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Auto-titles in text boxes

Posted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 1:35 pm
by Fedtegrevinde
So, I am writing my master thesis, and I ended up choosing Mellel for this task. The biggest reason for this choice was the ability to use text boxes and wrap text around these as well as images.

In the very beginning, everything works smooth. I've been through the whole user guide and most tutorial videos, I've set up all preferences to my liking and styles all attributes and auto-titles.

And now, with hours of preparation, the horror begins. As I want to number my first figure, I discovered that Auto-titles can't be inserted into text boxes. This makes Mellel completely useless in regards to academic writing with just a couple of figures and tables. I'm so disappointed and stunned over this obviously missing feature.

Does anybody have a workaround, one which doesn't include me entering figure numbers manually?

And Mellel team, why have you chosen to exclude auto-titles from text boxes?

Re: Auto-titles in text boxes

Posted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:20 pm
by joseph_anton
How about if the auto-titles were to be placed immediately above the items that they reference rather than within them?

Re: Auto-titles in text boxes

Posted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 5:06 pm
by Fedtegrevinde
joseph_anton, thanks for the suggestion. However, that is not a solution since the auto-titles can't have text wrapped around them - that would only work, if I could put them in a text box.

Re: Auto-titles in text boxes

Posted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:10 am
by Icelander
To be sure I understand you correctly, you want to use text boxes as captions for floating (?) images, because Image Caption in the Auto-Title pane can be difficult or even impossible to place right under the image. Is that correct?

Are you trying to do something like this? View screenshot.
https://shrtm.nu/UrQI

Re: Auto-titles in text boxes

Posted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:55 am
by Fedtegrevinde
Icelander, thanks for your reply.

Yes, that is exactly what I want.

The images need to have a caption, and I want the text to be wrapped around image and caption as if they were one object - just as I would do in MS Word. And then the caption needs to be updated automatically if I move the image or other parts of my document around so the numbers fit accordingly to my chapters. For this I need to use auto-titles, which can't be inserted to text boxes.

Re: Auto-titles in text boxes

Posted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:13 am
by Icelander
Fedtegrevinde wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 1:35 pm
I'm so disappointed and stunned over this obviously missing feature.
Before I read Fedtegrevinde's post, I was not aware that this problem exists. So, thank you Fedtegrevinde for bringing this up.
I have not been able to figure out how to do this in Mellel. Therefore I would like to strongly support Fedtegrevinde's feature request.

You mentioned MS Word. Nisus Writer Pro can also do this if you right-click on an image and choose "Add Caption To Image." While still in the caption box (= text box), you can insert additionally an incremental dynamic number with extra text, if you want, into the caption box.

Since Image, Caption and number are grouped as *one* object, you can drag them around and place them wherever you want in the document. Text floats around image, caption and number; and the number is automatically updated relative to other image numbers in the document.

Fedtegrevinde, what discipline are you studying, and why did you choose Mellel rather than Nisus for your master's thesis?

To prevent any misunderstanding, I'm not trying to change anybody's mind. I'm just curious. Perhaps I can learn something new from you.

Re: Auto-titles in text boxes

Posted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:55 pm
by Till
A serious image caption functionality was once promised for Mellel 4.0, but later dropped for the release. They told me the functionality will come with a following release. So I'm feeling your pain because I'm waiting for years, but there is hope and I'm sure the Redlers will do it better than anyone else :P.

Re: Auto-titles in text boxes

Posted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:05 pm
by benjaminpelissie
Actually a lot of features are lacking for text boxes: auto-titles, bookmarks, comments, references, cross-references, figures, tables,... That's a pity because (as mentioned previously), it makes text boxes almost useless for academic documents. The only thing that keeps me from just using Pages is the outline function (I'm talking about the bare-bone one, not the new, updated fancy one that I will never use fully - but no complaint here). Once a basic, reliable outline pane gets implemented in Pages (if it does), I'll switch back to it (not mentioning its vastly superior Word compatibility). However, if Mellel gets fully-featured text boxes, I'd stick to it as it would become way better than Pages for my purpose.

Re: Auto-titles in text boxes

Posted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 8:23 am
by Icelander
benjaminpelissie wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:05 pm
Actually a lot of features are lacking for text boxes: auto-titles, bookmarks, comments, references, cross-references, figures, tables,... That's a pity because (as mentioned previously), it makes text boxes almost useless for academic documents.
I've never tried to put anything else than text inside text boxes, but you are right, why should we not be able to bookmark text in text boxes, put images and tables inside them, etc. —I just checked Nisus and found out to my surprise that text boxes in Nisus can do *everything* you enumerated; but if Pages basically satisfies your needs, then Nisus is not an alternative. It's like comparing a firecracker with an intercontinental ballistic missile with multiple nuclear warheads.
The only thing that keeps me from just using Pages is the outline function [in Mellel] […] Once a basic, reliable outline pane gets implemented in Pages (if it does), I'll switch back to it
if Mellel gets fully-featured text boxes, I'd stick to it as it would become way better than Pages for my purpose.
It's not easy to respond to this because we don't know what you have in mind when you say "for my purpose." Mellel and Nisus are first and foremost for academics, ambitious (professional) writers and people who write in different languages. I would never even try to write a doctoral thesis in Pages. It would be a waste of time and energy. Pages is good for DTP jobs, such as advertising matter, flyers, birthday cards, short letters and the like. The old version 4.3 was a decent program. They destroyed it and built a new one from the ground …with the same name. I don't know why it takes Apple so long to get the most elementary features back again. After so many updates still no outline, as you pointed out.

Re: Auto-titles in text boxes

Posted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 9:25 pm
by benjaminpelissie
Well actually Pages is pretty snappy for me with 100-300 pages documents including lots of different elements, even for imported docx documents. The thing I am missing in Pages is navigation-related (outline and cross-references), and maybe a better find-replace tool. You're right about how weird it is that Apple takes so much time to implement those (quite classic) tool, but hey Mellel is here. Which brings me to my point: once Pages will propose a basic outline mode and enable cross-referencing, a lot of people will quit Mellel (maybe including me), because Pages is easier to the eyes (eg. no full-screen-palettes non-sense), more straightforward, way more compatible with Microsoft products and... free. So Mellel needs to bring significant stuff to the table and powerful text boxes would be something like that. Better Word compatibility would also go in that direction. Some things that might still retain lots of Mellel users though: stability (although I didn't suffer a lack thereof with Pages), trust (always unsure of the future of Apple's products) and support (amazing with Mellel). That is actually a big part of why I love this product so much.

Re: Auto-titles in text boxes

Posted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 9:33 pm
by benjaminpelissie
Mea culpa, I just discovered the cross-referencing function in Pages...! I've been blinded by (honestly superiorly implemented) Mellel's cross-references. Anyway now I'm just missing an outline mode and some tag/label function, after what I'll be close to switching back to Pages... unless Mellel surprises me with fully-featured text boxes! ;)