3.0 Feature Request List

Have a problem? A question? This is the place for answers from other Express users.
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Post by midwinter »

shades wrote:That must be in NWE 7.2? ;) :D
Yup! But the NWE 7.5 betas experiment with a new "encouraging word count" algorithm. Check it out:


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Post by Ryan »

Now there's a feature other word processors don't have.

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Post by ninjagame »

[quote="Anne Cuneo"]When I look at my list, I feel like crying out: My, oh my, how similar to what Nisus Writer Classic aready had are my requests! Anyway, please Father Nisus X-mas bring me:
- finding the cursor exactly where I left it when I reopen a document
- soft hyphenation (I write in French, and some of the automatic hyphens have a way of being strange)
- cross-references
- pre-packaged macros
- TOC and indexing

I second that - especially the part adressing soft hyphenation (I'm glad to read that this is not only in German the case!) and finding the cursor where I left it.
But nevertheless - NWX is a great word processor already!


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Post by jeffisme »

i just bought a new ergonomic keyboard, which has a slider switch in the middle for zooming. it works great on Word, how convenient. Could the functionality be added to Nisus?

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Post by nspy »

midwinter wrote:All you people with your 100K word files! I feel so...inadequate with my little 10K word essays.
Which of course brings up another point--the inability of W*rd to handle such large files. Feed it a 220K word novel or a 400K textbook and it not only won't run, it can barely walk.

And yes, I did leave indexing and TOC off my critical list above.

Other things I notice myself using a lot in NWC are "save all changed" and "close all these"

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Post by rmark »

jeffisme wrote:new ergonomic keyboard, which has a slider switch in the middle for zooming
Tell us a bit more… who makes it, etc. This is not enough information to use to build the implementation into Nisus Writer Express… even if it was the top thing on the official "to do" list.
Write On!
Mark Hurvitz
Nisus Software Inc.

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zoom feature

Post by jeffisme »

i've been shopping for a new keyboard that would offer some relief to my hands and maybe also one that have a few convenient features to reduce mousing. apple doesn't make anything other than the standard keyboards, so I ended up with a microsoft keyboard. both they and the logitech have keyboards with zoom sliders on them. for them to work though, the software has to work with it (there's a list on the microsoft website of the software programs that support it). basically, you push the little slider up and down on the keyboard to zoom in and out of the page onscreen. it's just a much easier way to do it then mousing over to the lower corner of the screen and selecting or typing in a figure.

it's very cool.

that, the ability to navigate to a specific page and the ability to have nisus to open a document at the point where it was last left off would be on my wish list.

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Thoughts on the next version (3.0?)

Post by marc »

Lots of good suggestions here. I particularly support boosting the Document Manager, I'd like this to be a UI for Templates, offer search (SearchKit), viewing meta-data (Spotlight), and sharing Docs and Templates (Bonjour.)

Personally, I'd like a full screen mode (I sometimes use a Wacom for marking/highlights, short notes, and inserting 'scribbles'), and a full screen mode can be conducive to focussing on the task at hand... but its a nice to have, 'sometime'.

I'd also agree with JBL:
Improved macros (mininmally some way of incorporating the find/replace functionality into a macro)
...and ceffe:
I'm very much in favour of a comment/notation feature and think that Jers Novel Writer has the nicest I've seen (it allows putting comments in the margin).
...or visually as expand/collapse Sticky Notes (i.e. on a layer above the text) if you want to be fancy about it, but this may also have the advantage of being able to be toggled on/off, and would avoid reflow.

If, as according to Jerzy Lewak, on Tech Night Owl, the next version (v3.0?) will be around six months, I'll cut back some of my requests to might be feasible in that time!

1. Document navigation
Navigate via the document's style structure - could presented as a sub-menu of style declarations in the View menu and on the toolbar (but could grow too long for a menu), in a new Drawer palette (e.g. the Utility drawer in OmniOutliner), or a new side-bar view (similar to the outline sidebar in Mellel.)

2. State Retention
In all aspects of the app save the current user state so that I can quit and reopen the app in the same state (inc. open docs and the cursor position, undo/redo history, search history, window/toolbar/drawer/palette states.) Better yet if this state info could be saved as Workspaces, to allow clustering of documents, palettes etc. If not to that extent, then at the very least, remembering open documents.

<rant!>IMHO This feature is vastly under-used in modern apps (Omni-apps, NetNewsWire, others?) and can have a surprisingly big impact on the user experience, IMHO.</rant>

As for longer-term wishes, I'd love to see:

n-up page view
Would be useful to view more than a single page, such as a 2-up view (2 pages side-by-side) for larger monitors, or for overviews when working with distinctive documents, e.g. images/figures, tables, columns etc.

I'd settle for 2-up, as a start.

Ideally, there'd be page thumbnails, maybe in a Pages-like sidebar, but IMHO that's better suited to the doc navigation/outline feature above, and that a thumbnail view (built on the n-up support?) would be best presented via an iPhoto/PowerPoint-like view (technically too much for the app, in it's currently structure?)

It would be great to present this as another view option (to retain the current Page View.) This extra view tab could have pre-sets like the pre-set zoom levels in the Page View, such as 2-up, 4-up, and/or the whizzy dynamic zoom you get in iPhoto, which may seem like eye-candy (and would be a talking point), but would have genuine functional and usability justifications.

I don't envision this as an editing interface in anything below 2-up, but rather a way to navigate longer docs to find a particular page visually, with a double-click to open a page in the preferred view Page/Draft or the optional 2-up mode.

This thumbnail view could also help visualise multi-page sections, by grouping or differentiation (colour-coding, labels etc.), and would allow moving 'self-contained' sections (i.e. sections starting and ending on their own pages,) and thereby rearrange the document structure, which would be reflected in the document outline, in TOC, indexes etc.

The concept might be further extended as a visual interface to linking multiple documents (i.e. drag in documents from Finder or Doc Manager, change order, open etc.), for large doc/book managing, as some have suggested (esp. interesting if said separate document sections were network accessible, and being edited by different users!)

Maybe it's ambitious, but it would make a fantastic word processor!

...this is at least possible with the current tech in the OS. : )

At least that's what I reckon. ; )

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Notation, floating graphics, full screen

Post by Greiggy »

You've done a great job on 2.5!

Notation features -- top of my list. As a writer I always have an eye to the next revise, or something that I need to go back to. Most other attempts at notation can't keep the notation together with the text it refers to. This would be a "leg up" feature that would position Nisus Exp as the writer's tool of choice.

Better, floating graphics. Character graphics don't cut it these days. I used to use Classic for a lot of quick'n'dirty simple layout work and I still miss it. Have to use Word which admittedly does this well. Simple drawing features (for annotation) would be good as well -- not too difficult to implement?

I thought the point about linking styles with outline levels was good – not a big change, but a big help in functionality. No need to go for an imitation of OmniOutliner, a bit of enhancement on the styles would do the basic job for many of us.

Full screen, limited toolbar -- but give us bold, italic, underline and indents and ability to up the screen font size. Wipe out the other authoring apps with this. Writers do like to work full screen some of te time.

Booklet layout as in Nisus Classic. Can do it quite easily using pdfs but the Classic implementation was cool.

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More style options

Post by Paul »

A feature I would like would be a boost to the number of options available when creating a style. IMHO, the types of things that can be done with CSS would make one killer of an app. Maybe the ability to assign a macro with a specific style. Both odf these would be cool.

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Post by HeatherKay »

Could I stick my hand up to let me change capitalisation using the contextual menu?

I think I requested it somewhere else some time ago. It's all a blur nowadays.


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Comments please

Post by jonathandueck »

I second the request for commenting / note features. If Nisus could read / write the comments that Word and OpenOffice.Org can put in .rtf and .doc files, I could delete Word from my hard drive. As it is, since I do a lot of work editing / revising other people's documents, these commenting functions are pretty important and keep Word where it is. (I think it could be done without adding too much bulk -- the Palm Pilot word processor I've got can do it!)

Secondly, how about OpenOffice.Org Writer importing? RTF imports from OOO are flakey, apparently because of OOO's poor RTF coding, not Nisus' fault. But some of us still use both products, and importing from the (open, documented) OOO format would be very handy in that case!


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Features in 3.0 ...?

Post by cstross »

This is just my what-I-need dump ...

1. The document manager may be useful to some folks, but I'm deeply suspicious of it. It's the sort of task that can be left perfectly well to the Finder plus Spotlight; if people <i>really</i> need sophisticated document management tools, wouldn't it make more sense to work on, say, interoperability with a text database engine like DevonThink? In other words, to keep the focus on what NWE does best -- i.e. word processing.

2. I write books for a living. I finished my last one in Word 2004, despite having started in NWE 2.5, because of a handful of minor annoyances:

a) NWE currently has no character style mechanism for word-underline, i.e. underline visible characters but not whitespace.

b) NWE currently has no ability to search/replace styles.

c) It would be nice to have some equivalent of OpenOffice's ability to specify that a file should be saved in some foreign format by default. (Doesn't have to be fast, just has to be there when it's needed for working on, well, foreign files.)

3) Things I'd like to see (other than the above, fixed):

a) Document version control, including diff/merge. Word and OpenOffice both have fairly nice comparison tools including change tracking, change bars, compare/merge documents, and so on. Meeting that functional spec would be good. To exceed it, adding a basic revision control engine about as competent as RCS would be nice -- no need to go whole-hog for project-level version control, single file version control with deltas, forks, and checkpoints should be sufficient -- but RTF is not a good fit for existing software version control (which is oriented towards code, where the lexical unit for tracking changes is usually the line of code).

b) Access to document structure information (such as styles, rulers, etc) in Perl. Without this, it's not possible to write macros that respect document structure properly.

c) More import/export filters. OASIS/OpenDoc would be good, as would be a <i>very</i> minimal HTML 4.0 transitional with <i>no</i> style information beyond basic bold, italic, or underline. Back-porting in all the AbiWord filters would be especially cool as the AbiSource folks have put a lot of effort into this.

That's about all I can think of ...

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Post by cgc »

HeatherKay wrote:Could I stick my hand up to let me change capitalisation using the contextual menu?

I think I requested it somewhere else some time ago. It's all a blur nowadays.

That's been implemented in 2.5. It's in the EDIT menu and its called CONVERT.

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freeze margins

Post by yaya »

When I am in page view and editing around the edges of a page I often accidentally drag the page margin to a new width. Even with the option to "Undo Change Margins" this is a big nuisance since it often makes Express crash, especially with heavy files.

As much as possible I use Draft View instead to avoid this trouble, but sometimes I need Page View to see footnotes etc. as I work.

So I would appreciate a toggle for freezing page margins.

Thanks very much.

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