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Views: how about a bit more marketing?

Posted: 2007-07-10 05:38:25
by jfaughnan
None of your marketing material explain the screenshot on your web site for Pro, the one that shows a collapsible outline-like view based on styes for navigating a document. That's a big feature for me, since, alas, NW Pro did not implement collapsible inline headers.

Big feature, but no marketing material about it?! Time to add it to your feature list.

BTW, the age-old Nisus approach to demos is very annoying. I love NW Express and I'll definitely buy pro, but I don't want to inflict new software on my family until I'm sure it works. I can't test it though, because Nisus approach to "demos" (printing is useless) means testing requires time, and time I don't have. If Nisus offered a "30 use" trial mode I'd have installed NW Pro 1.0 by now, and Nisus would get my family pack money early.

As it is, I'll have to wait for a month or two and monitor the forum before I buy.

Nisus should switch to the "30 use" mode.

TOC/nav panel marketing and the 30 day MBG

Posted: 2007-07-10 05:45:32
by jfaughnan
Ok, I forgot about the 30 day MBG. So sue me :-).

So I'll wait a week to track the forum posts, buy the family pack, install on one machine and go from there.

Moving along.

I think the "views" I spoke of is the ability to display the "table of contents" in a side panel next to the document window. So I'd suggest changing the 'table of contents' description to:

rename: "Table of Contents and Navigation Panel"
Add: screen shot of the navigation panel with some expanded, some collapsed

Posted: 2007-07-10 16:23:43
by greenmorpher
Hello jfaughnan

I agree with you. I find the restriction of a watermark on the last printed page to be slightly mad given that all a demo user has to do to circumvent it is to add a dummy extra page to the document. The further restrictions -- no, I just don't get it. Under my marketing (rather than my more usual, on this forum, publishing) hat, I look at that and wonder whether it would turn some prospective customers off. I mean, you are saying right up front that you really don't trust them, you think they are nasty thieves.

I can see the argument that with an unrestricted 30 day demo (which I would favour) someone could take advantage of the offer to do a swag of work then dump NW without paying a cent. To me, that doesn't matter -- people like that aren't going to buy software anyway, they are never actually customers. Sure, you would like to get up their noses and subvert their thieving schemes, but is it worth it if you irritate and turn off real customers who are on the edge of buying?

Now -- back to the Navigator panel. You are absolutely right -- this is like gold because it brings the "List" capabilities of NWPro as near as dammit to real outliner capabilities. I have campaigned for a true outliner as part of NW for years -- with what we have now, I think we are pretty close. Let me explain ...

You can't expand and collapse, but you can still make a pretty good outline because the Navigator panel and ToC provide you with a means of, well, navigating around it AND actually an advantage over normal outliners in that you can see the outline view all the time. Viz:

Set up a series of Paragraph Styles for headings. These incorporate both the "Headlings" from the Lists palette to get the numbering, indents, different types, sizes and styles, etc. PLUS Table of Content level AND a body text style as "Next Style". You assign it a keyboard short cut. I have my headings Styles called "Heading 1", "Heading 2", etc., and naturally the keyboard shortcuts are option-command-1, option-command-2, etc.

Also set up a series of Paragraph Styles for body text. For me, these are all the same except that they have different left indents to match the head indents. These are based on my standard Body Text Entry Style, using Verdana 12 for easy viewing on screen. These are named Body 1, Body 2, etc. and each is the "Next Style" for the appropriate head. You don't need to give these Body Styles shortcuts, because they are invoked in your document as "Next Style" by their heads. You certainly do NOT give them Table of Contents recognition.

Now -- when working in your pseudo-outline mode, go Menu Bar > View > Show Navigator and a panel will open on the left side of your window.

Start writing. As you go, your headings appear in the Navigator because it is showing the Table of Contents and you have designated all your heads for the ToC. You don't have expand or collapse in the document, but you have a collapsed view available in your Navigator all the time.

You insert your first head "Heading 1" (option-command-1 for me) then type. When you hit return, you move into "Next Style" which is "Body Text 1". As you continue to hit return for new paragraphs, you stay in that style.

Then you get to where you want to move into another head. If it is at the same level as the first, you just do your return out of the previous paragraph, do option-command-1, and you get another first level head which numbers itself "2". If you actually wanted a second level head there, you would hit option-command-2 and you would get a second level head which would designate itself -- in my cse -- "1.1" (or it can be "b" or whatever you had set up in the List styles). You type your new head, then return, and you get Body Text 1 style kicking in if you have made another first level head or Body Text 2 if you have a second level head.

And so on!

You can move around in the document by clicking on the items in the Table of Contents.

Now, you want to move a section? You have to select BOTH the head and the following body text. No option but to drag down from the head to the end of the body attached to it.

Now, I have all my heads set up ready to print, but my text sections are set up in Verdana which, if you printed it, would likely make you chunder on the pages. They are in Verdana for easy viewing on screen. You want to transform them into a nice printer font.

For this purpose, you have a single Character Style (Character NOT Paragraph) with your type specifications for print set out -- e.g. mine are Adobe Caslon, 12 pt -- and name it. Mine is "Body Text Print". Okay -- you are ready.

Place your cursor in a Body Text 1 Paragraph Style paragraph (i.e. text to come after first level heads), go down to the bottom of the Styles Palette, click on the gear wheel, and you see a command "Select All With Style", which will select ALL the Body Text 1 paragraphs will be selected (or do that same from Menu Bar | Format | Paragraph Style | Select All Style). Now click on that Character Style, "Body Text Print" and they all transform into your selected print type while RETAINING their Paragraph Style characteristics and any individual type styling you have added, like italics.

Repeat with other body text Styles. No doubt, someone, one day, will write a macro to do this.

Regarding the selection of whole sections; I have suggested to Nisus that while they are taking their time to work up true outlining with collapsing capabilities, they could help us with the whole head + body selection thing by giving us a selection option constrained by Paragraph Styles, so that if you set up your outline as I have suggested above, it would automatically select the whole section. The logic of such a selection tool would be:

Select the paragraph with the current Style PLUS any subsequent paragraphs which complied with the "Next Style" of the current Style. This would mean it could pick up a head plus the body dependent on it if the Styles were set up as per my scheme above, but selection would end when the Style changed to one which didn’t follow as a Next Style, i.e. when the next head was inserted.

Yes, it is not a dedicated outliner, but it is pretty useful. You can do all the Styles thing in NWE, iof course -- which is where I set it ukp frirst -- but the addition in Pro of the ToC and Navigator panel are a huge step forward.

If you would like a copy of my .dot file with my outline structure set up in it, just email me at

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

How to transform Nisus Writer (esp Pro) into an outliner

Posted: 2007-07-11 06:27:19
by jfaughnan
Wow, what a great post. I'll write later and ask for your template file.

I am an old MORE 3.1 veteran so I too wish Nisus software had put more outliner capabilities into the Pro version.

I'd like to incorporate your recommendations into a post on my very-low-readership-completely-a-hobby tech blog Would that be ok? Should I use your name or initials? Could I post your template file for others to use or include your email address (but then spammers will get it ...)


Posted: 2007-07-11 18:24:47
by greenmorpher
Hiya John

As one old MORE/NISUS freak to another (you quote me on your MORE site), feel free to publish my NWPro outline notions early and often, anywhere you like! :D

Glad you found it helpful.

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

MORE fans of Nisus

Posted: 2007-07-12 04:32:50
by jfaughnan
Wow, fancy meeting you here! :-)

What a neat bit of synchronicity. I suppose it says something about Nisus that connoisseurs of fine software are gravitating to it.

I have a full day today but I ought to put my post up sometime in the next few days, I'll add the url to this thread then.

BTW, is it safe to install NWP/family on our machines? All our macs are multi-user, so I've been reluctant to switch over if it's not super solid. Of course if I can tell OS X to use NW/Exp as a default then I could use NWP for a while before I turn it over to everyone.

Posted: 2007-07-12 05:06:44
by greenmorpher
I've had NWE running on the family machines for ages, and now we're switching over to Pro. I found it rock solid during the two betas. I can't speak for a time when all three of our machines are running -- I've been left alone for the last couple of weeks while others go on holiday, a Knight journalist fellowship to East Timor, and stuff like that! So only theo ne computer has been running here.

I would expect stable as a train.

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