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Nisus Writer

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Nisus was responsible for many of the innovations later found in other word processors, including macros, multiple undos, and the capability to zoom in and out of a page. It still has a few tricks not yet appropriated by the big names, such as noncontiguous text selection and multiple Clipboards. Nisus enables you to keep ten separate Clipboards. You can edit the contents, and copy and paste from all of them independently. Nisus Writer also has a powerful Find/Replace tool that will find and replace a word or phrase in any open document, not just the one in which you happen to be working. It also has the capability to search closed files, giving you the option of opening them and making changes if the search target is found.

Nisus Writer 4.0 uses a new simplified interface with eight floating tool palettes. One of its strengths is its foreign language capability. If your word processing needs demand writing in several languages, Nisus Writer is your best choice. It supports over eighteen different languages, including Arabic, Hebrew, Japanese, and Russian, as well as those that use the Roman alphabet. It even has a right-to-left ruler for those languages that are written in the opposite direction as English. Some languages require system additions (for example, Control Panels, Extensions, fonts) that can be purchased from Nisus Software or Apple Computer. Additionally, certain language capabilities require a language enabling hardware device called the Language Key. It has built-in support for text-to-speech conversion in five languages, so that you can hear the proper pronunciation of what you have written.

Nisus most definitely is not the best program if you need to send lots of letters. Its mail merge function is practically nonexistent. You must enter all field names, field markers, and merge commands entirely by hand. If you dread the thought of sending out mass mailings, don’t even think about buying Nisus. It also is not the program of choice for creating a newsletter or setting text in any kind of creative layout. Nisus Writer restricts you to columns of equal width. You can use only one column format per document. Even worse, it’s impossible to edit in the only view that displays multiple columns.

On the other hand, if your word processing consists of sending letters to your friends or business associates in other countries, or making lots of changes in plainly formatted documents, Nisus will do the job quickly and easily.