Outlining feature requests

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

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rmathes
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Outlining feature requests

Post by rmathes » Mon Feb 19, 2007 3:43 am

new Mellel user, so I'm not well versed in the history and paradigm of this product. So if my suggestions are contrary to the history and stated development arc of this product, my apologies. But after dipping my toes into the Mellel water, here’s what I'd like to see so far. Interested in whether I should submit these as a formal request or if I'm the only one who’d really want this stuff.

Re the outlining pane, I'd like to be able to....

Have separate formatting options just for it. Allow me to select background color, font size, type and color.

Create a ‘status’ variable for each outlining entry. Specifically, I'd love to be able to code my outline entries as ‘haven’t started yet’, ‘in work’, ‘ready for review’, and ‘complete’. In other words, give me some customization capability and then some way to visually distinguish one category from another.

The outline functionality is powerful. But I look at my document and it’s difficult to tell what the overall status of the project is. How far along am I? Which section was it again that I needed to go back and review? Which ones am I finished with and don’t need to fuss over any longer? Which ones have I not even started? Given the power of Mellel, wouldn’t surprise me if similar functionality was there and I just haven’t found it yet.

Re Full Screen mode, allow me to either globally or by document change background color and text font/size/color JUST for full screen, leaving the document settings intact. Not being able to do this seems like a major hole to me.

Just these tidbits would’ve already made my life easier. And as a point of reference, I'm not trying to make this app into another app. The only other word processor I've used on the Mac is Word, and I've hated virtually every minute of it. Never used Classic (I'm a recent convert to this platform, going on 4 years now) so I'm not longing for some past functionality. Just trying to make a terrific app a bit more usable, at least for my workflow.

donb
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Post by donb » Mon Feb 19, 2007 6:38 am

<Have separate formatting options just for it. Allow me to select background color, font size, type and color.

To some extent this is already possible in Mellel. The trick is to make a character and a paragraph style for each autotitle possibility you want. The autotitle pane gives you opportunity to define character, paragraph and character style variant for each autotitle you make. (Details are in my Beginners Tutorial which you can download from the Redlers' site.)

<Create a ‘status’ variable for each outlining entry

This is not yet a practical possibility in the outlining pane; but it is possible to achieve a similar result in a different way. One is to assign a different color to, say, 4 variant paragraph styles which differ only by text color. (Define four character variants for the character syle, one for each of four colors, and then sdelect the color character variant you want associated with each of your otherwise identical paragraph styles.)

Another way is to create four footnote streams, each of a different color, which simply indentify the status of a particular text. If you made these streams also autotitle styles, you could have the outline panel indicate which footnote stream is associated with each particular text...

Both these methods allow you to change the status of any particular text merely by changing the paragraph style selected for it or by changing the footnote stream which identifies it.

Don Broadribb

rmathes
Got the auto-title mojo working
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Post by rmathes » Mon Feb 19, 2007 12:52 pm

donb....sorry for being dense.

Would that change the color of the text in the main text window, or just in the outline pane? I want the latter, not the former.

Mart°n
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Post by Mart°n » Mon Feb 19, 2007 1:33 pm

Don’s workarounds only help if you like to change the formatting of the Auto-Title itself which will only be visible in the text area but not inside the outline area.

I agree on your requests regarding the background color of the outline window, and the separate fullscreen settings. I also like the idea of status icons (or something else that allows you to tag Auto-Titles — maybe a new note feature would fulfill the same needs) but I think that the clear appearance of the outline pane could be totally destroyed with different fonts, font-sizes and colored text.
The Redlers idea (as far as I got it) was to create a silent user interface that helps you to do your work but doesn‘t distract you. A fully customizable outline pane hardly would fit into that scheme.

rmathes
Got the auto-title mojo working
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Post by rmathes » Mon Feb 19, 2007 1:59 pm

if that would only apply to the text window, then I don’t want to use it for the reason martin lists: I don’t want to clutter my work area and create distractions.

Re the outline pane, being able to either create a new column that showed status, or being able to have the font auto-change depending on status (could be by color, for example), would be a powerful tool for me and my workflow.

If others found it distracting, they could simply note enable that functionality, and the pane itself is easily hidden while working.

But if the goal is to help me get more done, more quickly, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to use the outline pane not just to see the structure of the document as a whole but to be able to give me information on what I need to do within that structure?

As it stands now, the only way to see that is to click on each area and manually inspect it, or maintain some system outside of Mellel tracking said status. How is THAT not disruptive to workflow, or an aid to efficient work?

it seems like the natural place for such information to reside. The core information and structure is already there.

Because of such a limitation, I can see using something like Scrivener for the actual construction of a doc, and then use Mellel for final polishing, annotation and publishing. But I'd rather not use two tools if I can use one.

danzac

Post by danzac » Mon Feb 19, 2007 7:47 pm

One feature of the outline pane I would like is for it to highlight the section that my cursor is in inside the main window. This is useful especially when using find for words. Once I find a word I usually don't know where I am in the paper. If the outline would shade the auto-title that I am under, this would help greatly.

Shayne
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Post by Shayne » Thu Feb 22, 2007 12:27 am

danzac wrote:One feature of the outline pane I would like is for it to highlight the section that my cursor is in inside the main window. This is useful especially when using find for words. Once I find a word I usually don't know where I am in the paper. If the outline would shade the auto-title that I am under, this would help greatly.
I would like to second this; I think I requested something similar, perhaps on the old forum. Many of my documents are 1-2,000 pages, and to have the current cursor position somehow show up in the outline pane (highlighted, etc.) would be extremely useful in terms of document navigation.

Shayne

Mart°n
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Post by Mart°n » Thu Feb 22, 2007 12:45 am

Shayne wrote:
danzac wrote:One feature of the outline pane I would like is for it to highlight the section that my cursor is in inside the main window.
I would like to second this; Many of my documents are 1-2,000 pages, and to have the current cursor position somehow show up in the outline pane (highlighted, etc.) would be extremely useful in terms of document navigation.
Shayne
I like to third this. For very long documents with very long outlines, it may be useful to see a split-outline feature (along with split screen) so that one could easily jump between two position in the outline without the need to scroll up or down or to collapse/expand some outline parts.

FA1
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Post by FA1 » Thu Feb 22, 2007 3:31 am

danzac wrote:One feature of the outline pane I would like is for it to highlight the section that my cursor is in inside the main window. This is useful especially when using find for words. Once I find a word I usually don't know where I am in the paper. If the outline would shade the auto-title that I am under, this would help greatly.
I put up a poll for this feature here:
http://forum.redlers.com/viewtopic.php?t=813

Shayne
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Post by Shayne » Thu Feb 22, 2007 3:56 am

FA1 wrote: I put up a poll for this feature here:
http://forum.redlers.com/viewtopic.php?t=813
The poll seems to be closed--can it be reopened?

Shayne

farcas
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Re: Outlining feature requests

Post by farcas » Mon Oct 26, 2015 4:21 pm

[quote="danzac"][quote="danzac"]One feature of the outline pane I would like is for it to highlight the section that my cursor is in inside the main window. This is useful especially when using find for words. Once I find a word I usually don't know where I am in the paper. If the outline would shade the auto-title that I am under, this would help greatly.

I'd like to second the general idea here! Anything and everything that can help keep a sense of where you are in a document (whether that be in a search or something else) would be helpful.

(I think the particular feature is already working)


Thanks!

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