A suggestion / improvement for Textmaker

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StevenL
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Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2011 5:42 am

A suggestion / improvement for Textmaker

Post by StevenL » Mon Jan 06, 2014 1:32 am

Tablets are wonderful gadgets but for a translator, I'm sorry to say they're a nightmare, because translating is a process of reading the old, inserting the new, and FORWARD-DELETING the old.

A lot, a helluva lot of FORWARD erasing. A lot of DELETE.

This also applies to editing.

But most tablets don't even have DELETE, just backspace, and so pudgy fingers working in concert with tired eyeballs, must rise from the virtual keyboards and manually extend highlighting... to then hit BACKSPACE.

Incredible... all that power: the cloud, the internet, the instant messaging, the movies... everything and more, but for us scribes... HELL.

All it would take is one macro-like function, a "smart" forward delete that forward-cancel-connects according to your needs.

It would mean: press the letter, number, punctuation mark you wish to CANCEL-CONNECT to and then hit the assigned smart-delete button (or key combination) to get there.

Let's call this "new" button [§].

Please bear with me. Below is a stretch of "Lorem Ipsum" dummy text (in English instead of Latin).

"But I must explain to you how all this mistaken idea of denouncing pleasure and praising pain was born and I will give you a complete account of the system, and expound the actual teachings of the great explorer of the truth, the master-builder of human happiness."

Let's say I had to re-work (edit) the above text to:

"Allow me to explain how the mistaken idea of denouncing pleasure and praising pain was born and give you a complete account of the master-builder of human happiness."

Using the "[§]" smart-erase function, this would be the process:

"Allow me to e[§]But I must explain h[§]to you how the m[§]all this mistaken idea of denouncing pleasure and praising pain was born and g[§]I will give you a complete account of the m[§][§]system, and expound the actual teachings of the great explorer of the truth, the master-builder of human happiness."

The first [§] cut-and-connected to "explain.
The second [§]cut-and-connected to "mistaken"
The third [§]cut-and-connected to "give"
The fourth [§]cut-and-connected to the "m" of system - In this instance I had to hit [§] again to cut-and-connect with "master-builder"

In order to cancel, my hands never left the keyboard, never had to manually extend highlighting on the screen.

I saw (ahead) what I wanted to CONNECT TO and I hit [§] as needed.

The concept is "cancel-connect"... and not just "cancel."

You see what you want to connect to and merely hit one conveniently placed key - [§] as many times as necessary to have the desired spot COME TO YOU.

Very fast, very efficient, yet at the same time easy, lazy.

Jossi
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Re: A suggestion / improvement for Textmaker

Post by Jossi » Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:07 am

I'm completely with you regarding the lack of forward-delete on tablets. Not even the bluetooth hardware keyboard for my iPad has it, which is really a shame.
But even after reading it four times, I am at a loss to understand your proposed solution.
Let's take the first part of your example: Changing "But I must explain to you" to "Allow me to explain" means replacing "But I must" by "Allow me to" and deleting "to you". How the heck can this (or part of it) be done by placing something after the "e" of "explain"?

StevenL
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Re: A suggestion / improvement for Textmaker

Post by StevenL » Mon Jan 06, 2014 2:15 pm

Jossi wrote:I'm completely with you regarding the lack of forward-delete on tablets. Not even the bluetooth hardware keyboard for my iPad has it, which is really a shame.
But even after reading it four times, I am at a loss to understand your proposed solution.
Let's take the first part of your example: Changing "But I must explain to you" to "Allow me to explain" means replacing "But I must" by "Allow me to" and deleting "to you". How the heck can this (or part of it) be done by placing something after the "e" of "explain"?
Hello Jossi,

Thank you for answering. And I apologize for not being too clear.

The concept is simple and I've been using it for years starting with WORD 5 for Dos, then Word for Windows, then on my old clamshells - Psion 5MX, HP200LX.

For the above it's always been a macro that I've arbitrarily assigned to a key combination (CTRL-L).

What does it do?

The macro sends the cursor back one character while highlighting it. On almost all programs this is SHIFT-LEFT-ARROW. It then puts whatever character is there (letter, number, punctuation mark) into a variable. Then the macro returns to the original cursor position. And then FORWARD-DELETES up to and including the first instance of the variable's value (case insensitive).

For tablets, that is for Textmaker on tablets, ideally, this macro would be a tool, a virtual button that one can decide to have as an option.

To further clarify, take this very short sentence that needs to be translated from Italian to English.

This is the original:

La vita di Kyle era in pericolo.

It will end up in English as:

Kyle's life was in danger.

As you can see the name "Kyle" is already there.

So with my proposed cancel-connector button I would tap in a K and then hit [§]. The [§] macro would jump back, find the "K" that I inserted, go back in place and then forward delete till the first "K" (or "k") it finds.

KLa vita di Kyle era in pericolo.

Leaving me with

Kyle era in pericolo.

Then doing my translating job, I'd add the "apostrophe s" followed by "was in danger"

Kyle's life was in danger era in pericolo.

Now the sentence is translated but I need to cancel the remaining Italian and end the sentence with a "." (a period).

So after the word "danger" I insert a "." and hit the [§] button.

This time when the [§] macro jumps back, it finds the "." that I inserted, returns in place and then forward deletes till the first "." it finds.

Kyle's life was in danger.[§]era in pericolo.

In both instances, the [§] function did the canceling-connecting job in one fell swoop, but of course there will be instances when one will have to hit the button twice (or even more).

FOR EXAMPLE. Let's say I had this sentence:

Mary went to the gym and then to bungling Bob's house.

and wished to cut it down to:

Mary went to Bob's house.

That means cutting out the red part

Mary went to the gym and then to bungling Bob's house.


In the case above I'd have to insert a "B" after "went to " and hit the [§] button twice because there's another "B" (actually a "b") before "Bob."

Mary went to B[§]the gym and then to bungling Bob's house."

...becomes - after the first [§] press:

"Mary went to Bungling Bob's house."

...but the "B" (now capitalized) of "Bungling" is already in place for me to lazily - effortlessly hit [§] again.

Mary went to B tap-tap.

AND IT'S DONE!

The [§] macro does all the necessary highlighting and erasing.

Jossi
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Re: A suggestion / improvement for Textmaker

Post by Jossi » Mon Jan 06, 2014 5:28 pm

Thank you for your patient explanation, Steven. Now I've got it, too. I didn't get the trick of inserting once more the character up to which the text is going to be deleted.

This is a nifty solution, and I am sure it saves a lot of work, especially in translating and editing. On the other hand, it's a rather special way to do it – a user will need some time, practice and determination to acquire it. So I doubt many users will require this feature.

In SoftMaker Office for Windows, it could probably be implemented by a script. Whether something like this could be done in Android, and how, I don't know.

StevenL
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Re: A suggestion / improvement for Textmaker

Post by StevenL » Tue Jan 07, 2014 9:43 am

Jossi wrote:Thank you for your patient explanation, Steven. Now I've got it, too. I didn't get the trick of inserting once more the character up to which the text is going to be deleted.

This is a nifty solution, and I am sure it saves a lot of work, especially in translating and editing. On the other hand, it's a rather special way to do it – a user will need some time, practice and determination to acquire it. So I doubt many users will require this feature.

In SoftMaker Office for Windows, it could probably be implemented by a script. Whether something like this could be done in Android, and how, I don't know.
Ciao again Jossi,

Yes it could definitely be implemented by a macro script in SM's TM for Windows.

Unfortunately not by me - I'm a programming caveman and Object Oriented for my needs is like using a bazooka to swat a fly.

For all my editing macros except the one I'm hankering for (inasmuch as requiring a variable), a "Record Macro" function would suffice. But I didn't see a MACRO RECORDER in TextMaker for Windows. Is there one?

'Cause having to face the steep learning curve of VB to handle the few simple text macros I've been using since the late Eighties is daunting.

The purpose of my simple editing macros is to keep my hands not only on the keyboard, but also generally within the original - and still best - Wordstar command set.

The simplest ones are:

Kill all text from the cursor position up to an excluding:
"."
","
"?"
"!"
":"
"¶"

The [§] idea could be all of the above and a bit more.

"Write the letter, number, punctuation mark you want to cancel to and just press the [§] button as many times as needed."

In Word 5 for DOS the code required was:

<LEFT>«SET X=SELECTION»<RIGHT><F6><ESC>S«X»<TAB>D<ENTER><DEL>

Any of today's VB languages would surely require 70 lines of code.

On a regular computer, with a standard keyboard I can agree with your objection, but on a tablet, I see the [§] idea taking the curse off the limited usability of the otherwise marvelous gizmos for heavy editing / translation jobs.

If you say:

"I'm completely with you regarding the lack of forward-delete on tablets. Not even the bluetooth hardware keyboard for my iPad has it, which is really a shame."

...then you recognize a problem. There's no DEL - unless one downloads Klaus Weidner's Hacker's Keyboard:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... eyboard&hl

I tried doing precisely that, figuring it would help, but I quickly discovered that the real problem is the pudgy-finger / tired-eye coordination required for highlighting... Then if to kill the highlighted text one must hit Weidner's DEL or the standard tablet BACKSPACE, what changes? Nothing!

The [§] idea combines ease, (even a certain laziness) with the utmost precision. Whereas on regular computers it's a luxury, on tablets it solves a major problem: FORWARD-DELETING

Would it be hard to incorporate in Android?

No idea. My gut tells me the smart guys at SM could cook it up in 20 minutes or in any case a helluva lot faster than making the wonderful program compatible with Dropbox, Google Drive, Evernote and SkyDrive.

(Grumble grumble)

We're talking about DELETING... and that's probably not sexy enough for the WIZARDS of today... and I'm beginning to think THAT'S the problem.

For example there are downloadable "smart" cloud-connected virtual keyboards capable of "learning" your vocabulary so they can "guess" your next word... and yet those magnificent and sexy keyboards DON'T HAVE FORWARD DELETE!

(grumble grumble)

The scribes have been forgotten.

sven-l
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Re: A suggestion / improvement for Textmaker

Post by sven-l » Tue Jan 07, 2014 2:01 pm

StevenL wrote: For all my editing macros except the one I'm hankering for (inasmuch as requiring a variable), a "Record Macro" function would suffice. But I didn't see a MACRO RECORDER in TextMaker for Windows. Is there one?
A macro recorder is not yet available. This is on the agenda for future versions.
Sven Leßmann
SoftMaker Software GmbH

StevenL
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Re: A suggestion / improvement for Textmaker

Post by StevenL » Tue Jan 07, 2014 7:51 pm

Hello Sven,

I recently bought a new portable and just yesterday the MS OFFICE on it expired... It wasn't bad, though when typing in text it gave me an unpleasant "slippery" sensation...

It opened PDFs fairly well. In the past couple of years I've been receiving a lot of scripts to translate in PDF format, no doubt generated by Final Draft. When exporting from that screenwriting software only the PDFs retain the scene numbers... the RTFs TXTs and HTMs shed all that stuff.

I purchased the SM office suite for Android and as I said I'm happy with it, just not happy with working on tablets - hence my plea.

But for me to purchase the SM office suite for Windows (Windows puke-yech-vomit-spew 8.1), I guess I'll have to wait for the Macro Recorder.

From this caveman's POV I can tell you what I liked about the now gone Word 2013's Macro Recorder... It has to do with their F8 highlighter.

You press F8 and then hit a character and the highlighting extends to the first instance of that character. That makes automatically creating all my editing macros (except one) a snap with their Macro Recorder.

Also, when you press F8 in MS WORD and run a search the highlighting extends to the "found" search.

I don't remember how it was for TM for Windows, but in OpenOffice and LibreOffice (also F8) any key pressed or any search automatically killed the F8 function.

In MS WORD the highlighting behaved like the cursor (a big bloated cursor). For instance if I hit CTRL-SHIFT-END, highlighting from the cursor position to the end of the document (generally to see how many words were left) and then simply hit LEFT-ARROW, I'd be returned to the previous cursor position. in OpenOffice and LibreOffice instead, the cursor remained at the bottom of the highlighting.

Unfortunately, I think TM behaved like that as well... but at this point I should download the trial version and check.

Done. Happy to say that TM behaves the way I think it should (bloated cursor). Hurray!

One thing I hope TM will eventually have is multiple highlighting... this makes formatting plain txt into a movie script very simple. In two minutes I get all the formats for scene headings, character names, dialogues, transitions properly in place. But I think I can get the same results in TM (in 3 minutes) with search and replace. I'd have to test it.

One great thing (for me) is that in TM one can choose the "classic" (old Wordstar) keyboard mappings - CTRL-G (like DEL) / CTRL-T (kills one word at a time) / CTRL-Y (murders one line at a time).

Once the Macro Recorder function is up and working, I hope I can somehow trick the program to highlighting and canceling to: "." - "," - "?" etc. etc....

...that is WITHOUT need for scripting.

All the best to you!

StevenL
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2011 5:42 am

Re: A suggestion / improvement for Textmaker

Post by StevenL » Wed Jan 08, 2014 10:58 am

Ciao again, Sven. I just wanted to say that I insisted with this [§] business because on October 31, 2011, after shooting off the same suggestion to Softmaker, the boss replied:

Steven:

That's a pretty good idea. I have forwarded it to the developers and product managers. It's up to them whether to implement it, but I like it.

Best,

-mk


That gave me hope. And it made my day. For me, "mk" was like Bill Gates so I was tickled pink that he bothered to think it through.

I have nothing but admiration for developers and project managers, but as I grumbled, I suspect that DELETING is too mundane, too simple and ordinary.

If it could somehow be connected to the cloud and controlled by left and right eye winks or modulated voice commands, they'd probably want to get involved.

In any case, making tablets productive for translators / editors is a battle I intend to win!

I find it really strange that as far as work is concerned, my ancient DOS clamshell (HP200LX) is about 8 times more productive than my modern tablet with all the bells and whistles. Maybe there are too few of us... but check out ebay and see what they're selling for (256 Euros, 290 Euros, etc.).

Every 5 months or so I go to the very sexy Apple and Android stores and challenge them, offering to pay them double to beat me: they with their sci-fi devices and me with my clunky clamshell.

They can download lady gaga and fly in formation with their friends in Rangoon... but DELETE? Meat and potatoes DELETE?

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