Text Variables in NWP 3?

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ninjagame
Posts: 150
Joined: 2004-11-27 09:38:42
Location: Hamburg, Germany

Text Variables in NWP 3?

Post by ninjagame » 2018-11-03 08:36:42

I've got another question.
Is there anything in the way of text variables in NWP 3 like e.g. in Adobe InDesign?
Example: In an SF novel I'm currently writing I have several names, terms, and sometimes phrases that always recur. Always typing them out in full length tends to be somewhat typo-prone. So, if I could put them into a variable-like container and insert them when needed, it would make things easier.
I've already thought of creating macros just containing text but I wonder if there's a more "elegant" way...

ProfT
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Location: La Mirada, CA

Re: Text Variables in NWP 3?

Post by ProfT » 2018-11-03 12:20:21

Could you use a glossary entry for each of the recurring items?

Þorvarður
Posts: 256
Joined: 2012-12-19 05:02:52

Re: Text Variables in NWP 3?

Post by Þorvarður » 2018-11-03 12:49:36

ninjagame wrote:
2018-11-03 08:36:42
Is there anything in the way of text variables in NWP 3 like e.g. in Adobe InDesign?
Isn't that called Document Properties in Nisus? Nisus comes with "Standard Properties" and customizable "Custom Properties"; both can be inserted from the Insert menu –> Document Property –> Custom Property –>(List of custom properties you have created)
I have several names, terms, and sometimes phrases that always recur. Always typing them out in full length tends to be somewhat typo-prone. So, if I could put them into a variable-like container and insert them when needed, it would make things easier.
Isn't that what the Glossary-Feature is for? Or do you have something else in mind?

ninjagame
Posts: 150
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Location: Hamburg, Germany

Re: Text Variables in NWP 3?

Post by ninjagame » 2018-11-03 13:05:29

sn't that called Document Properties in Nisus?
Isn't that what the Glossary-Feature is for?
Well, I'll have to look into that. For now, it looks like some kind of workaround to me. But I'll be the first to admit that I'm wrong or have overlooked something.

Þorvarður
Posts: 256
Joined: 2012-12-19 05:02:52

Re: Text Variables in NWP 3?

Post by Þorvarður » 2018-11-03 15:35:01

ninjagame wrote:
2018-11-03 13:05:29
Well, I'll have to look into that.
Na, da bin ich gespannt … :-)

Custom Properties and Glossaries are actually used for different things. Which one you use, depends on what you want to do.

Scenario 1
Johann, your main character, is a Donaudampfschiffahrtsgesellschaftskapitän, and this word keeps cropping up all over your novel again and again. In this scenario you would obviously never manually type the word but rather turn it into a glossary entry.

Scenario 2
Now, suppose you are not sure whether your main character's name should be "Johann" or "Siegfried". In this case you could create a custom property called 'My character' with the value "Johann" and perhaps assign it a keyboard shortcut too. Now, if you later decide to rename this character to "Siegfried", all you need to do is to change the value to "Siegfried", and Nisus will automatically change all instances of the name in the document. – Document Properties also make sense in headers and footers and in fact everywhere else where the content of these variables can potentially change in time. The content of the variable <Title>, for example, will change if you change the title of your document.

Does that make sense to you?
Last edited by Þorvarður on 2018-11-04 07:38:50, edited 1 time in total.

ninjagame
Posts: 150
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Location: Hamburg, Germany

Re: Text Variables in NWP 3?

Post by ninjagame » 2018-11-04 01:10:53

Does that make sense to you?
As a matter of fact, it does.
From what you are describing, I reckon that "Custom properties" would be the means of choice for what I have in mind.
Question is now: How do I create a "Custom property?"
BTW Where did you get the
Donaudampfschiffahrtsgesellschaftskapitän
from?
Then you must also know the Donaudampfschiffahrtsgesellschaftskapitänskajütenproduktionsfirmeninhaber. And so it goes on and on and on :lol:

ninjagame
Posts: 150
Joined: 2004-11-27 09:38:42
Location: Hamburg, Germany

Re: Text Variables in NWP 3?

Post by ninjagame » 2018-11-04 02:19:50

How do I create a "Custom property?"
Ah, got it: File -> Properties -> Custom property
So, thank you very much, Þorvarður! Þakka þér fyrir!

adryan
Posts: 201
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Location: Australia

Re: Text Variables in NWP 3?

Post by adryan » 2018-11-04 04:08:30

G’day, ninjagame et al

> “Then you must also know the Donaudampfschiffahrtsgesellschaftskapitänskajütenproduktionsfirmeninhaber.”

Leider nein. Aber sein Bruder ist ein alter Bekannter von mir.

I’ve never used the Document Properties feature of NWP, so I’m following this thread with interest.

Scenario 2 in Þorvarður’s posting opens the proverbial can of worms. I realize the example is meant to explicate the difference between a Custom Property and a Glossary entry (which it does quite nicely), but one needs to be very cautious in how one uses such Properties. Changing the name of a character is a case in point, particularly with a gender-inflected language. It is not enough just to substitute one name for another: relevant pronouns also need to be taken into account. Quoting from an old nursery rhyme: “Jack fell down and broke his crown”; one cannot merely substitute “Jill” for “Jack” here and retain the same meaning. One will occasionally run into problems with possessives, as when replacing “Achilles” with “Agamemnon” in the expression “Achilles’ heel”. Then there are all the gender-differentiated relationships to consider: father, mother, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, etc. And who can forget the in-laws? Not only these, some languages (eg, German) will also require a suite of other changes (eg, Artz/Ärtzin, Freund/Freundin, usw).

Using the Find/Replace system at least offers the possibility of reviewing some of these issues in context. It would be inadvisable, though, to Replace all relevant pronouns without individual consideration.

Really what is required in this situation is tagging each relevant word in some way to indicate that it belongs to a particular set. One might, for example, create a Style called “Jack” that is then applied to each occurrence of the name “Jack” and to every other word referring to Jack. Some occurrences of (for example) “he” and “brother” would have the “Jack” Style but others wouldn’t. Instead of Styles, one might use HTML-type tagging or text colors or whatever. Once the tagging is in place, a macro could then replace everything at once.

It is immediately apparent how tedious the assignment of tags would be — especially if the manuscript had several characters whose names and sex one didn’t want to set in stone at the outset.

I’ve written at some length here because I find the whole question of character replacement intriguing.

I guess there are two lessons in all of this:–

(1) If you are going to create a Custom Document Property, be clear in your mind how you expect it to work for you: it may be that some other approach might be more appropriate.

(2) Choose your names and relationships wisely!

Cheers,
Adrian
MacBook Pro (mid-2014)
macOS Sierra 10.12.6
Nisus Writer user since 1996

ninjagame
Posts: 150
Joined: 2004-11-27 09:38:42
Location: Hamburg, Germany

Re: Text Variables in NWP 3?

Post by ninjagame » 2018-11-04 08:09:12

G’day, adryan,

Thank you very much for your truly comprehensive reply!
As a native speaker of German and a part-time teacher of German as foreign language I know exactly what you mean. But rest assured - my intention using Custom Properties is primarily saving time typing recurrent character strings while at the same time reducing the risk of typos. (Think of "Donaudampfschiffahrts...") Second comes the intention of retaining the possibility to change e.g. names or other terms literally "at the root" and not having to go through the whole document checking and double-checking if I got everything right.

Have a nice day!

ninjagame

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