Part of Nobumi Iyanaga's website. 7/11/09.

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Classic Nisus Writer to Nisus Writer Pro

Version 0.7.3 (2009-07-12)

I first wrote this utility two years ago. I tried to use it with Nisus Writer Pro 1.3, and found that it has problems for the conversion of diacritical fonts. The cause is that the file format for 1.3 changed. The fixed turned out to be rather easy: adding one line to the original script ("") was sufficient to make it work again. So I upload this new set of scripts.

Nisus Writer Express is becoming better and better with its upgrades, although its feature set is not yet comparable with that of Classic Nisus Writer... [Now, with the new Nisus Writer Pro, still in beta cycle, it is much better; we are approaching the feature set of Classic Nisus Writer...!] Anyway, with the release of the new Intel Macs, it seems that we cannot expect any future for Classic OS; we are compelled to migrate whether we like it or not.

The translation of Classic Nisus Writer files to Nisus Writer Express/Pro rtf files is becoming better too: styles, fonts, scripts, footnotes are generally "translated" correctly -- although there are still problems (for example, Japanese fonts are not "translated" correctly; Nisus Writer Express/Pro is unable to include long footnotes in pages, etc.).

But if you have many Classic Nisus Writer files, it is cumbersome to open each of them in Nisus Writer Express/Pro and save them in new files. A simple AppleScript droplet can remedy this situation: you can simply drag and drop your Classic Nisus Writer files to open them in Nisus Writer Express/Pro and save them as Nisus Writer Express/Pro rtf files.

Another problem remains for those who had to use special encoding fonts in Classic Nisus Writer, to represent characters which are not in standard character sets, for example scholars who have to transliterate Asian language words using special encoding fonts. I wrote a page, East Asian Diacritical Fonts and Unicode, where I presented a number of conversion tables to Unicode for these fonts.

It seems that some fonts -- such as BharatiTimes or SanskritTimes -- won't work in OS X (or 10.4x?) applications. And even if the fonts work, the diacritical characters written in these fonts must be converted to Unicode; otherwise, the converted rtf files will be unreadable for people who have not these fonts; and it will be impossible to search in these files.

I could write a Perl script which can convert these diacritical characters, and incorporate it in the AppleScript droplet mentioned above. This script can also substitute newer fonts for old fonts. For my own use, I will use Gentium font instead of Appeal, ITimesSkRom, Hobogirin, or Norman, and I will use Hiragino Moru Gothic Pro instead of Osaka.

In the current form, my script can convert only Appeal, ITimesSkRom and Hobogirin (which will be substituted to Gentium), but I will be able to add other fonts to be supported, if you give me a conversion table, and the name of the preferred font of substitution; I will need also a Nisus Writer Express/Pro rtf file in which both the original font and the font of substitution are used.

This script has another feature: if the file contains one or more fonts to be converted, it will convert at the same time Unicode html entities of two formats:

  1. &'#1234;     that is, "&#" followed by a decimal Unicode number, followed by ";" -- ex. Ӓ will be converted to Ӓ.
  2. &U+00CA;     that is, "&U+" followed by a hexadecimal Unicode number, followed by ";" -- ex. &U+00CA; will be converted to Ê.

Unfortunately, this script is very slow -- for an rtf file of 400 KB, il can take perhaps more than one minute..., so please be patient, and don't panic thinking that there was a crash...

New in version 0.7:

New in version 0.7.1:

New in version 0.7.2:

Here is what you would do:

1. To convert Classic Nisus Writer files into Nisus Writer Express (or Pro) files, with an automatic conversion of diacritical fonts Appeal, Hobogirin, Norman or ITimesSkRom:

  1. You drag and drop one or more Classic Nisus Writer file(s) onto the icon of the droplet named;
  2. The droplet will launch Nisus Writer Express/Pro if it is not running already; Nisus Writer Express (or Pro) will open each of the dropped files, and will save them in the same folder, with the same name, plus the extension ".rtf";
  3. If the dropped files contain text written with ITimesSkRom or Hobogirin, the text will be converted to Unicode, and these fonts will be substituted by Gentium, and Osaka will be substituted by Hiragino Maru Gothic Pro, and another file with the name to which "_conv is appended, will be generated.;
  4. If the dropped files contain also html entity notations of Unicode characters in the two formats described above, they will be converted to Unicode characters as well;
  5. If the original files don't contain any of the target fonts, then, there will be no conversion at all.

2. To convert Nisus Writer Express (or Pro) rtf files containing Appeal, Hobogirin, Norman or ITimesSkRom into files in which diacritical characters will be represented in Gentium:

  1. You drag and drop one or more Nisus Writer Express (or Pro) rtf files containing Appeal, Hobogirin, Norman or ITimesSkRom onto the icon of the droplet;
  2. the droplet will generate files with names to which "_conv" will be added.


I found that if your OS X system does not have (a working copy of) the font that must be converted, the font conversion will not work. For example, I had Appeal which was working for OS 10.4.8 and it *seems* that after I upgraded to 10.4.9, it stopped working. I had installed the PostScript version of Appeal (the files named Appea, AppeaBolIta, Appeal.fam, AppeaBol, and AppeaIta) in the Fonts folder, in the System Folder of my Classic OS, and the font was working on OS X as well; now, probably after I upgraded to OS 10.4.9, Appeal stopped working on OS X. I installed the same font files in my Users/[my_account]/Library/Fonts/ folder, and it began working again (although in Nisus Writer Express (or Pro) Fonts menu, its name does not appear...; but in the Font Panel, you can verify that the font is working.).

So, if something goes wrong with the font conversion, you should try:

- The OS must be 10.4 and above
- I use Nisus Writer 6.5 and Nisus Writer Express 2.6 (and above) or Nisus Writer Pro.

The package will contain:

  1. An AppleScript droplet named ""
  2. An AppleScript droplet named ""
  3. A Perl script named ""
  4. ReadMe.rtf -- this ReadMe.

In fact, the Perl script is included in the droplets (in its Contents/Resources/ folder). I give here another copy only to show the Perl code which will work from within the AppleScript droplet.


Please download the package from this link (127K to download).

Please send me your feedback, bug reports or feature requests.

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This page was last built with Frontier on a Macintosh on Sat, Jul 11, 2009 at 8:54:29 PM. Thanks for checking it out! Nobumi Iyanaga