Mellel 3.0 review
Microsoft Word and Apple’s Pages have pretty much got the Mac wordprocessing scene tied up between them. If anyone ever looks beyond that pair then they might have looked at Nisus, but there’s another wordprocessor that has been quietly working away for several years and gathering a dedicated group of users.
Mellel has been around for several years – version 2.5 came out in 2008 – and has just been updated to version 3.0. The program’s interface has been tidied up in this version and now presents you with a simple set of icons in the main toolbar at the top of each page that allow you to quickly format your documents. There’s also a set of floating palettes that provide easy access to more detailed options, such as paragraph styles and creating tables.
The new ‘View’ menu allows you to view your documents in ‘Mellel’ mode, which shows you the entire page, or switch into a text-only draft mode, or outline mode for organizing and structuring ideas. Mellel supports Lion’s full-screen viewing option, and also provides a full-screen option for Snow Leopard too.
Mellel can be used for straightforward letters and other documents, but its main emphasis is on the creation of longer documents, with something of an academic or technical focus. The program has always included strong multi-language support, as well as cross-referencing and bookmarking features. Version 3.0 also includes a ‘live bibliography’ option that will update the end-of-document bibliography automatically as you add the relevant references to the main text of your document.
Mellel focuses on the creation of long documents
Mellel can save and export documents in Word format, as well as RTF, plain text, PDF and OPML. It can also import Word documents too – but it seems to just import the text only, and simply ignored the images that were embedded within our test documents.
That limitation means that Mellel won’t really be able to replace Word or Pages as your main wordprocessor. However, academic or technical users may find it useful to own a copy of Mellel in addition to Word or Pages so that they can use it for longer documents that will benefit from its cross-referencing and bibliography tools. The full program certainly isn’t expensive, but there’s a 30-day trial that you can download if you want to check it out first.