Desktop Level Word Processor!

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frmarkfenn
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Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2020 12:14 am

Desktop Level Word Processor!

Post by frmarkfenn »

UPDATE for version 82
===================
Wow! Mouse and Trackpad progress (see other post). With a mouse, I almost have the same workflow editing that I have on my Mac. The trackpad still need a bit more, but close.

ORIGINAL UPDATE
================
First off, Thank you.

I have tried just about every known iPad word processor: Word, Pages, Collabora Office, AO Office, OfficeSuite, WPS Office, Polaris Office, Google Docs and a few more (including online versions), and TextMaker may just be the first desktop level word processor on the iPad. Here is my bold claim...

Some come close, but most of those are stuck in the "Mobile" office app mode. Offering good functionality, but with reduced feature sets or iPhone centered interfaces (even on an iPad). Some, like AO Office, which is a port of Open Office, come close, but the awkward interface just keeps it back. Only Pages (as an iPad app) offers a full mouse/trackpad experience (some of the online ones do as well), Word and OfficeSuite offer most of the mouse/trackpad support, but not all of it.

I loaded up an 87 page document, with 16k+ words, multiple sections, headers, footers, table of contents, footnotes, and lots of formatting. TextMaker handled it excellently. I have an iPad Pro, 3rd Gen, and an iPad Mini, 5th Gen, and both handled the document fine. The product is stable (other than the other posts I have about mouse/trackpad support).

I want to point out one thing that I think SoftMaker does better than Word (across all the platforms). That is, when you shrink the view, you get multiple pages that appear, and not just one really small page. I shrunk the page down enough on my iPad Pro 12.9 that 60 pages were visible (very small of course), and I could simply click on any of them and start editing. Just nice.

This product already feels mature. This has the potential of being like Affinity Photo or LumaFusion where the iPad rivals any desktop. The only thing holding back a complete desktop experience is the mouse/trackpad stuff. If they can get the mouse cursor and mouse/trackpad support right, then this will become my default word processor from now on!
SuperTech
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Re: Desktop Level Word Processor!

Post by SuperTech »

Thank you very much for your valuable feedback.
frmarkfenn
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Re: Desktop Level Word Processor!

Post by frmarkfenn »

Version 84 Update
================
I recently did a full usability test. I loaded up a document that needed a lot of editing and formatting changes. This was a 51 page document with around 12.6k words.

I did this on my iPad 12.9, with a mouse (that has a mechanical wheel).

Here are a few observations:
  • With the mouse, scrolling with the wheel was smooth.
  • Screen scrolling was...ok. It did scroll with my fingers, but it was slow and jerky.
  • When triple-clicking to select an entire paragraph, you need to do it FAST. If you slow triple-click, most of the time it will register as a double-click.
  • Typing was easy and seamless.
  • Navigation was fluid and matched the desktop versions of TextMaker
  • Text selection with the mouse was...normal. I mean this in the best way. Any combination of double or triple-clicks, as well as click and drag, and click...hold shift-key down...then click some where else worked great. Hold shift-key down and use arrow keys worked fine.
  • A couple of times I actually forgot I was editing on an iPad, It just felt like a word processor is supposed to feel.
  • Pinch and zoom on the screen is not very fluid. You can control the zoom level by doing this, but it doesn't do it as you pinch. It will update a few seconds later. At first you don't think anything happened, but then it redraws the screen. You need to do it a few times to get the zoom level you want.
  • When I was done editing, I shrunk the view down so that I could see around 30 pages at a time. And although it was small, I could see the formatting. I do this to make sure that I don't have a blank page somewhere, or that a page flowed the way I wanted to another page.
  • If this had been almost any other iPad word processor, I would have been frustrated with the editing process and switched to a desktop version.
  • No, multitasking features. No side-by-side, or slide over. No multiple document windows (this is mitigated by the fact that SoftMaker can have multiple tabs). But hey, it took Microsoft over a year to put these features in Word...after the ability was put into iPadOS.
The trackpad and the dynamic pointer functions are still being worked on. I am wanting to try this test again, only with the trackpad, so when those functions come in, I'll do another usability test.
arudy53
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Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2014 5:42 pm

Re: Desktop Level Word Processor!

Post by arudy53 »

I have been experimenting with the beta for a couple of weeks (on iPad Air and Apple Magic Keyboard). Primarily I work only with TextMaker, so my observations do not apply to other parts of the office apps.

In general, I find TextMaker for iOS to be very good (as far as beta versions go). I can easily use it as my primary writing tool (I am a journalist). I have been a user of the Polaris office apps, but I was never very happy with them. TextMaker has a lot of promise, and I hope the developers are busy at work getting the first non-beta version done. I agree with frmarkfenn that there are some navigation issues, but the progress made on the support for mice and trackpads are very promising.

All the best of luck with your work!
SuperTech
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Re: Desktop Level Word Processor!

Post by SuperTech »

Thanks for your feedback again. I am happy to inform you that we have implemented features like multitasking/Split view, slide over, dynamic pointers etc., we also support multiple open documents (as you mentioned it as multiple tabs) and trackpads also.
frmarkfenn
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2020 12:14 am

Re: Desktop Level Word Processor!

Post by frmarkfenn »

VERSION 128 UPDATE
=====================
Lots to love.

To do a usability test, I loaded up a document that is 88 pages long, with lots of formatting and images. I'll only list below the things that I think make TextMaker shine.

First thing I needed to do was format this document for my 10in eReader. The eventual goal would be to make this document a PDF, and since the physical screen size of the eReader is about 6 x 8 inches, the page size also needs to match.

First up, make a custom page size:
Layout Menu | Page Setup Section | Page Size
In the Paper section, select User-Defined, then width of 6in and Height of 8in

Shrink the Page Margins all the way around:
Using the same dialog above set the Top, Bottom, Left, and Right Margins to .3in

Add a Footer and Shrink it as small as possible with Footer Text
Insert Menu | Header and Footer Section | Footer Dropdown | Select second footer template
Change the text in the new footer and add a page number.
Header Footer Section | Insert page number... | Select Insert from the dialog

Now we shrink it (this right here would be difficult or not possible on other iPad word processors).

With the cursor somewhere in the header, a new menu appears in the Menu bar called Header and Footer. Click on it.
In the Size and Position section, set the "Distance to page edge:" textbox to 0in.

Editing Text (my favorite things)
  • Paste Unformateted text (I had lots of text to move from one source to another).
  • Horiz. ruler and Vert. ruler (there are still word processors out there that don't give you these).
  • Styles! Not only are there existing ones, but you can create and name your own.
  • Ability to use a mouse or trackpad to help navigate.
  • Zooming to a level where you can edit and see multiple pages on a screen.
  • Continuous View Mode, allows you to read your document like an eReader. It hides the headers and footers, as well as most formatting and puts it into a flow mode. You can then increase the zoom level and the text will adjust.
  • Ability to adjust tabs and indents from the ruler.
  • The navigation can get out of the way. You can easily hid most of the menus, as well as the status bar to give a lot of space for editing.
  • Easily add a page break with a cmd-return.
  • Love being able to have multiple documents open in the tabs.
Publish to PDF
The final step was to publish a PDF document.
File Menu | Document Section | PDF Export

Still Needs a Little Work
There are only a couple of things that need a bit more work:
  • Polish the Trackpad scrolling (see my other post).
  • Add more mouse cursors (only the i-Beam at the moment).
  • The bottom of the app is being taken up by a little popup menu that sucks up a good 1/2 inch of valuable screen space. There is a big blank bar across the whole bottom with only a little popup menu. Other apps that have this allow it to hover over the screen. Or, if you have a keyboard attached allow us to make it go away.
  • Pinch and zoom on the screen is very blocky and not smooth, and also not connected with a trackpad gesture.
Conclusion
I've been using this now as my primary word processor on the iPad and it's easy to do. This is indeed a desktop level app, and I can easily forget that I'm not using a PC or a Mac to do it.

+Mark
SuperTech
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Re: Desktop Level Word Processor!

Post by SuperTech »

frmarkfenn wrote: Thu Jun 09, 2022 10:38 pm [*]The bottom of the app is being taken up by a little popup menu that sucks up a good 1/2 inch of valuable screen space. There is a big blank bar across the whole bottom with only a little popup menu. Other apps that have this allow it to hover over the screen. Or, if you have a keyboard attached allow us to make it go away.
Thanks for your detailed post. Please share a screenshot of this with marking the problematic area for better understanding.
frmarkfenn
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Re: Desktop Level Word Processor!

Post by frmarkfenn »

I've attached the screen shot.
Attachments
IMG_CFFCEB7F4F3D-1.jpeg
SuperTech
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Re: Desktop Level Word Processor!

Post by SuperTech »

Thanks for sharing the screenshot. Please uninstall TextMaker from Test flight and install it from Apple app store directly as it's released and let us know if you are getting this space in the released version also.
frmarkfenn
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2020 12:14 am

Re: Desktop Level Word Processor!

Post by frmarkfenn »

This is a screen shot from the App Store version. It did not go away. You can get it to go away temporarily if you unmark the "Show/hide keyboard automatically" checkbox in the Tools | Options | System dialog. When you uncheck this box and hit Ok, a red keyboard icon shows up near the lower right of the screen. If you then click that icon the little menu and the white bar will go away. But the next time you go into the app, it shows up again. So as long as you keep clicking the red keyboard icon you're fine.

It just seems like a workaround and not a fix.

If the iPad is connected to an external keyboard, you will get this bar. My iPad 11 does it with the Apple Magic Keyboard, and my iPad 12.9 does it with the Logitech bluetooth keyboard. If you take the iPad off the Magic Keyboard or you turn off Bluetooth for the Logitech then the bar at the bottom will go away.

Interesting note. If you take the iPad off the keyboard and then put it right back on, the problem gets worse, see the attachment. I'm not sure why that little popup is there, it showed up about two betas ago.
Attachments
IMG_3B349ACC7DD4-1.jpeg
SuperTech
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Re: Desktop Level Word Processor!

Post by SuperTech »

Thanks for trying the latest released version of the app. I am able to reproduce this problem and forwarded the details to our developer team.
SuperTech
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Re: Desktop Level Word Processor!

Post by SuperTech »

Our developer team have fixed this problem and the solution will be included in the next update.
SuperTech
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Re: Desktop Level Word Processor!

Post by SuperTech »

Please update your app, re-check this problem and let us know the result so that we can proceed accordingly.
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