Best essay writing programme for Mac?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by vine-boating, Aug 27, 2018.

  1. vine-boating macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2017
    #1
    Hey all

    I am starting university next month and I wondered if anybody could recommend a good program for writing up essays/ documents etc....which can be opened and sent easily to Mac's and non mac's

    I know Microsoft office for Mac is a common one but tbh I have gone off it as I find it a bit clunky it terms of user experience and the constant updates that need to be made can be annoying as well..

    Any recommendations and price isn't a problem.
     
  2. vine-boating thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 10, 2017
    #3
    Is that the only one you would recommend?

    Is it reliable and don't you have to convert files to word documents all the time if you want a non Mac user to be able to open it?
     
  3. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    Location:
    US
    #4
    If you're needing to collaborate with other students on documents, then I'd suggest either Google Docs or MS Office.
     
  4. Zxxv macrumors 68040

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    Nov 13, 2011
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    UK
  5. vine-boating thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 10, 2017
    #6
    What about if you're not?

    if it's just for you? Any recommendations bar MSOffice because I want to try a new programme now and I don't mind paying for it.
     
  6. deeddawg macrumors 604

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    Jun 14, 2010
    Location:
    US
    #7
    Just for me? I use Pages or Notes since both are included. I'm not really a writer as such, so there may be specialized tools that are better for larger writing projects.
     
  7. bbnck, Aug 27, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2018

    bbnck macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    #8
    I personally use Nisus Writer Pro (it's $79 USD, but rather counter-intuitively it's actually $10 USD cheaper to buy the Express version at $20 USD and then upgrade to the Pro version for $49 USD afterwards). It's very stable and I switched to it after Pages kept crashing on me when I tried using the Helvetica Neue font. It uses RTF as its native file format which should open reasonably fine in Microsoft Office and Google Docs (I've only tested a handful of documents I've created – one of which has a Table of Contents – and they render fine in Google Docs but I did notice a sub heading was left-aligned and the main headings on each page were being rendered as a normal paragraph of text). You can export documents created in Nisus Writer into Microsoft Word (.doc) format but I have never tried to see how well it renders in Microsoft Word, but I have opened Microsoft Word documents in Nisus Writer Pro before and some complex Microsoft Word documents don't render correctly, but are still readable. Usually when Microsoft Word documents won't render correctly, Nisus Writer Pro asked me if I wanted it converted in order to make the contents readable. It has the same limitations as Pages when it comes to working with Microsoft Word documents – complex documents may not render correctly, but Nisus Writer is far more customisable than Pages. You can also create custom toolbar items in the Pro version – I created one for exporting the current document to a PDF.

    They have a 15 day trial which I recommend you take up so you can make sure it fits your needs before buying. They've been around since the early days of System 6 (Classic Mac OS).

    Here's the URL: https://nisus.com/pro

    Edit: $20 USD, not $29 USD for the Express version.
     
  8. PeteBurgh macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2014
    #9
    There are numerous threads in the 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' forum discussing the merits of various word processors, many with reference to university study.

    https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/best-writing-app.1941062/page-3#post-26329469
    https://forums.macrumors.com/posts/24840094/
    https://forums.macrumors.com/posts/24563107/

    The first thing I would check is what format essays have to be submitted in. If you need to submit your work as Word documents - as is that case at my University - that's a decent rationale for using Office. I wrote my PhD thesis and numerous other long documents in Word. It's not perfect and has its annoyances, but I find it's a perfectly acceptable tool. It's a very powerful app in the hands of knowledgeable user, and given its prominence in many industries (including academia) it's worth learning how to use it properly, in my opinion.

    Beyond that, I use Notes for simple text creation, and Pages for design/page layout work. I've tried things like Ulysses - impressive, but it didn't really click for me.

    You might also want to look into why you're getting 'constant updates' with the Office apps. I only get 1-2 updates a month - and even these are minor tweaks that you could easily postpone/ignore/disable the notifications for if you wanted.
     
  9. BigMcGuire Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2012
    Location:
    California
    #10
    It depends on what works for you. I like iAWriter because of its simplicity and thoughts come out of me best when I'm looking at a black screen with simple text. For complicated document writing for school? Microsoft Office is hands down the best. I couldn't get used to Pages. OpenOffice was frustrating to use and I spent a lot of time trying to get things to work that didn't.

    Honestly, Word is by far the best. My wife just finished her 4 year and has started her PhD - everyone uses Word.

    Highly recommend Notability for your notebook - great with iPad and Apple Pencil for note taking - even just plain text input on a Mac. OneNote is GREAT for notes across platforms. I use this all the time too.

    I use UltraEdit for coding and whenever I can, but it's $$$. Great for programmers.


    Here is a list of apps I've used and my short comments on them:
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Most of my text input goes into iAWriter and Word. I use Notability, OneNote as notebooks.

    OmnWriter was interesting but I prefer iAWriter because it works on my cellphone too. Mac only.

    I tried Ulysses but when I found out it didn't renumber numbered lists when I added one in the middle that was a no-go for me. Mac Only.

    Bear was too simplistic and required a subscription but a nice app if you don't mind the $14?/year. Mac Only.
     
  10. vine-boating thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2017
    #11
    Thanks for this

    Can I purchase in the UK?
    --- Post Merged, Aug 27, 2018 ---
    Did you buy MOffice one off or did you buy the one you pay a monthly subscription....I think its called Microsoft Office 365 to something?

    Reading this thread I might as well stick to office since its what most people use.
     
  11. PhilMacbook macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2018
    Location:
    Britain
    #12
    No they don't sell it in the UK...absolutely not o_O :rolleyes:
     
  12. lambertjohn macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2012
    #13
    I use iawriter for all my writing needs. Excellent writIng program.
     
  13. bbnck macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    #14
    Heh, yes you can purchase it in the UK. The exchange rate is a bitch but such is life. I'm also from the UK and when I purchased the Express version in February 2018, it cost me £14.75. In April 2018, the upgrade to the Pro version cost me £36.83. I paid via PayPal.

    By the way I mentioned the Express version is $29 USD. Sorry that was a mistake – it's $20 USD. Based on recent exchange rates, expect it to be around £16 - £20 for the Express version and £38 - £42 for the upgrade.
     
  14. vine-boating thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 10, 2017
    #15
    Can files be opened with non Macs or do you have to convert them?
     
  15. chscag macrumors 68040

    chscag

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Fort Worth, Texas
    #16
    Stick with MS Office. It's the de facto standard for university students, law offices, businesses, etc, etc. I'm not a lover of the Office 365 subscription method, but for you it might be best. All the other suggestions you received have merit but when it comes time to turn in your term papers, essays, and so forth, you want to be sure of 100% compatibility to what's expected. Only MS Office gives you that.
     
  16. BigMcGuire Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2012
    Location:
    California
    #17
    They're just plain text files.

    I highly recommend what @chscag said above. My wife just finished her 4 year at a UC here and what he said is 100% spot on.
     
  17. vine-boating thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 10, 2017
    #18
    Why might it be the best may I ask?

    Isn't the 365 method more expensive? You pay like £60 a year for 365 but home and office student 2016 is just a one off cost of £120? Is there a difference between the two products?
     
  18. BigMcGuire Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2012
    Location:
    California
    #19
    It's best because you get 1TB of OneDrive with the subscription for the year and depending on if you do home vs Personal - can install it on multiple devices / share with family.

    https://products.office.com/en-us/compare-all-microsoft-office-products?tab=1

    I have the Home version so I pay $99. My wife and I both have the full Office suite, each have 1 TB of OneDrive, and we have it installed on 4+ devices (fully licensed). Our Mac Minis and MacBook Pros and on our phones.
     
  19. project_2501 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2017
    #20
    Latex for proper typesetting esp for scientific / mathematical documents.

    https://www.latex-project.org
     
  20. vine-boating thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2017
    #21
    I am going to get the person since I am the only one that will be using it

    I am guessing one drive is like google drive where you save all your stuff right? So I won't need to sign up to dropbox since I was looking to sign up to one of the online storage devices....?
     
  21. chscag macrumors 68040

    chscag

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Fort Worth, Texas
    #22
    Yes, but keep in mind that OneDrive should not be used for making backups. Continue using Time Machine or cloning software (Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper).
     
  22. vine-boating thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 10, 2017
    #23
    micr
    Do you sue One Drive?
     
  23. chscag macrumors 68040

    chscag

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Fort Worth, Texas
    #24
    I assume you mean do I use One Drive? Yes, I use it to sync my Word documents to my iPhone and iPad. It also comes in handy if you're doing a presentation. In that situation, you can sync your Powerpoint documents the same way.
     
  24. vine-boating thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2017
    #25
    In order to use it one drive on my Mac do I need to download it to my computer or can you access it through google?
     

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36 August 27, 2018