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MacBytes
Feb 14, 2008, 09:02 AM
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Category: Opinion/Interviews
Link: 7 Reasons Why Mac OSX Is the Best OS for Writers (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20080214100224)
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Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
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big_malk
Feb 14, 2008, 09:42 AM
Pressing esc to autocomplete a word is a little gem i didn't know about. The pop-up dictionary I must have used almost every day since it was added :)

daddywags214
Feb 14, 2008, 09:48 AM
I use the dictionary overlay all the time, and I show it to as many people as I can. I didn't know about the autocompletion, though, either! Very cool stuff. Love .

Eraserhead
Feb 14, 2008, 10:01 AM
Getting Alex to read out documents is a great idea that I haven't used.

autrefois
Feb 14, 2008, 10:02 AM
Whenever you are typing anywhere in Mac OS X, you can simply press the Esc key while typing any word and you’ll be presented with a menu of all the words and phrases that begin with those letters and you can choose any of them.

Not quite true. It doesn't work in the field I'm entering this reply in, the Google search field in Safari, events in iCal (it does work while typing to-dos the first go, but not calendar events or editing to-dos), etc.

So while I think this is a very useful feature now that I know about it, the author was engaging in a little hyperbole (which fortunately I already knew how to spell :D) when saying it can be used anywhere. Even in Apple's apps, there are some places you can and can't use it.

aftk2
Feb 14, 2008, 12:37 PM
1. Scrivener
2. Scrivener
3. Scrivener
4. Scrivener
5. Scrivener
6. Scrivener
7. Scrivener

That is all.

:)

xrayvision
Feb 14, 2008, 11:59 PM
I agree with all of the above- but I gotta plug my favorite writing tools which are freely available on a Mac: LaTeX + BibDesk.

One of my major Pains is managing references when I write. EndNote is OK, but I had a major meltdown in my writing when incompatibilities cropped up between EndNote revisions. Nothing is more frustrating than shelling out 100$ for software that's not backwards compatible with itself and still feels like a Beta release. Enter LaTeX and BibDesk (pronounced "Luh-Tech" and not like the similarly spelled synthetic material).

If anyone else does any scientific or technical writing, I'd highly recommend using a combination of LaTeX (via TeTex in my case, but anything will work) and BibDesk. Using these tools on my mac is a DREAM!

References are browsable in an "iTunes-like" window, everything can be drag/dropped into your document. References are linked directly to the original articles or even remotely stored libraries of pdf files. Libraries consist of simple text, so they are very durable. LaTeX does all your document formatting for you by compiling your document- kinda like a markup language but very easy to learn- and TeTex facilitates the whole process.

These tools are available on other platforms too (Linux, MS) but the additional built-in amenities of a mac (like non-conf networking, direct pdf support, remote access, etc) allow me to take full advantage of them. Best of all, if you DO work with another platform, the output is always consistent (unlike Word).

Fantastic Stuff! :D

rogerw
Feb 15, 2008, 01:40 AM
how do you find alex?

Jiddick ExRex
Feb 15, 2008, 02:13 AM
I agree with all of the above- but I gotta plug my favorite writing tools which are freely available on a Mac: LaTeX + BibDesk.

One of my major Pains is managing references when I write. EndNote is OK, but I had a major meltdown in my writing when incompatibilities cropped up between EndNote revisions. Nothing is more frustrating than shelling out 100$ for software that's not backwards compatible with itself and still feels like a Beta release. Enter LaTeX and BibDesk (pronounced "Luh-Tech" and not like the similarly spelled synthetic material).

If anyone else does any scientific or technical writing, I'd highly recommend using a combination of LaTeX (via TeTex in my case, but anything will work) and BibDesk. Using these tools on my mac is a DREAM!

References are browsable in an "iTunes-like" window, everything can be drag/dropped into your document. References are linked directly to the original articles or even remotely stored libraries of pdf files. Libraries consist of simple text, so they are very durable. LaTeX does all your document formatting for you by compiling your document- kinda like a markup language but very easy to learn- and TeTex facilitates the whole process.

These tools are available on other platforms too (Linux, MS) but the additional built-in amenities of a mac (like non-conf networking, direct pdf support, remote access, etc) allow me to take full advantage of them. Best of all, if you DO work with another platform, the output is always consistent (unlike Word).

Fantastic Stuff! :D

The only problem with LateX is the amount of time you need to spend whenever you need to learn something new about it because it WON'T work the first you read about it.

Other than that, the possibilities for LateX is endless. I use Aquamacs myself and will from now on never go on writing anything collaborative without using this.

Siriosys
Feb 15, 2008, 02:55 AM
Open up System Preferences from the Dock and select Speech. From there, select Text to Speech and in the drop down list for the voice, choose Alex.



Cheers

rogerw
Feb 15, 2008, 05:49 AM
Open up System Preferences from the Dock and select Speech. From there, select Text to Speech and in the drop down list for the voice, choose Alex.



Cheers

cheers for that!

Maeish
Feb 26, 2008, 04:31 AM
That's interesting. Especially about Alex. Mistakes will be easier to pick up if the computer is reading it back to you!

A librarian doing an intro. class today on Endnotes commented that Social Sciences students always seem to use PC while Humanities (me!) always favour macs. Hehe!