Modest Touch-Up Suggestions

Feature requests, and in-depth discussions of features and the way Mellel works

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laup
Knows everything, can prove it
Posts: 251
Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2006 4:13 am
Location: Topanga, California

Modest Touch-Up Suggestions

Post by laup » Sat Oct 17, 2009 12:04 am

Having just skimmed through parts of the manual for the first time in eons, I have a few suggestions for Mellel tuning.

1. The margins and tabs interface has always been confusing. I suggest that the entries be

Indent (1st)
Indent (others)
End of Line

Instead of

First
Indent
End

2. Terminology on Face and Style Variation. These seem to by synonyms, but having both terms in a cause of ambiguity for the user. I suggest a transition to one or the other. In the meantime, it would be good for the manual to use both words, as in "Style variation (Face)" just to head off confusion.

3. Generate Template. It would seem to me relatively easy for Mellel to generate an empty template from a given document set up the way one wants it. That is, Save-As-Empty-Template would generate a template with the document's style, auto-title, etc., but none of the text.

4. Get rid of that diamond that appears at about the 5-3/4 inch mark when looking at the ruler in the Edit Auto-Number layout interface with some Auto-title flow highlighted. It is both confusing and trouble-causing because it "begs" to be moved, which will prove frustrating. It seems to me that this is an outright bug of long-standing, but I may not understand.

5. Use inches rather than points as the default measurement because, properly speaking, point size varies with font. Perhaps this causes no trouble for most people because you and they assume that "72 points" really means "1 inch". If so, shouldn't the choice be between inches, centimeters, and "standard points"? Otherwise, the setting is a fib.

6. CMD-B, CMD-I, etc. As I recall from a few years ago, it caused trouble if the author sometimes used these "universal" commands" and sometimes used F2, F3, or the character pallette choices of style variation (face). I think that the issue had to do with whether, as a default, Mellel would import something in italic (via CMD-I) as in the italic style variation. I created a Word document with a sentence using both bold and italics; I imported it into Mellel. I then turned the paragraph into the default regular style. Using the default style, the paragraph and character showed up as regular, the little pane at the top o the page said "diamond-Par. style+ and Character Regular (Base)." I then replaced a diamond style for a paragraph with the "regular" paragraph style. At that point, everything visible to me looked fine--the sentence itself, the pane at the top, and the checked items in the pallettes. It looks, then, as if everything is now working intuitively except for the need to do the replacement. Remembering that there used to be a problem, however, I looked in the manual and found nothing to explain the issue or mention changes that have occurred. Should there be something?

7. Word's new .docx format. I did not find anything in the manual on this, but I believe it to be the case that Mellel cannot import a .docx document. In the one experiment I did, I got greek letters, etc. Since .docx is rapidly becoming the standard, and since I don't know that one can change a .docx document into a .rtf without having Word (or perhaps Pages), this might be a bit of a hassle for Mellel users. As a minimum, the manual should explain what to do (unless it already does and I didn't find it).

The manual says on page 312 that one can simply open simple Word files in Mellel. That's no longer true.


Sorry if any of my comments are the result of my not searching effectively.
Paul

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