Welcome to Mellel 4.0 Beta!

Mellel 4.0 is ready for beta testing. This new version of Mellel is probably our biggest and most comprehensive version — introducing literally dozens of major new features and improvements... We know that you're probably anxious to put your hands on this beta and give it a go, but please — read the explanations and instructions carefully: they matter. Pay special attention to the section about installing and updating — they are extremely relevant to using the beta properly and safely. 

Please Note Mellel 4 Beta is not a public beta — that is, we request that you will not divulge any details about this beta in any public forum. If you have anything to say, good or bad — write to us. 

Following here is a list of new features in Mellel 4 beta. The entire list of changes is much too long to be discussed here in full, so look around and try to follow the leads on where to look and what to look for in the section below, titled What to look for with the Beta.

Please take a look at the latest beta changes below.


New Features and Improvements

Index

A new pane (named Index) allows you to create Indices in Mellel. The Index feature in Mellel is based on creating an Index (you can create several, for different purposes), and adding Index records within that Index. Each record has some attributes (e.g., a sort name, being an alias, see/see also reference) and meta-data (comment, marker, tag). In the document text, you can add multiple marks (that is, marks in the text that point to this record). Each Mark, in turn, can also have attributes, such as type (regular, note, passim, etc.) or scope (word, paragraph, page range, etc.). When you're done, you can insert the index to the document. 

Adding Index Records is easy: All you need to do is press the Add New Index Record button. If you have text selected, it will be the basis for this record name. The records are ordered automatically (alphabetically) and you can easily move a record to become a sub-record of another record.

Quick Index

Will allow you to quickly mark, index and add records on the fly

Marking for index is equally easy: Select a piece of text (or just position the insertion point where you want it), and press Insert Index Mark. You can always go to that Mark and change its attributes or the Records it points to.

Some points of interest: 

  • Index Attributes: (Choose "Edit index attributes" from the cogwheel menu) This is a vast field of options, covering every aspect related to how the index will be laid out: see and see also, locators, layout of every level and sorting and grouping. It really knocks the ball out of the park.
  • Quick Index: this handy panel allows you to search the text (using RegEx or plain text) and insert marks for index. It also allows you to add records on the fly, switch records (so you can use the same word in different contexts to point to different records), and so on. Experiment with it. This tool alone will drop about 50 percent of the time needed to create an index.
  • Index Creation: Experiment with this. You can insert an index at any point very easily. (via Insert > Index > Insert Index or via the Index Pane attributes pop-up). The Index you add to your document will also export to PDF with live links — so it'll be just as useful there.
  • An index is not just an index: Try to experiment with an index as a different way to look at your document: not structurally but by people, ideas, plants, animals, scholars, etc. that are mentioned in it... ordered alphabetically.

Story

This innovative new feature can be described as a "thematic" or "Story" outline — a way to outline your ideas, story plots, scenes, and and so on. While the Outline in Mellel can tell you exactly how your document is structured (e.g.: this is where chapter x begins), Story points can tell you what you want to write thematically. 

Through the new Story Pane you can add story points to your documents. Those points will be displayed in the Story pane and in the document itself (they can be hidden in the document). You can add, for example, a story point titled "This is where X does Y" or "The duel begins" or "Z hesitates, still," and so one. 

But that's not all. To each story point you can add characters and locations. For example, if you have a story point titled "The duel begins" you can add the characters of people participating in the dual, and the location where the dual takes place. You can also add the time of the event,  set the importance of the events, and add comments, tags and markers. 

Via the Characters and Locations tabs in the Story pane, you can view the characters or Locations you've added, add others independently, add images, set their importance, and so on. 

Using all those, you can order the Story points, the characters and the locations based on their importance (e.g., view the principal characters on top), by first appearance in the text, by a timeline (which can be quite useful, if your story goes back and forth in time), and so on. 

In a way, think about this as a complementary tool to the Outline and the Index: the first lets you view your document structurally, the second allows you to relate to it by subject matter, and the third follows the story you're telling.

Outline — a new one

Auto-titles and the Outline got a major overhaul with this version of Mellel. It was re-written, with a vengence. Some of the new features:

  • The Outline as an Outliner: With the new outline, you don't really need to enter or edit headings with a dialog box — you can do that straight in the Outline.  You can add items (Type and Return), Promote and demote (Cmd [ or ]), easily delete, and so on — without removing your hands from the keyboard.
  • Metadata: you can add a comment, a tag or marker to an auto-title in the outline.
  • Filter: The filter allows you to screen auto-titles in the text, based on their text, tags or marker. This is extremely useful with long documents, and if you marker some parts of the text (e.g., for later completion).
  • Easy editing: Just click an item, and edit it (in the text or in the outline). 
  • Easy Viewing: via the Preferences you can set the Outline font size, and set its appearance when editing an Outline item: using a default font, or displaying the item's text as it appears in the document.
  • It's a wrap: the headings in the outline now wrap... 

A New GUI, a new icon

We did just about everything anew — including the application and file icons. You should take special note of the Character palette (and character style options), and the various pop-overs that popped up throughout the application.

Auto-indent

Auto-indent is our (first) stab at a semi-automated work-flow, where headings are added automatically as you press Return. The main use of this feature is where there is frequent repetition of items, and using the mouse is bothersome. A classic example is legal documents and legal numbering. Auto-titles support complex numbering schemes (think "1.1.1.2.1" or "1.1.(b)1") and combining this power with an automated process of adding new items simply makes sense. 

To enjoy Auto-titles as it is intended to be, open the Default_A4_auto-indent template, which is set to work just right. This template will also allow you to examine the inner working of Auto-indent - and you can use it as a starting point to create your own templates. 

To activate Auto-indent, you can always Open the Auto-title palette, click the Edit Title Flows button, and check the option Auto Indent at the bottom of the dropping sheet.

Tag and Tag icons

Tags are, essentially, keywords (often accompanied by icons) you can attach attach to various items (index records, auto-titles, story points, and so on. Tags allow you to itemise and categorise items based on status (e.g., "TBD" or "Very Important"), subject matter (e.g. History, Language), or any other categorising system you wish to use. You can assign an icon to a tag, that will show in the Outline, in the Story pane, in the Index pane, and elsewhere. 

 We provide a basic set (viewable via the Preferences) of tags — and you can add your own.

Improved Notes (footnotes and endnotes

The Edit Notes Attributes now allows you to set, add, edit and apply add-hoc changes to paragraph and character style used with your footnotes or endnotes. This greatly enhances your flexibility in handling notes, because you can the way the note looks from within the Edit Notes Attributes dropping sheet. For example, in the past if you wanted to make a small change to the notes font size, you needed to make the change in the character style used with the notes beforehand. Now you can simply... change the font size from within the Edit Notes Attributes dropping sheet.

Furthermore, you can do ALL the work from within the Edit Notes Attributes dropping sheet: you can now edit paragraph styles and character styles, add styles, and change and save styles.

New Document and Recent documents

We think you'll find the new arrangemnts much more comfortable and efficient. 

Revised Style Sets Dialogue

The new Style Sets dialogue will now allow you to more easily manage styles (it's much roomier), and also apply quick fixes to a series of styles, via the "next/previous" style buttons at the bottom of a style's dialogue box.

Revised Markers

You can now set the names and the colour of markers (via the Preferences).

Revised Character style

Main news item here is that we've decided to send the "widget" (the big A) to pasture. Now the character palette and Character style dialogues make more sense, and are easier to handle.

Improved Table of Contents

A crowd pleaser: When you export the Table of contents into a PDF, the references to various parts of the document will be links.

Cross References Filter

One of the perennial problems with cross references was that with a long manuscript it was difficult to easily locate a specific auto-title, bookmark, etc.  Now, with the new filter, you can do that easily: just type part of the name you're looking for, or select a marker or a tag - et voilà: here it is.

Migration Assistant

Mellel 4 is very different from Mellel 3.x.x. We've decided to allow them both to co-exist, and also to allow you to migrate nicely to the new version, keeping all the setups and templates you created intact.

Furthermore

There's much more. We've improved or completly overhauled:

  • Bookmarks
  • Lists
  • Line Numbering
  • Comments
  • Document Window attributes
  • Breaks
  • Floating elements

What to look for with the beta

New Features

Try the new features out — with a work task, if you wish, or simply toy around with them. Tell us what you think. If something is not working as it should, if you find something hard to understand, if there are things the feature doesn't do and should, let us know.

Rendering

Older Mellel documents should open and and look the same in Mellel 4... if you find something off here, let us know. 

Regressions

Sometimes, when we add new features, we change things around and you'll discover that a functionality you had with the old Mellel functionality have changed. We did that intentionally, and in most cases Mellel should behave as usual... but sometimes while changing we may knock a vase or two. If such a thing happens, or a bug erupted where it should not erupt, please let us know.

Documentation

We have re-written the Mellel guide, in addition to adding details about the new features, we have also modified and re-written the details about the old features. If you find any errors, omissions or explanations that are difficult to understand, please let us know.

Defaults

Mellel 4 comes with an all-new set of templates, try them out and let us know if you think we havemissed anything, or if we overdid anything. Are the templates useful? Are they giving a novice user a good impression of Mellel? 

What not to look for in the beta

Nothing! If you doubt whether to contact us or not, don't hesitate. You should never think that "someone else surly has told them about that" — More often than not, that someone else is you! So, don't worry about our workload, a team of highly skilled and motivated monkeys are processing your reports and can handle any load.


Sending Beta reports

To contact us, about anything relating to beta, please use the beta report form. Do that by clicking the beta icon on the window toolbar. Please try to fill in all the relevant fields in the report form. If you've encountered a bug or (OMG!) a crash, pay special attention tothe reproduction sequence, which is our best cue as to know what exactly happened and in which circumstances. 

Crash Reports

Mellel 4 never crashed and will never crash — We deny such thing may happen. Still, when it does happen, it is important that you should know what to do: Immediately after a crash, a dialogue box titled "Mellel 4 Quit Unexpectedly" will appear. This dialogue will prompt you to send the report to Apple. This is great for Apple, but not very useful to us, because we will not see the report. To get the report to us, press the Reopen button to re-launch Mellel. When Mellel is relaunched another dialogue will appear, with the title "Problem Report for Mellel 4" — fill your details in that dialogue, and make sure to include a description of the events leading to the crash as you recall them and then click the Send button.

Important note about Installing and using the beta

 Installing Mellel 4 beta

After downloading the DMG file, double click it to mount it (if it is not mounted automatically by your browser) and drag the Mellel 4 icon into your applications folder. Mellel 4 will not replace your existing version of Mellel, and can run without causing any changes to the settings for Mellel 3. 

Updating Mellel 4 beta

After the initial download of Mellel 4 beta, you will be able to update the beta (when we have a new beta version) via the automatic update mechanism, make sure to choose Mellel->Check For Updates when you first run Mellel to make sure that you have the latest beta build. Also make sure to choose Mellel (menu) > Preferences and under the General tab select Every Day from the Automatically Check For Updates popup menu.

License and free updates

Mellel 4 will detect your Mellel 3 license automatically, whether you've purchased Mellel 3 directly from us or via the Mac App Store. The validity of your license will be determined by the purchase date. Generally speaking, if you've purchased Mellel in July 2015 or later, you should be eligible for a free update to Mellel 4 beta and final release, but there may be exceptions and caveats, so check this up.

Your license date is detected when you first run Mellel Beta and handling of the various cases depends on whether you bought Mellel directly from us or via the Mac App store. If you bought Mellel directly from us, and you have an eligible license for free upgrade, Mellel will simply start working with the old license. If your license is not valid, Mellel 4 will run in trial mode, clicking "Buy" in the registration prompt will allow you to purchase an upgraded license. If you bought Mellel on the app store then Mellel will evaluate your purchase date and according to that will offer you to convert your license to a direct license for free or to purchase an upgrade to a direct license. In all cases, you will be able to continue using Mellel 3 as you were before.

Migration and Settings

Mellel 4 will detect your old Mellel 3 settings, and offer you to migrate your settings from your old version. You can choose to migrate or not, if you choose not to migrate at first, you can always perform this task later by choosing Mellel > Migration Assistant.

Whether you migrated your settings or not, your old Mellel 3 settings remain intact and any changes you make using Mellel 4 will apply only on Mellel 4.

Your Old Documents

Mellel 4 will open documents created with any version of Mellel. Documents saved using Mellel 4 can be opened by Mellel 3, but any data relating to the new features (e.g., Index records, Story points, meta-data so forth) will not be preserved if you save these documents in Mellel 3. 

We suggest, as a precaution, that you backup any document you intend to open and work with Mellel 4 during the beta testing period.

 


Mellel 4.0 Build 74 release notes

• Seperate message for expired code in "incorrect registration code" message. Made message localizable
• normalizing registration code entered by user to be more forgiving to user input errors
• (17219) Fixed an issue that cause citations dragged from bookends to appear unverified.
• (17218) Fixed a bug that caused Mellel to pause slightly and then beep when clicking "Copy Citation" in bookends while in Live Bibliography mode.
• (17217) Fixed an issue that caused Migration Assistant to fail to find Mellel 3 installations for unregistered/expired users
• (17199) Integrated updated hyphenation dictionaries (only Deutsch (reformiert) was updated)
• (17198) Fixed an issue that caused buttons and fields on the find pane to become mispositioned and cropped when making the window too narrow. Refined positioning of top button row on find pane.
• Collapse button for opened items in side pane (outline, index, story)
• (17165) Fixed an issue that produced partially invalid documents when reading older documents containing notes within notes.
• (17165) Fixed an issue that caused index generation and locator listings to stop at certain pages with documents containing certain illegal characters.
• (19192) Fixed an issue that causes incorrect x-ref renderings (wrong page numbers) with documents containing very large amount of references.
• (17280) Fixed an issue that caused index marks generated by "Quick Index" "Mark All" function to produce locators with incorrect links when exporting to PDF (Fix doesn't correct documents with existing marks, workaround for that is to cut the entire document text and paste it again)
• (17216) "Incorrect Registration code" messages wording.
• (17252) registration prompt "days left" now kerned to ensure no truncation in localisations.
• (17252) resizing "buy now" button to fit text in registration prompt dialog
• (17252) flexible "Buy Now" button in "Welcome To Mellel" screen
• (17252) different text and different button caption for unregistered users and users with expired license in the registration prompt.
• (17252) Registration prompt & Welcome To Mellel windows: Button caption is now "Upgrade" for users with expired license
• (17253) Menu item for "Buy Mellel" is "Upgrade License" for users with expired license
• Buy/Upgrade Mellel: detecting upgrade details window close, actually closing windows when pressing "cancel"
• Renamed "Comments" to "Remarks" and changed relevant icons (in cells, popovers and the "show/hide remarks" botton) for autotitles, bookmarks, index records, story points, characters and locations.
• (17172) Properly sorting items under the numbers, symbols and numbers & symbols groups when generating the index.
• (17304) Fixed an issue that caused keyboard navigation and return/esc not to function initially in the "open template" window
• (17234) Tag filter now shows only the tags that are actually used in the list that is being filtered (Outline, Story points, characters & locations, index records, potential targest in xref panel)
• (17235) Fixed an issue that allowed entering the same tag more then once for the various items that can have tags
• Tags are now automatically converted to lowercase upon entry
• Updated factory autotitle setups and tempaltes
• re-arranged Help menu (some items are still under construction), removed built-in help
• default zoom is now 128%
• Updated default templates
• Updated localizations

 


Download Mellel 4 Beta

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We request that you will not divulge any details about this beta in any public forum. If you have anything to say, good or bad — write to us.

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