Comment on Mellel

Very fast and solid word processor. Has many unique typographic features.

But for styles the learning curve is really, really steep. Somewhere around version 2.1 Mellel's concepts for managing styles grew over my head. I love structured documents and I appreciate typographic details. I have typeset whole books in Word and LaTeX. I love styles and auto-numbering of any kind. But in Mellel I just don't get it anymore. Why are "title flows" not part of "style sets"? What's the benefit of "style variations"? Flexibility is great, but Mellel (as of version 2.2.7) its too much.

For shorter structured documents I went back to a more Word-like application OpenOffice (actuallly NeoOffice). For lists I use OmniOutliner. And for really complex documents with extensive numberings and high typographic standards I rather invest the learning time in TeX (with TeXShop as frontend). For visually rich documents I prefer sitll otther apps. That leaves Mellel ... where?

In my opinion, Mellel needs some major cleaning up of the user interface. I bought Mellel because it was fast and simple for basic tasks. I still love Mellel for all the power under its hood. But I think the way Mellel organizes styles and manipulates styles should be more centralized.

My wishlist: strictly separate manual formatting from application of styles from manipulation of styles. For a simple letter I want only manual formatting or choose form exisitng(!) styles defined in my letter template. In complex documents styles shouldn't be tweaked on the fly either, they need some serious planning. So I'd love to see a centralized user interface for all style management features (the "styles sets" dialog is 85% there) and remove(!) style editing from the palettes. That should do the trick. Easier manual formatting and easier style management.

In the current incarnation I wouldn't recommend Mellel to anyone, unless you need left-to-right script and support for middle-eastern languages.