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Manuscript for Mac

Quick Specs

  • Version:
  • Total Downloads:
  • Date Added:
    May 01, 2004
  • Price:
    Purchase; $25.00 to buy

Publisher's Description

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User Reviews

1 stars

"Better Alternatives"

November 22, 2005  |  By fdavison1957

 |  Version: Manuscript 1.5.5


This review was originally posted on VersionTracker.com.
This app has not changed much in several years' time. It doesn't take advantage of *any* of what OS X currently has to offer applications. It seems completely at odds with its OS. There are better alternatives. I recommend CopyWrite by Bartas Technologies. If that doesn't suit you, try Ulysses from Blue-Tec (though they're a lot more expensive) or Avenir from Return Self.

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4 stars

"Great idea, poor execution."

August 30, 2004  |  By VersionTrackerUserOpinion

 |  Version: Manuscript 1.5.3


This review was originally posted on VersionTracker.com.
I wanted to like this. I've looked at other software for writers, Ulysses and Copyright, and I like the layout and the logic of this much better. Notes are right there in the margin where they make the most sense. Easy notes, and a bit of organization are all I'm after, which this program provides with a nice Chapter View.

But the interface is too screwy. There's no undo that I could find. When I start a new chapter, all the ensuing text is underlined. Many little things that add up to unusable.

I say this all in the spirit of encouraging the developer to continue. I think it's an easier, smarter tool than the others, but not there technically yet.

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1 stars

"Install faulty"

February 20, 2004  |  By bobcarr1

 |  Version: Manuscript 1.4


This review was originally posted on VersionTracker.com.
I was unable to use Manuscript after installing. First, the "authentication" failed (even though I supplied the correct password). Nevertheless I was able to launch Manuscript. Then I selected NEW from the FILE menu. However a NEW file was not displayed. A new untitled.man file was created in the Manuscript folder in the Documents folder. It does not have a creator or file type. It cannot be opened in manuscript. I was able to open it in other text files and it contains garbage.

Thus I am not able to use or evaluate Manuscript.

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5 stars

"I think this is a great program."

February 16, 2004  |  By rapidrojo

 |  Version: Manuscript 1.3.1


This review was originally posted on VersionTracker.com.
I have tried them all, from Mellel to Z-write, and
Manuscript demonstrates an acute understanding of how the creative mind works. Within 30 minutes of downloading it, I basically had the whole thing figured out, which is truly remarkable for a computer idiot such as myself. The notes drawer and autosave are great. As someone who sits in front of a computer way too much, I gotta tell you the simplicity of the ease by which you can magnify the text as well as the brownish tone of the background on the main page are a godsend to my overworked eyes. You can adjust the color, but I found the brown tone worked the best for me. And, at the risk of sounding like a simpleton, let me tell you my favorite feature. Writers spend way too much time alone. So there I was, typing, and I clicked on the button that enables your work to be read aloud to you, as a joke mind you, but after I got past the robotic sounding voice, I was hooked. I always write to rhythms in my head, but now I could actually hear whether or not what I was writing was working, rhythmically. You can also highlight a section and it will read only that passage, something I discovered accidentally, and I think maybe that should be mentioned in the help text somewhere. Anyway, it has made writing for me more of an interactive experience. Try it and see what I mean. As Einstein once said, â??Things should be made as simple as possible, but not any simpler.â?? The artfulness of this program lies in its beautiful simplicity.

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4 stars

"Fills a Niche"

January 06, 2004  |  By estuary_english

 |  Version: Manuscript 1.3


This review was originally posted on VersionTracker.com.
I've been using this since version 1.2 and can recommend it to writers. I'm not a reluctant computer user but I do see it as only a means to an end; I still think in terms of bits of paper and so the thrust of Manuscript's design appeals to me. Using it I can work the way I think and I don't think in terms of files or windows but in terms of text on a piece of paper. Those of us long in the tooth will recall that this principle - making the computer the servant rather than the master - guided Apple in the good old days and make Macs what they were. A few specific points:

Margin - best thing about manuscript. I don't use it a lot but when I do there's just no other way I would want to do it. Be good if we could edit the notes.

Notes window - use this a lot and being able to edit the categories was what made me pay for Manuscript. This was crucial for me because I can't (won't) be organised enough to think about where notes ought to be when I write them but organising them afterwards actually helps me make creative decisions. (no problems entering categories by-the-way - using 10.3.1).

Last Edit button - use this a lot. Would be good to have a way of highlighting the text as you do with a highlighter pen on a page.

Word count - great twist to be able to set the number of words per page instead of having the computer decide for you. I would also find very useful an indication of progress towards a word target.

Format View - nice footer. Could be a few more tools along the lines of the double-spacing button for instance a button to embolden and center the chapter titles.

Overall I think the product is filling a unique niche between a notepad and a general word processor ( I used to use Clarisworks then switched to TextEdit when Apple didn't supply a free version of Clarisworks for OSX). Probably quite a small market so I doubt the creator is getting rich but he's got my $25.

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3 stars

"Good Start But Needs Work"

January 04, 2004  |  By dromard

 |  Version: Manuscript 1.3


This review was originally posted on VersionTracker.com.
I chose this app because I have started doing some writing and find general word processor apps unsuitable for story development. I thought I would review Manuscript because it has great potential for my needs. Overall, I think this app has a good feature set, but I hope the developer takes the time to implement some of the user experience guidelines that OS X users expect in an application.

When I ran the app for the first time, it stated that installation could not be verified, yet I was in the app. Confusing. Checking the menus gives nothing but standard menu options. There wasn't even a Preference menu item. I opened the "New" window and saw why. The developer has placed all functionality within the document window. It looks pretty rough, but the features are promising. There are Copy, Cut, and Paste buttons immediately available, but I wonder why the author would think the buttons are faster than their keyboard short cuts? Your hands are on the keyboard anyway. Some very useful buttons will get you into the text you are working on at key locations, and previously edited spots. You can switch between manuscript and chapters view, though I was unable to make it work.

You can view the current stats of the manuscript for words/pages written. At the bottom of the window is the Preferences button that opens a drawer. Again I wonder why this has no menu item. A sheet would be nice here, and there is a great place to use that nice drawer. Categories. More on that below.

There is a notes button, but if you select it without a category, there is a pause while a sound file is loaded indicating you need to choose a category. This is a problem for hearing impaired users. They will get no feedback. Using sound files is nice, but should never be used for primary feedback.

The use of categories is a bit confusing. There is a field for New Category, but if you enter one and press return, nothing happens to the info. It is removed from the field, but not stored anywhere that is apparent. I expected it to appear in the Select Category list immediately below it. It didn't. To add categories, you select a button with the letter "E"? Not very intuitive, but this might be a good place to use that drawer. In the Categories window, there is the letter "D" for Delete. Again, this has an important function, but the presentation could be improved.

Documentation is at a minimum with no application help available. The developer does add tool tips to offer hints and the ReadMe is pretty good, but additional documentation or even a tutorial would greatly improve things here. This is an early release, so maybe these will be added in the future.

As I said, I like the features of this app, but think it needs quite a bit of UI work. Apple's UI guidelines are available at: http://developer.apple.com/documentation/UserExperience/UserExperience.html You don't need to use them verbatim, but they do make good sense, and represent what users expect. I recommend Manuscript, with some reservations: Mainly UI and work flow inconsistencies. I look forward to future releases.

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3 stars


May 16, 2003  |  By jgiammatteo

 |  Version: Manuscript 1.0b2


This review was originally posted on VersionTracker.com.
I truly WANT to like Manuscript, however, the first stumbling block is trying to figure out how to use it. I can't seem to find any worthwhile documentation and I can't even find an email address to ask the developer. I like the notes drawer, though I think it should be an option in the prefs if you want notes on the sides or bottom? I happen to like drawers on the sides. Also, the minimum size of the window -- why? a minimum size. For me it's no problem as i have a 22" Cinema Display, but for others it would negate the use of a bottom drawer. Also, I found chapters and categories completely baffling. I couldn't figure out how to use categories. I like the margin notes; that is great. One suggestion for the notes would be to have a window on the side, like the chapter window, but be able to have a folder hierarchy of notes so that simple clicking on them would display them, and preferably with the option of displaying them in a separate window.

I have been waiting for a program for writers to come along and have been shuffling back and forth between Z-write, the standard WP's and even MacJournal, but to date, nothing has been complete. I hope you can make Manuscript the one.

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Full Specifications

What's new in version 1.5.1
  • page set-up enabled
  • frames in format view now drawn around edge of page rather than around margins
  • publisher button in format view now adds a 1 inch margin all round
Publisher scideas software
Publisher web site http://www.scideas.net
Release Date May 01, 2004
Date Added May 01, 2004
Version 1.5.1
Category Business Software
Subcategory Word Processing Software
Operating Systems
Operating Systems Mac OS X 10.2/10.3
Additional Requirements
  • Mac OS X 10.2 or higher
  • Download Information
    File Size 439.77KB
    File Name Manuscript.zip
    Total Downloads 541
    Downloads Last Week 3
    License Model Purchase
    Limitations Not available
    Price $25

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