Survey: Back to School Writing Tools for Mac

For those headed back to school, there are some great free and commercial word processors for the Mac, in addition to the standard Microsoft Word, according to The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Tuesday.

In part I of the review, Brett Terpstra focused on just word processing applications -- those applications that target formatting and page layout -- as opposed to information organization or specialized text editing apps.

Free word processors include:

  • Bean
  • NeoOffice
  • OpenOffice

Commercial word processors include:

  • Schreiben
  • Mellel
  • Nisus Writer Express
  • Nisus Writer Pro
  • Pages

The article isnit an in-depth review of these applications, but rather serves to introduce the reader to word processing applications, other than MS Word, that may suit the Mac useris budget, needs and style. Links to all mentioned applications are included.

In the course of examining these word processors as potential replacements for Word, users should make sure that the candidate word processor can both export to and import from MS Word with imbedded graphics intact and properly formatted. Otherwise, one could end up spending unnecessary time converting between file formats. Note also that every Mac application, via the print menu, can write any document out as a PDF file, and if thatis an acceptable target and delivery format, that can make these word processors handy and inexpensive alternatives to MS Word -- that is, if they can do the intended job.