(rubs eyes) I had to check the date on this article. 2004? And someone is still advocating the use of WEP? Get with the times, Apple has wisely upgraded AirPort with support for WPA encryption, and all security-conscious Mac users should be using WPA now, not WEP. WPA addresses the shortcomings of WEP and is far, far more secure.
In my case, Mac OS X 10.2.8 was in use, and Apple’s software only supports WPA with Mac OS X 10.3 and later. If your software supports WPA, use it; otherwise use WEP. —MG
I have been reading these articles but I really needed full word-processor functionality, so most of the products mentioned here were fun to play with but ultimately did not do the job. I think OpenOffice’s outlining was mentioned in an earlier article but I believe that was before they had a stable version for Mac.
Now that they have released a final Mac version to run with X11 (they claim it is only for experts because it does not have an Aqua interface), I have given it a try and so far am very pleased.
The Navigator panel is exactly what I hoped for. The floating panel allows viewing of headings (you can choose the number of levels). You can promote and demote levels, and it works exactly as expected (contents and subheadings are promoted and demoted as well). You can also “promote” and “demote” chapters, meaning that they get bumped up chronologically. Also, double-clicking on a heading in the Navigator jumps you to that point in the document.
There is a screenshot of Ooo writer with the navigator panel open. Unfortunately the document shown lacks headings so the outline moving buttons are greyed out.
If you need Finder integration, the master document function appears to actually work in OpenOffice. In this mode each top-level heading is a separate document, and the navigator lets you quickly jump around from file to file.
Many of us want full word-processor functionality, and just can’t seem to get it unless we like Word. I guess Word has crowded out the competition, though Mellel says they will be adding an outliner. I’m tracking Ooo, but until it becomes a real Mac application, ATPO readers don’t seem to be much interested. I haven’t gotten a single vote for a column on X11-enabled outliners! —TG
I have been using Mariner Write for quite a while now. It’s one of the best word processors out there for the Mac. Hence, they have my continuing support. :-)
That said, there are still major compromises to be made if one wants to use it exclusively (i.e. replace Word). Most of us work in a world dominated by PCs and Microsoft Office, which makes document compatibility a must. All of the word processors on the Mac market so far (including Word for Mac) have failed that criteria.
Not only does a word processor have to be able to import a Word document (hopefully without any problem), it also must be able to export as a Word document and be able to be read by MS Word on a PC and look exactly (or very close to) the same.
Since even Word for Mac has problems with uniformity across different platforms (i.e. Mac vs. PC), I do not expect any other word processor to perform that task perfectly. However, more often than not, the imported/exported documents will not even look remotely like the original, which makes it difficult to use as a replacement.
On the other hand, if someone needs that kind of integration with Word, perhaps one should simply use MS Word.
I am, however, impressed with Mariner Write’s ability to use non-Roman characters and vertical text, which has been missing in most Mac word processors for a long time. (AppleWorks still has support for vertical text, but no UI to enable it.)
I still think Mariner Write is one of the best Mac word processors out there. As the software continues to mature, the better it gets. :-)
Thank you for this outstanding review. I am so impressed with the snapshots and soundclips. This is easily among the best reviews I have ever read. Congratulations.
I’ve been reading ATPM since 2001 and only now am subscribing. Don’t know why I haven’t done thins before. Anyway, ATPM is better than any paper Mac magazine I’ve purchased, and remembers that not everyone upgrades the split second Apple released new hardware.
Lately I’ve gone back to the beginning, reading the issues from 1995. How is RD Novo? Does he still have anything to do with ATPM? And is Pokegenia still running?