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Word vs WordPerfect for Larger Academic Papers


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#21 Solly

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Posted 07 July 2016 - 09:56 AM

 

Note also that NB has a very steep learning curve. Nevertheless, it is the longest running word processor in existence with its roots going all the way back to XyWrite for DOS from the 1980s. 

 

Wow, that brings back memories. I helped some writers set up XyWrite on their computers as they moved from the typewriter to electronic systems in the late 1980's and early 1990's. Me, I was still using Perfect Writer or WordStar on CP/M systems for my job related writing tasks. Oh, and FidoNet was quite the thing. Now, if I just could remember what I was doing yesterday!


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#22 R. Mansfield

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Posted 07 July 2016 - 10:09 AM

If I remember correctly, the XyWrite code was licensed early on in the 80s to make Nota Bene the first academic word processor. I'm sure there's still XyWrite code even in the current version. Since XyWrite itself is no longer available, it only lives on in NB. 

 

If you're patient, you might be able to eventually get a used copy on eBay, but I can tell you that Nota Bene users don't part with it easily. My first attempt to purchase a used copy of Nota Bene put me in the middle of nasty divorce where a woman was trying to sell her ex-husband's copy, and he balked when I tried to get the license transferred. I got my money back. The second attempt was successful, and I managed to get a copy from an individual I used to occasionally see on these forums. It took a few years to obtain it used, so I suppose if someone really wanted NB, it would be best to just buy it new. There are academic discounts. Again, I've had it for a while, but have simply not had the time to invest to get to know it well. 

 

Nota Bene can be used on the Mac through a special WINE installation, but obviously, it's still very much a Windows program running on the Mac. The closest Mac equivalent to NB would be Mellel combined with a bibliographic manager; however, even that would not be as full-featured as NB.


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#23 ukfraser

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Posted 07 July 2016 - 10:51 AM

WordStar, now there is another blast from the past before i upgraded the office to Windows 386.

Happy days, Oh how things have changed

;o)

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#24 Alistair

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Posted 08 July 2016 - 07:40 AM

There's a discount on Nisus Writer 2 at the moment, use code SUMMERFEST to get 25% off. 



#25 Nathan Parker

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Posted 17 July 2016 - 09:51 PM

I've been giving Nota Bene a trial run, and especially with the sale going on with it at the moment, I will probably go for it. The more I interact with it, the more powerful and flexible and "luxurious" it is for academic use. I love how everything integrates together. The interface is a little daunting and dated at first glance, but once one gets the hang of it, boy is it a academic's dream. The program can export to RTF and PDF, and my college (and other colleges I know) are beginning to recommend PDF for submissions to preserve formatting, so I "should" be OK if I moved everything over to it. It can run on a Mac (and possibly Linux) under WINE if I ever needed to do it, plus with RTF exporting, I can take my documents anywhere I needed to if need be.

 

Sales and Support have been excellent so far. They understand biblical scholar's needs and know exactly what I'm referring to when I ask them questions. I don't even have to bring in my templates from my seminary into NB. Turabian 8 is already built in and formats papers better than I do myself. When I called Corel about WordPerfect, I got someone from outside the US who had no idea what I was asking and knew practically nothing about the program. 

 

@Allistair: Nisus Writer Pro is Mac-only unfortunately. I used it on the Mac, and it was definitely my go-to word processor for academic writing on the Mac. On the Mac, I wouldn't use anything else but Nisus Writer Pro for academic writing. It is rock solid. Now that I'm on Windows, I have to painfully let go of Nisus Writer Pro for my academic word processor, but Nota Bene seems to be a solid replacement.


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#26 Nathan Parker

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Posted 06 August 2016 - 10:27 PM

One more thing to throw into the discussion...

 

Since my workstation is having to be clean installed with Windows next week due to a Dell rep remoting into my system and corrupting the OS (it still boots, it's just a little unstable), I decided to throw the WordPerfect trial on my machine just to see how it compares with Word and Nota Bene which I just purchased.

 

Short answer: It is NOT a good choice for biblical students.

 

Longer Answer: It horribly butchers Hebrew and has zero R-T-L support. Field Codes are interesting for fine-tuning formatting, but not enough to move away from Word for business-documents for. The rest of the tools included in the suite are vastly inferior to Microsoft Office and just a bunch of "fluff" I'd never use.

 

Summary: For business documents, stick with Word. For an office suite, stick with Microsoft Office. For academic research and writing, stick with Nota Bene. The suite of tools in Nota Bene, unlike WordPerfect, are actually tools I as a student will use (Orbis will be a dream for searching research files, Ibidem will be a dream for citing papers, and Archiva will be great for bringing in citation information into Ibidem, and Lingua handles languages beautifully). Nota Bene is definitely the solid academic choice, and Word is perfectly adequate for business documents, and WordPerfect struggles heavily with biblical fonts and isn't vastly superior to Word for business documents to warrant purchasing it.


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#27 Brian K. Mitchell

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Posted 07 August 2016 - 03:22 AM

You might also like to try Open Source (free) alternatives.

Both of the following handle Unicode natively and RTL / LTR languages:

 

Apache Open Office 

https://www.openoffice.org/

 

LibreOffice

https://www.libreoffice.org/

 

There are lots of extensions and add-ons for the above and as they are open source if do not like something or want something else in them you are free to reconfigure/program them. 

 

 

However, as good as they are whenever I am only dealing with Biblical Hebrew I usually use DavkaWriter (link)


Edited by bkMitchell, 07 August 2016 - 04:12 AM.

חַפְּשׂוּ בַּתּוֹרָה הֵיטֵב וְאַל תִּסְתַּמְּכוּ עַל דְּבָרַי

 

Currently running Accordance on:

Windows 10 (64bit)

FRNX Series  (2015)
Core i7-4710 MQ CPU @ 2.50GHz


#28 Michel Gilbert

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Posted 23 August 2016 - 07:27 PM

I wanted to do 64 Bit Word for Windows but was told it was buggy and to stay away from it. This came straight from Microsoft Pro Support.

Well tonight Word became very unstable tonight around page 11 on a Hebrew assignment I was working on. It kept crashing when I tried opening my document. I finally got it running again after a reboot, but now I'm getting leery about Word's stability again. I might need to keep testing other apps.

 

Hi Nathan,

 

We have been told for years to stay away from the 64 bit version. FWIW, I’m happily editing 2000+ page files of Hebrew in the 32 bit version. It all starts with the entire HB, packed in 700+ pages.

 

Attached File  700+ packed pages of Hebrew.PNG   25.12KB   1 downloads

 

NB does work well with longer documents, e.g., I copied the whole HB from Word and pasted it into NB, and it worked at about the same speed as Word. I keep waiting for full Unicode compliance and the ability to paste images (from JSesh) directly into NB before I get it.

 

Regards,

 

Michel



#29 Nathan Parker

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Posted 02 September 2016 - 09:54 PM

Thanks everyone for the feedback. I've used LibreOffice and OpenOffice in the past for light stuff, but it's a little unpolished for my needs. So far, I've been thrilled with Nota Bene. I'm loving the integration of everything together for academic research and writing. I plan to illustrate down the road when I have some free time how I integrate Accordance into it.


Nathan Parker


#30 Solly

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Posted 03 September 2016 - 06:43 AM

Nathan, I look forward to reading about your Nota Bene with Accordance integration.


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#31 macropod

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Posted 10 September 2016 - 12:42 AM

for my assignments, the university had very stringent rules on formatting.
References had to be title in roman, author or editor in italic, publisher and year in roman. You cant set up a style for this in word, inDesign handles this in seconds.
Footnotes, end notes and citations can be done in word but require a lot of manual rework as the document changes

On the whole, Word's referencing styles do provide the correct formats vis-a-vis italics, etc. You don't need to set up anything for this - it's all automatic. Plus you can change between referencing formats (APA, Chicago, etc.) at will. And, once you've added a reference, it's available for any later document you create. I currently have over 600 works referenced in Word. The problem is that Word doesn't truly conform to any of the referencing formats it purports to support (I say this as a Microsoft Word MVP). It does a tolerable job of APA, but Chicago is appalling - Word's mishmash doesn't do a proper job of either Chicago format. Thankfully, there are third-party products like EndNote that you can install as an Addin (the Uni where I study supplies it free to all students) and which has the added advantage of being able to download your references from on-line databases, etc.

 

I don't understand your comments re footnotes, endnotes and citations; they're largely automatic and require little, if any, manual reworking as the document changes. Footnote & endnote numbering & re-numbering is entirely automatic and their formats are managed via the relevant Styles. Citations, once you've inserted them don't need to be touched again as you edit the document (unless you want to change the reference itself).






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