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Yohanan
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auto text

Post by Yohanan » Tue Feb 20, 2018 5:03 pm

Hi everybody, I am totally new to Mellel. And this is my first question: Is there anything like the auto text entries of Word (=glossaries in Nisus) in Mellel ? I cannot find it in the Guide (Mellel version 4). The search on this page respond by telling that auto text is too often quoted to manage to present any results.

Icelander
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Re: auto text

Post by Icelander » Tue Feb 20, 2018 5:42 pm

Hi,
Mellel does not have glossaries.

If you need that feature, you would have to use a third party text expansion software, such as Typinator, but it's not as good as the glossaries in Nisus.

Patrick
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Re: auto text

Post by Patrick » Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:32 am

Wow. No space choice between characters, so useful for example for subtitles styles, but also for my notes as a teacher when I want to underline some point in my communication. Now no glossary for frequently used formulas, special words, syntagms. . . all these things easing the writing. Is the main quality of Mellel just for structuring a book and be confident with voluminous documents ? I am not sure I am willing to spend so much time on learning the way this app works. I guess this is reassuring Word processor for a PhD writing or a novelist. I begin to feel frustrated with all those Word processor. I guess I should stop buying them and go to Pages (Nisus interesting but unstable, Word crashes totally lately).
Good by.

joseph_anton
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Re: auto text

Post by joseph_anton » Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:38 pm

For what it's worth, I'm using Typinator with Mellel and am happy with the way they work together. I am just using Typinator as an auto-correct tool, but I believe that it's capable of much more. I haven't used the glossaries feature of Nisus, but perhaps this can be replicated in Typinator?

To answer Patrick's point, yes, I think the main strength of Mellel is that it's powerful enough to handle writing long, structured documents such as doctoral dissertations or academic books. I don't think there is anything else out there to compare with Mellel's integration with Bookends for dealing with references. Mellel's capabilities in cross-referencing, auto-titling and indexing are also pretty extraordinary.

I tend to agree that the learning curve for Mellel is steep, and I'm not sure I would recommend it to someone whose work involved producing shorter pieces of text or who writes primarily for online publication. Scrivener and Ulysses are easier to get started with and also powerful in their own ways and might be more suited to these use scenarios.

Patrick
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Re: auto text

Post by Patrick » Mon Mar 19, 2018 6:42 pm

Thank you Joseph. This helps.
Best wishes. Patrick

Icelander
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Re: auto text

Post by Icelander » Tue Mar 20, 2018 1:58 pm

Patrick wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:32 am
No space choice between characters, so useful for example for subtitles styles
Are you referring to kerning here? Kerning has been announced for all fonts in the upcoming v4.1.
Is the main quality of Mellel just for structuring a book and be confident with voluminous documents? I am not sure I am willing to spend so much time on learning the way this app works.
The strength of Mellel lies indeed in the Outline which allows the user to view (colored) bookmarks and AutoTitles simultaneously (Nisus can't do that). The user can also enter comments into bookmarks which are visible in the Outline, but are not printed. This is very useful. One can also focus on certain parts of the outline and hide others that are momentarily not needed.
Mellel has a few extra typographical frills when it comes to creating character styles. It's nice to have them, but for scholarly papers and books in the humanities such embellishments are not needed.
This is about everything I can think of in favor of Mellel. For me, the disadvantages outweigh the advantages. Just three, random examples: [1] no multipart selection, also called “noncontiguous selection”. This, for example, makes it difficult to edit documents that you have not created yourself or downloaded from the Internet. If such a document has all headings written in UPPERCASE (or in blue, or in italics… or whatever), there is no way to select all parts in one go and then turn them into AutoTitles. You must do it manually … one by one, one after the other. Nisus, on the contrary, can turn such text instantly into headings with appropriate levels and thus make them visible in the Navigator (= Outline in Mellel.) [2] No macros. [3] Not scriptable, so data between applications can only be shared via the clipboard.

The arguments brought forward in favor of Mellel (see for example the testimonials on YouTube) do not bear close scrutiny: (1) it's certainly not easier to combine many different languages in one document with Mellel than in Nisus. Fact is, it's much easier and more straightforward to do this in Nisus. Mellel has issues with cocoAspelt, in Nisus it works perfectly. It's possible though that Hebrew and some extinct ancient Near East languages are better supported by Mellel, I don't have the qualification to make a judgement on that because I don't write in those languages.
(2) As far as stability is concerned, I have already given examples here in the forum of operations that will make Mellel crash. The examples I mentioned were all related to the find and replace box. (3) A recurrent theme in the testimonials is the apparent ease of use. Nothing could be more far from the truth. Idiosyncratic implementation of many core features require an in-debt study of the manual, without which you will feel lost in Mellel. I'm not saying that this is bad per se. I'm just saying that the learning curve is steep and I wouldn't recommend it to someone who has just started with his or her PhD and has a limited and rigid time schedule.

Patrick, could you give examples of when Nisus is unstable? I have not noticed that.
I begin to feel frustrated with all those Word processor. I guess I should stop buying them and go to Pages
I understand your frustration, but bear in mind that it all depends on WHAT you intend to do. Mellel is good for structuring *primary* documents, and by that I mean documents that you yourself create from scratch. Thus you can create AutoTitles as you go along. Nisus Writer Pro excels when it comes to *editing* primary AND secondary documents. Download, for example, Anna Karenina from Gutenberg and measure the time how long it takes to transform the chapters into AutoTitles. In Nisus it takes 1 second. Apple Pages is not for academics. If you are not an academic, not a professional writer and like the additional DTP and layout abilities of Pages, then there is nothing wrong with that. Different tools for different jobs.

Which word processor you choose also depends on what kind of person you are, I believe. Are you a computer nerd? Do you find it interesting to write scripts and macros, discover new word processors and solve computer related problems? I'm like that, but my wife (who's an academic) hates it. She still writes all her papers without styles. Something I would never do.

Icelander
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Re: auto text

Post by Icelander » Tue Mar 20, 2018 2:05 pm

joseph_anton wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:38 pm
I haven't used the glossaries feature of Nisus, but perhaps this can be replicated in Typinator?‬
Nisus has an auto-correct tool. It's called QuickFix. You can create one QuickFix list for each language (that you use.) Example: If you write "us" (without quotes) in German, this can be expanded as "The United States of America" (without quotes). But if you write "us" in English, nothing at all will be expanded. And if you type "un" (without quotes) in French, it can be expanded as "L’Organisation des Nations Unies (ONU)". This is great for serious writers. QuickFix can also turn on or off “Smart Punctuation” (including curly quotes) and it can automatically superscript ordinal numbers.

Then there are glossaries, which is something else. The glossary feature is probably the most underestimated feature in Nisus. It's much more than just a text expansion solution. A glossary contains abbreviations with corresponding entries, which can be as long as you want. These entries can contain (formatted) text, (formatted) text boxes, images, hyperlinks and tables.
but perhaps this can be replicated in Typinator?‬
If you try using Typinator with Mellel as a glossary ersatz, you'll lose markers, text boxes and footnotes. In addition to that, you'll lose the background color for cells, and the cell size is not (always) retained, so you will have to resize them. Now, create a glossary entry in Nisus, and you'll lose … nothing! No formatting feature gets lost.

I found some screenshots and a pretty detailed explanation of how glossaries can be used by someone who is writing about English literature here:
http://nisus.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f= ... cal#p26870

suavito
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Re: auto text

Post by suavito » Tue Mar 20, 2018 4:28 pm

Typinator on the other hand is a system wide service that can be used in every writing software. And it works with regular expressions which makes it extremely versatile.
The finger is the most popular bird.

Icelander
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Re: auto text

Post by Icelander » Tue Mar 20, 2018 6:34 pm

suavito wrote:
Tue Mar 20, 2018 4:28 pm
Typinator on the other hand is a system wide service that can be used in every writing software.
That's right. I forgot to mention that. Thanks for chiming in.

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