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#21 Joe Weaks

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 09:52 AM

Given that Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 wasn't released until October 2011 (is that right?), can't we expect another year until the next paid update?
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#22 Mark Nigro

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 10:57 AM

James Tucker,

What is the conversion process from Pages iOS to Nisus using the Perl Macro?

I'm vey interested in the steps involved as I'm in the middle of writing a paper for seminary and would love to maximize my time away from the desk.

Currently I'm using NWP 1.4 but am considering an upgrade to 2.2. Think it's woth it?

Thanks in advance,

Mark

Edited by Mark Nigro , 04 June 2012 - 10:58 AM.


#23 A.D. Riddle

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 11:06 AM

Mark,

Switiching languages (and automatically changing key layouts) is very convenient for me in Mellel--I can do it in one keystroke. I am wondering what does NWP do that Mellel does not?

A.D.

#24 James Tucker

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 11:45 AM

James Tucker,

What is the conversion process from Pages iOS to Nisus using the Perl Macro?

I'm vey interested in the steps involved as I'm in the middle of writing a paper for seminary and would love to maximize my time away from the desk.

Currently I'm using NWP 1.4 but am considering an upgrade to 2.2. Think it's woth it?

Thanks in advance,

Mark


Mark,

The process isn't trivial, and requires knowledge of programming in general and NWP adaptation of Perl specifically. Here is the overall process:

1. To write is to think! My first draft is very much like a list of Pensées. I read, read, and jot a lot of notes.

2. To write is to think! I think a great deal about what I read. Because of my academic discipline of linguistics, I like to think through various arguments with particular attention to cross-disciplinary implications (e.g., how does premise A in theoretical linguistics affect, relate, or otherwise illustrate premise Z of Hebrew Linguistics [and how it relates to Premise A.Z of Comparative Semitics]). In other words, I begin to think through the nature of inference and coherency (attempting to seek after a clarified, succinctly stated thesis).

3. To write is to think! The next step I attempt to write out my thoughts in a formal argument. This is where iOS pages (used to be implemented). I would just write, not paying attention to a final format (the editing process is very important to me). I did this iOS Pages for I could sync it with my Mac (thus always having my paper with me). N.B.: Nothing like redeeming 15 minutes while sitting in the doctors office!

**I now have replaced iOS pages with Textastic. Textastic syncs with Dropbox, and supports XML. More importantly, it made use of the Textexpander APIs, thereby allowing me to implement XML more effortlessly.

4. Write a Macro to convert the XML to NWP (this is where knowledge of NWP Macro language is necessary).

5. I can edit in either Textastic or NWP at this stage. Formatting issues, I will typically take of in NWP.

Like I said, it's not trivial. But, if you have some knowledge of (or the aptitude for) writing code, then you can easily and very effectively take advantage of automating some rather mundane tasks.

Edited by James Tucker, 04 June 2012 - 12:01 PM.


#25 Mark Nigro

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 11:55 PM

Mark,

Switiching languages (and automatically changing key layouts) is very convenient for me in Mellel--I can do it in one keystroke. I am wondering what does NWP do that Mellel does not?

A.D.


A. D.,

That is a good question and one which others in this thread are likely better qualified to answer. I've just never made it far enough in my use of Mellel to become a power user and really compare its features with NWP.

However, as I had mentioned earlier, I do like Mellel from the minimal experience I have had with it. I like it's nimble feel and snappy response, not to mention the exotic element of it being developed in Israel! :) But I have always found myself confused in the how and where of things. No doubt this is my shortcoming in being uninformed. Perhaps one day I will sit down, read the users manual and really learn it well. That apparent layer of complexity may not be so thick after all.

NWP, on the other hand, lays out its feature set in the palettes and menus in such a way as to make it feel more intuitive or familiar. Its find-and-replace engine is pretty amazing and surprisingly easy to use. The other day after creating a fairly large document of mixed English and Hebrew text, I realized that the font size for the Hebrew was just a bit too small. I was able to quickly (and very easily) find every occurrence of Hebrew text and increase its size to where I wanted it, with two mouse clicks. I could probably do that in Mellel, but wouldn't know how without searching for it in the manual. Also, currently there are some nifty features in NWP that haven't been implemented in Mellel yet, such as the ePub and PDF-with-active-links export. Nisus also has a significant history on the Mac platform, has pioneered some important word-processing features that today are commonly used, and have a pretty clear vision for where they want to go. I've noticed that these things combined give its users a certain confidence...or comfortability.

Edited by Mark Nigro , 05 June 2012 - 12:16 AM.


#26 Mark Nigro

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 12:12 AM

Mark,

The process isn't trivial, and requires knowledge of programming in general and NWP adaptation of Perl specifically. Here is the overall process:

1. To write is to think! My first draft is very much like a list of Pensées. I read, read, and jot a lot of notes.

2. To write is to think! I think a great deal about what I read. Because of my academic discipline of linguistics, I like to think through various arguments with particular attention to cross-disciplinary implications (e.g., how does premise A in theoretical linguistics affect, relate, or otherwise illustrate premise Z of Hebrew Linguistics [and how it relates to Premise A.Z of Comparative Semitics]). In other words, I begin to think through the nature of inference and coherency (attempting to seek after a clarified, succinctly stated thesis).

3. To write is to think! The next step I attempt to write out my thoughts in a formal argument. This is where iOS pages (used to be implemented). I would just write, not paying attention to a final format (the editing process is very important to me). I did this iOS Pages for I could sync it with my Mac (thus always having my paper with me). N.B.: Nothing like redeeming 15 minutes while sitting in the doctors office!

**I now have replaced iOS pages with Textastic. Textastic syncs with Dropbox, and supports XML. More importantly, it made use of the Textexpander APIs, thereby allowing me to implement XML more effortlessly.

4. Write a Macro to convert the XML to NWP (this is where knowledge of NWP Macro language is necessary).

5. I can edit in either Textastic or NWP at this stage. Formatting issues, I will typically take of in NWP.

Like I said, it's not trivial. But, if you have some knowledge of (or the aptitude for) writing code, then you can easily and very effectively take advantage of automating some rather mundane tasks.


James,

Thanks so much for the VERY informative response. I liked seeing your personal approach to academic writing...you are indeed a thorough bloke.

I am assuming that if you go to such lengths to convert your text created on the iPad, and you do the formatting in NWP, there is some content that cannot be simply copied and pasted or sent over to the Mac in the body of an email? What exactly requires you to take this conversion process? For mere text created on my iPad, the email approach has been my inroad.

In all honesty, I'll probably not learn the code to create a macro. At least not anytime before 2013, as I've just got too much already that I need to read and write.

Next, I want to look into bibliographic software with the hope that it really will save me time...I've been copying/pasting my bibliographic references and avoiding the learning curve for something like Bookends or Sente. Any suggestions for helpful tutorials that cover the ins and outs? And in particular, that will help to understand HOW they work rather than just how to accomplish certain tasks that are assumed to be common knowledge? I am completely green in this area and the one video I saw from Bookends did not help explain what is happening in the referencing process....

Edited by Mark Nigro , 05 June 2012 - 12:24 AM.


#27 Ken Simpson

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 02:08 AM

Sorry, realised this violated my NDA, so I deleted it

Edited by Ken Simpson, 05 June 2012 - 02:10 AM.

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#28 James Tucker

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 09:42 AM

See comments below:

James,

Thanks so much for the VERY informative response. I liked seeing your personal approach to academic writing...you are indeed a thorough bloke.

I am assuming that if you go to such lengths to convert your text created on the iPad, and you do the formatting in NWP, there is some content that cannot be simply copied and pasted or sent over to the Mac in the body of an email? What exactly requires you to take this conversion process? For mere text created on my iPad, the email approach has been my inroad.


Really, the majority of the macro/scripting work is front end. Once you get your initial conversion script written, the work from then on is enhancement and maintenance. It's really a seamless process, and my initial writing (jotting down the pensées) doesn't require much XML. If I grab a paragraph of text from a source (using Textgrabber, of course), I can easily wrap it in a block quote span class (<span class="blockQuote">[text here]</span>). This becomes a standard for block quotes that later can be easily automated in NWP. I don't do any copy and pasting. I read the file, convert it, then produce the output. This way, if I later want to put an essay on my blog or elsewhere on the internet, I can could easily write a CSS file for formatting. This way isn't for everyone, and is incredibly geeky. The skill set is entirely worth the effort, however.

In all honesty, I'll probably not learn the code to create a macro. At least not anytime before 2013, as I've just got too much already that I need to read and write.


Writing Macros is a lot easier than you would think. Perl scripts are much higher learning curve, as Perl tends to be—is—a very idiomatic language. A good script is like a compelling essay—it's readable, coherent, general enough to endure, yet particular enough to convince, and the effects are lasting.

Next, I want to look into bibliographic software with the hope that it really will save me time...I've been copying/pasting my bibliographic references and avoiding the learning curve for something like Bookends or Sente. Any suggestions for helpful tutorials that cover the ins and outs? And in particular, that will help to understand HOW they work rather than just how to accomplish certain tasks that are assumed to be common knowledge? I am completely green in this area and the one video I saw from Bookends did not help explain what is happening in the referencing process....


I don't know of any tutorials. I think it's rather intuitive, actually. For example, to include a footnote from Bookends, simply drag the reference into the in NWP doc. You will see a formatted object pasted (e.g., "{Author, Date, #Number}"). When you want to compile and build a bibliography, click on Tools &amp;amp;gt; Bibliography &amp;amp;gt; Scan Document. Bookends will scan, convert, and create a bibliography. Your done (although I would highly recommend that you proof footnotes and bibliography [but use Regular Expressions to make changes).

As for the how, I am not entirely sure (I haven't seen the code NWP is using to perform this task). However, I can give a heuristic. Bookends has included an API in their code, that permits an processor such as Mellel and NWP to gain access to its database. The format {Author, Date, #Number} is then scanned against that database attempting to match it's readable counterpart (i.e., what you would enter in by hand). If you build a bibliography in NWP, you will notice that NWP is doing to action (not bookends). So, I would suspect, if you had access to NWP code, you would find a subroutine that is doing the necessary steps to automate this task for you.

Edited by James Tucker, 05 June 2012 - 09:51 AM.


#29 Joe Weaks

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 11:13 PM

I use Markdown for this type of text-based capture that may need to be format-encoded later.
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#30 Rick Yentzer

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 11:50 AM

I wanted to give an update on my current setup that is still a work in progress.

I'm successfully using NWP with my assignments. For the syllabus's and course notes I have general success with conversion from a Word .doc over to NWP. However, I have found LibreOffice to give the most accurate conversion of .doc files. I circumvented that by asking the professor to post PDF's along with the .doc files so that I could catch and inconsistencies. This works fine.

I am testing out nvAlt for taking general notes while listening to lectures. I don't own an ipad but I do occasionally use my iphone to browse the notes. I have nvAlt set to save my files as plaintext in my Dropbox. I've tinkered with markdown, but I haven't committed to it yet. I'm looking for text preservation as well, and like the idea of a general format such as .rtf. NWP has impressed me in this regard because it gives the ability to chose a default file format.

My background is in graphic design and the arts, so I'm adjusting to a different process in an unfamiliar area: academic writing. NWP has been a pleasant bridge because it's given me the ability to minimize the UI clutter. Now, NWP reminds me of the simplistic UI, and deceptive textual power of BBEdit.
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#31 nicklaurence

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 02:25 PM

I've recently bought Mellel, and I'm adjusting to the different way it does things from MS Word. One thing it doesn't seem to have is any drawing tool. Even a simple line (I'd really like an arrow, but a line would do) seems to be beyond it. Also, copying Hebrew text from Accordance into a document anywhere close to a Roman numeral (as in a scriptural reference) seems to result in splitting the numeral from its context to the wrong side of the Hebrew text no matter what I do.

So, all-in-all, it's a little frustrating for the moment. Perhaps I'll get to solve the Roman numeral problem, but the lack of even a basic drawing tool is a little trying.

#32 Mark Nigro

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 03:13 PM

A. W. Riddle asked what can NWP can do that Mellel cannot. The drawing tools in NWP 2.2 (2.0 and up actually) are one thing among a few others that currently sets it apart from Mellel. Mellel does have some serious WP power, and version 3.0 is currently in Beta. But like you Nick, today I wanted to create a visual preposition chart in Hebrew, using arrows and shapes but couldn't. It's one reason I want to upgrade from NWP 1.4.2, to 2.2.

#33 Ken Simpson

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 02:09 AM

lso, copying Hebrew text from Accordance into a document anywhere close to a Roman numeral (as in a scriptural reference) seems to result in splitting the numeral from its context to the wrong side of the Hebrew text no matter what I do.

Just as a note to this, if you set the verse references to be original language, rather than English, this issue should be circumvented.

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#34 nicklaurence

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 03:08 PM

Mellel 3.0 is out with various enhancements. Unfortunately still no drawing tool as far as I can see. There's a new features list here.

Hope this is helpful.

#35 Jordan S

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 09:55 PM

I am not sure if this should be on a different thread, but it seemed like it was part of the conversation. I am taking my first Hebrew course and there is nothing more frustrating right now than typing my assignments. I can't seem to figure out the workflow of typing in English and Hebrew in the same document. My professor requires the SPTiberian font. I like the way the keyboard is set up for this font, but I can't seem to type from right to left using this font in Pages. Is there a trick? Or is this impossible? I also downloaded the Mellel and NWP, but like Pages, you can only type right to left using the unicode font. I can't stand the unicode keyboard for Hebrew. Having to hold the "option" key while pressing the number keys is awkward and slow. Please help!

#36 John Brownie

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 05:23 PM

There are other Hebrew keyboard layouts available, and if none suits, you can create your own. My utility Ukelele, available (for free) at http://scripts.sil.org/ukelele, can help you with that. Some links to Hebrew keyboard layouts:

http://www.linguists...e.com/lhebu.htm (Laser Hebrew font and keyboard layout)
http://www.redlers.com/download. html#Anchor-Keyboard-11481 (Mellel keyboard layouts)
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#37 ross.strader

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 09:44 AM

Does Mellel have a setting to turn on auto-capitalization? 



#38 davidrapla

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 11:40 AM

I use Nisus Writer Pro as well and highly recommend it, especially if, as James has already said, you will be working with Hebrew or any other semitic languages. I have tried Mellel on a few different occasions and it has always felt a bit idiosyncratic to me.

As for bibliographic software, I use Zotero and also highly recommend it. The biggest advantage it has over Bookends or Sente is that it's free. It also imports bibliographic information and files from internet databases and websites (like EBSCOhost/ATLA) quite painlessly and accurately. In my brief encounters with the other two, I found that they don't do anything significantly different or better than Zotero, so I have never felt the need to spend the extra money on either of them.

 

Yes Zotero is the best. 






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