What's the best text editor (word) program for Mac?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Darwichee, Dec 21, 2014.

  1. Darwichee macrumors newbie

    Nov 1, 2014

    For now im using pages, but is there any better app? Doesn´t matter if it cost or not, just want to find the best one out there. Im not either a professionell user, meaning only using it for Schoolwork.

  2. CountMaxMore macrumors member


    Dec 18, 2014
    Pages works great but personally I use Office 2004 to match what my school uses so that I can transfer files back and forth easier
  3. skaertus macrumors 68040


    Feb 23, 2009
    Depends on what you intend to do exactly.

    There are several options out there.

    Pages is very basic and easy to use, and produces some beautiful documents. If you don't need advanced features or full Word compatibility, perhaps it's the best option out there.
  4. Eric Best macrumors newbie

    Jul 30, 2011
    Tamworth, NSW, Australia
    Best - in regards to what?

    As Skaertus stated, it really depends on what you want to do. Outside the box, for research, check out Scrivener. For creative focus, check out mark down editors, like, say, OmWriter.
    Word Processors, like M$Word, are really about editing and formatting. I never liked Word as much as WordPerfect. But you can't get that on a Mac!
  5. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    I don't have any problems with Pages, but my needs are basic when compared to others who need more advanced features. For me, it seems to read Word docs "well enough" when I need to read them.

    If you like Pages and it seems to do what you need, keep using it.

    When you need to deliver something in "Word format", use the "export to Word" option in Pages (you're probably doing that already).

    If you get complaints from others (i.e. professors or instructors) that your documents can't be opened properly, there are a couple of alternative routes:

    1. You might download the free "LibreOffice" and see if that offers better compatibility when exporting "to Word".

    2. As a student, you can probably get MS Word pretty cheaply. Might be the -best- option for compatibility...
  6. pickaxe macrumors 6502a

    Nov 29, 2012
    Mellel is a rock-solid alternative (been in development for 13 years) that also has decent Word export capabilities and RTL support.
  7. skaertus macrumors 68040


    Feb 23, 2009
    You should check the following:

    - Apple Pages for the best all-around OS X experience, and all you need is basic capabilities of easily producting beautiful-looking documents. Pages has good page layout capabilities, but if you need good handling of footnotes or cross-references, then forget it. It is free for use for those who buy a new Mac.

    - Microsoft Word if you need the best compatibility with Word files, or if you need the features only Word offers (and Word offers lots of features). You can get a Microsoft Office license or even an Office 365 subscription cheap if you are a student. And a new version of Word will likely be released next year.

    - LibreOffice Writer if you need more features than Pages, or better compatibility with Word, and you don't want to spend. Optimization for OS X is not very good, though. LibreOffice is free and open source. Apache OpenOffice and NeoOffice are similar and derive from the same code.

    - Nisus Writer Pro if you need more features than Apple Pages while keeping a good OS X experience. If you don't need anything much sophisticated, you may get along well with Nisus Writer Express, which is a lighter version.

    - Mellel is a powerful word processor designed for long and complex documents, very useful for academic and technical writing. It has an impressive set of features and is fast and reliable, but it doesn't have good Word compatibility and has a learning curve.

    - Scrivener has a different approach and is useful for research and producing non-linear documents. It can export well to Microsoft Word.

    - Ulysses has a good writing environment and some Word compatibility, and is particularly useful for simple writing. Very elegant interface.

    - iA Writer is for just writing, without caring about formatting or anything else (you can't even change the font). It's called distraction-free writing, which is another form of saying the software has nearly no features at all.

    - Mariner Write is old-fashioned and has not evolved a lot, but offers some set of features.

    - Bean is free and is not being actively developed anymore, but if you have simple needs it may meet your expectations.

    - Google Docs is web-based an work on any device. Not many features, but you can store and open your documents in the cloud.


    WordPerfect has a very different approach to writing than Microsoft Word and nearly all word processors nowadays. However, Corel is not developing it very much and it has become stuck in time.


    Mellel is impressive for its features. However, Word compatibility is not the best.
  8. Robin Lee macrumors newbie

    Mar 23, 2012
    Last but not least, if you're not intimidated by the geekiness of using a text markup language, meaning you specify how your documents should look like with "tags" and "commands", such as
    , you should give LaTeX a try.

    Here is a good introduction which you can try — An Introduction to LaTex. I know of a much better material which actually prompted me to start to learn LaTeX straightaway. However, it's in Chinese. I attach the link here just in case someone here is interested.


    I personally use it for academic paper writing. Gone are the days of painful equation editing, table formatting and layouting.
  9. skaertus macrumors 68040


    Feb 23, 2009
    I've never got along well with LaTeX. Probably very useful for math and hard sciences. But for the rest of us... maybe not that much.
  10. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    I'd check this out: http://www.devontechnologies.com/promotions/winterfest-2014.html

    A group of established developers has a discount program (not a bundle) for a bunch of writing and organizing applications that have LONG histories on the Mac and are especially suited to writers and academics; all have 25% off (although all I believe also offer substantial education discounts too I believe).

    Nisus Writer Pro is an awesome word processor, and integrates very well with these other applications (Aeon Timeline, Scapple, Scrivener, TextExpander, Tinderbox, DevonThink Pro).
  11. Michaelgtrusa macrumors 604

    Oct 13, 2008
    Omwriter and Bean seem to have stopped development.
  12. charlyham macrumors regular


    Jun 30, 2012
    Office in Education

    Microsoft has Office free for qualifying students. Check here to see if you're eligible.

  13. miscend macrumors regular

    Nov 5, 2009
    Bump! Are there any new decent word processors on the market?
  14. jojoba macrumors 68000

    Dec 9, 2011
    As someone said upthread, it really depends on your needs. I use Scrivener and Ulysses, supplemented by Word because I work in a Windows/office environment.
  15. spooklog macrumors member


    Aug 10, 2015
    New Hampshire
    Actually, I suggest sticking with what you know the best--and that sounds as if it's Pages. If you intensively use one program you'll get to know it very well. You'll be fluent with all the little tricks and all the obscure features; what you do with Pages will probably rival what you can do with any other word processor.

    The opposite strategy is to load up on writing software (which I've done). To that end I switch between MS Word, Nisus Writer Express, Scrivner, Libre Office and Pages. In addition I use Evernote a lot and other note-taking software.
  16. dwig macrumors 6502

    Jan 4, 2015
    Key West FL
    No, and "new" is not a valuable attribute for such software.

    There are new versions of a number of long running apps (e.g. MS Word, LibreOffice, ...), but it is not an expanding market so there is little chance for anything new to get traction. The most recent "new" apps of any significance are OpenOffice, its fork LibreOffice, and Apple Pages. Other than OpenOffice, these were mentioned ages ago during the first life of this thread.

    One addition I would make to the conversation is that the OP said "text editors" and never reposted to refine that to just "word processors". Hence, I would add BBEdit to the list of "good recommendations". It is not a word processor, as such, but is a great pure text editor.

    As was mentioned long ago in the ancient thread, it really matters is your intended use. If you are producing documents then you need a "word processor". If you are writing complex documents/book then you need a package that incorporated basic word processing with database functions (e.g. things like Scrivener). If you are writing or editing code then both of these types of editors are horrid choices and things like BBEdit shine.

Share This Page