Please note that these comments are for version 1.3.3, which runs on OS X 10.5
I have no interest in upgrading to 10.6 or 10.7, so the lack of development compatible with an older OS is a minus. In contrast, Word, Scrivener, Mellel, Nisus Writer, and others, work fine in OS X 10.5.x and, except for Word, all are still offering PPC compatibility.
There’s no button to Save or Cancel Preferences. These are saved by closing the Window.
Working with Tables via a Contextual Menu is clumsy. There’s no Tables menu. There is a sort of Table “inspector” but it is not very refined. There is Table under the Format Menu. If you choose it when no table is selected, it will create a new table. Quite different form other applications which include a Table menu item and commands such as “New Table,” "Insert Table" or “Draw Table”
Opening Word documents results in missing information (e.g., formats, headers, footers, graphics, margins).
The statement from a previous review that “anyone can use this in place of Word” is a bit naïve. As the developer mentions in the Help, “myWritings is not designed and written to replace Word.” This becomes evident when dealing with certain tasks. For example, I found no way to include drop-down lists within a document, or merge data from other sources for letters, labels, or envelopes.
I know it’s popular among Mac users to bash Microsoft. Although I’ve used Macs 95% of the time for over a decade, I actually like Microsoft and use Office regularly. In this case, the developer pretty much says that Word suffers from a cluttered interface and speed issues (among other things). I don’t find Word’s interface cluttered, and interestingly while doing a test of speed myWritings performed very poorly against Word.
I tried to open a 3.1 MB TXT document in myWritings. After 4 minutes of the spinning beach ball I had to Force Quit the application. Word opened it in under 10 seconds.
I gave myWritings another shot, and this time I only waited a minute before doing a Force Quit.
I then tried it with a DOC file saved before with myWritings. It went from 1 MB originally to close to 900 KB after saving, probably due to lost formatting, headers, footers, etc. I was unable to check since after selecting to view the header I only got the spinning beach ball again!
Word opened the file in 9 seconds, and myWritings took 13 seconds. After relaunching the app, using Open Recent it took 11 seconds. In Word this took 7 seconds.
I decided to find and replace some random text. There were 187 instances of the text. Word took about 2 seconds while myWritings took about 6 seconds.
I won’t rate it since MacUpdate does not allow to choose which version is being rated, and my comments are for 1.3.3 and not 2.1. Maybe 2.1 is better.
Does this offer any advantage over the above mentioned alternatives? Perhaps price, but Bean is free.
I prefer Word, Mellel, or Nisus Writer by far. Based on this brief test and the speed, (in)stability, and (lack of) features, I would give this 2½ stars at best. Again, perhaps the new version is better.