Styling Text

Am I right in understanding that the only way to set “styles” for a document is using the scripts?

If that’s the case, do people have any particular advice for workarounds? Is there hope for a limited style system of some sort for DTP2? NWX offers a simple style system, and that’s about as much as a I need, given that I can use the rest of DTP for organizing/outlining the portions of the book I’m writing on.

I don’t need many styles, but I do need at least

  • Indented body paragraph
  • Block quotation
  • Unindented body paragraph to follow block quotation

And having those as keyboard shortcuts would be best. Obviously, having some simply set of formatting for Chapter and Section text would be great.

Again, nothing as involved as Mellel, but the basics of NWX and other RTF apps would be great. Having styles auto-update when modified would, of course, be a bonus.*

(Frankly, I would be happy if I could just write a CSS. I found all the dialogue boxes in Mellel and Word and MWX just damned tedious.)

Sorry to drop in again and ask a series of questions, but I’ve been using DTP as that third lobe of my brain for a while, and I’m undergoing an ascetic moment when it comes to getting work done and I kinda like what DTP offers as a writing platform. It’s sort of on its way to becoming the “one app to rule them all” app.

DT uses most of the code of TextEdit, which is built into the OS X operating system as a Cocoa application.

You can use the Ruler and Format to set up a paragraph style, setting indents and the like.

You can then copy that paragraph style and paste the style into other paragraphs.

You can set up lists and even simple tables in rich text documents.

The TextEdit code has come a long way since Cheetah, and I’m hopeful that Apple will continue to spruce it up. If you have Pages, you will find that a copy/paste of a rich text document into Pages carries over almost all special properties very well.

Thanks, Bill, but the copy and paste style thing is most assuredly not a solution. I’m going to have to school myself in the use of the odd style system build into DTP – it is fairly obtuse, you must admit, unless all it is is simply an inspector – literally allowing one only to inspect the formatting in a given selection and perhaps copying it to paste it later.

But like I said, that’s not really a style system. The scripts are the beginning of a style system, but I’d like to make them keyboardable. (There’s a kludge somewhere to do that with AppleScripts, I know, but I have never had much success with it. Okay, no success.)

I don’t really want to copy/paste from Pages. Goodness, that application drives me nuts. I much prefer NWX to it, if all I’m after is styled text and not structured text. The strength of apps like Word and Mellel and OmniOutliner is that styling is a function of structure so that by seeing text styled in a particular way one knows visually what level or where one is in a document.

I was hoping to replicate such a feature (set?) in DTP, because I’ve read so many times about how happy you have been not only collecting data with the app but also writing within it.

I gotta think on this a bit more. I want it all, Bill. I want it all! (And, clearly, I want DTP to do it.)

Textedit, and therefore DTP, also supports named styles. So you can set up the format you want, give it a name, and then apply it elsewhere by selecting the target text and applying that name.

Note that this is NOT the same as the implementation of styles in Word. Therefore, though the formatting will translate if you import the document into Word, the style itself won’t.