Make controlling styles sensible

Feature requests, and in-depth discussions of features and the way Mellel works

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Make controlling styles sensible

Postby typofi » Tue Mar 22, 2016 5:28 pm

Hi again. I'll start by repeating the basic point that Mellel is indeed amazing and definitely my editor of choice for academic writing.

However, could you please, please, please put proper effort into making the style sets sensible and and easier to control.

At the moment this is where Mellel is absolutely driving me nuts. Especially when in comparison most of the other editors I've used have managed to get this basic feature right.

At the moment there are too many moving parts in controlling styles:
  1. Page styles
  2. Section styles
  3. Character styles
  4. Paragraph styles
  5. List styles
  6. Note styles
  7. Auto-titles
Yes, it is great that we get to adjust each. But the current system is a pain in the *donkey*.

First, it is frustrating that these are saved in separate bundles. So in creating or adjusting a document style, we cannot just simply edit and save like in most editors. Instead, making changes means: Editing and saving page style. Then editing and saving character and paragraph styles. Then editing and saving auto-titles.

Even worse is that the styles are not properly linked. Because they don't seem to actively "listen" to changes made in other styles. So way too often – in fact, all the time – I make tiny changes to something and then I get to see that my document is now full of orphaned styles.


The way the system is set up now seems like the styles listen to each other just enough to realise that "OMG the user changed something -- I'l just turn into an orphaned style" but not enough that they would react in any reasonable manner.

Because of the how cumbersome the system is, I have probably never ever finished a document with Mellel where all the styles would be 100% in order. The orphaned styles are always hiding there somewhere. This is, to be frank, rather ridiculous, because lot of editors seem to be able to get this right.

I guess the Style >> Edit Style Sets is supposed to be the place where to control everything. But for whatever reason even going though there doesn't do the trick properly. And I know one can use Replace Styles to make temporary fixes. But even running that often doesn't really remove the problem. I spend way too much time running Replace Styles and assigning edited styles again and again to the text, instead of writing.

I think this issue didn't used to be so prominent because lot of the other editors weren't that good either. But today those other editors have managed to overtake you by miles and miles and miles. So now Mellel is feeling like some ancient relic when it comes to managing styles.

So could you please work on this.

Give us one place (hey, you even have the Edit Style Sets" in the menu already) where to edit everything in one go and save everything in a bundle. You might still keep the separate styling areas as sub-bundles so that they can be imported separately.

Like in some editors, where you can, for example, import styles from other document and it will ask you for options like "Import… All styles [ ] Paragraph styles [ ] Page styles [ ]"
Got the styles thing figured out
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 3:18 am

Re: Make controlling styles sensible

Postby achterblad » Mon Mar 28, 2016 10:25 am

I agree totally. I am spending too much time to get rid of zombie styles (or Flying Dutchmen) which seem to come out of nowhere.

The problem seems to be that a deletion of a (paragraph, character) style does not reset all the internally formatting which was done with this style to a default. Of course this should be a really existing, visible and user formattable "body text". Instead all the information of deleted styles is preserved and the formats pop up unexpected at an improper place.
New to all this
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:33 am

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