Reference Manager for Pages 2008 - Which one?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by iPoodOverZune, Sep 13, 2008.

  1. iPoodOverZune macrumors regular


    Jan 13, 2007
    While writing my PhD thesis in Word 2008 that I cannot explain how much pissed off I am when tackling the figures. Word just sucks when it comes to handling the figures properly. I always put figures in text box (along with the captions), since that allows wrap text around the object, thus, allowing locking of figure anchor and, consequently, unhindered editing of text portions. BUT, word just blows at this important functionality, and figures keep on jumping everywhere. Try placing big figures on consecutive pages and text wrapping will fail and the figures will jump places to places! :mad::(

    Enter iWork/Pages 2008 ---
    I tried this since yesterday and I can not explain how happing I am and the joy I have while placing figures. It is just WOW.:) VERY VERY HAPPY with its figures functionality and wrapping text. There are few misses in functionality but not that much to affect me so far, EXCEPT one major drawback - CITATIONS.

    There is no plugin/applescript feature to help direct reference management like Word/Endnote or even Word/Bookends

    So my question is that what do you use for citations in Pages'08? I have come across following options and would like to get your advice, especially from folks who are in scientific discipline and write papers/thesis.

    Pages + Bookends (Scan feature works okay, but screws up formatting)

    Pages + Sente (Have not used, but seems similar to Bookends feature)

    Pages + Papers (Papers provide a sort of functionality for Word. Pages?)

    Pages + Bibdesk + CiteInPages (Have not used; but again looks similar to bookends functionality)
  2. Jonno macrumors newbie

    Dec 1, 2008
    Can I just echo this question - is there no way of getting an inserted feature in pages to help with citation insertion? I'd be quite happy to shell out for Endnote, but at the moment I'd have to shell out for Word as well ... and I don't want to do what I did with my dissertations last year where I ended up plugging each reference in by hand...

    If not Endnote, then what other programmes are available with similar functions?
  3. exegete77 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 12, 2008
    Howdy. I have used almost all word processors for the Mac in the last 15 years. Currently using Mellel, Nisus Writer Pro, OpenOffice/NeoOffice, Papyrus, Ragtime, and Pages. Pages just doesn't have enough for me to consider it for heavy academic writing.

    For Thesis/dissertation work I would use Mellel because of its outlining and style capabilities, great integration with Bookends, and RTL capabilities. One drawback, no wrapping around objects (so also for Nisus Writer Pro) and captioning is limited. Both are excellent programs.

    However, I used Papyrus for a book 2+ years ago, and it was flawless, very stable program. Not once did it crash, with 234 pages plus about 100 photos. Automatic captioning with numbering that updates instantly, etc. rearranging text was excellent. You can use Bookends or the built-in database for your citations. For me, the negative is that its support of Hebrew (RTL) is correct for individual words, but not phrases, so while a "minor" glitch, I could work with it. Papyrus also allows endnotes and footnotes independently. And Papyrus works on both Mac and Windows, and is so compact and efficient, it can be placed on a USB stick and run from that. ~$100 US. For me, just the work on the book, the cost was worth it. And I made the PDFs directly that were delivered to the printer.

    Although I have not used OpenOffice/NeoOffice for a major project like this, you might want to consider it for this type of project and use its built-in bibliography manager (through Base).
  4. klaxamazoo macrumors 6502

    Sep 8, 2006
    I use papers for managing my articles and bookends to manage my references

    If you are having problems with figures in word I suggest you format it to follow text. Just right click, select properties, then advanced. From there you should be able to click on a box that says "follow text" or something like that.

    I haven't had any real problems with word ever since I figured out how to use the styles function properly. It makes formatting a lot easier.
  5. exegete77 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 12, 2008
    Yes, I would say that no matter which word processor you use, learning to fully use and work with paragraph and character styles is absolutely critical (also pag styles, if the program has that feature).
  6. gauchogolfer macrumors 603


    Jan 28, 2005
    American Riviera
    It's off-topic but if you're not too far along in your thesis you might consider doing it in LaTeX (especially if you have lots of figures to handle).
  7. Borjan macrumors regular

    Sep 28, 2004
    Hi there.

    I've already searched the forums and found some helpful topics, but would be grateful is someone could summarize it all, as this is a new world for me!

    Basically, I am a second year biology student, and will be looking to PhD work, so there will be some slightly heavier writing involved. At the moment, all I have been churning out are at most 3000 page write ups of experiements or other papers. Not too tricky when all I'm dealing with is about 10 citations.

    But next semester I have a dissertation to write, with around 30 references needed, and it got me thinking about getting some programs to help me out.

    What do you all recommend? I'm not against switching word processors (currently using Pages), but basically just want the easiest workflow. I'd like the ability to just write in my word processor, quickly add a referenes, and have it all automatically write a biolography for me at the end, all in the correct order. Also, to be easily search where I have placed a certain references.

    What are the benefits of one program/workflow over the other?
  8. exegete77 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 12, 2008
    In this case, there are two that work well (you can check their individual message boards), and are used by academics world-wide:

    Nisus Writer Pro + Bookends (or Sente)

    Mellel + Bookends (or Sente)

    NWP will be more intuitive than Mellel and it handles export to .doc better (and more powerful Find/Replace, indexing, and easier styles management. Native format is .rtf but can be saved in .doc format as well as .pdf.

    Mellel has greater power in some areas (styles, integrated outliner, multiple note streams, etc.). It will soon have indexing capability. Native format is .mellel, but has export for .doc, .rtf, as well as .pdf.

    Both have cross-references and excellent integration with Bookends (check out its forum). All three software companies are very responsive to questions and bug fixes. Both NWP and Mellel need better control over objects (drawings, etc.), but both have acceptable work-arounds.

    They both offer one month trials. Also, Mellel will be updating sometime this month.
  9. Jim McGowan macrumors newbie

    Dec 10, 2008
    Hong Kong
    Reference Tracker

    Hi, I am the developer of an application called Reference Tracker. It manages references & citations, formats to different styles, and can automatically send formatted reference lists to Pages or MS Word. You can find it at if you want to check it out.

    I'm near to releasing an update which adds more formatting styles, and interactions with other word processors. It should be out within the next month.


  10. Borjan macrumors regular

    Sep 28, 2004
    Thanks for your great reply. Really helpful.

    I initially took a look at Mellel, and liked what I saw, but I am slightly afraid of incompatibilties with Word. I might hold on for a month to see what the update brings.

    Nisus looks good too though, and though you mention that it maybe doesn't have certain features than Mellel does, in practice I probably won't be able to tell the difference.

    As for citations and references, I've now decided to go Bookends (+Papers)

Share This Page