Nisus Writer

Nisus Writer Pro 2.0.1

A slow alternative to Microsoft Word

Nisus Writer Pro is a powerful multilingual word processor that offers significant advantages over the Express version. View full description


  • Elegant interface
  • Edits in RTF format for flexibility
  • Lots of powerful features
  • Good with languages


  • Takes a long time to load documents
  • Feels bloated at times


Nisus Writer Pro is a powerful multilingual word processor that offers significant advantages over the Express version.

These include features such as Table of Contents, Indexing, Bookmarks, Widow and Orphan control, Cross References, Line Numbering, and Text Wrap around images. It also includes all of the Classic features of course such as attribute sensitive Find and Replace, an upgraded Nisus Macro Language, and Glossaries.

In the latest version, the developers have added a variety of additional options to control the display of notes. So for example, footnotes can now also span across pages. Nisus Writer Pro is elegantly presented and is packed with lots of powerful features. However, there's no avoiding the fact that it is very slow, even when compared with Microsoft Word. Opening documents takes far longer than it should do and Nisus Writer Pro seems far more bloated than it should be at around 153MB.

Nisus Writer Pro is an interesting and powerful word processor but is let down by the speed at which it handles documents.


  • Highlighted Changes
  • Some fixes and changes for compatibility with Mac OS X 10.7 Lion.
  • Changed: Lion: when Nisus Writer is running on Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, the full screen view uses Lion's native full screen mode. This means any document view (eg: Page View) can go full screen. Nisus Writer's individual full screen color/gutter/etc settings are only respected when using Draft View in full screen.
  • Changed: import: switched DOCX/.doc file importers from OpenOffice to LibreOffice. This fixes a variety of problems, including cases of garbled text, formatting bleed, etc. Also made some other fixes to import process.
  • Fixed: page numbers (and other automatic numbers) can draw clipped (missing digits) in headers/footers when making a PDF/printout.
  • Fixed: Bookends scan/etc was broken with version 2.0 because of changed RTF output. Added back superfluous RTF grouping braces when communicating with Bookends, so it can find the desired fields.
  • Fixed: when running a non-English localization, trying to adjust New File preferences (or save template documents) gives errors.
  • Fixed: if using MathType 6.7, pasting in equations doesn't detect baseline or allow double-click editing.
  • Fixed: images: images inserted with the "link to a file on disk" option can incorrectly lose scaling, padding, etc, when file is saved/reopened.
  • Import/Export Changes
  • Changed: import: switched DOCX/.doc file importers from OpenOffice to LibreOffice. This fixes a variety of problems, including cases of garbled text, formatting bleed, etc. Also made some other fixes and improvements to import process.
  • Fixed: export: intra-document hyperlinks (html "#bookmark" type links) failed to export to HTML and EPUB properly.
  • Fixed: export: when exporting resized images in HTML, should preserve the image file name/format if possible.
  • Fixed: export: section break should be exported to HTML/EPUB as newlines.
  • Fixed: file formats: some issues with the way note numbering formats (eg: lowercase roman, arabic, etc) are imported/exported from files.
  • Fixed: import: floating text boxes in documents where all text was in a text box, or text box was last part of document, could fail to import all text (eg: documents generated by OCR tool ReadIris).
  • Fixed: import: tables inside floating text boxes fail to import properly.
  • Fixed: export: LinkBack data should not be included in exported HTML images folder.
  • Fixed: import: WordPerfect files with a ".doc" file extension should not fail to open.
  • Fixed: import: if both the primary importer and secondary importer fail, the user should not be repeatedly asked to try the secondary importer.
  • Fixed: import: comments applied to multiple table cells should not be lost.
  • Fixed: import: old ".doc" files that the importer does not handle should not trigger the "submit document to Nisus" dialog.
  • Other Changes
  • Fixed: images: double-clicking a linked image should open up the original image for editing/display.
  • Changed: spelling: users prefer that spelling corrections on contextual menu are not grouped into a separate submenu.
  • Fixed: conversion commands (eg: Convert Smart Quotes to Plain Quotes) can stop converting text upon encountering list bullets (or other kinds of smart content).
  • Fixed: shapes: floating images should draw their applied drop shadow.
  • Changed: cleaned up tag icons (less blurry). Text color tag icon has little "a" on top to help distinguish it from background color.
  • Changed: paper margins should be able to exceed 40% of the paper dimension, but two opposite margins should not in total exceed 80%.
  • Fixed: images: drag/paste of images from Nisus Writer into can fail.
  • Fixed: toolbar: annotation toolbar icons (eg: comments) appear clipped if "Use Small Icons" option is turned on.
  • Added: macros: added "Compare Duplicate Text" macro to default set.
  • Fixed: styles: indents in style definitions can be lost when reopening files with certain configurations of paragraph/list styles.
  • Fixed: images: images with non-integral native sizes can improperly acquire cropping/resizing when reopening files.
  • Fixed: spell: using the "Find Next" misspelled word command can use the wrong spelling language/dictionary if the search required switching document areas (eg: footnote area back to main document area).
  • Fixed: statistics palette is less erratic when editing text.
  • Fixed: index: the links between page numbers in a generated text index and the document could be lost upon reopening the file if the formatting across the marked content was not uniform.
  • Fixed: Bibliography Tool menus did not communicate with Bookends version released via App Store (Bookends changed its bundle identifier).
  • Fixed: track changes: in certain situations paragraph styles can change when track changes is enabled and file is saved and reopened.
  • Fixed: lists: better preview/reporting of font/size used by list style levels in stylesheet view.
  • Fixed: lists: fixed case where list numbering overrides were not saved to file properly, resulting in possible loss of starting number / restart numbering.
  • Fixed: lists: custom list bullet formats enforced via paragraph styles were not saved in a way Word understood.
  • Fixed: when inserting special characters from Apple's character catalog, the "Insert With Font" command did not actually apply the desired font.
  • Fixed: adjacent paragraphs with the same shading color/pattern, but different padding amounts, can draw incorrectly.
  • Fixed: if the user checkmarks "Open As New File" in the Open dialog, we should always open up a new copy of the file, even if there is already one open.
  • Fixed: replacing/deleting some text can use formatting from the wrong adjacent text.
  • Fixed: shapes: images inside floating text boxes can be lost when saving as RTFD or copy-pasting.
  • Fixed: images: images whose source content is especially large, and has been resized/scaled on screen by the user, can incorrectly change its size when the file is reopened.
  • Fixed: styles: font size defined by Normal should be enforced across the document, even if paragraph style is not based on Normal.
  • Fixed: tables: right/option-click did not always produce proper contextual menu in table cells.
  • Opt: spell: spellcheck worker thread did not heed suggested limit, which could cause slow response when user wants to select the next misspelled word in a document with many errors.
  • Fixed: shapes: possible crashes when shapes overlap/interact with fields.
  • Fixed: typing to auto-select/scroll entries in a table/listing (eg: TOC entries in the Insert Cross Reference sheet) should ignore leading whitespace.
  • Fixed: the styles listed in the Configure TOC/Index Styles sheet should be sorted by name.
  • Fixed: nav: the open/closed state of TOC entries in the Navigator can sometimes be incorrectly lost when switching document views and/or changing the Navigator mode.
  • Changed: shapes: when resizing images/shapes, the new width/height should be an integral number of points.
  • Fixed: tables: in certain situations deleting a table can errantly introduce a 2pt font size into the document.
  • Fixed: file formats: formatting that overrides an applied style back to the default (eg: turn off underlining for a heading) can be lost upon saving/reopening a file.
  • Fixed: file formats: paragraph padding can be incorrectly lost for paragraphs with only shading (and no borders) when saving/reopening files.
  • Fixed: drag-drop of ruler "paragraph formatting icon" (from the gutter) should not insert the letter "a" when applying the ruler.
  • Fixed: lists: if list level overrides applied style, and level is one, can be lost upon saving/reopening the file.
  • Fixed: a few inserted document properties (eg: last date printed) do not update as necessary during certain events.
  • Changed: users prefer that navigator and annotation pane states should not be shared between document views.
  • Fixed: some issues with assigning function keys (eg: F1) as keyboard shortcuts.
  • Fixed: Menu Key preferences should give user access to the "All Fonts" collection.
  • Fixed: using the OSX file importer (eg: for ".doc" files) can be incredibly slow (appears hung) when opening longer/complex documents.
  • Fixed: cross-refs: the insert cross-reference dialog should allow the user to automatically target/show list items inside floating text boxes.
  • Changed: images: the Insert Image dialog should remember the state of the "link to file" options.
  • Fixed: shapes: dragging shapes/images (eg: to move, resize, etc) did not give accurate results if autoscrolling was triggered during the drag.
  • Fixed: comments: in rare cases, adding a comment in Draft View can crashes and/or leave the document smeared and unresponsive.
  • Fixed: track changes: possible crash when tidying/coalescing tracked changes (date could deallocate prematurely).
  • Fixed: shapes: mouse down/drag should affect the already selected shape, even if there is a shape overlapping it.
  • Fixed: shapes: creating shape groups that include perfectly vertical/horizontal lines should encompass those lines.
  • Fixed: tables: the "Insert Table" toolbar item does not work properly if toolbar is set to "Text Only" mode.
  • Fixed: styles: copy-pasting text within a single document can sometimes errantly display the style conflict dialog if the fonts used by the styles had different names in the saved file (eg: "Times" and "Times-Roman") but map/load to the same font. This is unlikely to occur in files created/saved by Nisus Writer, and likely only affects imported files.
  • Fixed: shapes: if two floating text boxes were anchored to the same paragraph, and both text boxes contained list items in the same style, could trigger crashes when opening that file.
  • Fixed: language name should be "Spanish (Costa Rica)" not "Rico".
  • Changed: loc: a few changes to the German localization.
  • Added: macros: added Document object property convertedFilePath.
  • Changed: feedback reports should list full app bundle version.

Built from the same core as Nisus Writer Express, Nisus Writer Pro adds new features while keeping the familiar look and feel that has won praise from users and the press alike. Nisus Writer Pro brings new features such as Table of Contents, Indexing, Bookmarks, Widow and Orphan control, Cross References, Line Numbering, and Text Wrap around images.

Familiar Classic features are also on board, like attribute sensitive Find and Replace, an upgraded Nisus Macro Language, and Glossaries. Original features have also been significantly improved.

Nisus Writer


Nisus Writer Pro 2.0.1