Nisus Writer Pro Redesign

Everything related to our flagship word processor.
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Will N too
Posts: 6
Joined: 2017-06-13 09:21:48

Nisus Writer Pro Redesign

Post by Will N too » 2017-06-13 10:05:45

As someone who spends a lot of time using Nisus Writer Pro, there are a lot of things I would love to see changed.
Minor things like the Font Size button up and down. I've been using NisusWP for 20 years, I still miss the tiny tiny arrow, or I hit the wrong direction. The slider? I never use, it's too jumpy. My writing world with NWP is 8 points to 14 points. (On Illustrator...it can go 4 point to 300 point)
Fonts are a bit of a mess. Because I use Courier the default list is 'Fixed Width' I didn't select that. There doesn't seem to be a good way to either show more of the list, or show fewer of the Zapf Dingbats, and oddities.
And how about do something with that silly new video-strip in the new MacBook Pro. Put the m-dash there. Maybe some punctuation.
Typing--or Keyboarding.
After 48 years of typing. Occasionally you have to learn some new moves. Start off very slow, very slow, practice, practice, then speed up. Mistakes? I don't know how I ever used a typewriter before white out. I've learned that Dvorak is not pronounced like the composer and that it really isn't any faster than QWERTY for most of us.

There are a lot of quirky moves, multiple key-combinations that just never get any better for me.
Long m dashes, a complete pain. Yes I know the keystrokes, but the keys under my little left finger are often hit or miss (ever try to use the control-option-command key for something and find out....an hour or two...or a few days that the 12 point font you started with is now 9 point? A size ever hour or so...you don't even notice. )
I've just bought the new MacBook Pro, I am not all that excited. No one can say "All new, amazing..." and still have a 'caps lock' key. Com'on, its 2017 Bill Gates is retired why is this stone aged button still there? (I know I can turn it off. I like using a Logitech keyboard that I've attached to a lightweight piece of plywood, I even have a little pivot out mouse pad and a gel wrist-rest. I use it in my lap, it has a 'caps lock' key that doesn't turn off, but I don't hit it as much anymore.
Are there anything Nisus key shortcuts that can help solve some of the keyboard headaches? is a perennial headaches:
colon/quotes, dash/0/= ,/. v/b z/x ?
Keyboards are still 19th century. I've got a small numbers keypad. For practice I play sudoku with it. After two years I still make all the same mistakes. I can't believe it's just my ineptness. What I remember with typewriters is that the keyboard is attached to something that may as well be bolted to the desk. You positioned yourself to it. It worked, your fingers got strong (my mother could poke the eye out of a bronze statue with her pinky). Now our laptops and wireless Logitech can be anywhere we want them to be. Which is better. However, because the keyboard can be almost anywhere, it's easy to get dis-fing-orientated (hey this is my nonsense and no one else has read this far. If you have, cut it out and get back to work. I wish someone would say this to me.) Ever sit down to bang out something quick and it starts out as amazing gibberish because you're fingers found the wrong home keys?
Somewhere in my 17th or 18th year of NisusWriter Pro-ing I began to use the Table of Contents for just about everything.
When I was trying to figure out the best way to organize bits of information on my computer I found an article about how the Masters of The Universe Tech Gods of Silicon Valley were doing it. Several just used a word processor document, adding new information as it came in, then they'd do a search for the bit they're looking for. I've got three basic documents for that: Information, phone numbers and stuff, My Journal, which usually works for a year or two. After about 600-800 pages it slows up, and a Work Log, this is a journal for my job, which was teaching.
What would I improve about Table of Contents(TOC)? Add color highlighting. I use it for Chapters, to list where significant actions take place, major characters are introduced, minor characters who may be only mentioned a few times . Yes, I'm using a Table of Contents for fiction, but it won't be part of the final book.
There's a certain type of information I need to repeatedly re-find. END END END which is where I enter new information. For a journal or log, this is This Week, so I continually move it around. For the Wireless Network 30+ digit password? I put in the TOC three lines of WIRELESS PASSWORD, and then enter these as a multiline TOC item. Highlighting would be a great option.
The little menus I usually have floating on the left: Columns, Paragraphs, Statistics. They can be narrower. (I'm about to switch from 17" to a 15" screen.)
OK. Rant over. I should get back to work, and so should you. I used to be a photographer, carpenter, teacher, a few other things, but I wasn't really a jack of all trades—I was the guy people called to figure things out. So keyboards? Yes I am a nut, but I am a I know what I'm talking about kind of a nut. So if anyone is interested.... let me know.

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martin
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Re: Nisus Writer Pro Redesign

Post by martin » 2017-06-20 10:42:07

Will N too wrote:Minor things like the Font Size button up and down. I've been using NisusWP for 20 years, I still miss the tiny tiny arrow, or I hit the wrong direction. The slider? I never use, it's too jumpy.
Personally I don't use the slider either, but I love the joined up/down arrows. I use those all the time, more than I ever type in a specific font size. But really I don't think I change the font size very much. Usually it's something I establish once or twice in a stylesheet when first creating a document.

How would you improve the way you can change font sizes in Nisus Writer?
Fonts are a bit of a mess. Because I use Courier the default list is 'Fixed Width' I didn't select that.
I'm not sure exactly how Nisus Writer decides which font collection to show by default. However, I do think that if a user manually changes the active font collection, that choice should be remembered for subsequent uses and other documents. Right now it seems inconsistent, and I can't figure out the rules. I'll have us take a look at this behavior.
There doesn't seem to be a good way to either show more of the list, or show fewer of the Zapf Dingbats, and oddities.
You can resize the Character palette to show more of the list. Click and drag the resizer at the bottom of the palette:
palette.png
palette.png (28.88 KiB) Viewed 950 times
As for which fonts are listed, that depends on the collection. Collections like "All Fonts" and "Document Fonts" are automatically populated, but any user collections are customizable at the system level. Open the Font Book application and customize the collections however you'd like.
Are there anything Nisus key shortcuts that can help solve some of the keyboard headaches? is a perennial headaches:
colon/quotes, dash/0/= ,/. v/b z/x ?
You posted in another thread that you found a good shortcut for Em Dashes. Aside from the strategy of devising QuickFix entries for often-used special characters, I have one other possible solution: multi-key keyboard shortcuts.

In Nisus Writer's Menu Key preferences you can assign shortcuts like Command + EM, where you press and hold the Command key, type E, and then type M– the shortcut will trigger. These are very helpful once you have a lot of shortcuts. It's much easier to remember a mnemonic multi-key combination like that than something with a lot modifier keys like Command + Option + Shift + M.
What would I improve about Table of Contents(TOC)? Add color highlighting.

This is possible. In Nisus Writer's Appearance preferences you can assign on-screen highlighting for any text that's been included in the TOC. Under "Customizable Colors" click the category Marked Text > Include in TOC and then customize it. Make sure "hide this highlighting" is not checkmarked.

I'd also mention that you could enforce TOC inclusion (and coloring) via paragraph styles. For example, your "Chapter" paragraph style could enforce the attributes "Include in TOC" and whatever coloring you'd like.

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