Too bad, I was getting in love!

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

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Giovanni
Got the styles thing figured out
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2020 9:10 am

Too bad, I was getting in love!

Post by Giovanni »

I was getting in love with Mellel. It has a logic structure, much more than Word. It could be my nirvana choice.
But there are some point that are very hard to accept. I tell you for your information.
  • Cannot rotate images - that can be solved outside Mellel - not practical but possible
    Cannot crop images - this point is for me unacceptable. I should modify by small steps and try and try.
    Cannot export images so that I can rotate them and reimport - this also is most difficult to accept, expecially for existing documents.
    Cannot have a style with bullets, always have to apply also "list" style - very slow, word is too better. But I cannot understand why, it should be not difficult to add this to the style properties.
    TOC must be erased and re-created - not very decent... but eventually acceptable
Very sorry: I must give up.

Congratulation however for this wonderful piece of software (and for a short nice dream...)
Icelander
Knows everything, can prove it
Posts: 317
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2014 10:59 pm

Re: Too bad, I was getting in love!

Post by Icelander »

Dear Giovanni,
Mellel is a word processor and not an image editor.
Cannot export images […] this also is most difficult to accept, expecially for existing documents.
What's wrong with copy and paste? It's the easiest, fastest and most intuitive way.
Cannot have a style with bullets, always have to apply also "list" style - very slow
Adding a list style to a paragraph or paragraphs requires one mouse-click. I think it's not reasonable to call that "very slow."
Amontillado
Knows everything, can prove it
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Joined: Fri May 04, 2018 4:00 am

Re: Too bad, I was getting in love!

Post by Amontillado »

Perhaps the problem is applying a list style and having the left margin shift. I confess that was not what I expected, then I realized the list style's margins are absolute on the page, not relative to the enclosing paragraph style. All's well now that my list style indents agree with my body paragraph style.

I have one remaining point of confusion, one of the very few I have in Mellel these days.

When you edit a list style, you have a chance to pick a character style. I can't tell that changing the character style has any effect. The preview remains the same, existing lists don't change, and future lists still pick up the character style of the enclosing paragraph style.

Suggestions of how to learn what that character style means most welcome.

I include photos in letters fairly often. I wish Mellel supported some kind of frame that could contain a photo and its caption. I believe there's a workaround.

It is very easy to exceed the layout capabilities of almost any word processor. Publishing software is a different animal from word processing.
Amontillado
Knows everything, can prove it
Posts: 109
Joined: Fri May 04, 2018 4:00 am

Re: Too bad, I was getting in love!

Post by Amontillado »

Ok, I figured it out. In the list style setup, the character style is the font, color, and size of the bullet. The text continues in the paragraph and character style in effect when the list feature is turned on.

I was also wrong about the indent for lists being absolute to the page. They are relative to the "start" margin of the paragraph style in effect.

If your symbol position is at 0, it will appear at the start margin plus zero.

In a list style, the character style is the font the bullets come from.

The margin is the inward step for each succeeding level.

Indent is how far the first bullet is indented from the current paragraph style's start margin. The start margin in a paragraph style is where lines start, end is where they end, and indent is where the first line's margin goes.

The symbol position is where the bullet goes. If you set the symbol position greater than your indent, then the bullet will be parked on top of your text. Generally, you don't want to do that. Mellel salutes and runs up the hill if you tell it to.

Particularly now that I've got that under my belt, I have to say this is how I think lists should work.

When you want the paragraph style to change, you select a new paragraph style (or you let the next style setting progress from one style to the next).

When you want a list, you turn on a list style, either one provided by Mellel or go rogue - delete Mellel's styles and create your own. Turning on the list feature does not change the paragraph style. That means every paragraph style can support lists.

If you want to change paragraph style and turn on list styles, then you do have to two operations.

I'm un-bugged for this reason.

If list features were in the paragraph style, then it's likely that list-enabled paragraph styles would have non-list-enabled matching paragraph styles. If you wanted to change the indent in one, you would have to remember to change the indent in the other.

While that might not be too much of an inconvenience, I like the way Mellel features don't have side effects. If I change the margins in my body style, it doesn't affect list indentation. Like changing the margins of a page reflows the paragraphs, paragraph margins are what lists work with.

If you want to see styles in a train wreck, check out Affinity Publisher. I like AP. I use it for my alter-ego's midnight pamphleteering. It's great. It sucks at being a word processor, which is ok since it's not a word processor. It's also clumsy with styles, and that's less ok. I can get the job done, but, ewww.

It's not clean like Mellel.

As Mellel says, Mellel isn't for everyone. As The Grateful Dead once meant to say in their philosophical work, Truckin', "Livin' on Outlook, Clippy and Word and Excel, all a friend can say is ain't it a shame."

The Grateful Dead were wise. So, so wise.
Giovanni
Got the styles thing figured out
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2020 9:10 am

Re: Too bad, I was getting in love!

Post by Giovanni »

[quote=Icelander post_id=20567 time=1660168742 user_id=21634
What's wrong with copy and paste? It's the easiest, fastest and most intuitive way.
[/quote]

Thanks to your answer, I discovered that Mac Preview has a lot of features that can help in this, like rotate, crop, adjust color etc.. E.g.: CMD/C, CMD/N in preview creates a file from the clipboard, CMD/R or L to rotate, CMD/C and CMD/V in Mellel. Not very practical but acceptable.
Giovanni
Got the styles thing figured out
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2020 9:10 am

Re: Too bad, I was getting in love!

Post by Giovanni »

Regarding "Mellel is a word processor and not an image editor", I can partially agree. Today software offers normally some reasonable functions to make easier the work, even for "out of boundary" needs.
Amontillado
Knows everything, can prove it
Posts: 109
Joined: Fri May 04, 2018 4:00 am

Re: Too bad, I was getting in love!

Post by Amontillado »

I remember getting mildly frustrated with certain features in Mellel. Every time, once I learned the reasoning and the mechanism behind the feature, I found that if I didn't think the approach was brilliant it was at least flexible and without side effect.

That's probably what people mean when they say Mellel has a learning curve. It's not that you have to learn Mellel as much as you have to see different solutions to the problem of how to handle text.

There really is more than one way to skin the vellum from the cat.

No harm to cats intended. There are two strays here. They were starving. I didn't want cats and am not a cat person. I figured if I fed them they would gain the strength to venture out on their own and live successful lives. Unfortunately, successful cat lives seem to be tied to free cat food.

Didn't see that coming.
Icelander
Knows everything, can prove it
Posts: 317
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2014 10:59 pm

Re: Too bad, I was getting in love!

Post by Icelander »

Giovanni wrote: Thu Aug 11, 2022 8:42 am Regarding "Mellel is a word processor and not an image editor", I can partially agree.
Just a suggestion: have you tried to open the lock and use "Float in frame", then close the edit-window and press the Option key while you drag the image content around in the frame? This should allow you to focus on certain parts of the image. Example: In my test I inserted a picture of a person's head. By using the Option key and drag around, the image is now only showing the nose and the mouth of the person. Don't know whether that helps in your case.
Icelander
Knows everything, can prove it
Posts: 317
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2014 10:59 pm

Re: Too bad, I was getting in love!

Post by Icelander »

Amontillado wrote: Wed Aug 10, 2022 10:21 pm Perhaps the problem is applying a list style and having the left margin shift.
Oh, I didn't think of that. You may be right. But in that case I think Giovanni should have confirmed that by now, but he hasn't. He hasn't also responded to the suggestion regarding 'floating in frame', so he's obviously not truly interested in the discussion.
[…] I have to say this is how I think lists should work.
The good thing is, both Nisus and Mellel allow the user to decide how he or she wants the list to look exactly. I have always liked the default list settings and never felt the urge to change them. Therefore, thanks to you Amontillado for elaborating on this topic.

You seem to be a great fan of "The Grateful Dead." I never liked their music which—in my ears—sounds eclectic. I admit though, I never bothered to listen to their lyrics. Generally speaking, the music always was and is the predominant factor for me when I listen to popular music. But I'm always willing to learn. If the lyrics are good, that can change everything. Name me a few of their best songs, and let's see if you can change my mind. :–)
Amontillado
Knows everything, can prove it
Posts: 109
Joined: Fri May 04, 2018 4:00 am

Re: Too bad, I was getting in love!

Post by Amontillado »

Icelander, you've called me out! I'm not a Dead scholar, although an old riding buddy was.

As for Dead songs, Friend of the Devil, Uncle John's Band, and of course Truckin' are good for the soul.

Probably my favorite is Touch of Grey. There's a relaxed stoicism in the lyrics. "Every silver lining has its touch of grey," and it's got that loose motion the Grateful Dead carried well. Maybe there's a story there, too.

Long ago, in an interregnum between Music Education and Music Theory degree plans, I was an Electrical Engineering major. Those were years I let my old van stay parked. I had 1978 Yamaha 750 triple motorcycle. It was somewhat unique. I didn't see many other Yamaha triples on the street.

One day across from the EE building, I saw a red 750 triple, the standard model I wished I had gotten. Mine was the Special, but the more classic lines of the standard model were more to my taste.

I saw the other 750 in traffic a couple of times. The next semester I was happy to see another student in a digital logic class with a helmet and tank bag just like that other 750 carried. The class was a snoozer, considered necessary but so basic it was the only self-taught course in EE. Jeff, the other rider, came up with the most puzzling logic networks to tease fellow students. His circle of friends included other motorcyclists as did mine, and we had many, many pleasant rides in the Texas Hill Country.

He was looking for work. I had a graveyard shift job at a bank, running an IBM 370. A position was available. The bank president was a family friend. I think I helped Jeff land a mainframe operator's job.

Jeff craved the Grateful Dead. He saw them a number of times, any time they were in range of his motorcycle.

He graduated and landed a job at Texas Instruments where he earned immediate respect, as he should have. I dropped out and helped an electronic instrument startup.

The startup really soared. One of my products went into labs at Lawrence Livermore. Another ended up as a prop on Miami Vice. Twice. One of my side jobs got industry awards. I had been thinking of what a great friend Jeff had been, looked him up in the pre-Internet phone book, and called.

His wife answered. We chatted for a few moments, reliving good times and Jeff's outlook.

When I finally asked if Jeff was around, she said she needed to tell me something she didn't know how to say. Jeff had passed away. He had gone to a convenience store on his bike to get milk. An inattentive driver inflicted injuries he couldn't survive.

I never hear the Grateful Dead without thinking of Jeff. He was a silver lining to everyone in his life, particularly his wife and infant son. I never follow the front wheel of my bike down quiet country roads without those group rides in the Hill Country in the back of my mind.

There is always a touch of grey to those memories.

This has been a wonderful moment. Thank you. I found reason to revive cherished memories of an old friend.

Be well, Icelander.
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