Optional hyphen

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champ
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Optional hyphen

Post by champ » 2007-07-26 20:45:23

Is there a way to add an optional hyphen to a word? (Often Command-hyphen in other word processors, which actually zooms out in NWP.)

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Hamid
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Optional hyphen

Post by Hamid » 2007-07-27 03:25:08

I am afraid you can't AFAICT. See this thread:
http://tinyurl.com/2df7lc

champ
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Post by champ » 2007-07-27 05:01:36

I should have searched more carefully through the forum. Thanks for the link.

That seems like a serious omission. I don't find the automatic hyphenation to be very thorough. A fairly large number of lines in my full-justified text end up with unsatisfactory white space between the words (some huge gaps!). It looks awful. If I could insert a discretionary hyphen here or there, it would help immensely.

Is there anywhere to configure the automatic hyphenation? If there is, I'm not finding it.

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Elbrecht
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Post by Elbrecht » 2007-07-27 09:45:07

Hi -

looks like the SoftHyphen is definitely dead with Unicode - I just added one to my font and created a keyboard shortcut as well, i.e. I definitely can enter a SoftHyphen, and UnicodeChecker indeed finds a SoftHyphen - but the text engine knows better: instead of my zero-width SoftHyphen I get a not at all discretionary ugly kind of em-dash. What a pity - no go...

So fine-tuning [a copy] just before printing seems the only way...

HE
Last edited by Elbrecht on 2007-07-28 02:34:31, edited 1 time in total.
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Ninurta
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Post by Ninurta » 2007-07-27 12:31:40

And this is the reason why Nisus Pro is not so professional as it should be: Without soft hyphenation it is impossible to create a camera-ready copy for publication. The problem is more obvious in German texts because the hyphenation doesn't work properly (more than 50 % of words are hyphenated incorrectly). Well, I can write a document with NWPro, but afterwords I have to convert it (unfortunately but necessarily) into Word - and then the work of fine-tuning begins...

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Post by greenmorpher » 2007-07-27 14:45:19

This is where -- as a long-time DTPer -- I take issue with you all.

I have never seen a word processor that produced really good looking, easy to read, justified type. DTP programs to do that and you pay in money, learning curve and relative unhandiness of use for ordinary text documents to get that professional typesetting capability.

They offer all kinds of type tweaking to get the best results, not just hyphenation which is a pretty blunt instrument and to be avoided if at all possible.

NWPro, no doubt, will add more features of this nature over time -- but I hope they are limited to avoid bloat and retain NW's elegant interface, ease of use as a word processor and low price.

The "Pro" is about a "writer" program, not about a "desktop publisher" program.

Having said that, if you insist on justifying type instead of just setting it left, ragged right (for e.g. English) I suggest you do what DTPers do -- go over the text and make manual adjustments on those rare occasions when you MUST have justified type.

Alternatively, write your text in NWPro, then transfer it to e.g. InDesign or RagTime, which you can buy for about $1000, or perhaps Ready,Set,Go! at around $170 or Swift Publisher at $45. Bear in mind, though, that the only one of these which will handle footnotes automatically is RagTime -- you'll be adding them manually for all the others. That's the difference between a professional writing program and a desktop publishing program.

Cheers, Geoff

Geoffrey Heard, Business Writer & Publisher

"Type & Layout: Are you communicating or just making pretty shapes" -- Revealed! The secrets of how you can use type and layout to turbocharge your messages in print. See the book at http://www.worsleypress.com

champ
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Post by champ » 2007-07-27 15:11:51

I agree with most of what you say, greenmorpher. But I am left puzzled as to the feature set of NWP. NWP really seems to be going most of the way to being able to prepare professional documents (cross-references, indexing, table of contents, styles, etc.). If it is not intended to do that, then why include those features? I question the desire to add those features if you are simply thinking of producing documents that end up being transferred to a DTP program. Why create an index in NWP just to recreate it in a DTP program?

Certainly, as a professional document preparation tool, NWP falls short in important ways that are actually (for me) deal breakers. I'm hoping that our suggestions here will end up being implemented. I would love to be able to crank out quick and fairly (not perfectly) good looking journal referee reports or similar professional reports without firing up a DTP program or LaTeX. A simple optional hyphen would sure help in that regard! As I said, now I use LaTeX for such things, but I'd love to use something less painful. It's always been a wish of mine, but maybe you are right that it is a pipe dream.

I've always had a fondness for Nisus Writer (I originally bought a copy many, many years ago), but I've never been able to rely on it for much of my work. But I do keep buying it and hoping. ;)

Oh, by the way, InDesign does footnotes these days. It has since CS2. However, it is still a pain for technical documents. Equations, for example, are still a pain. I see our editor manually moving characters around to make equations look good. Good grief.

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Post by greenmorpher » 2007-07-27 16:39:56

The feature set for NWPro is building -- this is v.1 for goodness sake! I don't know what text handling is offered by the OS X text engine which underpins NWE/Pro but I would expect that over time, more sophisticated text handling will become available in NW. I do hope there is a sensible limit however. Persoanlly, I don't want to see gigantic program and price bloat.

What you are actually looking for is sophisticated type handling. You mention soft hyphens -- I say in page width text (which I suspect you are talking about) you should be able to get through a long document, fully justified, with hardly a hyphen. I do whole books with no hyphens, working in Canvas for DTP. In my case, since I am either the author or editor of the text as well as the DTPer, I can cunningly adjust wording a little here and there to avoid hyphens or most commonly, adjust type spacing -- stretching it a little or tightening it up. When you are practiced, it is amazing the facility you gain for picking out the one line that needs changing to have a waterfall effect removing hyphens and bad spacing through a whole, long paragraph. Being an accomplished DTP program, Canvas does 99% of this automatically, of course, tightening or stretching spacing within user specified parameters. InDesign does it better, but I prefer to use Canvas for other reasons and spend a little time manually adjusting.

For immediate purposes, I would suspect that you and your editor should be looking at RagTime -- a most underrated DTP program built up from a Word Processor beginning point rather than a graphics beginning point as most (all?) the others are. And it has an Excel equaling or beating spreadsheet too. It is actually the ideal tool for what you want to do, I would suggest.

There's a bit of a learning curve to switch from the graphics approach to page layout, but for someone dedicated to the job, it isn't too heavy.

Cheers, Geoff

Geoffrey Heard, Business Writer & Publisher

"Type & Layout: Are you communicating or just making pretty shapes" -- Revealed! The secrets of how you can use type and layout to turbocharge your messages in print. See the book at http://www.worsleypress.com

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Post by champ » 2007-07-27 17:03:53

Yes, I agree that this is version 1! And it's quite capable already, but it is lacking in some features. That is why I am hoping it grows and why I'm making suggestions. I agree that feature bloat is not desirable, but aren't we already there to some extent? This is already much more than a simple word processor.

And, actually, I'm not looking for very sophisticated type handling. I agree that is totally unncessary and probably undesirable in NWP. I don't really want to hand tweak stuff. But a simple soft hyphen would go a very long way. My point is that I want an easy-to-use word processor that can nonetheless handle some fairly sophisticated stuff like list numbering and so forth. I just want a very simple way to keep from having 1/4" gaps between words. I agree that the easiest way to do that is by just left justifying everything. Don't know why, but I simply like full justification.

I will certainly stick with LaTeX for the monograph I'm writing. It does the heavy lifting as far as controlling spacing. I don't have to (or want to) think about it. But the publisher will love it when I hand over the results. My last book was entirely done in LaTeX. That was the publisher's choice. And I'm now fully converted to it. But I still would love something easy to use that can do a very adequate job on fairly simple jobs. Without me jumping through hoops. I'm still hoping NWP will fill that role.

Thanks for the suggestion regarding RagTime. I do recall looking it over at one time, but it's probably worth another look. I miss FrameMaker dearly. It was a nice DTP with excellent technical capabilities. It really was a nice mix between a DTP and word processor. It even had a built-in equation editor. Too bad it got killed off.

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Elbrecht
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topic: softhyphen

Post by Elbrecht » 2007-07-29 05:46:39

Hi again -

I still wonder about the "how-to" of softhyphen [SHY] under Unicode. Are there apps still doing the job? And how? - any app doing it, though using the OS X text engine? The Unicode Technical Report #14 has this:

"The action of a hyphenation algorithm is equivalent to the insertion of a [softhyphen] SHY. However, when a word contains an explicit SHY it is customarily treated as overriding the action of the hyphenator for that word."

Right now there seems to be just an ugly fall-back to en-dash when entering softhyphen - whatever font used: 1) Nisus Pro does NOT declare it is using a Secondary font and 2) the font Family name does not get RED for this softhyphen foreign to the font used!

On the other side - contrary to what I wrote before - there still is a way to mark words with zero-width softhyphen with fonts customized for this, and the linebreak works exactly where this softhyphen is placed - but naturally the then needed hyphen does not display of itself at linebreak - but following the above UTR #14 there should be a way for Nisus to work around: "in case of actually [soft] hyphening just display a hypen at line end, else zero-width softhyphen gets displayed in line to no effect." This should work for most Latin scripts - but must be disabled [/gets more complicated] for Swedish, etc though - see UTR #14 at http://www.unicode.org

Martin just do us a favor - again!

HE
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scottwhitlock
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Post by scottwhitlock » 2007-08-04 12:59:03

I hardly think the addition of a soft-hyphen even approaches the definition of bloat. This is starting to repeat too often on this forum, I think, with anyone who tries to express what they need NWP to do getting screamed down that their feature will introduce bloat into the program or, better yet, that what they would like gets away from a true "word processor," as if one of those have existed in this century. Remember that NWP has a sizeable ACADEMIC audience, many of whom need our "word processor" to put out documents that are somewhat presentable on their own--with graphics and captions, justified text that doesn't look like sh#!, etc. and don't feel like paying $1000 to do a caption and insert a soft hyphen. Are we really prepared to tell those people that they need to go back to Word because they want some basic features that most modern word processors have and they love NWP and want it to do it too? Sure, no Word Art, but a soft-hyphen?

And I agree with the respondent. I don't think the argument that Nisus should live up to some standard of "word processor" (which, in some posters' definitions, is nothing more than a glorified text editor and can be found easily in programs such as TextWrangler and BBEdit) that designates anything that makes document creation (and I mean the basic stuff, like a thesis or dissertation with graphics, captions, and somewhat decent text layout) as bloat is useful at all, especially since even WriteNow wasn't this, really. And remember, NWP is not the only game in Nisus-town either. NWE will probably still be its streamlined word processor (although the arguments used to rage how it was becoming a bit bloated as well), which makes NWP need to be more of a heavy-duty (and much more generalized across professions) word processor.

It's interesting that, although NWP only has about 85% of the functionality as NW Classic, some posters here are still worried about bloat. Classic dealt with graphics and captions with aplumb. Hyphenation worked also, if I remember, and you could insert a soft hyphen (also if I remember--it's been a long time since I used it). As I have said in another post, it is not that Word does too much that's the problem, it is just that what it does do, it doesn't do it well. NWP could stand more features - the handling of graphics could be improved, hyphenation could definitely be improved, etc. As long as the new features are implemented well, work with the elegant interface, and do not affect program speed, etc., then what is the problem? And this forum is where we ask for those features. Always has been. Some get implemented and some don't, but you can't blame a bloke for asking.

And NWP is NOT really a version 1.0. It is based on the code-base of NWE (which has gone through 2 versions and is prepping for a next). And although I love this program with all of my heart and think the programmers work wonders with the resources they have, those of us who have been with Nisus through the LONG transition from NWC to NWE to NWP know that three versions are an awful long time to wait for some of these features.
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Elbrecht
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Post by Elbrecht » 2007-08-05 13:10:07

Hi again -

1) just found a NWX posting concerning non-breaking hyphen entered via macro - what about entering soft hyphen this way too? I did customize my keyboard with SIL's Ukelele directly...

2) soft hyphen displays an uggly en-dash wherever entered, and when actually breaking the line a hyphen gets added after the en-dash - both counting as ONE character...

3) with en-dash dropped instead of virtual zero-with softhyphen - as virtual as the uggly en-dash - custom hyphenation should work right away...

4) and additional overriding any other hyphenation rules for the word concerned would manage the issue...

HE
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Elbrecht
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Post by Elbrecht » 2007-08-06 04:27:43

Hi - TWIMC:

http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/shy.html

...then soft hyphen is NOT a Unicode thing at all - but a hack of apps - uncompatible as hack can be!?

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greenmorpher
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Post by greenmorpher » 2007-08-06 14:52:26

Atually, a better solution to this problem is to be able to make custom entries to the hyphenation dictionary. If you have a word that you want to see break in a particular way, you can define where it breaks, the priority of alternative breaks, and save it into the dictionary.

Alternatively, if you don't want a word to break at all, you can set that as well.

Cheers, Geoff

Geoffrey Heard, Business Writer & Publisher

"Type & Layout: Are you communicating or just making pretty shapes" -- Revealed! The secrets of how you can use type and layout to turbocharge your messages in print. See the book at http://www.worsleypress.com

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Post by ninjagame » 2007-08-07 10:56:10

Interesting thought, greenmorpher, albeit maybe a little bit impractical in texts written in German - but not your problem. It leaves me with the question: Where do I find the "hyphenation dictionary"? Or is this feature some kind of desideratum? It surely would help as some kind of "Hyphenation First Aid". Or do I get something wrong here?

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