Hi, Rollo. I sympathize with your frustration, but (a) the .docx conversion routine in OS X currently doesn’t render bullets from such Word documents. Microsoft changed to a different file format. Whether bullets will be eventually captured in Apple RTF conversion remains to be seen. So to convert such text to bulleted items will currently involve tinkering by the user. (b) Changing an entire text document by pasting in a single Ruler setting (or applying a Style) will enable that ruler setting throughout the document. The only alternatives are to either copy and paste appropriate Ruler settings a paragraph at a time throughout the document, or to first enable word wrap and then apply new ruler (or Style) settings for special paragraphs, e.g., left and right-indented paragraphs. Those are the limitations of Ruler settings (and Style settings) in TextEdit, and I’m not aware of any word processor that can recognize other variable tab settings (or paragraph Style settings) throughout a document and retain them without change when enabling text wrap in a single step. Perhaps I’m wrong about that.
Changes in formatting often happen when clipping material from another application. I often use tables. Your problem with bullets is small by comparison with copying tables from some other applications, or trying to send a table developed in DT Pro’s TextEdit code to a different application.
I typically do all my draft writing inside a database. I generally standardize all text to a single font and size, such as Times 12, with the exception of titles and headers. The draft will contain graphical elements and perhaps some tables. It will not, of course, have footnotes, page headers and footers and some other special formatting that’s not available in the TextEdit code. I usually don’t do much paragraph formatting in draft mode. Instead, i’ll insert notes or cues to remind me to do some formatting of a paragraph at a later time.
I’ll then copy/paste the draft into a more capable word processor, usually Pages or Papyrus 12. I’ll do the layout, footnotes, hyperlinks to endnotes and so on in that medium. Pages and Papyrus 12 are quite different applications. It’s easier to transfer a draft to Pages, because the images transfer easily and require minimal twiddling. Papyrus 12 requires more manual work, especially for image transfer, but has lots of styles and is more stable and faster than Pages or Word for very long documents. I expect to have to rebuild tables in either application. Either application is great for final output as PDF (Papyrus 12 has an editable hybrid PDF file format), and both are pretty good at converting to Word if necessary. Personally, I haven’t used Word much since version 4. I’ve got MS Office, though.
Quick Look in Leopard is wonderful. It will become a tool in DEVONthink. But don’t assume that the kinds of problems discussed will go away altogether. That’s because what you can see and do with a document being viewed in Quick Look depends largely on what the developer of the parent application of that document has included in the Quick Look plugin. Yes, you can see the document just as it was created in its parent application. Can you use Find to do a text search, or select text and copy it? That depends on the developer’s plugin, e.g., the one provided by Microsoft. Maybe, maybe not. If you can copy a bulleted excerpt, will it render properly when pasted into a rich text note? Maybe, maybe not.
Quick Look is a great step for reducing the Tower of Babel problem resulting from all those proprietary file types. But how far it can go remains to be seen.
This is reminiscent of Quick View (Windows & Linux) for allowing one to view information in documents for which the user doesn’t have the parent application.