Xiosis Scribe Review – Xiosis Scribe 2011 Word Processor
Website URL: http://www.xiosis.com
Review Of Xiosis Scribe 2011 Word Processor
Xiosis Scribe is a good replacement for Microsoft Word and an application anybody who writes using computers cannot do without
Highly productive writing environment with lots of new tools not found in competing products
Lack of templates
About Xiosis Scribe
Xiosis Scribe 2011 brings a completely new paradigm to what word processor software should look it and work. Each document is separated into 5 tabs or views as they are called in Scribe- file, plan, research, compose and layout. Scribe documents starts by default in compose view and you can immediately start typing as you would in Microsoft Word and Open Office Writer word processors.
Xiosis Scribe provides a full set of tools to manage the creative process of writing your document. The plan view where you plan the document includes a fully fledged mind mapping tool, an outlining tool and paragraph by paragraph support for keeping comments, sources and other notes.
The research view which is where you further develop the topics you created in plan view contains a mini browser with tabs already set to search 10 high quality sources of information on the Internet such as Google Scholar, Microsoft Academic, WolframAlpha and Factbites. It also contains a tool to drag drop selections of text from the built in browser and combine them together. The fused text can be pasted into the document. Scribe is also integrates automatically with Mendeley Desktop if it is installed.
Scribe keeps content and formatting separate. The compose view is therefore where primary writing take place without having to worry about the formatting. The composer allows only formatting for document parts such as headings and citations and does not allow decorative formatting. All normal document inserts such as lists, tables and picture are supported. Scribe tables opens in a built in mini Excel like tool for editing. Normal table features like table formulas and row column dragging are supported.
Scribe compose view also keeps a bookmark bar on the left hand side. Simply clicking the bar creates a bookmark at the current cursor point. Scribe also offered word and phrase suggestion when the type assist feature is enabled. The feature is described to be a T9 like feature to help speed up the writing. Other type assist tools included a multilingual screen reader, translation and transliteration. The last two features require Internet access to function. Scribe also offers a feature called Quick Clips. It’s like a handy clipboard where you can store frequently used pieces of text like your company bio or signature and insert them into the document with a short cut. The composer also includes a text analysis tool that provides information about your writing, multilingual spell checking and word usage frequency.
The layout view features free form layout somewhat like Microsoft Publisher or Adobe Illustrator. Each paragraph, image and table acts like an object and can be dragged and resized from their original place. The layout feature also provides style pages for applying styles to the whole document or editing the style of a particular part. Almost all layout and format features you would expect in publishing software such as size and positioning, aligning, border and margin editing are available.
Scribe also provides automatic document saving and recovery, file embedding, OCR, support for various file formats and publish to blog features.
Scribe Hands On
To get some firsthand experience on Xiosis Scribe, I wrote this review using Scribe. Downloading and installing Scribe was uneventful. On starting Scribe it was fast and highly responsive. I did not encounter any errors and the features performed as stated on the company website. Writing on the composer view was a breeze. By default Scribe keeps the auto features turned off and they can be turned on by a click on the main tool bar. There was also a full screen feature that reminded me of Darkroom. After looking at the settings in the composer, I learned how to change the width of the writing area, and the font and the blue background. I ended up reverting to the blue. It’s easier on the eyes than the blazing white most word processors use for the background.
At first the spell check feature did not work. I checked the application settings and found that the default left to right dictionary was not set. Once that was set to English, spell check worked normally.
Creating the Mind map for the Xiosis Scribe review took less than a minute. I also liked that the compose screen appears below in the Plan and Research View. You don’t have to be flipping tabs to write down. I could also browse to any site I wanted and write off them immediately or past without switching screens. Normally I would have to open my web browser in one window and have Word in another and switch between the two if I was referring to any web article.
Ample help is available for newbie. F1 context addresses the main areas and is easy to go through. Video tutorials are available on the company support page and YouTube. There was a support forum available and by what I could see, the company was reasonably responsible answering questions posted there.
The layout feature was good. It is not a fully fledged layout tool like Illustrator but is mor like Microsoft Publisher and provides sufficient tools.
I must say writing on Scribe was a pleasure. I didn’t have to fight with the auto correct like I used with Microsoft Word or hunt for the feature. The tool bar was easy to use and buttons had text. Everything seemed thoughtfully done. I also liked the message area on the right side. It provided feedback without interrupting my writing by popping up message boxes.
Who is Xiosis Scribe For?
Xiosis Scribe is a very flexible writing tool. It can be used like how you use Microsoft Word or another word processor. It is not necessary that you must use the planning or research tools every time you want to create a document. So Scribe can be used for a wide variety of writing tasks from casual or office letters, blog pieces and other simple documents to research and academic papers to novels. Students may find the research tools in Scribe especially useful and anybody creating complex or large document would appreciate the mind mapping tool to organize their ideas and plan the document.
Scribe did not have a lot of templates on it. My installation just had Blank ‘left to right’ document on it. It might be that this is only available in the trial version and more templates are available in the full version. Scribe also did not have a drawing tool feature.
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