Another review from our European editor, Chris.
When I first thought about Mellel II ($49 for the regular license) I had to stop and remember the last time that I didn’t use MS Word. I have used it since I can remember, and must have used pretty much every version since Windows 3.1. I remember using something called Display Write Assistant back in the late 80′s when I was doing my Masters. I recall never really understanding WordPerfect, and anytime I got a new PC that had MS Works installed I would immediately install MS Office/MS Word.
Even when I bought my first Mac, my PowerBook G4, I never stopped to think that I would do anything other than install Office 2004 For Mac. My point been that it would have to be a tremendous product that reversed the trend.
The promotional material claims; “Mellel is an advanced word processor for Mac OS X designed especially for scholars, creative and technical writers, and anyone seeking a feature-rich and reliable word processor.” Would this be too “powerful” for day to day use? Would it be too “complicated” to switch?
The first really great thing to say is that it is easy to import existing Word documents and work with them. The second really great thing is that it is just as easy to export a file to Word format. For me this was an important first step. Without this feature it was never going to work for me, and while it may seem obvious that it would transfer documents between Operating Systems, I had to check. You can import and export RTF and Plan Text as well.
I have used Mellel II for a couple of weeks now and I can’t say that I have missed Word at all, nor have I found any difficulties in using Mellel on a day to day basis. Mellel provide a great comparison chart between the various options that they compete against, and their web site has superb forums and support. In fact this is possibly the greatest individual benefit that I came across – they maintain the personalized experience and interaction that we Mac users love so much. Beyond the day to day tasks that most word processing applications handle easily, I struggled a little with Mellel, but this was primarily because it was really strange to me to be finding out how to do things that I had taken for granted for years.
When I purchased my Mac I made a pledge to try and create a “Microsoft Free” zone, and to date MS Office is the only application that I use, and that is only for Word, Excel and PowerPoint, or correction – now only for Excel and PowerPoint