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Text editor (Read 22023 times)
DaveT
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Text editor
Jul 22nd, 2011, 11:31am
 
Hi I'm a noob. I've been looking at and testing PIMs for 20+ years. I've been a PC user, so I finally bought an iMac just to try Tinderbox. Up front, I want to express my frustration with the lack of a decent text editor built into TB. It is unbelievable that such a powerful app has no decent text editor.

As a noob I knew this coming in because I did some research. I see that there are some workarounds posted, but I don't understand how to implement any of them.

I understand harboring frustrations is harmful to your health, so I had to get this off my chest and dump it someplace. So I decided to do it here. Consider this statement shouting "This really sucks!!!!!!!!!!!"  Angry Sad Embarrassed Undecided Lips Sealed :'(

That said, I'll get on with it and try and figure out some work around.
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Mark Anderson
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Re: Text editor
Reply #1 - Jul 22nd, 2011, 11:43am
 
Welcome to the forum, but please resist the urge to vent - this is isn't a shouty sort of forum. Text editor? I think of a pure text editor as something like BBEdit or TextEdit, or were you thinking of rich text editing as in a word processor?

TB isn't a pure text editor nor a word processor nor an everything bucket (DevonThink, Curio, Yojimpbo, PB, etc.) nor a pure web design tool, nor a pure PIM. It is primarily (IMO) a textual analysis tool; it overlaps lots of niches but I see it sitting slightly on it's own category (others' view may differ). It's certainly can be used as a PIM but it all depends on your expectations.

Anyway, if you get stuck, do ask here or dive into aTbRef which documents pretty much all the knobs and switches.
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DaveT
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Re: Text editor
Reply #2 - Jul 22nd, 2011, 11:55am
 
Mark,

Thanks...I should know better. I'll go shout out the window next time.
Sorry Embarrassed

BTW, I meant rich text editor like in a word processor.  Is there an HTML view where I could at least learn to format using HTML?

And I do realize that TB is many things besides a PIM. That is why I came over to the Mac and TB. I've read that some consider TB to be like another object oriented programming tool for non programmers.  I realize that I am in for an immense learning curve.

Hmm! I just noticed that the text editor that I'm using to write this note is pretty darn good...couldn't we just have something like this Mark?
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« Last Edit: Jul 22nd, 2011, 12:05pm by DaveT »  
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Mark Bernstein
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Re: Text editor
Reply #3 - Jul 22nd, 2011, 11:56am
 
As you're a software veteran, I'll simply point out that "a decent text editor" is the software equivalent of a clean, well-lighted place: everyone agrees that a good editor is good to have, but different people prefer different cafés, and different editors.

People have been arguing about vi and emacs for even longer than the 20+ years for which you've been using PIMs.

In point of fact, Tinderbox's editor is not bad. It's a fairly standard Macintosh editor -- WASTE 3 -- slightly augmented to add some convenience functions. Since Tinderbox notes are typically brief and informal, this generally is more than adequate.

If you prefer a specific style of editor, Tinderbox does support QuickCursor and even Tinderbox's modest scriptability should suffice to do lots of what you want.

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Mark Anderson
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Re: Text editor
Reply #4 - Jul 22nd, 2011, 11:56am
 
No matter, we all get that way occasionally.  Smiley Welcome to the forum and ask away when you get stuck.
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DaveT
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Re: Text editor
Reply #5 - Jul 22nd, 2011, 12:09pm
 
Am I overlooking something? Is there a way to put a bulleted list in a TB note? And is there a way to indent a paragraph in TB?
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Mark Bernstein
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Re: Text editor
Reply #6 - Jul 22nd, 2011, 12:21pm
 
Bullet list: start a paragraph with a • or an asterisk *.  Tinderbox will indent automatically. (Starting a paragraph with # also makes a list, but HTML export treats this as an ordered list)

You can turn off automatically-indented lists as a preference, and can override the preference setting for individual notes through the TextFormat attribute $AutomaticIndent.

To indent a paragraph, use the Shift Right command in the  (cmd-shift-]) style menu.  Shift Left un-indents.

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DaveT
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Re: Text editor
Reply #7 - Jul 22nd, 2011, 1:00pm
 
Thanks Mark...that helps a lot.
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DaveT
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Re: Text editor
Reply #8 - Jul 22nd, 2011, 7:49pm
 
Too whom it may concern:

I tried buying and installing QuickCursor thinking that I might be able to use some simple WYSIWYG editor--like this forum's editor--with TB. No dice. After hours of mucking around, I found out the QuickCusor does not support RTF editors.
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Mark Bernstein
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Re: Text editor
Reply #9 - Jul 22nd, 2011, 11:21pm
 
QuickCursor does work great with Tinderbox.  But it's meant for use with simple text editors like BBEdit, text mate, or emacs.

Of course, you can write in word or inDesign or Pages and paste to tinderbox if you like...
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Ted Goranson
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Re: Text editor
Reply #10 - Jul 23rd, 2011, 3:44am
 
Dave —

As you are from the Windows world, you should know that BBedit is anything but a ‘simple’ environment. It qualifies as best in class and will easily exceed your needs once you understand it.

It is a text editor, though. So you will not be able to round trip styles and links.

I routinely use BBedit and Tinderbox together, sometimes through QuickCursor, combining two of the most powerful apps anywhere.

Once you paste text into Tinderbox, you won’t want to muck about in an external editor if you work like I do: adding styling and links.

But, you can select a chunk of text in TB and invoke QK and just that selection gets roundtripped. Very nice.
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DaveT
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Re: Text editor
Reply #11 - Jul 23rd, 2011, 8:33am
 
Mark and Ted,

Thanks for your replies and help. I tried copying and pasting from Scrivener into TB. Normal paragraphs and numbered lists paste into TB okay, but tables in Scrivener disappear in TB and indented paragraphs lose their indention.

As for BBedit, I am not a developer nor do I work directly in HTML. I know very little HTML and nothing about CSS. I've used WYSIWYG editors to do technical writing in the past. However, I understand from reading The Tinderbox Way that I will need to become proficient in HTML and CSS to be successful with TB. I dread that, but decided that is the price I will have to pay to become successful with TB.

To me this is a big, big issue...that is the lack of a WYSIWYG in TB. It kept me away from TB for quite some time, and now that I am into TB, it is extremely frustrating. I see from reading the TinderBox Wiki, others have felt this way too.

As a new user, I cannot write a note with a numbered list or create a table the way I have been doing it for 25 years or so with WYSIWYG editors. I remember how the audience yelled with glee when at a Microsoft beta demo for Word they announced and demonstrated the table tool. So, I feel like TB has set me back 25 or 30 years in this area. TB gets in my way and destroys free flowing ideas and thinking because it lacks a WYSIWYG editor. Putting asterisks and # signs in notes to create lists is very distracting and un-natural. When I read The Tinderbox Way, I thought this is the Holly Grail tool that I have been looking for for over 20 yrs...but my God this lack of a WYSIWYG editor is a real hindrance to using TB.

Is there a way to create tables in a TB note?




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« Last Edit: Jul 23rd, 2011, 9:29am by DaveT »  
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Mark Anderson
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Re: Text editor
Reply #12 - Jul 23rd, 2011, 9:30am
 
Tinderbox does not support (correct me if wrong) inline tables - it's not a word processor or desktop publishing app.

There is no requirement to learn HTML or CSS in order to use TB. Some users use HTMl/CSS to export marked up text but that itself doesn't make it a requirement.
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DaveT
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Re: Text editor
Reply #13 - Jul 23rd, 2011, 9:39am
 
Mark,

Are saying that if I want to write a blog in TB and upload it to a website, that it cannot contain a table? I got the impression from reading The Tinderbox Way that I could create entire websites with TB. Many websites have tables.

Also, Mark Bernstein pretty much says that you can only do so much in TB without learning HTML and CSS in The Tinderbox Way under the heading "Understanding, not Magic" on page147. So, I guess that makes it a requirement for me.  Additionally, Mark talks about composing documents under the heading "11. Composing Print Documents" page 157. This implies that you can use TB as a desktop publishing app.
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« Last Edit: Jul 23rd, 2011, 10:20am by DaveT »  
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Mark Bernstein
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Re: Text editor
Reply #14 - Jul 23rd, 2011, 10:17am
 
If you want a table in your blog entry, you might

- include the HTML in your note, or

- build the table in tinderbox, perhaps using notes for each row and note attributes for each column, and let Tinderbox add the markup.

I've got a fairly elaborate weblog at http://markbernstein.org , and while I'm sure I've used some tables, I can't remember the last time I wanted one.
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« Last Edit: Jul 23rd, 2011, 10:18am by Mark Bernstein »  
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