How to make a new document from a DIFFERENT template?!

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UsableThought02
Posts: 2
Joined: 2021-03-19 01:42:18

How to make a new document from a DIFFERENT template?!

Post by UsableThought02 »

How do I make new documents based on templates OTHER than the default template?

I've gone through the user manual several times and not seen this information. I've searched this forum and not seen this information. I've done a few Google searches using various terms, seeking this information. I've played around with the application (I just upgraded from my ancient version 1 of NW Pro) and not gotten a clue. I know I could do this in version 1 of Pro, because I have a bunch of old templates in the Templates section of the Document Manager. But I don't remember how I did it back then.

Help would be appreciated.

UsableThought02
Posts: 2
Joined: 2021-03-19 01:42:18

Re: How to make a new document from a DIFFERENT template?!

Post by UsableThought02 »

Okay, more experimenting. Clicking the "New" button when viewing templates in the Document Manager will create a new file from a selected template, similar to how Word and Pages create new files; however the default directory seems to be the Templates directory. I don't see a way in Preferences to change this to some more rational starting directory?!

Also in my opinion the user manual could use a more explicit entry for new users who wish to work with templates. Unless there is something I'm missing, the only entry is on p. 75 of the PDF user manual in the section titled "Formats of saved files"; this is the entry for "Document Template (.dot)." It states the following: "Every time you open a document template, it opens as a new “Untitled” document window, with all the text and formatting present when you saved it." This is a very indirect reference considering that making new files from templates other than the default is a fundamental procedure for any word processing that supports it. By comparison, Help for Microsoft Word 2011, which I also run despite it being out of date, has an explicit procedure, "Start with a template to create a new document" that says exactly what to do. I used to be a technical writer & the Word approach here is standard for helping out users. Hope no other vital info is buried in similar manner as I get re-acquainted with the app.

Vanceone
Posts: 171
Joined: 2013-05-03 07:06:31

Re: How to make a new document from a DIFFERENT template?!

Post by Vanceone »

There is two kinds of templates: the "default" template that is the Nisus New File template (and it's associated New Text File and New Macro file templates) that are used when you click the "new document command. Those are special templates and extensive instructions for modifying those are found in the User manual.

For other templates, you are correct that it's not as clear. The Document manager is the place to go. Now, you have to understand that the Document manager and what is actually on your disk seldom bear any sort of resemblance. By that I mean that the Document manager "manages" the files regardless of where they are on the disk. This seldom matters, but what that means is that as far as I know the document manager does not automagically update itself based on the contents of a folder. You can set the folder that the document manager uses under Preferences->doc manager.

Specifically in regards to templates, what you would perhaps want to do is drag whatever file you want to use as a template to the Templates subgroup. This will allow the Document Manager to "track" the template no matter where it is, though I suggest not keeping them on an external drive that will be unmounted frequently.

If you want a folder of templates on your disk, just make one and put your templates in there. I personally would suggest as a subfolder of the Nisus Documents folder inside "Documents", which is the default folder for the document manager. Whichever folder you use to manager you documents, though, I suggest it being a subfolder of the "Documents" folder due to Apple's sandboxing code.

I do agree that Nisus could use a "New from Template..." command in the file menu though. The document manager approach, while quite powerful in its own right, has a few discoverability issues as you've experienced.

As an FYI, the document manager also helps control style sheet imports/collections, which can be quite useful. The user manual extensively covers the document manager. Personally, I rarely use it--I really should use it more.

adryan
Posts: 418
Joined: 2014-02-08 12:57:03
Location: Australia

Re: How to make a new document from a DIFFERENT template?!

Post by adryan »

G'day, UsableThought02 et al

Vanceone's suggestion of a "New from Template…" command is a good one.

Remember, too, that you can always save a document that has all the characteristics you want as a stationery pad in the Finder. Just tick the relevant checkbox in the file's Get Info window. Henceforth, opening that file will open a copy of the file with "Untitled" as its filename, just as the “New” command in Nisus Writer does. You could save a collection of such template files in a folder in a convenient location.

Such a straightforward approach doesn't require study of how the Document Manager works. If a "New from Template…" command were implemented, it might be nice to incorporate also a Preferences setting that allowed the user to choose the source location for templates, be that the Document Manager or some other user-specified folder.

You might even consider extending this approach to cater for applications other than Nisus Writer. You could, for example, also place stationery pad versions of Numbers and Keynote files in this templates folder, with or without a hierarchical structure. For further convenience, you could drag this folder to the Dock, a Finder window Sidebar and/or a Finder window Toolbar.

Cheers,
Adrian
MacBook Pro (mid-2014)
macOS Mojave 10.14.6
Nisus Writer user since 1996

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