Mellel vs. MS Word--major advantages of Mellel

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rpcameron
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Post by rpcameron » Fri Sep 07, 2007 5:29 pm

Just another vote for Warnock here. And not only does it have beautifully crafted Roman and true Italics in each weight, but it also has a full complement of diacritics, beautiful kerning, and full Cyrillic support too. Also, there are variations of several characters, such as the Cyrillic "D" and "L" (like a more Greek-inspired pointed version, as well as a classic square-topped version), although it is difficult to use glyph alternates in Mellel at the moment.

However, if you do captioning and titling in your paper, then I highly recommend each weight and face of Warnock Pro. An absolute gorgeous face, with more features than most OpenType fonts (perhaps second only to Garamound Premier Pro).
— Robert Cameron

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Post by nicka » Fri Sep 07, 2007 9:32 pm

s difficult to use glyph alternates in Mellel at the moment.
I thought it was impossible. I'd love to know if you have worked out a way.

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Back to the topic

Post by gpolberd » Sat Sep 15, 2007 9:28 pm

I just want to say that, after several weeks of using Mellel (and the Mac) and going back and forth comparing it with with Word and the PC, I just have to declare my gratefulness to the Redlers for a well-conceived program. I actually believe that Mellel is a bonus to moving to the Mac. What I love about it is this (and I hope that the Redlers would advertise the strengths of their program a little more forcefully--so much to like):
1. It's tight, unlike Word's attempt to be all things to everyone, and well organized.
2. It's flexible, allowing for numerous relatively easy adjustments to the default modes (unlike my experience with Word).
3. It works excellently with compositions using two languages, including Chinese (a language that even in Word 2007 is difficult to work with). An enormous strength.
4. It has an attractive, compact interface, it doesn't hog the screen with menus (like Nisus Pro) or tabs or anything else and allows for a truly full-screen viewing (unlike Word).
5. It separates character from paragraph attributes.
6. Its character rendition on the screen is FAR superior to Word's, much more legible and easier to read.
7. It is sparing in its use of memory, unlike Word.
8. It has a good user manual that both goes through how to perform certain complex tasks as well as explaining the usefulness of various features. The notion of having a good user manual is something Microsoft never seems to have had, leaving users to puzzle through it by themselves (with some help menus which are not always terribly useful).

I truly hope the Redlers keep it as tight and well-conceived in future versions as the one I'm using now. Though it requires getting used to and its strengths were not immediately obvious, I'm glad I stuck with it.

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Mellel vs. Pages

Post by maxs » Fri Sep 28, 2007 5:06 pm

I'll chime in here as a heavy user of word processors for academic writing, which includes proposals, journal articles, lecture notes, theses, etc.

The documents I work on often have lots of figures, equations, references, and as many as 10 co-authors making changes. The Track Changes mode in MS Word was quite vital to me - I used it almost daily and weekly, often on dozens of documents in a short span of time.

Recently, I switched from a PC to an Intel-based Mac, and experienced a dreadful slowing of MS Word. In the search for a new processor, I had tried out several. Here are my impressions, in brief:

MS Word:
Very evolved processor that handles figures, references, and tracking changes very well, were it not for the usual problems of crashes and lack of responsiveness. Biggest issue for me is the loss of formatting on going from PC to Mac (and back). For software written by the same company, that's just inexcusable. (I don't care for MS Office 2008, because that was my reason for switching to Mac OS in the first place.)

Mellel:
A very usable, responsive interface - perfect if you're the only one doing the writing. However, one huge problem is that text wrapping around figures is nearly impossible. I'm sure there are ways of going around it (columns, etc.), but no straightforward way exists as of now. Furthermore, there is no way to make comments and track changes effectively. For some, this may be the ultimate deal-killer.

Pages:
I have recently begun using the newest (2008) version of iWork - pretty much exclusively. Since Mellel is on the Mac OS platform only, I assume everyone here is on that as well. Given that, I highly recommend you give Pages a try. Compatibility with MS Word on PC is better than with Micro$not's own software, and........ you can track changes and wrap text around figures! Overall this piece of software is quite well executed - usability is high, results are good. I cannot comment on its multi-lingual abilities, nor have I had the chance to try out its outlining capabilities yet. However, for other tasks mentioned above, I think this is the word processor to beat.

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Re: Mellel vs. Pages

Post by loquat149 » Sat Sep 29, 2007 11:41 am

maxs wrote:I'll chime in here as a heavy user of word processors for academic writing

Pages:
you can track changes and wrap text around figures!

The lack of support for citations in Pages is the deal breaker for me...even Word supports Endnote, although Mellel+Bookends is the model to copy these days. Wrapping text around figures has never been a requirement for ANY of the academic writing I do. As for tracking changes, I usually have my co-authors submit changed text/paragraphs that is colorized. We did this even when everyone was using MS Office...the track changes feature was too much of a hassle. Anyway, use whatever works and publish or perish.

Dave

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Re: Mellel vs. Pages

Post by jannuss » Sat Sep 29, 2007 2:46 pm

loquat149 wrote:The lack of support for citations in Pages is the deal breaker for me
What turned me off Pages was the total lack of support for Right-to-Left languages.

Has the new version corrected this?
Wrapping text around figures has never been a requirement for ANY of the academic writing I do.
Wrapping text around images is high on many user's wish list for Mellel. On the rare occasions I need this feature, tables provides an acceptable work-around.

Janet

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Post by frvs » Sat Sep 29, 2007 4:21 pm

What is still keeping me off pages is lack of support for citations, plus lack of an outliner. On both counts, Mellel shines. If only Mellel would have proper endnotes—meaning, endnotes that would stay at their proper assigned place, and not at the very end of the document—Mellel would have most of what I need for daily work.

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Post by Hyphenation1 » Sun Sep 30, 2007 11:18 am

Besides, the Microsoft Mac Business Unit has now officially declared that Office 2008 will still not support right-to-left languages. See blogs.msdn.com/macmojo/archive/2007/09/25/velkommen-tervetuloa-velkommen-and-bienvenue-paris.aspx#comments

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Post by signinstranger » Sun Sep 30, 2007 11:48 am

some MBU guy wrote:We always look at data that is available in the market and prioritize those with the highest demand.

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Post by matthias » Sun Sep 30, 2007 2:03 pm

Hyphenation1 wrote:Besides, the Microsoft Mac Business Unit has now officially declared that Office 2008 will still not support right-to-left languages. See blogs.msdn.com/macmojo/archive/2007/09/25/velkommen-tervetuloa-velkommen-and-bienvenue-paris.aspx#comments
I can't find a hint in the blog post as to the absence, or presence for that matter, of right-to-left support in Office 2008. From what do you infer that it will not be included.

Edit, forget my post. I found it now. It is in the comments to the original post.

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Re: Mellel vs. MS Word--major advantages of Mellel

Post by moineau » Wed Jun 11, 2008 8:56 am

I think it's time for a big update : Mellel 2.5 vs Word 2008.

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Re: Mellel vs. MS Word--major advantages of Mellel

Post by bluesdance » Thu Jun 12, 2008 3:14 am

what do those "old style" settings do? it looks like nothing...

by the way, I really like this font discussion from the perspective of publishing, etc. but for most papers and simple stuff, I think people expect to see either Helvetica/Arial or Times/Times New Roman and if you use something else it's like you're being self-consciously artsy... for most purposes a good clean document layout in Helvetica will be just as good as something you could spend $40,000 on fonts to do. just my 2c. the discussion here is fascinating.
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Re: Mellel vs. MS Word--major advantages of Mellel

Post by rpcameron » Thu Jun 12, 2008 4:24 am

bluesdance wrote:what do those "old style" settings do? it looks like nothing...
Not all fonts support or provide Old Style Figures. This is mostly for numerals, where certain numbers don't ascend above the x-height (meaning, a number 1 or 2 are not as tall as a capital letter, but rather the same height as a lowercase "x"), and some numerals drop below the baseline (as in, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8 and 9 typically drop below the normal line of text, and usually the bottom of those numerals is the same as a lowercase "g" or "y").
bluesdance wrote:by the way, I really like this font discussion from the perspective of publishing, etc. but for most papers and simple stuff, I think people expect to see either Helvetica/Arial or Times/Times New Roman and if you use something else it's like you're being self-consciously artsy... for most purposes a good clean document layout in Helvetica will be just as good as something you could spend $40,000 on fonts to do. just my 2c. the discussion here is fascinating.
I feel I have to disagree with you here. I take time to properly define all my styles so that my document not only is consistent with titling levels, but also looks good as well. Also, not all fonts are created equal. Seriffed fonts like Times are better geared towards reading long runs of text, because the serifs help to guide the eye. Sans-seriffed fonts are better for short clips of text or headings (and on-screen display, because aliasing and pixelation around serifs can make text difficult to read on-screen).

Times New Roman and Arial are actually horrible fonts for long runs of text, and they grate on my eyes, personally. It may not matter to you, but to some people it does. (Such as the reason that Donald Knuth created not only his own fonts from scratch—Computer Modern—but also his own font description language—MetaFont—when he created TeX for his textbook.) For papers that have several sections, I prefer something like a combination of Minion and Myriad. For papers where nearly everything is body, I prefer Warnock. These may be personal preferences, but there is also a reason why Times New Roman is free, and each of those fonts cost around $100-$200 for a full complement of faces and weights. Also, most publishers ask for your works in Times or Times New Roman because they are fonts that most everyone has access to, and they are going to re-set them in a font of their choosing—this way your concern is only on the text itself and not with style and face considerations.
— Robert Cameron

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Re: Mellel vs. MS Word--major advantages of Mellel

Post by bluesdance » Thu Jun 12, 2008 4:38 am

Times New Roman and Arial... grate on my eyes, personally.
:shock:
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Re: Mellel vs. MS Word--major advantages of Mellel

Post by rpcameron » Thu Jun 12, 2008 9:55 am

bluesdance wrote:
Times New Roman and Arial... grate on my eyes, personally.
:shock:
I wouldn't want to be you!
Actually, I think it's worse than a box grater or Microplane ... but that's why we have the choice of beautiful typefaces, and beautiful layout of OpenType fonts in Mellel …
— Robert Cameron

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