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Author Topic: Plain text editor for writers  (Read 25112 times)
app103
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« Reply #25 on: January 22, 2008, 10:58:35 PM »

app103, does the F1 key work in other programs?

I just tried it in open office and no...F1 doesn't work there either. But this is the only F key that is having a problem. Everything else works, and does what it is expected to do, so I don't think it's an issue with some F-lock, that doesn't exist, being stuck.


One final thought, thoug - App, is there a key labelled Fn on your keyboard by any chance?

No, there isn't one.

And the path mentioned in the Jon Galloway blog post doesn't exist here, so I don't think it's some Microsoft branded keyboard stuff installed on my pc.

I don't have a Microsoft branded keyboard. I have an HP one...pretty generic PS/2 thing, most likely manufactured by Micro Innovations. (they make a lot of stock keyboards for Dell & HP) It is pretty much identical to all my genuine Micro Innovations branded keyboards I own except for color. These are pretty simple keyboards, nothing fancy about them except that they are spill resistant and can take a royal beating and keep working. The fanciest thing about them is the mute button in the upper right corner.

There are no user changeable settings for this keyboard except the repeat speed.

Maybe I'll have to play around with ahk and see if I can get F1 to trigger F1 (kind of like I had to do with Win+E to force it to open Explorer)

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Darwin
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« Reply #26 on: January 23, 2008, 12:06:16 AM »

Hi app - hope you sort this out. I noted in passing that someone commenting on the Jon Galloway blog noted this problem with a Dell keyboard that lacked an F-Lock key but that exhibited the behaviour. However, if only your F1 is affected, it seems odd, and a problem apart, indeed.
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jgpaiva
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« Reply #27 on: January 23, 2008, 04:54:36 AM »

app: if you have other keyboards, you probably should test with one of those, as that sounds more like hardware problem (if i understood correctly, f1 isn't working in any program, right?)
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vegas
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« Reply #28 on: January 23, 2008, 05:35:06 AM »

Just stumbled across this blogged mini-roundup of:

The 5 best damned text editors for Windows
http://roachfiend.com/arc...text-editors-for-windows/
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tomos
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« Reply #29 on: January 23, 2008, 06:51:12 AM »

Just stumbled across this blogged mini-roundup of:

The 5 best damned text editors for Windows
http://roachfiend.com/arc...text-editors-for-windows/

comes with a bad language warning...and a cockroach undecided

[edit] it was the cockroach that got me..the other could prob be guessed from the title
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Tom
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« Reply #30 on: January 23, 2008, 12:30:08 PM »

Was about to thank the poster for the nice find on q10, but after reading the replies, you guys just turned this into keyboard tech support. So much for forum organization I guess.
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Curt
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« Reply #31 on: January 23, 2008, 02:04:29 PM »

In my imagination the thread got carried away because the very titel of the thread is "unclear". We know what a plain text editor is, because we all have Notepad or similar. But what is a plain text editor for writers? I mean, what are they writing?  Programs? Homepages? Books? Notes? Any rich formatted text -with or without graphs or images, or does it have to be text only? I don't think it takes lack of forum organization to get distracted by such uncertainty. Anyway, we can take it, and so can you if you try.  Wink

If the editor in question can handle plain text only, I would go for FlashNotes. But if it is allowed to handle a lot of whistles and bells I would go for Liquid Story Binder and write an illustrated book - including sound files as wwwell!  Cool
« Last Edit: January 23, 2008, 02:09:27 PM by Curt » Logged
Darwin
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« Reply #32 on: January 23, 2008, 03:49:20 PM »

Was about to thank the poster for the nice find on q10, but after reading the replies, you guys just turned this into keyboard tech support. So much for forum organization I guess.

Mea culpa  embarassed... Shouldn't preclude you from thanking the poster for bringing q10 to your attention, though, should it  tongue
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superboyac
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« Reply #33 on: January 23, 2008, 06:33:00 PM »

I'm not a programmer or a writer, I'm in between.  I know good text editors are a big deal for a lot of people.  Do these editors offer unique features not available in other good text editors?
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Curt
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« Reply #34 on: January 24, 2008, 02:34:41 AM »

..Do these editors offer unique features ..?

"these" - what editors? Sorry; I am confused.

What goes for FlashNotes: It will popup 'as a flash' when you hit the hotkey, and it auto-saves, no need to click anything, other than to type.

As for Liquid Story Binder: I listed all the features in this post, but I imagine it can do all that you would want it to - it can even be totally simple:






« Last Edit: January 24, 2008, 11:03:49 AM by Curt » Logged
johnk
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« Reply #35 on: February 06, 2008, 06:46:49 AM »

I've been looking into this area for a while (text editors for writers, that is). If all you really want is a blank screen and the ability to type and save plain text, then Q10 is fine.

But to me a text editor for writers implies a bit more than a plain text editor. As a very minimum, the ability to help you organise your text files at a very basic level (e.g. by chapter/book etc). But you also don't want too much in the way of bells and whistles. You want it to be fast and lean (like any good text editor). For example, I don't want my writing program to become my research collection program, with folders of web snippets littering the interface.

With that in mind, my search lead me to PageFour (http://www.softwareforwriting.com/). It's not plain text -- it saves to RTF. That's fine by me. RTF is a good choice for making sure you're not trapped in the program, and does offer the option of basic formatting if you need it. Most importantly, I find the interface clean and easy to use:



And if you just want to concentrate on the text, you can remove the main toolbar, formatting toolbar, status bar, and the notebook tree and voila -- a text window. Drawbacks?  Only minor ones.  There's no real-time word count, which seems odd for a writer's text editor. And the word count comes up in a separate window, which is clumsy. I also don't like the fact that the licence is a single machine licence (an issue I raised in another thread: http://www.donationcoder....m/index.php?topic=12161.0) but the developer has promised to consider giving the option of a single user licence.

EDIT: Credit to the developer of PageFour. As of February 8 and the release of v1.67 (beta), the licence has been re-written, giving the option of a single user licence.

As an aside, many discussions on this subject around the webosphere seem to conclude that the best editor for writers is Scrivener (http://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener.html) for the Mac -- and that includes people who use both PCs and Macs. I don't have a Mac so I can't test it. I do love the idea of having a built-in "corkboard" (I'm considering SuperNotecard for that - http://www.mindola.com/).
« Last Edit: February 11, 2008, 12:03:28 PM by johnk » Logged
nontroppo
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« Reply #36 on: February 06, 2008, 12:14:26 PM »

Scrivener ==  Kiss Kiss Kiss Kiss Kiss Kiss

It is the best writers app I've tried and one of the best productivity apps I've had the pleasure of using in my time using computers. As I have friends who only have PCs who I dearly want to wean off word for writing I've tested just about *everything* I could find. But sadly there is nothing like it on the PC (PageFour is the best of the bunch). The Mac is stuffed to the gills with great writing software; Scrivener, Ulysses, Avenir, Mariner and a whole gaggle of others.

Q10 as a minimalist interface is the closest I can get to the fullscreen heaven of Scrivener, Writeroom, Ulysses etc. I recommend it as a way to change the way you write, the starkness forces you to stop twiddling your gadgets, eyeing your email notifier etc.

Here is a nice article on the vanguard of writers software:

Quote
Our redeemer is Scrivener, the independently produced word-processing program of the aspiring novelist Keith Blount, a Londoner who taught himself code and graphic design and marketing, just to create a software that jibes with the way writers think. As its name makes plain, Scrivener takes our side; it roots for the writer and not for the final product — the stubborn Word. The happy, broad-minded, process-friendly Scrivener software encourages note-taking and outlining and restructuring and promises all the exhilaration of a productive desk: “a ring-binder, a scrapbook, a corkboard, an outliner and text editor all rolled into one.”

Ring, scrap and cork sound like fun, a Montessori playroom. But read on — and download the free trial — and being a Scrivener-empowered scrivener comes to seem like life’s greatest role. Scriveners, unlike Word-slaves, have florid psychologies, esoteric requirements and arcane desires. They’re artists. They’re historians. With needs. Scrivener is “aimed at writers of all kinds — novelists, journalists, academics, screenwriters, playwrights — who need to refer to various research documents and have access to different organizational tools whilst aiming to create a finished piece of text.”
http://www.nytimes.com/20...ef=slogin&oref=slogin
« Last Edit: February 06, 2008, 12:18:54 PM by nontroppo » Logged

Curt
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« Reply #37 on: February 24, 2008, 05:48:47 AM »

Feb 14, 2008: StorYBook 0.4.3

A new kid on the block is the gratis (donations are asked for) StorYBook



Quote
StorYBook
StorYBook is a free, summary-based open source software for novelist and authors that helps you to keep the overview over the strands while writing a book, a novel or a story. StorYBook assists you to structure your book.
Quote
... the modern way of writing
Rather than other products, StorYBook let you write your story with the software of your choice, no matter whether this is OpenOffice, Word or LyX. StorYBook is totally independent. The only links needed are the chapter numbers.

Chronological View:



Book View:



Edit Chapter:



Edit Location:


Quote
Features

StorYBook has two views: the chronological view and the book view. The chronological shows the chapters sorted by date. The book view in contrast shows the chapters sorted by chapter numbers, as you would read it in the final book. Of course in both views the chapters and there related informations can be edited any time.

StorYBook helps to keep the overview, especially for complex stories with two or more strands. You imagine of StorYBook as some kind of a dynamic mind map.

Strands and strand links: Each chapter belongs to a primary strand. Optionally other related, secondary strands can be linked to a chapter.

Person management: Add, edit or remove persons (characters) and assign them to the related chapters.
Location management: Add, edit or remove locations and assign them to the related chapters.


Parts: Large projects can be split into well arranged parts.

Informations: Chapter related informations of the currently selected part are shown as well as warnings for missing chapters or chapters existing twice. A overview list shows all present strands, persons and locations.

Adjustable view: The chronological view can be resized any time to fit to screen, or to get a better overview if many strands are defined. Even more working space is available if you hide the information panel with a simple click on the tool bar.

Instant save: Because StorYBook uses an embedded database to store data (and not a file) each input entered is saved in an instant. Even if the program crashes, you won't loose any data.

Completely stand-alone: Write your book or script with your favorite software. The only link needed is the chapter number.

Customized extensions for customers are possible.

There is not yet any tutorial

http://storybook.intertec...ch/?g_page=&g_lang=en
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wraith808
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« Reply #38 on: February 24, 2008, 08:19:28 AM »

There's also an Open Source alternative - KeyNote.

A very good review of it is here:
http://becoming-a-writer-...f-keynote-remains-strong/

And you can get it here:
http://sourceforge.net/projects/keynote/
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kartal
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« Reply #39 on: April 01, 2008, 01:08:16 AM »

An Alternative to keynote would be Wikipad, with strong inter page and document linking, treeview etc

http://www.jhorman.org/wikidPad/
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Dormouse
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« Reply #40 on: April 01, 2008, 08:00:45 AM »

As someone who currently mostly uses Windows, but also has Linux, and expects to move mostly to Linux post WindowsXP, I've become aware that software that runs on both Windows and Linux will help with that transition.

So, very good to see that StorYBook and Wikipad do both. This does seem to be a fast increasing trend. smiley
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Dormouse
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« Reply #41 on: April 01, 2008, 11:13:01 AM »

StorYBook seems to be just what it says. A database for characters, locations and chapter summaries for fiction/biography writers. No real text editing capacity.

I could not find a way to move around the text in Wikipad by moving the treeview. Keynote can do this.

What I really want, though, is the ability to move things around by using the treeview and options to look at text just in a single node, a set of nodes or the whole document. And neither Wikipad nor Keynote do this.
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Jimdoria
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« Reply #42 on: April 01, 2008, 11:31:46 AM »

You might want to take a look at SLang - Story Language by Ian Pegler. He's a UK screenwriter/musician who makes several freeware writing tools.

http://www.freefilmsoftware.co.uk/SLang.htm

  • Ideal for brain-storming story ideas.
  • Ideal for story writers who don't quite know where they want their story to go.
  • Ideal for writing "whodunnit" stories or "adventure" type stories where there may be alternative "routes".
  • Stores your story as "events" and "themes".
  • Print events/themes out on index cards.
  • Events viewed as separate windows.
  • Artificial Intelligence features.
  • Export whole story to RTF or TXT file.
  • Comes with integrated help and 2 simple examples
« Last Edit: April 01, 2008, 11:34:05 AM by Jimdoria » Logged

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Dormouse
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« Reply #43 on: April 01, 2008, 11:45:45 AM »

PageFour treeview can be dragged and dropped, but the hierarchy seems only to have 2 levels and I could not see an option to see the whole of the text in the notebook.

I have Liquid Story Blender, but there is no drag and drop in the treeview and I'd really like to have something simpler just to write and organise with for a lot of stuff.
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Dormouse
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« Reply #44 on: April 01, 2008, 11:53:26 AM »

SLang won't install on my machine (XP Pro). Invalid registry entry.
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kartal
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« Reply #45 on: April 01, 2008, 11:57:47 AM »

Dormouse
Wikipad cannot do that. It is a wiki based system. A tree view in Wikipad is just a represantation of data structure. If you want to move things in your treeview easily I would say go for Keynote. I thought in keynote you can reposition your items.

What I really want, though, is the ability to move things around by using the treeview and options to look at text just in a single node, a set of nodes or the whole document. And neither Wikipad nor
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Dormouse
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« Reply #46 on: April 01, 2008, 12:33:54 PM »

You can reposition your items in Keynote, but not see all the text continuously.
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Curt
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« Reply #47 on: April 01, 2008, 04:07:47 PM »

SLang won't install on my machine (XP Pro).

Did you notice that the instructions for installation were a little wrong?
- maybe the files were placed in two different folders, slang2 and slang2.3 ?
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Dormouse
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« Reply #48 on: April 02, 2008, 08:34:15 AM »

No, there was only one folder - 2.3
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cthorpe
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« Reply #49 on: April 02, 2008, 10:11:47 PM »

App,

Here is the help screen from Q10 in case you are still having trouble viewing it:

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