Line Numbers: a low-priority feature request

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nvalvo
Read the guide, knows everything
Posts: 49
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Line Numbers: a low-priority feature request

Post by nvalvo » Tue Sep 26, 2006 8:16 am

Writing about literature, it sometimes happens that I want to set in my documents a quotation of verse. For longer or discontinuous quotations, it would be helpful to be able to set them with line numbers, so that I can refer back to "Line 7" without causing confusion. In English, we customarily do that like this (I imagine users of other languages like to number their versified lines differently).

Code: Select all

    Sweet maid, if thou wouldst charm my sight,  
    And bid these arms thy neck infold;
    That rosy cheek, that lily hand
    Would give thy poet more delight
5   Than all Bocara's vaunted gold, 
    Than all the gems in Samarcand. 

    Boy, let yon liquid ruby flow, 
    And bid thy pensive heart be glad,  
    Whate'er the frowning zealots say:
10  Tell them their Eden cannot show
    A stream so clear as Rocnabad, 
    A bow'r so sweet as Mosellay.

    Oh! when these fair, perfidious maids, 
    Whose eyes our secret haunts infest,
15  Their dear destructive charms display,
    Each glance my tender breast invades, 
    And robs my wounded soul of rest, 
    As Tartars seize their destin'd prey. 

    In vain with love our bosoms glow:
20  Can all our tears, can all our sighs
    New lustre to those charms impart?
    Can cheeks where living roses blow, 
    Where nature spreads her richest dies, 
    Require the borrowed gloss of art?

That's some stanzas from a translation by the English orientalist Sir William Jones of an ode by the classical Persian poet Hafiz, in case you were wondering. It seemed appropriate.

It also seemed that this feature could be profitably joined with the list feature, because both consist basically of coordinating multiple numbered paragraphs. All Mellel's list feature lacks to be able to achieve this effect is the ability to suppress some of the numbers while maintaining the count. I tried this with List Style Variants: no dice. There could be applications for writing about computer code, also. There are workarounds, it is true, but it would be nice for Mellel to handle this gracefully. It would be great to paste in some verse from my notes, highlight and type command-shift-6 or whatever, and have the whole thing numbered.

The issue of lines that are neither numbered nor counted, like the blank line between the stanzas, is a little trickier, maybe; but I suppose those could be removed by simply placing some space below the last line of each stanza.

I imagine the Redlers will probably want to add cross-referencing and a few other things before this. Perfectly reasonable.

Thanks all,
Nick

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