As I look back over my early education I can count on one hand all the most important classes or courses I took that helped to shape a portion of my adulthood. Way back when, long before computers and keyboards, even before electric typewriters became the norm, I learned to type.
Along with that skill I learned to form complete sentences, to spell correctly, and to write in such a way that others could comprehend. The age of personal computers came along and I adopted WordStar, WordPerfect, Word, and other tools of the digital world. Today I write about what I think real writers should use to write real content. The Mac and iPad app is called Mellel. Think of this as the word processor for people who really process words.
Mellel isn’t a lite text editor or Notes or even Word or Pages. Mellel is what we use for long form, complex documents, written creatures with many components. Not only does it handle what you expect in a basic word processor, it adds those tools writers know they need.
For example, order and organize your written projects using the built-in Outline. All the components can be moved around with a click or two. One of my favorite writing functions– whether for the written word or coding– is Find and Replace. Mellel’s find and replace is an easy to to find, change, edit, fix strings of text in very long and complex documents.
Research documents require other basics, including indexing. There is no better way to find strings of text or specific files than a well crafted index. That makes Mellel a good choice for writing that goes beyond mere word processor. Think academic writing, technical writing, creative writing, even editing and publishing.
For the latter, Mellel is a style master and includes options for lists, tables, links and number, even table of contents. Images are easily dropped into a document, Mac style. Format and style by character, word, sentence, paragraph, even sections and whole pages. For academic writers, Mellel has built-in tools for notes and bibliography, as well as options for cross referencing components.
One of Mellel’s strong points is one my colleagues use extensively. Multilingual support. Whatever the Mac supports, Mellel seems to support, too. Including languages I probably could not identify.
For those of use with an errant OCD gene who obsess over control, Mellel is packed with Preference configurations. That includes typography, languages, documents, hyphenation options, bibliography, formatting and style, and everything in between.
Times change. I see many writers, engineers, and members of academia using iPads these days. Most have Apple’s Smart Keyboard– something of a necessity for those who trade in words– and Mellel has an iPad version that supports all the same features in the Mac version. With iCloud Drive or Dropbox your documents go wherever you go. I’m not in to using the iPad version yet– I hate Apple’s keyboard– but I love Mellel on my MacBook which goes where I go.
If you want to write, there are scores of little lite word processors which have diminished feature sets but still have a price tag. Relative to word processors of the past, the Mac version is not expensive and gets upgraded frequently. And, yes, there is try-before-you-buy.