Any way to auto-complete an em dash?

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Crumpy
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Any way to auto-complete an em dash?

Post by Crumpy » 2007-01-25 06:45:01

I'm addicted to in Word hitting "--" and having it fill in the em dash. Any way to do that in Nisus?

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rmark
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Post by rmark » 2007-01-25 12:04:39

Crumpy,

You can do this with the QuickFix preference.

1. In the dialog click the + button opposite the Fix Typos check box (which must be "on" for this to work).

2. Type your -- in the area on the left side where you see "Typo".

3. Press TAB.

4. Type your — (em dash) in the area where you see "Correction".

5. Click your mouse somewhere in the list to confirm that you've set that Typo/Correction.


This will change a -- to an — at the beginning of a line or following almost any character that is not an alphanumeric.



But, remember, perhaps in Word you "hit" things, but in Nisus Writer Express we press, type and click. Please don't hit.
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Crumpy
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Post by Crumpy » 2007-01-25 12:28:22

Hmm. ok, I had performed that action, but it didn't keep. After re-setting it, it kept, but still didn't work.

After reading your description, it's unlikely it will work that way. How Word does it is if I type in "I prefer red balls--green ones just don't do it for me" after I've typed in "green" it'll auto correct to to the em dash. If I read your description correctly, since I'm using an alphanumeric character after it, it wont work anyway.

That said, it might not be that big a deal. I'll just need to get used to hitting... I mean pressing "opt+shift+-."

And thanks for the correction, which is embarrassing since I'm a tech writer.

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rmark
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Post by rmark » 2007-01-25 12:36:05

Crumpy wrote:And thanks for the correction, which is embarrassing since I'm a tech writer.
Correction? Maybe in Word you need to "hit".

Regarding the issue of following an alphanumeric… we'll look into that for a future version, but, it's hard for us to know if the -- is not part of a "word" and we don't want to change your text without your permission.
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offbyone
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-- is never part of a word

Post by offbyone » 2007-01-25 14:01:32

Sorry, rmark, but these responses do not sufficiently address the issue, whether NWE handles—or fails to handle—the em dash. A program for writers should enable a writer to write and punctuate his text correctly.

First, two hyphens (--) are lexically not part of any English word. One hyphen often is, but not two.

More important, in a correctly composed English language text, an em dash invariably follows (and is invariably followed by) an alphanumeric character, as they are in the first sentence of this text, above, at "handles—or" and "handle—the", with no space before and no space after the punctuation mark.

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Re: -- is never part of a word

Post by xiamenese » 2007-01-25 16:13:14

offbyone wrote:Sorry, rmark, but these responses do not sufficiently address the issue, whether NWE handles—or fails to handle—the em dash. A program for writers should enable a writer to write and punctuate his text correctly.

First, two hyphens (--) are lexically not part of any English word. One hyphen often is, but not two.

More important, in a correctly composed English language text, an em dash invariably follows (and is invariably followed by) an alphanumeric character, as they are in the first sentence of this text, above, at "handles—or" and "handle—the", with no space before and no space after the punctuation mark.
While I agree with you on em-dashes in English—though I have frequently encountered them with spaces before and after—the issue is more complex in that NWE is not just a program for writers writing English, but is gloriously multilingual. Other languages have other conventions, and writers in those other languages should not be forced to punctuate their texts wrongly, on the grounds that English doesn't use -- while they do.
I wonder, is it possible to use grep in the QuickFix preferences, as it is in PowerFind Pro. That way, one could perhaps define it more precisely.
Mark

dshan
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Re: -- is never part of a word

Post by dshan » 2007-01-25 16:51:53

offbyone wrote: More important, in a correctly composed English language text, an em dash invariably follows (and is invariably followed by) an alphanumeric character, as they are in the first sentence of this text, above, at "handles—or" and "handle—the", with no space before and no space after the punctuation mark.
Not necessarily. It depends on where you live. The omission of spaces surrounding the em dash character is an American oddity — the rest of the English speaking world always surrounds an em dash with spaces — so for many this fix works just fine.

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Post by midwinter » 2007-01-25 19:17:00

option+shift+ - = —

offbyone
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Re: -- is never part of a word

Post by offbyone » 2007-01-26 03:43:44

xiamenese wrote: NWE is not just a program for writers writing English, but is gloriously multilingual. Other languages have other conventions, and writers in those other languages should not be forced to punctuate their texts wrongly, on the grounds that English doesn't use -- while they do.
As rmark described it, the program requires a space or something other than an alphanumeric character immediately preceding an em dash, at least when the dash is typed using the Word-like two-hyphen short-cut, which is what the writer of the o.p. wants to do. If the program were well-designed, a user in any region (including Australia), writing in any language, would be permitted to type a space (Spacebar) before the mark, but not required to do so.

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Post by xiamenese » 2007-01-26 03:47:58

midwinter wrote:option+shift+ - = —
True, but there are those who find the double-hyphen shortcut quicker and easier than having to press two modifier keys at the same time as typing the '-'. I used to when I had to use Weird for Windoze ... If you've suffered under Weird for Windoze, which doesn't have the good keyboard access to accented and other characters, such as en-dash or em-dash, the shortcut becomes a habit. However, I've since got into the habit of just using the modifier keys.
And contrary to what dshan says, I always thought the spaces round — were the American oddity. You lives and you learns :)

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Crumpy
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Post by Crumpy » 2007-01-26 06:57:52

Wow, I certainly didn't expect this to spark such a lively debate.

To rmark: I can see the regional issue, but as offbyone said, having it in the regional settings would work. I can't imagine any word in any language having two concurrent dashes, but I've been surprised before.

To midwinter: Yeah, that's a workaround. It's a bit of a paradigm shift for me but I'm sure I could get over it. However, I've gotten damn used to the autofix though.

Now, in full disclosure I'm still working on the eval copy. And there are certainly areas I really like Nisus in, namely it loads fast. And right now I'm perfectly happy with Word 2004 and it seems to load fine for me on my Macbook. But, looking forward, there's no way I'm shelling out for Office 2007. Other than a Universal binary it offers me nothing.

So, I'm looking at Nisus (Mellel is already out of the running) but I'll most likely wait until more details of the Pro pricing come out before I make a purchase anyway; I'd hate to drop $45 now, and then need to drop some more to get the features I know I'll need.

There's a few other little oddities that Nisus does, or doesn't do that'll require some adjustment on my part.

- Doesn't put the RTF or DOC extension in when I save. 90% of what I do ends up on an editors desk, and he has Word on a PC. Now, it's just something I need to remember to do, but usually that's the sort of thing you forget to do at the 11th hour.

- No comments feature. I can work around this one easier than any other ones by creative uses of highlighting and footnoting if I need to, but I really like the little comment bubbles in Word.


Neither of these are gigantic deal-breakers, but it's enough of a shift for me. NeoOffice does many of these items automatically, but it's not enough of a speed increase over Word via Rosetta.

I have a feeling I'll be checking out Nisus Pro when it comes out.

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Post by dshan » 2007-01-26 14:15:06

Crumpy wrote: There's a few other little oddities that Nisus does, or doesn't do that'll require some adjustment on my part.

- Doesn't put the RTF or DOC extension in when I save. 90% of what I do ends up on an editors desk, and he has Word on a PC. Now, it's just something I need to remember to do, but usually that's the sort of thing you forget to do at the 11th hour.

- No comments feature. I can work around this one easier than any other ones by creative uses of highlighting and footnoting if I need to, but I really like the little comment bubbles in Word.
NWX certainly does add .rtf to it's filenames, you must be doing something unusual -- do you have "Hide extension" checked in the save dialog or something?

Word comments support is an oft requested feature as yet unimplemented in Nisus, but AFAIK Word is virtually the only product that supports the feature anyway (Pages too, but it's unclear if Pages comments are compatible/interchangeable with Word's).

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Post by xiamenese » 2007-01-26 16:44:40

dshan wrote:
Crumpy wrote: There's a few other little oddities that Nisus does, or doesn't do that'll require some adjustment on my part.

- Doesn't put the RTF or DOC extension in when I save. 90% of what I do ends up on an editors desk, and he has Word on a PC. Now, it's just something I need to remember to do, but usually that's the sort of thing you forget to do at the 11th hour.
NWX certainly does add .rtf to it's filenames, you must be doing something unusual -- do you have "Hide extension" checked in the save dialog or something?
Go to Finder Preferences, in the Advanced Tab set "Show all file extensions". You then have an option to hide the extension on any particular file at Save time.

Mark
(By the way, I am not rmark ... that, if I guess right, is Mark Hurwitz of Nisus. There's a post above which suggests that we have been confused)

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Post by Crumpy » 2007-01-26 16:58:10

I would like to nominate myself for "Idiot of the Year." I didn't even SEE the "hide extension" choice in "save."

I know Word comments are an oft-asked for feature, and you're correct, Word is the only one that does it. Boy are they easy to get used to.

I guess the only real remaining "dunno" is if there's an upgrade path from the current version of Express to Pro when it comes out that's not expensive.

I've dedicated myself to working on my next few projects in Nisus to see how well I can adapt after years of Word.

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Post by joehardy » 2007-01-26 20:48:13

Crumpy wrote: I know Word comments are an oft-asked for feature, and you're correct, Word is the only one that does it. Boy are they easy to get used to.
Actually Pages has the comment feature and it is compatible with Word, so I'd love to see that eventually show up in Nisus Writer (probably Pro) and then I could exchange papers with students via e-mail without switching to Word.
I teach as an adjunct a course for a university where the students are completing a senior thesis and we do virtually everything by e-mail except turning in the final bound copy. The comment feature makes that possible. It would be great to have it in Nisus Writer.
I am delighted, though, to know that NW Pro will have TOC which will help greatly with my personal writing.
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