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Author Topic: WikiWord Linking in MS Word  (Read 777 times)

m9833

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WikiWord Linking in MS Word
« on: May 03, 2020, 12:08 AM »
While on the lookout for a better way to manage my texts and research, I have (again) started experimenting with TiddlyWiki and WikidPad . I was wondering whether a similar feature (Wiki-Linked Rich Text) is available or could be made available using an addon in MS-Word and came across this old post in DC Forums:

https://www.donation...dex.php?topic=9502.0

Does anyone have experience with something similar?

Shades

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Re: WikiWord Linking in MS Word
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2020, 05:46 AM »
I would suggest to take a look at MarkDown, or even better AsciiDoc.

Both have visually oriented editors available (freeware or open source), which enable you to edit and create new documentation in them. It is easy enough to pick up.

Now I think that the syntax and logic behind AsciiDoc are a vast improvement over MarkDown, but for the latter there are more editors available and a lot of websites support it nowadays.
After explaining my bias, for creation of AsciiDoc documentation I prefer the AsciiDocFX editor. For editing existing documents, VSCode is preferable when you work with documentation that is managed by Git or other version control systems.

With a bit of forethought about how you want to structure your files, images etc. you can then easily link to files, media, images etc. using relative paths (or absolute), but also to different documents or sections thereof. AsciiDocFX has a pretty descriptive cheat sheet built-in and most layout options are available as menu option, one or two mouse clicks away.

The main problem from AsciiDoc or MarkDown for that matter, none of the editors have a GUI interface that is as familiar as Word. But an AsciiDoc document is text-based, very human readable in raw format and can be easily converted into PDF, HTML5 or eBook formats. AsciiDocFX has these already built-in. The HTML output can be imported into Word without any problem. And then you can even store the imported document in the native Word format, if that is a solid requirement.

Because AsciiDoc and MarkDown are text-based formats, you can use almost any text editor to open these documents. This makes it also very easy to index such documentation by any type of search software on any operating system.

If the above is too much of a mindset deviation, there is another way. Though it does require you to have an online website/blog from a 3rd party. Then you could use a piece of software called: open livewriter
You have to hook it up to 1 or more of these 3rd party services during the installation procedure, but then you get a Wordpad-like editor that stores the documents you create with it directly onto the configured 3rd party service(s). Then you could consider to use the google search engine for searching your documentation.

Still, I would take the time to get acquainted with AsciiDoc, not the easiest option in the beginning, but once you "get" it I think it is the best option. After you made several documents using AsciiDoc, you could even use the Hugo web server software to generate static HTML pages from these documents and the Hugo results you can host (directly) on a local website or one you purchase from a 3rd party. Whatever tickles you.

AsciiDocFX has a spell-checker built-in. While not as extensive as the one from Word, it is pretty capable. And supports more than one language, right out of the box.

So, if you are not hell bent on a Word-like GUI or it's file format, AsciiDoc is much more future-proof, because it's syntax is less convoluted then MarkDown and text based, so it works the same on any edition/version of Windows in existence...or other operating systems like Linux, MacOS and/or BSD.

skwire

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Re: WikiWord Linking in MS Word
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2020, 07:19 AM »
a better way to manage my texts and research

I am a HUGE fan of Markdown and use Joplin extensively for this purpose.  Think "Markdown Evernote" and you have it.

https://joplinapp.org/

wraith808

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Re: WikiWord Linking in MS Word
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2020, 02:20 PM »
a better way to manage my texts and research

I am a HUGE fan of Markdown and use Joplin extensively for this purpose.  Think "Markdown Evernote" and you have it.

https://joplinapp.org/



Thanks for this!  I've tried a few, but this one has syncing which the others haven't so perhaps this will be my endgame!

skwire

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Re: WikiWord Linking in MS Word
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2020, 10:20 PM »
Thanks for this!  I've tried a few, but this one has syncing which the others haven't so perhaps this will be my endgame

You're welcome.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

m9833

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Re: WikiWord Linking in MS Word
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2020, 05:17 PM »
Thanks a lot Shades and skwire. I have downloaded both programs and have skimmed through information about both. All in all I am liking what I am seeing.

I am yet to begin trying ASCIIDocFx, but have started with Joplin. The interface is nice and I like the notebook organized interface. It does not have spellcheck, but as a compromise, I downloaded Typora and can use it as an external editor with spellchek, and can link it to Joplin.  Sadly, it does not offer the easy WikiLinking via [[]] or CamelCase that WikidPad or TiddlyWiki offer. Another alternative that I downloaded and tried (Notable), and I think also Typora offer this and really hope that Joplin will soon offer this as well. The file naming is based on internal codes and is a bit confusing, if one looks at the files using a file manager. Within the program interface, the names are organized quite well. The real time preview using a split screen effect is great for learning the syntax.

I will try Joplin for a few days, while also trying out MarkDown syntax, before trying ASCIIDocFX out.

Thanks again for introducing me to these interesting programs.


Shades

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Re: WikiWord Linking in MS Word
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2020, 06:54 PM »
The reason why I mention AsciiDoc:
MarkDown vs AsciiDoc
Markdown vs Wiki vs structured-text vs AsciiDoc
The AsciiDoc syntax makes more sense to me. But I might be weird about that.  :P


Once you know the AsciiDoc or Markdown syntax more or less by heart, you can use any text editor to create/edit these files.

m9833

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Re: WikiWord Linking in MS Word
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2020, 04:35 AM »
Shades, looking at the codes (not in depth), I too found the AsciiDoc syntax more logical. For example _abc_ for underscore rather than *_*. I haven't had much chance to use the codes so I expect there might be a logical reason for that, or maybe I will simply get used to the logic. :-)

In any case, I plan to give AsciiDoc a try once I have had some practice with markdown.


Dormouse

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Re: WikiWord Linking in MS Word
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2020, 09:45 AM »
I can see why AsciiDoc might be simpler, but I'm not convinced either are that intuitive once get away from headings, italics etc. I remember trying to work out colours in markdown once: some worked easily but others didn't. I decided it was another case of precise learning required.

In the end, I think ubiquity will beat perfection and that gives it to markdown. I noticed that even Trello works in markdown. Haven't checked the flavour, but I've noticed the GitHub version mentioned a lot.

skwire

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Re: WikiWord Linking in MS Word
« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2020, 02:25 PM »
Even though I use Markdown, there are certain things that I prefer the AsciiDoc (or other markup formats) way of doing it.  You already mentioned one of them -- the use of underscores.  It's non-intuitive that Markdown formats _this_ as this.  WTH?  :huh:  I mean, they're underscores...they look like underlines, for goodness sake.   I would have preferred italics use forward slashes and be formatted so that /this/ turns into this.  However, some folks have trouble knowing which slash is a forward slash and which is a backward slash, so I can understand that there might have been some confusion because backslashes are used to escape characters.  Using backslashes, you can write: \_this\_ which would appear as: _this_.  As it stands now, to underline text in Markdown, you have to use <u></u> or <ins></ins> tags.  Ugly.
 
I agree that neither format is the be all, end all.   However, at some point, one needs to pick a format and just use it.  If one worries what they're missing from other formats, nothing gets done.   :P

wraith808

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Re: WikiWord Linking in MS Word
« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2020, 02:27 PM »
I'd like to use AsciiDoc, but after trying for a while, missed my tools that I use, so am back to Markdown.

Shades

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Re: WikiWord Linking in MS Word
« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2020, 02:36 PM »
I can see why AsciiDoc might be simpler, but I'm not convinced either are that intuitive once get away from headings, italics etc. I remember trying to work out colours in markdown once: some worked easily but others didn't. I decided it was another case of precise learning required.

In the end, I think ubiquity will beat perfection and that gives it to markdown. I noticed that even Trello works in markdown. Haven't checked the flavour, but I've noticed the GitHub version mentioned a lot.

When asked for a documentation portal at the time, a Wiki was my answer. Markdown was my second answer. The response on my answer was AsciiDoc. It apparently integrates well with GitLab, which was the solution selected for version management of software. Why run 2 systems separately, when you can do it all in one.  Hard to argue with that logic, so AsciiDoc it will be then. Spending quite some time finding and testing out editors that support AsciiDoc was next. Once the description about the good/bad points was made, I had to convert a manual (Microsoft Word) with 15 years worth of script commands. That was where I got to appreciate what AsciiDoc does.

First I used a tool called PanDoc to do the conversion to AsciiDoc. And for "funsies" I also did a conversion to MarkDown. The resulting AsciiDoc was smaller and rendered closer to the original than the resulting MarkDown did. No conversion is ever perfect, so fixing was needed in both documents. AsciiDoc editors have a document structure check built-in and that made it easy to find and fix these. Some AsciiDoc editors also have software built-in that show you where and how you can make documents render better and faster.

I'm sure there are MarkDown editors that can do the same, but I never looked for them. In the end, the MarkDown/AsciiDoc story will be similar to the VHS/BetaMax story. BetaMax technically superior, but strict. VHS more cheaply available. On that we agree.

Ah well, it is what it is and if it isn't, it will be.     

Dormouse

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Re: WikiWord Linking in MS Word
« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2020, 03:42 PM »
That certainly makes AsciiDoc sound better, but you usually need a massive advantage to overturn ubiquity. MarkDown has first mover advantage.

I appreciate that MarkDown isn't really ubiquitous because it has so many flavours but it gives the appearance of it. I probably approximate the average user: I'd rather not have to do it at all, and I'll learn as much as I need and no more. What I use will depend on programs and since the ones I like seem to be MarkDown that takes me to plaintext with the occasional scream or two. I have no intention of learning how to do a table if I can possibly avoid it. I notice that PanDoc will translate to AsciiDoc but not from, but will try go both ways for a variety of MarkDown flavours.

Dormouse

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Re: WikiWord Linking in MS Word
« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2020, 04:05 PM »
In the end, the MarkDown/AsciiDoc story will be similar to the VHS/BetaMax story. BetaMax technically superior, but strict. VHS more cheaply available.
The VHS/Betamax story was an interesting one. Betamax wasn't actually much better, and worse in some ways. Both launched at around the same time. What decided it was marketing in the US. Tape length mattered there and Sony wasn't willing to match VHS because it would cut their quality. Once VHS had grabbed most of that market, economies of scale allowed VHS costs to be driven down. (And Betamax was intrinsically harder to cut costs on.)

Another similar battle was satellite TV in the UK. And there the winner was definitely lower quality. BSB was conceptually first but the time it would take for it to launch its squarial allowed Murdoch to rush out the small Sky aerial and grab enough of the market to stick a log through the spokes of the BSB wagon.

It's the flavours that will give this one to MarkDown. Without them it would be flat on its face waiting for something better to walk all over it. But propped up by its flavours I think it's just too big to budge any time soon.