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Posted by Matty
Jul 19, 2007 at 02:26 AM


Tom Colvin wrote:
> >I’ve looked all over for sites to help historians be more productive, but have
>found nothing.  And I haven’t even found more than 1-2 articles online about the
>techniques of “writing history,” other than the mundane directions for college
>students who must write “papers.”  Do any of the historical associations—AHA or OAS,
>for example—ever include sessions in their conferences about writing technique
>and strategies?

No, they pretty much expect you to get that in graduate school… ha, ha…
> >You’ve confirmed my decision to install WhizFolders tonight. 
>Maybe I’ll begin to get a better handle on 4 years of research! 

If you are anything like me, the first step to getting a handle on 4 years of research would be to stop looking for new programs to help me get a handle on it…but what fun would that be.  I think you’ll like WhizFolders.



Posted by Zargron
Jul 21, 2007 at 03:01 AM


The two-pane outlining facility of Ultra Recall was another reason I chose it above others. Currently there isn’t a straight forward way to combine your primary text + secondary text into RTF or similar file format. (You can export to XML and stuff around with separate RTF files.) I have requested a quick flexible RTF export facility and Kinook have kindly put it on the 2007 Roadmap. Although not helping Cassius or anyone else “today”, I hope you don’t mind me making mention of it for those who want to “watch this space”.


Posted by Fredy
May 13, 2009 at 12:35 PM


I see a lot of workarounds here implying a lot of fussing ; I understand the need for special citation software when working with more citations than main text, but imho, for most purposes, citations and other footnotes should be integrated in a smoother way into your editing software - see below.

Somebody wrote : “I?m writing in Word, each chapter in a separate file” - ain’t we d’accord to consider this the worst of all alternatives ? I do understand that MS Word (tm), or even the editor in MS Works (tm), has the great advantage of a very fine auto-completing function where the completing of your typing isn’t triggered by a special character like in most macro programs that offer such a function, but in a perfectly natural way by a space, a return or any punctuation…

...on the other hand, I am currently writing in three languages - yes, there might be many people out there who do this in twelve but I’m not parading, I’m just specifying my problem -, and those MS (tm) applications don’t offer any choice of alternative auto-completion tables depending on your currently used language ( and neither do any macro or auto-completing applications ; and understand me right : I am not whining upon the lack of automatic language detection in your paragraph which would trigger the adequate auto completion table : I would be very happy indeed to chose it “manually”, but even that is not possible to my knowledge in all those programs )...

... so I understand the willingness to type in MS word (tm) ( in one language only ), but I am not willing to consider MS word (tm) for any serious text editing / text building work, let alone documentation work that goes with it ; I understand people using two programs, one for the text and one for the documentation, but a stable outliner ( stable meaning that it remains stable when it treats files of many mb, and thus the choice isn’t overwhelming ) offers text editing and raw material management at the same time and thus seems to me much slicker than any unneccessary combination…

... and then, why would we be here if not for our understanding that outliners are much better

( yes, I’m aware of the need of cloning and tagging superposed on the hierarchical structure(s) for it becoming really helpful, and yes, I’m aware of the need of automatic synchronizing of those tags, and those clones EVEN IF THEY ARE IN SEPERATE FILES, and once you can do this, internal hypertexting without error 404 will be easy )

than text processors ( might they have awkward outlining functions or not ) and mesh software ( of course I’m referring here to wikis like the one this topic is in, let alone evernote (tm) with its ( for the moment being ) absence of outlining by which they succeed in cutting their possible client?le by four fifths.

Somebody advised to do footnotes / citations in sub-items ( of your outlining editing software ) ; the problem is twofold :

- In your outline, over-nesting being not good, we know this, but nethertheless they will be some levels of indentation, but the need for applying footnotes will not be restricted to your innermost level, say level 3, 4 or 5, and thus, on level 2 or 3, you will have some footnotes, when this definetely isn’t the most appropriate level for placing them ; you would need a “special level 12” for exemple, which would be assigned to such purposes, as a child item of a 1, or as a child item of an 11 level item ; unneccessary to say that no program of my knowledge does offer such a special child item ;

- When you export for publishing in print, having footnotes in items of various levels will drive you crazy if you didn’t mind beginning and ending your footnotes with special characters, but when you did, macros running in the target application of your export could be of great help indeed.

Which brings me to the above-announced better way as I see it :

All dtp programs offer some very sophisticated ways of encoding / tagging imported files, it’s just a matter of knowing them, but your publisher will be delighted to communicate them if really you don’t find them in the web ( and even the final version of Adobe (tm) PageMaker (tm) has got very fine encoding functionality ). Normally, you use round brackets = parentheses for normal writing purposes ( yep, I use them a lot ), so you are left with square brackets and ( / or at least ) curly brackets = braces ( and perhaps with angle brackets = chevrons ; all this depending on your writing needs.

This way, in any and whatever text editing program, you could use e.g.

[a footnote] and {a citation}

in your text, and if you need more text coding that you have got brackets left for this purpuse, you could use e.g.

{fa footnote} or, for better reading, {f_a footnote}, {c_a citation}, {n_text not to be published}, and so on.


In any case, writing lots of texts ( or doing lots of any pc work ) without macros should be prohibited ; unfortunately, the inherent macro functionality of most outliners is zero whereas MS Word (tm) is even “scriptable”, but then, you should consider an external macro program even when your main application has a built-il macro facility, be it only to trigger identical / similar functions in all your applications with the same keyboard shortcuts.

Macro programs are somewhat difficult to choose because their function list might be impressive but then their real working in your environment might not, and the other way round : this way, I use a realiable program with rather poor functionality, deliberately depriving myself of some shiny goodies of “better” competitors that simply don’t work reliably for me. In any case, your macro program should have assignable system variables, in order to implement some basic form of logic, and of course ( application ) scope is mandatory since without it, it won’t be possible to synchronize your keyboard’s fonctionality between your different applications.



Posted by Pierre Paul Landry
May 13, 2009 at 01:28 PM


Zargron wrote:
Currently there isn’t a straight forward way to combine your primary text +
>secondary text into RTF or similar file format.

This is something that InfoQube does very well: Select multiple items (with hierarchy or without) and you get a combined page (outline + rich text). If desired, the page can have expand / collapse buttons (for both the outline and the rich content)



Posted by Fredy
May 13, 2009 at 04:14 PM


Well, I wasn’t aware this was a PPL has it all project where your postings are replaced by PPL’s.


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