Em dash

For all things Mellel

Moderators: redlers, Eyal Redler, Ori Redler

matonmacs
New to all this
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2006 3:17 am

Post by matonmacs » Tue Sep 19, 2006 5:46 am

Is there any way within Mellel to duplicate Word's behavior for the em-dash? In Word you just type two hyphens--like so--and it automatically replaces them with the em dash. I'd love to have that in Mellel.

Thanks

jannuss
Knows everything, can prove it
Posts: 813
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2005 5:35 am
Location: Israel

Post by jannuss » Tue Sep 19, 2006 6:13 am

matonmacs wrote:Is there any way within Mellel to duplicate Word's behavior for the em-dash? In Word you just type two hyphens--like so--and it automatically replaces them with the em dash.
Auto-substitution is one of the things I really dislike in Word.

You're typing in a long run of text and, plop, in the middle Word changes something. Now, go and find it and see if that's what you wanted.

Janet

matonmacs
New to all this
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2006 3:17 am

Post by matonmacs » Tue Sep 19, 2006 7:03 am

jannuss wrote:Auto-substitution is one of the things I really dislike in Word.

You're typing in a long run of text and, plop, in the middle Word changes something. Now, go and find it and see if that's what you wanted.

Janet
Well to each her own, I guess, but I find typing two hyphens much more natural than the somewhat awkward key combo in Mellel (though of course that's my Word muscle memory talking--maybe I can retrain my hands to the Mellel combo, but it seems awkward, particularly since it seems to require two hands). I also miss Word's auto substitution of the superscripted 'st', 'nd', 'rd', 'th', etc. after numbers.

Danoz
Got the auto-title mojo working
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2006 7:19 am

Post by Danoz » Tue Sep 19, 2006 7:28 am

matonmacs wrote: I find typing two hyphens much more natural than the somewhat awkward key combo in Mellel
Actually, if you use other apps as well, you will find the "Mellel" key combination to be useful. As it's not actually a Mellel key combination, but system wide. So, once you get used to using it, you could do so in just about any other app as well.

Nick

zoul
Knows everything, can prove it
Posts: 120
Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2006 1:48 pm
Location: Boskovice, Czech Republic
Contact:

Post by zoul » Tue Sep 19, 2006 7:31 am

Well the nice thing about the standard system shortcut for em-dash is that it works system wide. I am so used to it that I type it quite automatically – if you type a lot, just rely on your muscle memory and you’ll see that you’ll be typing it without hassle in one or two months. (Same goes for non-breaking space, curly quotes or whatever other characters one types frequently.)

I am also against the automatic replace, or at least against it being turned on by default. Replacing things like 1st would also require a bit more sophistication than in Word, because in Mellel superscripts can be done both via ad-hoc styling and switching character style. I think it’s not a big deal to do it by hand and if you have a document full of it, simply make a find/replace action to do it for you.

rpcameron
Knows everything, can prove it
Posts: 978
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 12:48 am
Location: IE, CA, USA

Post by rpcameron » Tue Sep 19, 2006 3:43 pm

I'm certain that if you searched through the fora you could find past discussions on auto-correct and similar types of functions for Mellel. Most users fall into one of two categories: those who desperately miss these functions from Word (but who could live without it), and those who vehemently despise them and hope it never makes it into Mellel.

As a member of the second camp, I have proposed an idea of a glossary. Similar to auto-correct, but empty to being with. (For an example, check out Gobe Productive's glossary tool ... and to an extent the original Nisus Writer's glossary, too.)
— Robert Cameron

alexwein
Read the guide, knows everything
Posts: 54
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2005 9:31 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon, USA

Post by alexwein » Wed Sep 20, 2006 2:01 am

rpcameron wrote:I'm certain that if you searched through the fora you could find past discussions on auto-correct and similar types of functions for Mellel. Most users fall into one of two categories: those who desperately miss these functions from Word (but who could live without it), and those who vehemently despise them and hope it never makes it into Mellel.

As a member of the second camp, I have proposed an idea of a glossary. Similar to auto-correct, but empty to being with. (For an example, check out Gobe Productive's glossary tool ... and to an extent the original Nisus Writer's glossary, too.)
Em dash creation via two hyphens is a feature (usually as a selection in Preferences) of many programs, and you don't need a bloated, Word-like glossary in order to get them. I myself looked on this forum earlier today for just this issue, actually before seeing this post. After many years of typing two hyphens for an em dash it is totally automatic for me now. I used to do a global find/replace, but most other programs I use have this option and it is quite easy and elegant. I don't think it's any worse than having smart quotes, which is the one nod Mellel seems to give to typographical preferences. I personally would love to see it.

rpcameron
Knows everything, can prove it
Posts: 978
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 12:48 am
Location: IE, CA, USA

Post by rpcameron » Wed Sep 20, 2006 3:46 am

alexwein wrote:
rpcameron wrote:I'm certain that if you searched through the fora you could find past discussions on auto-correct and similar types of functions for Mellel. Most users fall into one of two categories: those who desperately miss these functions from Word (but who could live without it), and those who vehemently despise them and hope it never makes it into Mellel.

As a member of the second camp, I have proposed an idea of a glossary. Similar to auto-correct, but empty to being with. (For an example, check out Gobe Productive's glossary tool ... and to an extent the original Nisus Writer's glossary, too.)
Em dash creation via two hyphens is a feature (usually as a selection in Preferences) of many programs, and you don't need a bloated, Word-like glossary in order to get them. I myself looked on this forum earlier today for just this issue, actually before seeing this post. After many years of typing two hyphens for an em dash it is totally automatic for me now. I used to do a global find/replace, but most other programs I use have this option and it is quite easy and elegant. I don't think it's any worse than having smart quotes, which is the one nod Mellel seems to give to typographical preferences. I personally would love to see it.
Only half-true. The Word feature that converts two hyphens into an em dash also controls the auto-correct for common misspellings. If we're going to go this route, I'd prefer one hyphen for a hyphen, two for an en dash and three for an em dash (just like TeX).
— Robert Cameron

alexwein
Read the guide, knows everything
Posts: 54
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2005 9:31 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon, USA

Post by alexwein » Wed Sep 20, 2006 3:16 pm

rpcameron wrote:Only half-true. The Word feature that converts two hyphens into an em dash also controls the auto-correct for common misspellings. If we're going to go this route, I'd prefer one hyphen for a hyphen, two for an en dash and three for an em dash (just like TeX).
Yes, I know this about Word. I was referring to other programs that have this feature and merely pointing out that you can have this feature without all the auto-correct stuff Word gives you, which is extremely annoying and why I never use Word (among other reasons). You can select the option to convert double hyphens to an em dash or not in the preferences. It is two dashes for an em dash in those programs, and I prefer that convert into an em dash, since an en dash is something much less used in my kind of writing. But, of course, as always, we all have our preferences! :)

rpcameron
Knows everything, can prove it
Posts: 978
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 12:48 am
Location: IE, CA, USA

Post by rpcameron » Wed Sep 20, 2006 5:37 pm

alexwein wrote:
rpcameron wrote:Only half-true. The Word feature that converts two hyphens into an em dash also controls the auto-correct for common misspellings. If we're going to go this route, I'd prefer one hyphen for a hyphen, two for an en dash and three for an em dash (just like TeX).
Yes, I know this about Word. I was referring to other programs that have this feature and merely pointing out that you can have this feature without all the auto-correct stuff Word gives you, which is extremely annoying and why I never use Word (among other reasons). You can select the option to convert double hyphens to an em dash or not in the preferences. It is two dashes for an em dash in those programs, and I prefer that convert into an em dash, since an en dash is something much less used in my kind of writing. But, of course, as always, we all have our preferences! :)
While you may use the em dash for more frequently, please remember that not all locales or styles use the same typography. When we use an em dash in American English, British English style usually calls for an en dash surrounded by thin spaces. Also, American English style also calls for an en dash to be used when linking compound words or phrased, as well as series of numbers (or other bits of information).

For further reading on the differences between the en and em dash (and other such characters), I suggest reading: “The Trouble With EM ’n EN (and Other Shady Characters)”.
— Robert Cameron

jannuss
Knows everything, can prove it
Posts: 813
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2005 5:35 am
Location: Israel

Post by jannuss » Wed Sep 20, 2006 6:10 pm

rpcameron wrote:For further reading on the differences between the en and em dash (and other such characters), I suggest reading: “The Trouble With EM ’n EN (and Other Shady Characters)”.
Fascinating.
Now, what I really need is a reference that explains all this not with regard to HML 4.0, but with regard to Unicode-savvy word processors, i.e. Mellel.

Janet

rpcameron
Knows everything, can prove it
Posts: 978
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 12:48 am
Location: IE, CA, USA

Post by rpcameron » Wed Sep 20, 2006 7:56 pm

jannuss wrote:
rpcameron wrote:For further reading on the differences between the en and em dash (and other such characters), I suggest reading: “The Trouble With EM ’n EN (and Other Shady Characters)”.
Fascinating.
Now, what I really need is a reference that explains all this not with regard to HML 4.0, but with regard to Unicode-savvy word processors, i.e. Mellel.
Perhaps I'm not understanding what you're asking for. While the article was written with a web developers slant, everything about the usage of such characters (including the multitude of spaces) still applies for ordinary word processing. (It might help to keep the audience and context of the article I linked to in mind as well: A List Apart is a resource and publication for web developers; and the article was written back in 2001.)
— Robert Cameron

jannuss
Knows everything, can prove it
Posts: 813
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2005 5:35 am
Location: Israel

Post by jannuss » Wed Sep 20, 2006 9:16 pm

rpcameron wrote:Perhaps I'm not understanding what you're asking for. While the article was written with a web developers slant, everything about the usage of such characters (including the multitude of spaces) still applies for ordinary word processing.
Yes, but the article makes a big point that text editors/word processors can't handle unicode [couldn't in 2001]. All references are to what is and isn't doable in html 4.01.

We're writing in Mellel in 2006; we can use unicode.
I'd like to read more on this subject that emphasises what I can do, not what I can't.

Janet

Mart°n
Knows everything, can prove it
Posts: 671
Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2005 2:09 am
Location: Germany

Post by Mart°n » Thu Sep 21, 2006 3:13 am

jannuss wrote:
rpcameron wrote:Perhaps I'm not understanding what you're asking for. While the article was written with a web developers slant, everything about the usage of such characters (including the multitude of spaces) still applies for ordinary word processing.
Yes, but the article makes a big point that text editors/word processors can't handle unicode [couldn't in 2001]. All references are to what is and isn't doable in html 4.01.

We're writing in Mellel in 2006; we can use unicode.
I'd like to read more on this subject that emphasises what I can do, not what I can't.
You could put aside the Unicode and HTML stuff and only read the rest that could easily adopted for the use with Mellel. For example:
The en dash (&x#8211;) is used to indicate a range of just about anything with numbers, including dates, numbers, game scores, and pages in any sort of document.
Throw away the (&x#8211;) thing (I had to insert a x to prevent the character to be rendered as a such) and read the sentence again. The usage of an en dash is still the same in 2006 and you could insert it in Mellel via
Insert › Special Characters › Hyphen & Dash › En dash
The same is true for all the other chapters with the difference, that you can use all the characters (spaces, dashes, dots) that are mentioned inside the article with Mellel. Most are available via the Insert menu.

You could also use keystrokes (keyboard shortcuts) to insert those fancy characters. Some are listed here:Digit Features - Font Masterclass others could be learned by using the OS X keyboard viewer (also mentioned in the article above). Some shortcuts may vary due to different keyboard layouts across different countries.

Some examples for a German keyboard (may also work on other Keyboard Layouts):

ellipsis (…) alt+.
hyphen (-) -
en-dash (–) alt+-
em-dash(—) alt+shift+-
straight single quote (') shift+#/'
apostrophe (’) alt+shift+#/'
straigt double quote (") shift+2/"
curly opening quote [German version] („) alt+^/°
curly closing quote [German version] (”) alt+shift+2/"
alternative opening quote [German version] (») alt+shift+q
alternative closing quote [German version] («) alt+q

to be continued…

The only characters that couldn’t be inserted via keystrokes (as far as I know) are the various space characters (No-Break space, Em space, En space, Thin space, Hair space…) but they are available via the Insert › Special Characters › Space › … menu.

alexwein
Read the guide, knows everything
Posts: 54
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2005 9:31 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon, USA

Post by alexwein » Thu Sep 21, 2006 3:18 am

rpcameron wrote:While you may use the em dash for more frequently, please remember that not all locales or styles use the same typography. When we use an em dash in American English, British English style usually calls for an en dash surrounded by thin spaces. Also, American English style also calls for an en dash to be used when linking compound words or phrased, as well as series of numbers (or other bits of information).

For further reading on the differences between the en and em dash (and other such characters), I suggest reading: “The Trouble With EM ’n EN (and Other Shady Characters)”.
Yes, I do know all of this. I'm well aware of the different usages for dashes, thanks. I spent years as an editor for academic journals and publishers, and we received many submissions with lots of variations for all dashes (which we subsequently changed to the conventions used by the publisher).

I'm not suggesting that double hyphen/em dashes are used uniformly all over the world or in uniform ways. I'm merely saying that this is something other programs have in this particular fashion (double hyphen to em dash), programs I use quite often, and I'd love it if Mellel had it.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 9 guests