials, speeches, and I suppose a dozen other deliverables. Most of the time, my clients want output in simple text form. If it is to go on a web site, their staff does the conversion and coding.

For years, I used XyWrite, a word processor no longer available. Then I used WordPerfect and then Word. Now I am using Pages. I like Pages because it is not overly complex.

arsimoun
Jul 10, 2013, 01:46 PM
I'll see your XyWrite and raise you a PC WRITE, EMACS, and a text editing/text formatting package converted from typesetting to personal computers: ScenicWriter.

ScenicWriter ran under the UCSD-P system and then was later converted first to DOS and then to Windows. I wrote a lot of good stuff with ScenicWriter and will always have an affectionate place in my heart for these older writing software systems.

Adam Rodman

handlemyhansen
Jul 10, 2013, 05:09 PM
I just bought iA Writer and it has been a pleasant surprise. Not loaded with features but is simple and with its minimalist style it helps me stay focused on writing and not such things as formatting.

I have been writing in iA writer and getting my ideas down and then using word to format, adjust, and edit.

Writergirl7
Jul 10, 2013, 07:05 PM
Considering that every great writer throughout history has survived sans Air or Retina (and the vast majority without any computer at all), I'm fairly certain that any current Apple product will more than suffice for our needs.

It's what you get used to. When I was much younger I hated writing on a computer. It stopped me feeling creative; I was much better longhand ;). Then something in my brain switched and I now do most of my journaling and creative work via word processor.

We are spoilt with choice with our modern technology, but we face new challenges. The wrong set up - be it workstation ergonomics, screen quality, text sharpness, etc, can have a huge effect on both our comfort and our health. What works well for one person may adversely affect another so I have to disagree with you. Not all Mac products suit all writers :)

nightlong
Jul 10, 2013, 07:44 PM
This outlook has surfaced before here when someone said any old computer is good enough for writing, and great books have been written without computers etc.

Yes well, people also survived without cars, refrigeration, dental care, books, sanitation, even without anaesthetic for major operations.

I could 'survive' with a yellow legal pad and a stub of pencil but since I am so first-world fortunate I prefer to use the best tools for my purposes.

For me that means sharp text, quiet (can't bear fan noise and hums) and, these days, great software built for writing such as Scrivener, but then much else for all the other things I do with a computer.

PDFierro
Jul 10, 2013, 08:26 PM
It's all about standards these days. With the technology we have available, I'm going to want the best machine that suits my writing the best.

Sure I could go with a typewriter, but look at the options we have available now. Having a certain Mac can actually go a long ways toward increasing your productivity.

Doxiegirl
Jul 10, 2013, 11:21 PM
And, as I said a while back, this thread being in the Air forum was a newbie mistake ... i didn't mean to limit discussion to Air users. At the time I was researching the Air as writing machine.

I'm glad you accidentally posted here--I'm a writer too who will soon be the proud owner of a refurbished 2012 Macbook Air, and this thread has encouraged me to look into Scrivener : )

Regarding some of the posts about the sedentary nature of writing and what people do to combat that, I had considered a treadmill desk, but found them too expensive (and also I just hate treadmills in general)--and ended up buying the Fitdesk X1 at Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/FitDesk-Folding-Exercise-Sliding-Platform/dp/B00BF69KEK

It's quite nice and a great way to burn calories while writing.

Writergirl7
Jul 11, 2013, 12:25 AM
I'm glad you accidentally posted here--I'm a writer too who will soon be the proud owner of a refurbished 2012 Macbook Air, and this thread has encouraged me to look into Scrivener : )

Regarding some of the posts about the sedentary nature of writing and what people do to combat that, I had considered a treadmill desk, but found them too expensive (and also I just hate treadmills in general)--and ended up buying the Fitdesk X1 at Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/FitDesk-Folding-Exercise-Sliding-Platform/dp/B00BF69KEK

It's quite nice and a great way to burn calories while writing.

Is the desk bit height adjustable?

Doxiegirl
Jul 11, 2013, 12:32 AM
Is the desk bit height adjustable?

I'm honestly not sure--my husband set it up for me a few weeks ago. From what I remember, the angle but not the height is adjustable. But the height of the seat is definitely adjustable. I'm 5'1" and it works fine for me If that helps. I think it's supposed to be good for someone up to 6 feet tall.

ETA: The angle of the desk isn't adjustable but you can move it closer or farther away. It works fine for me. You can also adjust the tension on the pedals.

nightlong
Jul 11, 2013, 01:01 AM
I'm glad you accidentally posted here--I'm a writer too who will soon be the proud owner of a refurbished 2012 Macbook Air, and this thread has encouraged me to look into Scrivener : )

Regarding some of the posts about the sedentary nature of writing and what people do to combat that, I had considered a treadmill desk, but found them too expensive (and also I just hate treadmills in general)--and ended up buying the Fitdesk X1 at Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/FitDesk-Folding-Exercise-Sliding-Platform/dp/B00BF69KEK

It's quite nice and a great way to burn calories while writing.

Great idea ... Don't know if I could do it, be so physically active while writing, but that might just be habit. Have you found this increases your mental energy ... more oxygen to the brain or just generally boosts your metabolism or whatever?

Writergirl7
Jul 11, 2013, 01:10 AM
I'm honestly not sure--my husband set it up for me a few weeks ago. From what I remember, the angle but not the height is adjustable. But the height of the seat is definitely adjustable. I'm 5'1" and it works fine for me If that helps. I think it's supposed to be good for someone up to 6 feet tall.

ETA: The angle of the desk isn't adjustable but you can move it closer or farther away. It works fine for me. You can also adjust the tension on the pedals.

I see it gets good reviews on Amazon. At very least it would be good for reading and web surfing in the name of research ;)

Alas it doesn't seem to be available in Australia.

nightlong
Jul 11, 2013, 01:22 AM
I just bought iA Writer and it has been a pleasant surprise. Not loaded with features but is simple and with its minimalist style it helps me stay focused on writing and not such things as formatting.

I have been writing in iA writer and getting my ideas down and then using word to format, adjust, and edit.

I like iA Writer, use it on my ipad4, then pick that up from Dropbox to take to Scrivener on my Air. Partly because ipad4 is the only retina screen I have so far, I don't bother with any editing on that, just write. But I do love the iPad, attaching it to hoverbar wherever I want to write, at eye level, and use Apple BT keyboard, in my lap or on a surface, with my ipad2 nearby for doing Internet things, like messages, mail, google search or dictionary or for the many research materials i have on that, so I'm not multitasking on the ipad4, it's just like a typewriter for this sort of freeform writing. My Air is often hooked up to the Dell monitor at my desk, as i do other things with this and iMac as well as Scrivener parts of writing.

Yggbert
Jul 11, 2013, 01:40 AM
Unfortunately I still have to put up with the somewhat bland Office suite because it's what my university uses, when I'm doing simple word processing work I like to use Byword or IA Writer, likely Google Docs if I'll only be on my laptop temporarily. (just makes syncing that bit easier)

I love apps like IA Writer when I'm writing Japanese (my degree is half languages study, half essay based), the font looks incredible and it's so visually pleasing.

Actually, does anyone know of apps like IA Writer for Windows?

Hildegerd
Jul 11, 2013, 06:56 AM
Unfortunately I still have to put up with the somewhat bland Office suite because it's what my university uses, when I'm doing simple word processing work I like to use Byword or IA Writer, likely Google Docs if I'll only be on my laptop temporarily. (just makes syncing that bit easier)

I love apps like IA Writer when I'm writing Japanese (my degree is half languages study, half essay based), the font looks incredible and it's so visually pleasing.

Actually, does anyone know of apps like IA Writer for Windows?

Perhaps you can find something here: http://alternativeto.net/software/byword/?platform=windows

handlemyhansen
Jul 11, 2013, 11:50 PM
I like iA Writer, use it on my ipad4, then pick that up from Dropbox to take to Scrivener on my Air. Partly because ipad4 is the only retina screen I have so far, I don't bother with any editing on that, just write. But I do love the iPad, attaching it to hoverbar wherever I want to write, at eye level, and use Apple BT keyboard, in my lap or on a surface, with my ipad2 nearby for doing Internet things, like messages, mail, google search or dictionary or for the many research materials i have on that, so I'm not multitasking on the ipad4, it's just like a typewriter for this sort of freeform writing. My Air is often hooked up to the Dell monitor at my desk, as i do other things with this and iMac as well as Scrivener parts of writing.

I agree i find iA writers simplicity refreshing. I have been using it to take notes and once you get comfortable with the little short cuts they have for basic formatting writing really flows because you dont have to take you fingers off the keyboard.

I have heard very good thinks about Scrivener but dont know much about it.

innatetech
Jul 19, 2013, 04:16 PM
Scrivener is pretty awesome.

I like Mellel as a word processor.

For screenwriting and preproduction etc. you should look at celtx before you spend money on a commercial product.

If you need a personal database/research tool etc. I'm a big fan of DevonThink Pro Office. You might also want to take a look at Bento, which I guess is part of FileMaker now. There's also Yojimbo from BBE, which is probably the most approachable of the three.

If you want to experiment with interactive fiction, Inform is really a lot of fun to play with and the basics come very fast.

PDFierro
Jul 20, 2013, 09:24 PM
Scrivener is pretty awesome.

I like Mellel as a word processor.

For screenwriting and preproduction etc. you should look at celtx before you spend money on a commercial product.

If you need a personal database/research tool etc. I'm a big fan of DevonThink Pro Office. You might also want to take a look at Bento, which I guess is part of FileMaker now. There's also Yojimbo from BBE, which is probably the most approachable of the three.

If you want to experiment with interactive fiction, Inform is really a lot of fun to play with and the basics come very fast.

Not a fan of Celtx. Doesn't work for me with how I write. I don't mind paying for software, I use Final Draft and others.

I'm actually looking forward to trying out some Mac-only apps, such as Slugline. I'm going to be filled with joy if the new rMBPs come out next week after the earnings call.

arsimoun
Jul 21, 2013, 01:33 PM
Final Draft and MoveMagic Screenwriter 2000 are pretty much the industry standards. I hear good things about Slugline, but at least for the moment I am sticking with the devil you know argument. I am working on one project in FD and another in MM -- in each instance it's because the production entity that hired me is using that software.

FWIW

Adam Rodman

tiartrop
Jul 22, 2013, 09:21 AM
I didn't know there's a lot of writing apps available out there, definitely going to check them out.

I don't write so much these days since I changed job and finished uni, my last university only accepted .doc format for the reports/essays so I pretty much only used Word and Endnote. Word is a disaster, especially for Mac, but not like the Windows counterpart is better anyway.

As for my gear, I used Macbook 13" before switching to MBA 11", I love the 11" portability! I put keyboard cover on mine since I like to go to coffee shops to work on my stuff, saved me a few times so far. I don't know why people frown upon it, it hasn't decreased my typing speed. Just recently installed Speck seethru case too, I don't like how it adds to the weight though but it adds colour to my MBA.

nightlong
Jul 22, 2013, 11:31 AM
I use keyboard covers too, they look great on white apple keyboards, the pink ones, I use red on my Air, they fit perfectly. They don't inhibit my fast touch-typing at all and are easy to clean. I read somewhere that computer keyboards are often dirtier or more contaminated than toilet seats as toilets are usually cleaned more often!

jakeOSX
Aug 1, 2013, 07:32 AM
Has anyone here self-published fiction, or is anyone planning to do so?


i have done this. a bit for myself, and started a magazine as well. if you are referring to using ebooks, i cannot recommend smashwords enough. it is pretty easy to format, and they distribute to everyone except amazon. I found if it is formatted for Smashwords, then it is ready for Amazon as well.

for that, I use pages. Smashwords takes DOC files, Amazon, HTML.

that being said, there are lots of markets out there these days, lots of new quarterlies and such popping up all the time. check out duotrope, or if you are of the SF/F/H type, ralan.com as good starter places.

nightlong
Aug 1, 2013, 08:48 AM
i have done this. a bit for myself, and started a magazine as well. if you are referring to using ebooks, i cannot recommend smashwords enough. it is pretty easy to format, and they distribute to everyone except amazon. I found if it is formatted for Smashwords, then it is ready for Amazon as well.

for that, I use pages. Smashwords takes DOC files, Amazon, HTML.

that being said, there are lots of markets out there these days, lots of new quarterlies and such popping up all the time. check out duotrope, or if you are of the SF/F/H type, ralan.com as good starter places.

Thanks for this, will check out your recommendations. I've noticed that quite a lot of people who have published in the traditional way are now also self-publishing.

Writergirl7
Aug 12, 2013, 10:04 AM
Hi again. I still haven't bought an external monitor for my MacBook but I've been doing my research. Has anyone used the Dell u2413? It's on special at the moment. Its supposed to have less of an antiglare coating than the older models. I've also considered the Asus PA248Q, the Dell u2412, the Eizo Forris FS 2333 and at the slightly cheaper end the Dell2312HM. I've also considered various 27" monitors. I'm still thinking the 23/24" was probably best for me - that size feels better for writing somehow. However I am open to suggestions :)

kazmac
Aug 12, 2013, 06:49 PM
I'm getting antsy not having a portable device to create on so I decided to investigate screenwriting apps for the iPad to see if things have changed since last year.

I'm sure folks in this thread have already heard about Fade In (http://www.fadeinpro.com/index.html), but I just test drove the FI demo on my iMac and fell in love. I banged out two pages in about 5 minutes without having to key in script formatting.

Fade In is like many writing apps that fill up the screen, narrowing your focus on writing. I love how easy it is (even easier than Movie Magic Screenwriter). I will plunk the $50 down to buy the software once I determine if and when I get a portable Apple something...

Since Storyist, Final Draft and Scrivener are above my learning curve/patience, Fade In is just right for me. I've looked at Slugline but am very glad I tried Fade In.

PDFierro
Aug 13, 2013, 09:49 AM
I'm getting antsy not having a portable device to create on so I decided to investigate screenwriting apps for the iPad to see if things have changed since last year.

I'm sure folks in this thread have already heard about Fade In (http://www.fadeinpro.com/index.html), but I just test drove the FI demo on my iMac and fell in love. I banged out two pages in about 5 minutes without having to key in script formatting.

Fade In is like many writing apps that fill up the screen, narrowing your focus on writing. I love how easy it is (even easier than Movie Magic Screenwriter). I will plunk the $50 down to buy the software once I determine if and when I get a portable Apple something...

Since Storyist, Final Draft and Scrivener are above my learning curve/patience, Fade In is just right for me. I've looked at Slugline but am very glad I tried Fade In.

I am curious how programs like Final Draft are above your learning curve/patience? They all work the same way Fade in does.

kazmac
Aug 14, 2013, 07:15 AM
I am curious how programs like Final Draft are above your learning curve/patience? They all work the same way Fade in does.

Movie Magic and Fade In are a lot easier and more intuitative for me. I just type and go. Perhaps it's the interface, it's just not a good match for me. I hope I won't have to use it for eventual Screenwriting classes, but we'll see.

That said, Scrivener takes the cake for learning curve.

arsimoun
Aug 14, 2013, 10:59 AM
FWIW, I have written screenplays and television scripts since before we had Correcting Selectrics. For years I (happily) used a text markup program for typesetting that had been modified for laser printers and customized to screenplay margins as per my specifications. I have built my own kerning tables. I also have done a lot of work by hand, using legal pads and fountain pens. I am very familiar with Movie Magic and Final Draft. I hear good things about Slugline and Fade In.

In my experience, you use what works for you. There is always a learning curve, but once that is accomplished, the program should be invisible. Use what you like. One isn't "better" than the other. I am working on two projects right now: in one, the producer is using Final Draft, so I am, too, and in the other we're using Movie Magic. Each has its own idiosyncrasies. They both work swell.

You want to avoid getting started on something? Learn a new software package. Short of that, I think you'll be more than well served by any of the programs mentioned here.

Just one man's .02

Adam Rodman

nightlong
Aug 24, 2013, 11:12 AM
Hi again. I still haven't bought an external monitor for my MacBook but I've been doing my research. Has anyone used the Dell u2413? It's on special at the moment. Its supposed to have less of an antiglare coating than the older models. I've also considered the Asus PA248Q, the Dell u2412, the Eizo Forris FS 2333 and at the slightly cheaper end the Dell2312HM. I've also considered various 27" monitors. I'm still thinking the 23/24" was probably best for me - that size feels better for writing somehow. However I am open to suggestions :)

Did you buy a screen, or still looking?

I'm still waiting ... So far, apart from the retina laptops, I still prefer my 2007 iMac screen to anything else I've tried ... The Dell u2412 is okay for the MacBook Air and as dual screen for iMac but it's just not sharp enough for text to be my main screen.

PDFierro
Aug 24, 2013, 02:34 PM
Did you buy a screen, or still looking?

I'm still waiting ... So far, apart from the retina laptops, I still prefer my 2007 iMac screen to anything else I've tried ... The Dell u2412 is okay for the MacBook Air and as dual screen for iMac but it's just not sharp enough for text to be my main screen.

The lack of a real computer the past few months has been driving me insane. 13-inch rMBP is mine the day it comes out, hopefully at the iPhone event in a few weeks.

I briefly thought about an Air in the early goings, but no way could I live with that screen.

I can't wait to really start writing again.

nightlong
Aug 24, 2013, 04:22 PM
I will probably get the 13" rMbp, and sell my Air. Hopefully they have fixed the screen problems.

PDFierro
Aug 24, 2013, 04:43 PM
I have thought about getting an external monitor, but I imagine I wouldn't be satisfied with one that doesn't have an awesome display like the rMBP. Even that 4K ASUS monitor is 3.5 grand. I wonder what Apple will do with updating the Thunderbolt Display.

I'll just save my money and put that towards an iPad or things for my Mac. I'm perfectly fine with working on a 13-inch screen, especially as I'm on-the-go a lot. You can also use an iPhone/iPad as a monitor if needed.

Either way, I'm constantly looking at applications on the Mac App Store that I'd be interested in using. There is some really great software out there. I hope to actually be able to contribute to this thread soon, with my workflow and what I'm using.

nightlong
Aug 24, 2013, 05:11 PM
I'm hoping they'll do a 24" Thunderbolt . But will be expensive and I will have to get over my dual screen fetish!

Writergirl7
Aug 25, 2013, 01:25 AM
Did you buy a screen, or still looking?

I'm still waiting ... So far, apart from the retina laptops, I still prefer my 2007 iMac screen to anything else I've tried ... The Dell u2412 is okay for the MacBook Air and as dual screen for iMac but it's just not sharp enough for text to be my main screen.

I'm just setting up my u2413 now. Seems sharp enough - pretty nice really. The CD they sent with it seems only to contain software for Windows systems. Was that the same with the u2412? I nearly bought the u2412m but the 2413 was on special.

nightlong
Aug 25, 2013, 03:03 AM
Just painted my office white and lime green.

nightlong
Aug 25, 2013, 03:09 AM
It is still subdued at the reading end though.

nightlong
Aug 25, 2013, 03:28 AM
Don't know why that second photo turned itself upside down.


Yes, I think the disk for the Dell screen was only for Windows. But all functions work and easy to use.

PDFierro
Aug 25, 2013, 10:19 AM
Looks nice! I see you like keyboard covers. Is that the Twelve South HoverBar on your iPad?

nightlong
Aug 25, 2013, 10:47 AM
Yes, it is a hoverbar, and the Logitech k760 keyboard is solar and has 3 functions switches, so can switch quickly from iMac to iPad or when using the Air with the Dell screen, to that also. The keyboard covers are washable and I like the colours.

nightlong
Aug 25, 2013, 11:15 AM
The only problem with the hoverbar is, the ipad4 is a very tight fit and I've managed to snap the top off the other hoverbar, which is in my bedroom and the iPad 4, being used mostly for reading, is usually on that one, now secured with a rubberband! The ipad2, mostly used in my office on the hoverbar in the picture, is much easier to remove.

D*I*S_Frontman
Aug 30, 2013, 05:45 PM
FWIW I ended up buying Scrivener after reading the back and forth of this discussion. I use it in conjunction with Pages.

Scrivener's .epub and .mobi compiling/output features are a bit tricky, but ultimately very useful. I have a book I wrote for Amazon that I submitted from Scrivener's .mobi output that seems to work well on any Kindle e-reader.

I was already very far along in my current novel when I got Scrivener, so a lot of its features did not come into play. For the next novel I write I will begin in Scrivener and take advantage of its outlining and organization features.

Great product for the price.

nightlong
Sep 1, 2013, 10:10 AM
FWIW I ended up buying Scrivener after reading the back and forth of this discussion. I use it in conjunction with Pages.

Scrivener's .epub and .mobi compiling/output features are a bit tricky, but ultimately very useful. I have a book I wrote for Amazon that I submitted from Scrivener's .mobi output that seems to work well on any Kindle e-reader.

I was already very far along in my current novel when I got Scrivener, so a lot of its features did not come into play. For the next novel I write I will begin in Scrivener and take advantage of its outlining and organization features.

Great product for the price.

Thanks for the info, glad to hear it works with kindle readers, I haven't got that far yet. Congratulations on your prolific output!

PDFierro
Sep 1, 2013, 08:30 PM
Final Draft 9 is supposed to be coming out pretty soon, as in before the end of the year. Many big changes to the software including Retina Display support. I'm glad since I will be getting a new rMBP, and would not want to run it if it weren't Retina-optimized.

PDFierro
Oct 22, 2013, 06:52 PM
Thought I'd bump this thread up.

I ordered the Haswell rMBP that came out today. I am very much looking forward to having a Mac again. There are so many OS X-exclusive writing apps that I can't wait to use. In the past few months, I've actually been scouring the Mac App Store and such looking for the ones I would be interested in using. I'm definitely impressed with quite a few.

In addition, I got on the beta testing team for Final Draft 9 and have been using that. So from the moment I receive my rMBP, I will be able to use a Retina-optimized Final Draft app.

Definitely looking forward to seeing how my workflow changes.

nightlong
Oct 22, 2013, 07:01 PM
Great news, your patience rewarded. I'm going to get rMbp, haven't decided which yet, might wait while you beta test the screen for me. Lol