Capitalization

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bodsham
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Capitalization

Post by bodsham » 2007-07-07 13:07:53

I just bought NWP to send a Word file to my publisher - 127,000 words exported from Scrivener. It works very well and logically. One thing doe surprise me though: the apparent lack of auto capitalisation for the first letters of new sentences. Am I missing that feature somewhere or does it simply not exist? Since every other WP package seems to have it I was surprised it wasn't there.

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greenmorpher
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Post by greenmorpher » 2007-07-07 17:12:13

Hello bodsham

We were discussing this case specifically over on the Dartmouth list a little while back, and grammar or "writers'" tools more generally are under discussion right now.

At first blush, automating capital initials for sentences sounds simple, but when you get down to the question of avoiding false positives (and it is amazing how many there are -- one example, a full stop after an abbreviation), it gets a lot harder.

I suspect many NW users would like to will see this and some other grammar tools available. In the meantime, NW users on the Dartmouth list who are interested in these features have pointed us to Grammarian as a complementary program to NWE/Pro.

It actually points to a relatively simple way to introduce these kinds of features. Rather than auto-capitalization, for example, it works like a spell checker -- it runs over the document and picks up every exception to its relatively simple rules, then gives you the option of changing it or not.

Hey, Nisus people -- that might work! It would be much easier to do than automation on the fly!

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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greenmorpher
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Post by greenmorpher » 2007-07-07 20:56:40

A word of caution -- if you are thinking of Grammarian, try the demo. Someone has just posted on the Dartmouth list that they had some friction between it and NWPro.

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

Anne Cuneo
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Post by Anne Cuneo » 2007-07-08 02:44:46

If I well remember, Nisus Classic offered this possibility, and I find it maddening. Il you write ex. (for example) for instance, in the middle of a sentence, the next word comes capitalized, even if I don't want it to.
Maybe it's Word, which offers this (I have to use word at work), anyway, wherever it was I met it, I unchecked it - easier without, and it's so automatic to start a new sentence pressing “capital”.
Anne

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phspaelti
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Post by phspaelti » 2007-07-08 03:44:20

Nisus Classic did not have automatic capitalization. However Nisus Classic spell checker did give you the option to flag words which were not capitalized.

bodsham
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Post by bodsham » 2007-07-08 06:50:59

I wouldn't have a so-called 'grammar checker' in the house. But simply capitalising the first letter after a full stop and a space (I never write ex.and if I did it would a lot less often than when I wrote a sim;le sentence) isn't a proposition from Wittgenstein. Scrivener does it perfectly every time, and Word manages it most of the time. Once you get used to working like that you do tend to take these small things for granted.

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Post by Lanx » 2007-07-08 08:26:54

I am so grateful that Nisus doesn’t do that. After every abbreviation I would have to correct the wrong capitalisation, this “feature” would be almost useless. Using Word it is one of the first things I switch off since it never functions correctly.

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greenmorpher
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Post by greenmorpher » 2007-07-08 16:13:38

FEATURE REQUEST:

Hi all at Solana

What is the possibility of providing a rather dumb tool to ensure that sentences always begin with capital letters?

This would be a tool that you might run on a finished document, which would throw up errors so they could be corrected, then starting again from the correction point.

I would prefer a dumb tool, i.e. one which simply threw up the occurrences of possible errors, rather than risk automatic changes which might introduce errors.

The importance of getting capitalization right makes it worth spending a little time on it so manually clicking through and making the decisions is worthwhile. Just one uncapitalized sentence makes the editor/writer look a fool. The reader has to think, "If they can't get something as simple as initial capitals in sentences right, what authority do they have on any subject?" Unwanted capitalizations after abbreviations are just as bad. They reek of "computer", which makes people downgrade the text and content, too, I believe. Certainly, either suggests to the reader that they are not being shown proper respect.

The basic rule would be that there must be at least one space, a tab or hard or soft return after the full stop.

Next, the first letter which follows that/those space(s) or hard or soft return(s) would have to be an alpha character.

If these two criteria were met, that alpha character should be capitalised. Kino, over on the Dartmouth list, has provided a Powerfind Pro expression that finds these cases.

To cut down on false positives, there would have to be exceptions: this rule would not apply to alpha characters following abbreviations such as etc., e.g., Inc., Co., Pty. Ltd., Jr., Mfg. and so on. These can be specified by the fact that they are in the dictionary.

Some exceptions to the Exceptions would be where the full stop to mark the abbreviation was also used as a full stop to end a sentence. There would be some situations where the double use of the full stop was obvious, so these would be exceptions to the exceptions. For example, when the intervening characters between the full stop and the next character was filled non-alpha characters including:
* One or more hard or soft return(s) to start a new paragraph.
* A conjunction IF etc. was followed by a space (if the construction was that a conjunction started the next sentence, the user would normally put in the capital initial and if they made an error, it wouldn’t matter except for a slight loss of emphasis).

Obviously non-alpha characters would be excluded, such as a figure or an element of punctuation, e.g. a dash, or whatever. Things like email addresses and URLs would be passed over because they would not have spaces after the full stops/dots.

That last brings up another possibility -- the case of the lack of a space after a full stop and before the start of the next sentence. What we would be looking at there would be to find all cases of a full stop followed by a capital without a space between them.

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

gemboy27
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. idea - . Idea

Post by gemboy27 » 2007-07-08 17:24:31

couldn't you do a work around by making a bunch of quick fixes

. a = . A
. b = . B
. c = . C


and so on
I have never let my schooling interfere with my education/Mark Twain (1835-1910)

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Post by joehardy » 2007-07-08 18:45:01

Lanx wrote:I am so grateful that Nisus doesn’t do that. After every abbreviation I would have to correct the wrong capitalisation, this “feature” would be almost useless. Using Word it is one of the first things I switch off since it never functions correctly.
I do the same with Word. I get tired of typing a.m. or p.m. and then having the next word capitalized. But when I turned off the capitalization feature, red squiggles appeared under both as misspellings and there was no way the spell checker would either "learn" or "ignore" them.
Automatic capitalization is a "feature" I could definitely do without.
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greenmorpher
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Post by greenmorpher » 2007-07-08 20:30:27

(In Word) I get tired of typing a.m. or p.m. and then having the next word capitalized. But when I turned off the capitalization feature, red squiggles appeared under both as misspellings and there was no way the spell checker would either "learn" or "ignore" them.
Oops, there you go, Joe, there another exception that I missed: a.m./A.M. and p.m./P.M.

Provided the programmers could access the dictionary, these wouldn't be a problem either in NW, since they are in the Apple dictionary NWE/Pro use. No need to learn them or not. Try typing them in NW. No red squiggles.
Automatic capitalization is a "feature" I could definitely do without.
I agree -- I don't want automation except at a very basci level to deal with some exceptions. Apart from that, I want something like the spell checker that takes you through the possible errors and lets you decide whether to act or not.
couldn't you do a work around by making a bunch of quick fixes
. a = . A
. b = . B
. c = . C
Certainly, Gemboy, they could be offered as alternatives, but I absolutely wouldn't use an automated process. These errors are generally pretty rare so fixing them manually is not a big deal. But going public with such errors is a big no-no, so automation and possible errors because of dictionary differences, for example, be damned! :wink:

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

gemboy27
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yes and no

Post by gemboy27 » 2007-07-08 21:26:48

I for got to begin my sentence with this:

since I wrote a lot of poetry, and don't want caps at the beginning of my sentences/lines

this would not be a feature, but a distraction
I have never let my schooling interfere with my education/Mark Twain (1835-1910)

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Post by Lanx » 2007-07-08 21:48:39

Nehmen wir z. B. eine Aufzählung: Häuser, Hütten, Paläste u. a. dienen als Wohnungen.

would become (applying the rules Geoffrey mentioned above):

Nehmen wir z. B. Eine Aufzählung: Häuser, Hütten, Paläste u. A. Dienen als Wohnungen.

Not only errors after the abbreviations, but in them, too.

The automatic features of a word processor should never let you become undisciplined when writing a text.

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greenmorpher
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Post by greenmorpher » 2007-07-08 23:29:04

Hey, Gemmo and Lanx

Hey, give me a break here, guys, you didn't read the key to what I wrote. I do not, at any price, want an automated correction feature! The examples you give are EXACTLY why I wouldn't like such a feature to be automated.

I proposed a kind of "find" thing you could call up when you had finished a document and have it run so it would throw up the possible problems and YOU could make the decisions -- one by one.

And, of course, if you didn’t want to use it you wouldn't call it up at all!

And Lanx, the rules I was proposing were written in English for English. Obviously, such a tool would have to be localised.

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 Lanx » 2007-07-09 02:22:04

Sorry, Geoffrey, I presumed indeed that you meant an automated feature. A search algorythm for PowerFind is something completely different.

About the localisation you are right, too. But such problems have to be kept in mind when proposing such a feature - different languages with different rules make the implemantation much more complicated.

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