Mac-based writers and designers can spend a lot of time searching for a word processor that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, yet has all the features they need. The answer may have arrived in Mariner Write 3.6.4.

There are many options when it comes to word processing. Most newspapers fall into one of two groups. The first uses Microsoft Word, which allows them to open most text files sent to them and gives them the ability to create text files that can be placed in most pagination applications. Word also allows these users to create files in Rich Text format (RTF) which can be imported into almost any program. The second group uses a dedicated application, created to work within a specific pagination workflow, such as Adobe InCopy or NewsEditPro.

Mariner Software recently released the latest version of its word processor, Mariner Write 3.6.4. If you’ve been looking for a quick, powerful word processing application, Mariner Write may be just what you’ve been waiting for. And at $69, the price is very attractive when compared to other word processors.

Initially, I agreed to spend some time with Write when I learned that it would open and edit Microsoft Word documents. Upon review, I’ve found that Word text documents open flawlessly, allowing me to edit and save in one of several formats including Rich Text, which can be opened in Microsoft Word. The lone problem was in opening Word documents with embedded graphics. Fortunately, most newspapers don’t create Word files with graphics embedded.

Mariner Write has a nice spell check that, like other features of Write, worked seemlessly within the application. The keyboard shortcuts are user-definable, meaning you can create shortcuts to work the way you want them to. Version 3.6.4 requires OS 10.2 or higher. Mariner also offers version 3.5.1, which works with OS 9 and 10.1.

Mariner Write is available in a boxed version ($79 US/$99 CAN/$119 AUS) and as a download for ten dollars less. Owners of previous versions can upgrade for $25 US/$32 CAN/$35 AUS). A fully functional 30-day free demo version is available for download www.marinersoftware.com.

Kevin Slimp is a favorite speaker and trainer in the newspaper industry. He can be reached at kevin@kevinslimp.com.

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