Organising cross references

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tika-tika
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Organising cross references

Post by tika-tika » Fri Apr 12, 2013 11:08 am

I imagine that I am missing something here and hope someone can help. I am developing a long document with hundreds of auto-titles. Its one of the reasons that I like Mellel... great control over auto-numbering and all that. As I start writing, I find the cross-referencing of auto-titles burdensome. They are organised in order of appearance in the document without numbers or levels showing so it can take a minute or two to scroll through and find the one I want. Further, many auto-titles have the same name because the they are under different parent auto-titles... so its easy to pick the wrong one.

On the question side, is there a way to make auto-title levels appear to make them easier to find when cross-referencing?

On the improvements for Mellel side: it would be great if the auto-titles in cross referencing looked something like the outline panel in which sections are collapsable and indented with the levels showing. Even better would be to have the auto-titles searchable in the cross-referencing dialogue.

chriggi
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Re: Organising cross references

Post by chriggi » Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:35 pm

+1

macsailor
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Re: Organising cross references

Post by macsailor » Sat Apr 13, 2013 7:39 am

+1 as well
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DylanMuir
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Re: Organising cross references

Post by DylanMuir » Sun Apr 14, 2013 7:19 am

Great suggestions. Choosing a title for cross-referencing is pretty poorly designed at present.

nicka
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Re: Organising cross references

Post by nicka » Sun Apr 14, 2013 11:43 am

I agree too. Actually, I doubt that anyone who has used cross-references in Mellel would disagree. A flat list, in a small font which can't be changed, in a tiny box which can't be expanded. And if your autotitles don't have captions (e.g. I have a stream that I use to produce numbers for examples: (1), (2) etc.) then they all look exactly the same in the list and the only way to see which is which is to click on each one to see the preview!

Two suggestions for improvement:

First, a minimal change: put what is currently in the preview pane (on the right side of the dialogue box) into the list (in the middle of the dialogue box).

Second, and preferable, a thorough revamping: support drag-and-drop from the outline pane to the text to create cross-references.

Eyal Redler
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Re: Organising cross references

Post by Eyal Redler » Sun Apr 21, 2013 6:12 pm

Thanks for you comments. I like many of these suggestions, I think the Drag and drop one is excellent and we will definitively consider adding this.
I would love to hear move suggestions / complaints about the x-ref panel.
Eyal Redler
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chriggi
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Re: Organising cross references

Post by chriggi » Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:06 am

Another problem I have with the X-reference-mechanism concern the elements I can use to display the x-reference (the "link" text): Although I like the generic character und the flexibility it generally allows, I constantly run into problems with the levels of auto-titles: Most of the time, I use x-references to reference a chapter or sub-chapter by its numbering ("see chapter 4.3 for a discussion of that"). At first sight (and normally), this works great. I can move the subchapter, add chapters – and the numbering is updated, perfect.

Problem: If I change the level of this chapter (like upgrading a sub-chapter to a chapter), this breaks the system, because each level number is referenced indivually. I could personally live better with a reference format that just takes over the numbering from the outline and does not generate it on its own for each instance and level.

Or is that already possible?

Eyal Redler
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Re: Organising cross references

Post by Eyal Redler » Fri Apr 26, 2013 2:41 pm

It is already possible.
When you're referring to an autotitle, you can either use the individual elements (curr#, title etc.) in the reference format or you can use the "Auto-title format" element which uses the format given by the auto title flow. The format given by the flow is something you can customize. If you use that then when you change the level of the autotitle Mellel will automatically switch to the appropriate format for that new level.

For example:
Say you have two flows:
Chapter
Subchapter
Then you need to do the following:
1. Open Insert->Autotitle->Edit title flows
2. Click on "Chapter"
3. Click on the "Ref format" - this is where you setup how references to auto titles of this flow will look like
4. Check the "Use a different format for Cross Reference" so you can customize the format (otherwise it will use the main format which is usually not appropriate)
5. Setup the format. For example: "Chapter <Curr#>", and set the character style to "use surrounding"
6. Click on "Subchapter" and edit the ref format for that flow. For example: "Subchapter <prev#1>.<curr#>"
7. Close the autotitle sheet

So far for setting the format for references to these auto titles now lets insert an Chapter auto title followed by a subchapter auto title.

Now let's insert a reference:
1. Choose Insert->Cross reference->Insert Reference
2. Choose the subchapter autotitle as a target
3. Now edit the format as so: See <auto-title format> on page <page#>
4. Click OK

The reference should look like this "See Subchapter 1.1"

Now, change the level of the autotitle
1. Right click on the subchapter autotitle
2. In the contextual menu that pops up choose "Auto-title flow->Chapter"

The reference should now look like this "See Chapter 1"
Eyal Redler
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chriggi
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Re: Organising cross references

Post by chriggi » Wed May 15, 2013 10:10 am

Perfect, thanks!

tika-tika
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Re: Organising cross references

Post by tika-tika » Sat May 18, 2013 12:41 am

Eyal Redler wrote:It is already possible....
That is awesome... saved me from a world of pain. Thanks for pointing it out.

(Original request still stands though, and drag and drop from the outline pane would be great I agree.)

chriggi
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Re: Organising cross references

Post by chriggi » Wed May 14, 2014 11:06 am

+1 for drag-and-drop from the outline pane. Would be soooo handy!

SDempsey
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Re: Organising cross references

Post by SDempsey » Thu May 15, 2014 6:08 pm

I've actually brought this up before.

+1 for the drag and drop. Of course, Mellel should remember the format for the cross-reference after it has been set as well.

Another option would be to have a little button beside each entry in the outline. Then you wouldn't have to even drag. Just click the button and the cross-reference could be inserted at the current cursor position.

tika-tika
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Re: Organising cross references

Post by tika-tika » Wed Aug 27, 2014 11:38 pm

I just had the (dis)pleasure of having to work with Word on a major project instead of my normal word processor: Mellel. I won't get into the rant of frustration that it caused and how nice it was to open up Mellel again to get back to another large document. The main thing that I noticed coming back to Mellel was this this issue. At least in Word, cross references were well organised, with lists selectable by type (header/ figures/ tables etc) and include the auto numbering in the selection list, so it was pretty easy to find. Sifting through 150-200 unnumbered autotitles in that little box is testing my patience when I try to cross reference in Mellel. Drag and drop from the outliner would be incredibly easy and a second best would be to learn from Word on this one and be able to select specific types of autotitles and/or search autotitles, all listed with their numbers.

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