Drawing and writing

technology

I've got a couple of MacOSX applications worth noting.

  • OmniGraffle 3.0: the previous version was pretty good, but the upgrade to 3.0 has included a mass of useful new features and a re-designed UI. I love the new palette interface. You can save different arrangements of palettes for different workspaces or documents, and the handy (visible) keyboard short-cuts make it easy to open the individual pane you want. I don't know about anyone else, but I can't possibly remember all of the short-cuts for all of the applications I use, and something as simple as making them visible on the palette makes a huge difference. OmniGraffle makes very classy diagrams for Keynote, and — I discovered a few days ago when I needed to make a catalogue — it also makes a not-too-shabby page layout program for cheap-skates.
  • Nisus Writer Express: finally — after waiting none too patiently — it's here! The rest of the Nisus aficionados were obviously as impatient as I was to get my hands on it, and their servers buckled and bit the dust under the load. When I did finally grab it from a mirror, I was quite impressed. Of course, there's some rough edges and some missing features (it is a beta after all), but I really like the look and feel, and it's pretty snappy. I like the tool drawer a lot, and the ability to integrate Perl or Applescript macros with the Nisus ones seems like it will be a pretty powerful way to extend the abilities of the application. There's a lot of work to do (glossaries, tables, foot notes etc.), before it comes close to matching the features of the Classic version of Nisus Writer, but it's a very good start. The Word open and save works rather well (and quite seamlessly), though it throws out tables and so forth at the moment. At the very least, it has provided a way for me to avoid using Word for my writing at work until the very last minute, which can only be a good thing.
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